Internet privacy

Is it a threat when a person shares personal information online on business forums?

I have been on several real estate forums and I belong to several other investment clubs. When I started, I put my entire name and a few details about myself and my business online.

Since that time, I have changed my handle on these forums to be more anonymous. I have noticed that many people who seem to have reasonable wealth use anonymous names. I have also noticed that on other forums, one investor who seemed to own quite a few properties pulled his profile entirely.

I want to ramp up my online presence and I wonder how you folks handle this stuff. I’m sure that realtors use their personal names, but what about investors? Do you make it a point to be anonymous?

I am also thinking about joining an online club for social reasons, and I’m wondering how everyone handles themselves online.

Do you remain as anonymous as possible with business networking?

Do you have a Facebook or other social networking page?

Do you disclose controversial things (like religious or political affiliations) about yourself on social networking sites?

There’s no such thing as internet privacy. It just takes longer to find out who’s who.

Forums have lots of “trolls” that don’t publish their names. Also it makes it easier for people to post the most obnoxious, rude, and untempered remarks ever, because nobody knows who they are (they think).

As far as protecting wealth is concerned, there’s other ways to do that than worry oneself over internet privacy.

My cell phone number is published on the internet, along with my email and my name, and knock on wood, I haven’t had one problem yet from a forum participation (in five years).

However, craigslist is so dangerous that it should be criminal what can happen to you. I naively posted my actual email address on craigslist and nearly immediately began receiving an avalanche of Viagara, porn, and dating offers. Not to mention “investors” who scrub craigslist for live email addresses using software that also spams my email box.

I think the new best practice is to use anonymous email addresses when possible, disguise your email with long-hand descriptions, using [at] instead of @, spelling out the last number of a phone number, such as 384[six] instead of 3846, etc.

I know that some people hide their actual identities, because they talk trash, or lie like rugs on these forums and anyone knowing who they actually are would expose them. So…

There’s one board where an anonymous poster (who calls himself an attorney) likes to dig up fellow posters way old, skeletons and post what he finds, simply to undermine other’s reputations. It’s sick.

Facebook is horrible for keeping personal information personal. There’s a telephone, telegraph and tell facebook when it comes to protecting personal information. Many people have removed themselves from facebook altogether, because of the sloppy protections.

Leo LaPorte(sp?) of “The Tech Guy” on radio announced that he removed his facebook account, because of lack of security over his personal information.

Meantime, I talk about controversial things, but it takes some discipline not to respond to the unfiltered comments I often receive. The anonymity, and ability to respond instantaneously encourages some posters to write things they wouldn’t ever think of saying to one’s face. However, online they’ll unload like a Turrets victim.

I know that nearly all forum moderators don’t publish their identities, because of the flaming and bleeding off site that can occur when the “wrong person” gets “moderated.”

Well, that’s all I can offer.

just think of it this way, you should’t put anything on a message board, facebook, etc that you wouldn’t print on a piece of paper and tape to your car window or the front window of your house