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Security question registering forums


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#1 MaryBet82

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 01:44 PM

There are several forums - like the dell support forum - that want one's birth date in order to register. Everything I've read on web safety says not to give out personal info like birth date, home state, etc. I'm assuming they want it for statistical purposes. I don't want to link my birth date to my email address - I don't put that info on my profile pages. Websites get hacked. Plus I have no idea who has legitimate access to registration information.

I'm not comfortable putting in a fake birth date. I haven't tried putting in a bogus birthrate like next year that would in essence say I'm not giving you my real birth date - I figured it'd return as incorrect date.

I understand that forums need to require an email address for registration to have some control/limits on who posts. Is there a legitimate reason for require birth dates?
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 02:58 PM

One reason is to attempt to prevent very young people from registering, or to require parental assent if under a certain age.
Most legitimate forums are extremely careful to keep Member information confidential, and I would not worry about providing an age, especially if you can prevent it from being public information by modifying your Member profile.
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#3 JJ2K

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:35 PM

As the user suggested above, it is commonly used to prevent certain users from possibly viewing age restricted material. For others it can just be part of the software they are using to run the forums, and they don't actually really use it apart from possibly just displaying it in your profile and having it in their database.

Why are you not comfortable about entering a fake birth date? This is recommended by some security professionals in order to protect your privacy. You are correct in that sites can easily be hacked, therefore your info could be at risk, therefore why not just use a fake one? What harm is it doing exactly?

#4 Animal

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:45 PM

It may very well be the websites efforts to comply with the FTC and COPPA. You should have an option to not display your age on the forum, but give the administrator/site the information confidentially.

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#5 MaryBet82

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 08:32 PM

Thanks jgweed, Animal & JJ2K

I'm just not comfortable not telling the truth. I think I got cursed at a young age. I thought about sites trying to restrict age, but if I can enter a false birth date so can the kids. But you're right, federal or other regulations could require it. Or the site may just think it's a responsible action.

I need to set up an email account somewhere they don't put your real name in the from field, then my birth date wouldn't be linked to my name. Bellsouth or Comcast may let me opt out of putting my registered name in the from field and I can create an account w/ no clues to my real name. And it's the administrators/site I don't want to have it. Well, I don't want it in their records/database. Besides the hacking, the administrator or someone w/ access could be a crook.

Companies, even the highway department, used to be able to sell their lists of names and phone numbers. Maybe they still can, I lost track of that debate. I didn't register at one forum because I needed a lawyer to tell me the privacy policy didn't say what it sounded like it said.

So I think I'll either break the curse or figure out how to have a not-my-real-name email address.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#6 Queen-Evie

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 10:22 PM

I need to set up an email account somewhere they don't put your real name in the from field, then my birth date wouldn't be linked to my name. Bellsouth or Comcast may let me opt out of putting my registered name in the from field and I can create an account w/ no clues to my real name. And it's the administrators/site I don't want to have it. Well, I don't want it in their records/database. Besides the hacking, the administrator or someone w/ access could be a crook.

So I think I'll either break the curse or figure out how to have a not-my-real-name email address.


Marybet, there is no requirement that says your real name has to be in the From field of an email.
You should be able to root through your web mail settings to find something along the lines of
"Choose the name that appears in the from field of email messages". If you see your name, delete it, save the change, and it will show your address instead of your name.
With Comcast, using SmartZone, your email address shows by default. Want something else in the From field, you have to go to preferences and input the name you want to show.

If you use an email client, you can also change it. At least you can with Outlook Express from Tools/Accounts.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 24 March 2010 - 10:24 PM.


#7 MaryBet82

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:12 PM

Thanks Queen-Evie,

I'll check out the preferences settings. For some reason I have a hard time figuring out where things are in email and some web pages. Now that I know it's there I'll look harder.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#8 Stang777

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 10:50 PM

Neither my Comcast email account or my AOL email account show my name anywhere on the emails.

Comcast does give an initial automatic email account using your name, but it very easy to create another email address and delete that one. They let you have many, I think 5 or 7, different email accounts on your account, as does AOL.

#9 MaryBet82

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 08:01 PM

Thanks everyone

My ISP email is bellsouth and I set up a second account there years ago w/ a not-related to my real name email address back when web of trust wasn't around or I didn't know they were around in case I ended up where I shouldn't. I must have done so at some point because that account has an abundance of offers for free money that my other accounts don't. I never realized I was the beneficiary in the wills of so many people I don't know or that so many financiers wanted to partner w/ someone who couldn't sell lemonade in a desert.

My sister, though, said my non-name acct shows my name when I said something about it recently. I'm hoping she's remembering wrong. I haven't used it in awhile.

She had set me up an acct in her ISP comcast 'cause I hate going to my bellsouth-now-at&t-&-jammed-w/-junk and she used my real name. She can set me up another account w/ a non-name. I couldn't find a way to change what's in the from field in preferences at comcast, tho. Time to bite the bullet and head over to bellsouth and send an email from my non-name to my name account and see if it shows my name and if it does have at&t help me figure out how to persuade it not to do so. My sister can do the same w/ comcast and we can both be non-names when necessary.

:thumbsup: I just wanted to use this smiley
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#10 MaryBet82

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 10:38 AM

Stang 777 is correct.

I sent an email from my not-name-account to one of my others and printed it out. My name wasn't on it. So I didn't have a problem in the first place and I wish you guys had the Doh! emoticon.
Thanks again to all for your patience and help.

MaryBet
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening




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