Struggle

Still No Privacy

Nope. You have no privacy on the 'net, but you knew that. A few weeks ago, there was a "who do you have a crush on" thing going around. A few days ago, the scum who made that started selling the "secret crush" information. Of course, anyone who posted to that should have known that was a possibility. I did, but I filled out my crush list anyway ...

While on the subject of privacy, here's a tip for the ladies: if you respond to someone's personal ad, don't send them your frickin' phone number!!! Also, use a free, separate (and anonymous) email account. You can sign up for one at Yahoo! amongst other sites. Why do I say this? Because I have a personal ad on Portland Mercury. Because this ad is one of the three funniest personal ads in the history of the personal ads, I've gotten plenty of replies and some of the women responding are not terribly cautious.

Case in point: one woman replied with her phone number and first name. I was surprised that she would do something like that, but perhaps I am just overly paranoid? I decided to see how bad this really could be. Within less than half an hour, I had her full name, I knew she probably lived alone and I had an aerial photo of her house. I felt creepy having done this, even though I knew why I was doing this. I felt so creepy that I never responded to her. Who knows? She might have been a nice person, but I'll never know.
It is amazing how much info you can get from someone over the phone. I often have to call a customer to confirm a credit card number and they will repeat it to me without any hesitation. It is always a good reminder to be caution with someone you don't know.

After meeting you, I have a hard time believing you have problems finding someone. You seem like a great guy. I wish you the best of luck. Just remember: Don't settle for good, wait for great!

From someone who settled for ok.
Welcome to my world! (hee hee)
Yes, those personal ads are strange things, aren't they? Some of those people who respond can get pretty scary. Any woman who posts her real name and her phone # in the first e-mail she sends is either highly uninhibited, or doesn't quite know what she's getting into. I have an ad on match.com, and all I seem to get are replies from these mega-uber-christians who either (1) don't understand enough about my lifestyle to know what they're getting into, or (2) are replying in some sort of weird tactic to convert me from my ways and make me all wholesome and what not. And I'm very honest in what I have displayed, so I am not quite sure what the deal is.
1. Privacy, on the net? That doesn't surprise you, I hope.. Anything you say in a chat forum, IM, email, IRC, whatever, could be archived somewhere.. We may think these little communities are only populated by honest and nice people, but we'd be wrong..

2. Uh, why not first name? I wouldn't give out my phone number, but only cos I don't like using the damn thing anyway.. Yeah, I have a feeling a lot of the world across the 'pond' from here is overly paranoid about that sort of thing.. Or mebbe it's just cos I grew up in a village where everyone knew everyone, and there *was* nothing to fear.. Hell, could have had most of that info from me in a few minutes of IM. In fact several people have, and I haven't had any problems because of it..

*shrug*
*sigh*

I'm glad I didn't fill in that secret crush thing then. I've always been cautious of that sort of thing since I got e-mails from a chain letter that later on made money out of people a long long time ago.
What personal details did it ask you for?

I have to start being far more cautious now than normal owing to the fact that my Internet connection is wireless, such as not sending credit card numbers etc. Fortunately I have one of these experimental new anti-online fraud cards (Chip and PIN) so I'm entitled to money back should it get into the wrong hands and my credit limit is currently so small that the insurance fully covers it.

Having placed personal ads in the past, I can say with all certainty that men are just as uncautious as females. Not to mention I recieved all sorts of photos (naked ones a plenty!), personal information: phone #'s, first/ last name, area of town where they live, where they work.. it was INSANE.

I will admit to being devious. On one dating service I paraded around as a man, just to see if women's responses were as poorly written, and devoid of interest as the men's responses. They were.

Anyway, good luck with it all darlin!