Giving out Personal Information Online?

I was pointed in the direction of CO+K by a friend of mine, and I have to say that so far I am loving it, however, one thing has caught my attention- the swaps.

I first ran across them here, and I think that they are an awesome idea! It seems really cool and I would love to participate in one!

However, there is one problem, and that would be the giving out of personal information. I was raised on the set belief that you gave out no personal information on the internet, because then I don't know who has access to my info and I've heard horror stories from people on site like LJ who's lives have been turned upside down by giving out too much personal info online.

This makes me curious as to how you all feel about giving out your name and address, etc on the internet.

Have you thought about the dangers presented by the World Wide Web and declared them inconsequential, or have you just not thought of them? Have you ever experienced any problems because someone knew too much about you, who you didn't know at all? Do you just trust the community in general? Or, do you have everything sent to a nearby friend or a place like the community centre or the library?

I would really like to hear everyone's answers, as I would love to hear everyone's points of views on this topic.

Thank-you. ^.^

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6 replies since 13th July 2010 • Last reply 13th July 2010

I wouldn't post my personal information on the swap board. But, I do give it to the person I am swapping with in a message. And if anyone wants your address they can find it on the web or in a phone book anyway. I don't see the big deal with that. Now giving out your SS# or debit, banking information that I would not do.

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Well, these days, there's so much information available online about anyone - if someone is really determined and willing to spend a bit of cash, you can go right to whitepages.com and find links to sites that specialize in tracking people down. I wouldn't post my address publically somewhere like Myspace, because I have tons of friends on there and a lot of them are just guys who like to look at pictures of girls. But here, I feel perfectly safe giving my address directly to the person I'm swapping with (not posting it on the boards). Not only am I going to get theirs in return, I don't think there's much a person could do with just my address. If I buy something on Ebay or Etsy, I'd have to give my address for shipping, so I guess I look at it that way. (I'm too cheap to get a P.O. Box, lol)

Now, I never post my real phone number anywhere or enter a real number when asked to provide it when signing up for things online. I also never give out my SS #, banking information, or credit cards. Paypal has made buying things online so much easier, I never have to worry about anyone being able to see my financial information.

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I'm not even allowed to shop online, my parents refuse to set up a pay pal account because my mom has a friend who lost a lot of money to a scammer, bad service, or a hacker through pay pal. But this website does have a nice vibe to it. I've been all through the swap pages trying to figure out how everything works, and I've noticed that everyone seems fairly familiar with each other, and I know that if there was a problem someone would likely complain. This IS very different from Myspace or Facebook or any of those friending networks, and I do know some people on here personally that haven't had any bad experiences with swapping.

Thank you so much for giving me your opinions. ^.^ I didn't think of a lot of the things that you guys (girls?) mentioned. Happy

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Haha...I DARE someone to try to steal my info or track me down and break into my house or something. Really. I'd laugh my butt off for all the hard work they put into trying to steal something from me, just to find out that there's nothing to steal! lol

Seriously though. I don't mind participating in swaps. I'm not sure there's anything dangerous that could happen, other than you swap, but get nothing in return, which isn't likely. And If you're afraid that someone might show up at your house? This is information that ANYONE can get online. You can even get directions directly to a person's door, or view satellite photos of someone's house. It's creepy.

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Yeah, I don't like that people can see my house. Luckily it only shows for Jesse. When i search me it shows my apartment from 3 years ago. (=

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I've been around for a year and and I am extremely aware of protecting my space and privacy. As a Mum of a teen who has had a negative experience with online exploration I know stuff happens online that you just don't expect.
I was really concerned when I first joined about sharing addresses but it's a leap of faith which has been positive.
There is on tiny little thing that i would like to flag up.There are a couple of images from swaps that include my address on envelopes.I would have preferred this not to have not happened.Now I am a little more cryptic about my activities.
In a recent swap we we asked to give our real names to help tracking.I found this tough but i am proud of my stuff so felt it was fine to share.
COK has a place to report inappropriate user and share concerns.
I'm really please that you are aware of the issues around and have given us a place to gently explore how we can keep each other safe.

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