What to divulge

I was a regular on a message board in the '90’s, but stopped posting after personal info I had posted was used against me. It was nothing major, but I was reminded that when we post to a message board, we post to the world.

Now, 10 years later, I’m starting to post again, but I’m uncomfortable with posting anything that could be used against me (which could be anything I post).

So how do you decide how much personal info to divulge on the SDMB?

Things I don’t typically share:

Real name
Address
Employer
Financial details
Social security number
Medical records
Criminal records (…which I’m not saying exist) :smiley:

Everything else seems to be mundane and pointless enough.

A bunch of people know my real name, and it would be easy enough to figure out if someone were curious.

The main topic I don’t post on is my sex life – other than that, my life isn’t interesting enough to keep secrets about. (Hm, not that my sex life is that interesting these days… :frowning: )

i give my child a different name typically, i don’t use my real name, place of employment, and i don’t talk very specifically about my job in any way.

of course, i don’t really have much to hide :wink:

I think that’s my point. I was only expressing my personal view on the board I cited in the OP, but I was ostrazied because someone chose to edit my posts and make them imply something I never meant.

If I was only posting for SDMB members, I would be much more willing to share personal details. However, the entire world has access here, and I don’t really want ‘everyone’ to have access to my life.

I’m pretty comfortable about posting a few details, as long as I don’t divulge any of the following:

Real names of me or anyone else
Locations (except for the general area where I live now)
Details about my life significant enough to find me (not that I’m interesting enough to track down)

Also, my wife and one close friend are the only two people IRL who know both my nic and my real name.

As far as other details about my sex life, personal life, or favorites, well, I’m not too concerned about how they come through. Most of my experiences are mundane enough, so that I’m not too worried that someone will read it and go “I know that kid.” As far as the rest of the dopers are concerned, I try to write from the heart, and if they think more or less of me . . . well, at least I gave them an honest basis to make that decision.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

I avoid giving my name, or the name of the school that I teach at, but I have been on this board long enough and posted enough bits and pieces that I more or less assume that someone could find out who I am and that I am speaking in public. So I don’t tell stories about my sex life or illegal activities I might have participated in, and I don’t bitch about specific people or tell specific stories about work and people at work–this comes up when people are telling “stupid school” stories–I am not going to share stories of school scandals.

There are some things in very old posts of mine that break these rules, but those date from when I was in college and had less to loose. I don’t think anyone is going to bother to look for them, and there is nothing that is anything except slightly embarressing.

I think the safest thing to do is what I do: I lie constantly, about everything. To everyone. All the time. :rolleyes:

Now if you’ll excuse me, Linda Ronstadt and I are meeting Herbert Hoover in Panama so we can work on some kind of nano-thingie. Then I’m giving a piano concerto in Belize, right after my photo shoot for that Bollywood movie I made last week. I sure hope my huge Mormon family (15 wives, 63 children!) can make the trip, but most of them are busy in the ME fighting terrorism… with their bare hands.

George? Is that you?

I have nothing to hide, so i always tell the truth…

my name is Ka’ D;argo, son of Tre’Tal, i’m a Luxan warrior living on a Leviathan biomechanoid spaceship called Moya (think of her as a space-whale) with my Nebari lover, Chiana…
…what, i told you, i always tell the truth, Rygel’s the one who always lies…

I have a devil may care attitude. I stay relatively anonymous without blatant revelation but with enough research someone could probably figure out who I am. I suspect that some family and a few others realize who I am here and follow my postings. If not, there have been some pretty amazing, coincidental, real-life, non-sequitor conversations and hints at secret knowledge of relative topics that I have over-revealed myself to here on the board. I have no definitive proof but feel that there are benign, malicious, as well as ambivalent forces that have access to my postings here and elsewhere. It doesn’t really bother me.

If you’re like me and have no real reputation to protect, nothing to lose, and very little dignity nor self-respect left, then posting without regard has a net-positive and affirmative effect. If you worry about posting and have been burnt before, then you might want to excercise some more discretion and write broadly; avoid the posts that will make you a composite figure i.e. polls, personal anecdotes, location threads, etc.

Stay amorphous and you will feel more secure. The downside is you will lose out on some vaguely satisfying interactions of personalization and intimacy. Oh, and Barracuda, here you would do well to watch out for the devils you know… they could probably do you more psychic, emotional, and general malevolent harm by osmosis than any anonymous, personal, or tracking entity, which, of course, conceivably could simultaneously be one and the same.

I divulge a lot, and yet not as much as some might think.

The name I use in RL (as in all family, friends, aquaintences, co-workers, employers) is not my true, legal name, not here, not in any country, not in any public records. I know when I get mail with my true, legal name on it, I’m dealing with the INS or someone who wants money. This goes for both my first and last names. Long story behind one name, short story behind the other. One day, I will have it all officially changed, but I’d like to wait until all this other paperwork is finished up. It’s complicated enough without throwing in a full name change. I will never reveal my real name(s).

We’re nomads. I’ve said where we lived before, nothing specific like the building or apartment numbers. Doesn’t matter much, won’t be here long. Shame, since I like this place, but so it goes. I’ll like living in a house more, I’m certain. That location I will not divulge.

Things I won’t give out:

My husband’s name or place of employment.
Anywhere I work in the future.
Names of family members.
Phone numbers.
Private email addresses (anything other than gmail or hotmail accounts).

That’s about it.