(quote) Andrew-290721 said: I honestly think this is a lost cause. If someone is determined to identify you, nothing short of not being here at all will stop such a person. Recently we noted that one way of identifying scammers was to drop the profile photo onto the search box in Google Images. Well, "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword." There's nothing to stop anyone from taking a legitimate profile photo on here and doing the same thing. If your profile photo(s) was posted anywhere else, it's probably a cinch. If your Catholic Match photo is unique to this site, it might be a bit harder, but still far from inconceivable. Apart from that, the sort of profiles that make a person unidentifiable also tend to be bland to the point that one would not be motivated to write to such a person. The only safe assumption is that nothing anywhere on Internet is truly private. That includes this site, despite the requirement for membership.
I just came across the profile of a woman who lives near me and noted that she worked in the same field as my employer's wife. I started daydreaming about how she might even work for the same company, and that they might even know one another, and they would be sitting in front of a computer together looking at profiles when they would suddenly come across mine, and the CM member would start complaining about what a ridiculous excuse for a man I am, and my employer's wife would say, "Wait-- I know him-- he might be worth a bit of your time." That probably won't happen to me-- but it certainly could. The point is that the very existence of Internet erodes an individual's privacy. Nuisance contacts are part of the risk that one takes in order to gain the rewards associated with success here. Keep in mind that people could contact you outside of this site even if you were never here.
Bottom line-- I hope that people don't start making their profiles even less useful by removing useful and dare I say necessary information. Making connections here is difficult enough as it is. As far as risk goes-- I always say that just being alive is a risk. One can pull a muscle stretching in bed. Without even moving, a plane engine could fall right on one's head. Last month, a friend told me that the fellow in the apartment adjacent to his attempted suicide and missed. The bullet passed through the wall just over my friend's head. It all comes with the territory, namely, Earth.
The thing is that a person can put quite a lot into a profile without revealing personal details that could be identifiable. For example, this whole birthday thing makes me uncomfortable so that's why I won't give my real birthdate (the age is the same). I got notifications of birthday wishes when the date came around recently but it isn't my birthday! I don't want anyone to know that because it is too personal and can be used for legal purposes. Sorry. In FB (which I don't belong to anymore because of the privacy issues), one could hide their birthdate. Can one do that here? I don't know. Photos are identifiable, yes, but I am not on any other social networking sites like FB or Twitter etc, so it would be hard to find me anywhere else but here.
Sure, life is dangerous, but let's not make it any easier for those who prey on others. So give an occupation but don't state a business that can be identified. If you are in a small town and there are identifiable details, then yes, this can be difficult, but caution is better than cure.
The Internet is public, so act as if you are in public - don't shout out your personal details.