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I am deeply suspicious of the number of threads asking for personal details.

(171 Posts)
KickAssAngel Sun 05-Jun-16 03:14:46

Over the last few weeks I've noticed several threads asking people for information which does it in a kind of 'just getting to know you' sort of way, but does mean that people are giving out personal information.

A while ago there was one asking people if their friends' names were typical of the dates they grew up - so people were inadvertently giving out enough info to narrow down date of birth to within a year or two, and potentially their best friend's name, a common security question.

there have been ones about middle names, and just various ones along the lines of 'AIBU to ask you what your favorite TV programme was as a child?"

In fact - all the kind of info that people use for their security questions for banks etc.

Yes, I could alert MNHQ to each of them, but that wouldn't get the word across to everyone that there seems to be a lot of digging going on right now, so be careful what info you share online.

MN is NOT a cosy little club full of trusted members who know each other. The questions may be a genuine person wanting to chat, or they could be a cunning plot to get info about people and start working out the answers to their security questions.

And if any/all of them are from genuine people just wanting to chat and get to know others - I apologize for my cynical stance, but even if the OP is genuine, people reading the answers may not be.

Capricorn76 Sun 05-Jun-16 03:19:26


whatsonyourplate Sun 05-Jun-16 03:21:47

I'm not sure I'd be suspicious of the favourite TV programs one, but I was a bit hmm about the 'how much do you have in the bank' thread (disclaimer I didn't read the thread, just saw the title).

Maverick66 Sun 05-Jun-16 03:21:47

Good thread. Food for thought.

whatsonyourplate Sun 05-Jun-16 03:23:55

was that a deliberate name change Capricorn?

Millionsmom Sun 05-Jun-16 03:25:06

I've thought the same thing.
It's pretty sad when I see the thread title and immediately jump to the assumption it's a data mining thread.

Capricorn76 Sun 05-Jun-16 03:34:31

No I haven't changed my name?? Why would writing 'YANBU' make you think I'd changed my name???confused

dizzyfucker Sun 05-Jun-16 03:34:40

The thought has crossed my mind. Doesn't bother me personally because I'm abroad, in a country where the bureuacracy makes Italy look organised, so good bloody luck to them. But if they do know people's real names and mn nickname, they can be collecting personal information.

whatsonyourplate Sun 05-Jun-16 03:45:42

Just given the nature of the thread, your user name seems to suggest the year and month of your date of birth.

VimFuego101 Sun 05-Jun-16 03:46:35

YANBU. I spotted two people I went to school with on the 'famous people from your school' thread.

StrawberrytallCake Sun 05-Jun-16 03:54:50

YANBU, I've tried to point this out but some posters seem to believe hacking personal accounts via mn is impossible.

DameSquashalot Sun 05-Jun-16 03:57:34


MistressMerryWeather Sun 05-Jun-16 04:03:58

YANBU, at all.

It's a step away from 'your mothers maiden name' and 'your first pets name'

KickAssAngel Sun 05-Jun-16 04:12:28

Glad I'm not the only one! And yes, how much have you got in your bank account, AND, what security do you use? Seriously - no-one should be putting that info up there for the entire world to see.

And at the same time, there's someone whose bank account has been emptied. OK - so it's from their DH's card, but online theft is a real thing.

Just imagine if someone was unscrupulous. Easy enough to have a program which tracks answers and puts them into a spreadsheet.

There have been several cases of MNers having their RL identity disclosed, purely from people googling the personal details they read on here (Xenia was the easiest). So - real name, year of birth, names of pets, best friends, schools etc etc.

Anyway, I have been drinking wine so about to tuck myself up in bed with the pet bluebeard the budgie, leaving myself logged into the bank account where I keep my millions, and I shall dream of the blue Fiesta I drove as a teenager, right after graduating from Xavier's school for the terminally stupid.

Just5minswithDacre Sun 05-Jun-16 04:32:07

There was one about a year or so ago asking for the most unusual thing you own.

Madness. I refused to divulge details of my stuffed zebra in a top hat grin

Just5minswithDacre Sun 05-Jun-16 04:34:14

right after graduating from Xavier's school for the terminally stupid


AddictedToCoYo Sun 05-Jun-16 04:48:04


I have always thought these otherwise pointless and boring threads are nothing but people fishing for individuals in order to put them our stalk them.

If you already suspect you've spotted someone on here it would only are a few choice questions to narrow it down.

Tell me about the town/county you live in.

What month are the birthdays in your family?

Where are you all going on holiday this year?

What car do you drive?

What tattoos do you have?


I NC constantly now and the day MNHQ remove the ability to do that that will be the day I'm off here forever. I usually ignore those fishing for info threads but occasionally I answer them with a totally harmless lie just to throw any nosy fuckers off my scent.

AddictedToCoYo Sun 05-Jun-16 04:48:36

Out them, not put them confused

Just5minswithDacre Sun 05-Jun-16 05:00:06

Cunning Addicted. I might copy that smile

Atenco Sun 05-Jun-16 05:07:02

I hadn't noticed the other threads, but the "famous people from your school" thread struck me as extremely revealing. I couldn't help posting on it myself. My school never produced anyone famous which probably made it unique and time for a name change.

dizzyfucker Sun 05-Jun-16 05:10:03

KickAssAngel didn't even think about the security question. I admit I only started posting on mn after I moved abroad. If it a website in the country I'm in I would be a lot more careful what information I post.

Having said that those types of posts would only give valuable information to someone who already knows your name and address, so you're already knee deep in shit anyway.

I could post my actual address and it wouldn't matter, in fact if someone actually turned up, they'd deserve a medal grin

AddictedToCoYo Sun 05-Jun-16 05:16:35

On more than one occasion I have seen threads where someone has posted about some drama or other going on in their life Of the kind that is likely to have thrown up some google hits. They've given away so much personal info that I have decided to google and see if I could identify them and Bingo. It's easy. Obviously I have no interest in stalking that person or using that info for anything sinister but it amazes me how easy it is and how naive people are.

dizzyfucker Sun 05-Jun-16 05:37:11

It is never a good idea to post too much on the internet. But does it seem likely that after getting a google hit on someone whose drama is front page of the Daily Fail you then post lots of questions, under lots of different accounts on the off the chance that person posts and you get a BINGO?

I mean I guess it's possible, but most criminals are looking for far easier/oportunistic and less time consuming ways, rather than stalking one or two people over an extended period of time and with no definite chance of success.

BillSykesDog Sun 05-Jun-16 05:41:14

I've noticed that. There's 'what is your job' and 'where did you go to uni' both fairly recently.

MakingJudySmile Sun 05-Jun-16 05:52:05

Oh no!! I started the famous people in school thread!!

I'm certainly not looking for personal info to access anyone's bank (can't even get into my own)

I only asked for how many and not actually who (in fact I deliberately missed that off my own post because I knew it'd reveal which school)

I also deliberately put it in Chat so it'd go after 30 days.

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