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Common Sense Guide To Protect Your Privacy Online

Review the information below for tips on keeping your identity private. Some women do not want their association with this issue made public. If you don't want anyone to recognize you, read the info below!

General Internet Basics to Remember

  1. If you post something online, on a message board, in a email, in an instant message conversation, then you run the risk of that information being copied and used again without your consent. People are not SUPPOSED to do this, but it can still happen anyway.
  2. NEVER use your real name or any part of it in your email address, message board name, IM name, or other identifying label.
  3. Don't give out ANY personal information, such as social security number, real name, real address, real phone number, to someone you meet online. Do not post this information publicly on a message board either.
  4. Don't assume immediately that someone you meet online is who they say they are - be cautious, and if you choose to meet up in 'real life' with someone you've met online, ALWAYS do it at a public place like a mall or restuarant.
Things Specific to This Site
What's the privacy policy of this site?
Because of the nature of this site, I am very careful with the privacy of women who come here. This site does not collect any personal information from visitors without their consent, and NEVER reveals any information (email addresses, names, ect) to anyone else, unless presented with a court order to reveal information because of criminal or civil prosecution. I do not sell email addresses to mailing lists, I do not give or sell any information to anyone regarding the members of this site. The surveys are anonymous, and no names or email addresses are recorded by the surveys.

Additional Info - Terms Of Service - please review this information as well

ALWAYS USE A NICKNAME!
When picking your username for the message boards, or for an email address, don't use ANY of your real name - for example if your name is Jane Smith, don't make your username jsmith, js, smithj, js23, ect - use something that cannot be tied to your real name. Do not post your real name, your real address, or your real phone number on the message boards, or in the chat room. If you feel comfortable with another member and want to exchange information, please do it over email or private messages only. If you have already registered for your username, and now would like to change it due to privacy reasons, please send me a PM and tell me what you would like to change it to, and we'll let you know if that name is available.

Why should you be concerned about privacy?
I encourage every woman who uses the interactive features of this site to choose a 'nickname' that has no part of their 'real' name in it, and use that for all message board posts, chats, or email list discussions. Especially when it comes to abortion, and PASS, I feel it's very important for women to have privacy. Even if you feel somewhat comfortable with being open about the fact that you have had an abortion, consider this: Would it bother you if your boss came by this site, and saw what you posted on a message board? Or your husband, boyfriend, children, or neighbors? Your pastor, your co-worker, your ex, your friends, your family? Since this is the Internet, ANYONE with access to a computer could conceivably find their way to this site, and possibly see something you post on a message board. They might show up in the chat room, to just listen, and recognize your real name. So please use a nickname instead, unless you are 100% comfortable with your real name being out there.
Also, it's an unfortunate fact of life that there are weirdos and extremists out there that may want to harass a woman for her choices or opinions, and for that reason we do not want anyone's real information posted publicly. So please pick a nickname for yourself, and go by that at all times to protect your privacy!

All content on this website is copyrighted, and that includes the posts on the message board. It is illegal for anyone to quote, copy or reproduce any part of this site, including posts on the message boards, without explicit permission from me, or in the case of a post, permission from the original poster. Anyone found violating this will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Also remember that the Internet can be a place for dishonest people as well as sincere and loving people. Don't assume that someone you just met online is a caring, honest person. Always err on the side of caution, and keep your real information private. Don't give out your phone number, your real name, your address, your credit card number, ect.

My ex/my family/my friends are stalking me here!
It's unfortunate when this happens, and it has happened before, where people have had others in their lives, partners, family members, and friends, come to this site to see what the people write, and possibly to start arguments with them and harass them. People can be very sneaky, and if a family member or partner has a minute of access alone to your computer, they can put spy programs on there that will tell you EVERYTHING they type, from passwords to get onto sites to what you say in a chat room.

We can ban a user who is harassing or upsetting another member, but there is nothing stopping the member from being clever and sneaky and finding a way to get back on under a different computer and a different username, and lurking and reading what you write. You must remember that anything you do on a computer can possibly be found and read by someone in your life who is determined to do it. Don't consider anything you post here to be completely private. We will do all we can to help, but the very nature of the internet, in providing privacy to users, also provides privacy to abusers.

If you want to change your username to be more secretive, you should also change your email address to a more anonymous one, and do not publicly announce that you have changed your name, only PM it to your friends, but remember if the harassing person has physical access to your computer, it's possible they will be able to know your new username as well. If someone is directly harassing someone here throught posts or PM's, we can ban them, and take official action against them if they keep bothering the person here at the site, and we have taken action in the past before! But if they are sneaky and just lurk, we won't know it is them - so be aware!

Another option is this:
With many stalkers the outright 'denial' of access makes them worse, and a bigger hassle. An option that has worked in the past is for you to register for a new account, and pm your friends privately and tell them what your new "secret" name is, and post your real issues under your secret name, and just post bland boring stuff under your 'current' username, until he gets bored and goes away, and then you will be free to post whatever you want under your old username. If you have any special jewels or anything, I can also give you a duplicate subscription under your 'secret' name so you can still sparkle or glitter under your secret name. PM me for that information so I can help you with that.

Post Editing/Deleting
Remember, you can edit or delete any of your posts at any time. So if you post something and change your mind you can always remove it later. If you post things, then someone comes to the site, and you don't want them to see you posted these things, you can always go edit or delete them.

Message Boards
For the message boards, you have to register for a username before you can view or post messages. Never use your real name, or real email address, or reveal any other 'real' information about yourself at the message boards. Choose a nickname, get a passhugs or other web based email address. Once you are using a 'nickname', you can feel more free to discuss anything you are feeling in regards to your abortion, without worrying about anyone recognizing you. Everything on the message boards is copyright protected, and it is illegal to copy or reproduce any parts of any of the posts on the message boards without explicit permission from the original poster. Anyone found violating this will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Post Copying
It is strictly against our site rules to copy anyone's post for any reason, without obtaining prior written permission from the post author, or in the case of a thread with multiple posts/responses, written permisison from the author of each post in the thread. With a public board system on the Internet, we can't guarantee that things are completely protected, and completely private. Don't use your real name, your real location, your real details about your situation unless you are SURE you are comfortable with these details being out on the Internet. Post copying and reusing of anyone's post, for any reason, without written permission from the post author, or each author in a multi-post thread, remains strictly against our rules. Anyone found to be copying or re-using posts without getting prior written permission from the posts' author will be banned from the site. Everything on this site is copyrighted, including all posts on the message boards. Legal action will be taken against anyone who takes any posts from our message boards and reposts them anywhere else for any reason.

Email
Don't use your 'regular' email address to register for the boards. Someone could recognize it, and in turn recognize you. You cn get a free email account at www.passhugs.com or any of the other free email services out there. When you choose a login name, make sure you do not use your real name in it. Pick a nickname for privacy. Also on the 'sign-up' form for the free email address, when it asks for your 'real' first and last name, don't give it to them! Put something bogus, for example if someone wanted an email address that said 'tigerlily@passhugs.com', she could use tigerlily as her login name, then when the signup form asks for your 'real' first and last name, she would put "tiger" as her first name, and "lily" as her last. Hotmail and other free email services will automatically display whatever you put in as your 'real' first and last name in front of your email address when you send messages, so it defeats the purpose of getting an anonymous address if they just broadcast your real name anyway! So use fake names, nicknames or words for the sign-up process, as well as determining the 'email name', regardless of which service you choose. Then use this new address for all your PASS-related correspondence, to help protect your privacy.

Chat Rooms
The same rules apply to the chat rooms, don't give out your real name, phone number, email address ect. Our chat rooms can only be accessed by registered site members, btu again, anyone can register for a username.

What to do if someone bothers you?
If someone upsets you on a message board, or posts something inappropriate, you can 'report' that post by clicking on the 'report this post to a moderator' link

Due to problems with yahoo's privacy policy and email harassment, the official email groups previously associated with the PASS site have been eliminated and all conversations are encouraged to talk place on the message boards instead. This includes the former MSN PASS Support Chat room/email/boards area.

We can control and track what people do and say on the main PASS Support message boards, but we CANNOT control what people send through outside emails and through instant messenger and chat programs. If you recieve harassing emails from someone, we encourage you to report it to the abuse address of their mail server, and to block them from your email address to their messages will be rejected. Check with the tech support for your email service on details of how to block a sender, if you don't know.

To report a harassing email, check out where the email came from, for example if it says stupidperson@aol.com, then you must go to aol to report the harassment.

The same for Instant Messenging programs, report harassment to the maker of the IM program.

You can also forward copies of harassment to help@passhugs.com and we can try and determine if the person is a member of the PASS site, and take appropriate legal action if they are.

If you find that you are getting unwanted emails from someone, or abusive emails, then report that person to their mail host. For example if the sending email is nobody@aol.com, the mail host is aol - if it's nobody@hotmail.com, then the mail host is hotmail. Forward the offending message to abuse@where ever it came from.com - like abuse@aol.com, abuse@hotmail.com, ect. If you are threatened over email, or chat, you can call your local police station - email and chat threats are the same as regular threats, and you can request an investigation and file charges. This does not happen often, but unfortunately, because of the political nature of this issue, and because of extremists who have extreme views on this topic, sometimes we have people come by the site who are jerks, and just want to harass or upset women who've had an abortion. Be prepared for occasional disruptions, and make sure to let us know if you have any trouble with people from the site. This is another reason why using nicknames, and a different email address is very important.

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Send any questions to help@passhugs.com