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Privacy Issues

Forums: Questions and Answers About Building Your Site
Created on: 09/12/10 02:13 PM Views: 2582 Replies: 27
Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 2:13 PM

I have been wondering for some time now, why Admins hide all their pages on their website? I can understand hiding those pages that give personal info but, info about Games they have posted, or reunion themes and activities - I just don't understand. I know the Admins are willing to open up if we ask but, it seems like a time waster to me. Am I missing something?

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 2:16 PM - Response #1

That's a good question so the floor is open. What pages do you password protect, and why?

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 2:24 PM - Response #2

The security of the profiles, yes...

But we've told users that their pictures and posts in the forums, etc. is all available only to registered class members.

But the other stuff:

It's a trade-off.

You register at YOUR class reunion website and I'll show you lots of interesting stuff and put you in touch with friends from 50 years ago.

You don't and you'll miss out on making that trip back to 50 Yrs Ago @PH.

Any other admin wants to take a look, just email me and ask for a password.

Brad -- when is the system password going to let them see home page announcements limited to registered users?

Edited 09/12/10 2:33 PM
Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 2:27 PM - Response #3

I never understood that either.
I wrote another site's admin on this, and he said that several of his classmates were victims of identify theft, and they thought it was from the class site.
Wouldn't that be possible ONLY if one of your classmates was the "thief'er" ?

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 2:53 PM - Response #4

I had a page that had a picture of our committee meeting on it that I forgot to password and the picture ended up on google. Plus alot of classmates might not sign up for the website if they can see everything without signing up.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 3:02 PM - Response #5

Brad Switzer wrote:

That's a good question so the floor is open. What pages do you password protect, and why?

I agree, and in fact I just went and checked my site. I removed password protection from six pages. My original thinking is that I have four people on the reunion committee who have refused to login (have computers & know how to use them) but kept telling me that everything is right there for me to view. "So why should I 'login'? They don't care about what others are on the site apparently.

All I have protected now is Memory page, Reunion page, and Missing Classmates page, plus those who want to protect their profiles. Our Member Messages & Class Forums are shut off--no one has ever used them, just like IM & Live Chat. I'm keeping those last two as I said on another thread, the IM feature helps when I want to test a new page or feature without people "discovering" as is done on this site before Brad has a chance to "officially" notify us.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 4:10 PM - Response #6

The reason I password protect my event pages is on those pages we refer our classmates to committee members and post some of their personal information such as phone, addresses where to send their checks (we don't have them pay via the website at this point)and email IDs -- and those members want to keep that information private just to the registered classmates. Wouldn't want someone coming along the treasurer's post box and swiping the checks! That's actually the treasurer's fear, anyway. It might be unlikely to happen but then stranger things have occurred to us already.

So, anytime I add someone's personal info to a page I feel obligated to password protect it. It might seem like overkill but I'd prefer to be safe rather than sorry. It's why I try to post announcements on the home page that are geared to entice people to register.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 4:15 PM - Response #7

What I just posted does not apply to Classmate Profiles. Classmates are on their own to password protect those and those who don't get a regular email from me warning them of the fact they may be seen outside of our site on the Internet. Quite a number of them choose to keep their Profiles public and that's fine with me as along as they know the potential consequences and hazards of doing so. I'd hate to secure my site even more than it already is.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 4:36 PM - Response #8

I agree with John, it's a trade-off.

I designed a special homepage that can be seen before logging on. That way, classmates only see the "begging" to join the site, before they sign in. I want them to be frustrated that they can't see the "party" on the other side, so I tried to put enough on the first homepage to make them good and curious. It's the only way I could think of to get some to take the time to register.

Oh! btw: I did leave the Honors and Tributes page open. I want those who are honored to be able to share that page with others.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 4:43 PM - Response #9

I password protect all pages except the Main/home page... I do this to give them a taste and make them (my Vikings) have to update their profile. After all it is our goal to get them to re-connect... Personal data is another story and that is left up to the Viking in their profile if they want to share the info... But the most important thing to me is to get accountability. I do not have games for them to play as that is not what the website is all about, but rather social networking with friends who shared our youth. I do not have ads, or anything to hassle them. Our site is run on donations (and has done well at that.) I run a multi-class website and in two years I have re-connected with 715 who have found the site by word of mouth of others. I receive praise for ClassCreator and me keeping it going often (of which many have made donations)

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 5:19 PM - Response #10

I know this is a bit off-topic but how do you manage to entice your classmates to make donations to the site? Something I'm trying to figure out myself, now. Thanks, Elaine

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 6:45 PM - Response #11

The reasons for securing sites and/or pages is probably almost as individual as each admin or school needs.
Privacy, posting information that one hopes will remain off the "web" gossip/away from the masses is most likely the most common. Full names, concerns,and the respect for others who might like some privacy is most important in keeping the trust of others, especially those who are not of the "facebook" mentality where the world and everyone else knows everyone's business.
Sometimes it is just a matter of giving those who log in "something extra special". Vital information of a basic nature is not locked down so those who are passing by can check it out and they do not feel left out or "controlled"!
We have had "hits" from so many countries that have nothing to do with our classmates, or probably even ClassCreator, many of which would be highly unlikely to want anything but "information" or a hint of "identity" stuff...We've had no complaints that i am aware of, but to err on the side of caution, I hope to avoid giving anything out that should not be given out.
But at the same time, I understand the concept.
We learn from each other and "iron sharpens iron" the end goal is for everyone to improve and become their own best creative selves. Sharing is good for everyone, and many of us learn so much from others that this "tutoral" is a priceless benefit!

Brad and crew, you all have "empowered" those of us that knew nothing of this before we started with you and your phenomenal company. There is so much information in these forums,the FAQ's,your instructions and your answers to all of our "questions" or problems, that you guys should get an extra special "Christmas bonus" or a little something extra in your paycheck!
Thanks again!

Edited 09/12/10 11:00 PM
Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 6:47 PM - Response #12

We chose to leave several pages (In Memory, Missing Classmates, Classmate Profiles, Honor Our Military page) open to anyone, but password protected the rest to encourage classmates to register. Our reunion is over and we still want to track the usage of the site. Correct me if I'm in error, but a classmate is not shown in the statistics if they have not logged into the site during their visit. We want them to come back to see what is new other than just a change on the home page.

Glenn Ellen

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 6:48 PM - Response #13

The main reason I have done it is to get people to create profiles. At the beginning, I found out many people were peeking at the site and accessing all the pages but not taking the time to create a profile.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 7:30 PM - Response #14

Elaine, First off I never ask for money, I never want to give the impression of another 'Gimme' site in fact It was several of my friends who wanted to make donations as they knew who much time I put into the site. It was through their insistence that I finally posted the PayPal Donation Button. Several ask how this all came about and I told them my story.
It all started as a college project for a personal website. After college, it became a sounding block for a handful of us who were close (since 3rd grade). Some started off by saying, 'Have you heard from so-so?' which created dialog, and there was a reunion that took us from 7 name to 35 names. The website became work in process... Being the first to retire (because of disabilities and wheelchair bound) it became a hobby to a passion of love. I took my Income tax return (which is my fun money and took it to ClassCreator and with their help created the site, bought the domain name and hosting for 5-years. classmates heard how selfless I was and started to make donations in check to me. I thanked them and opened up a saving account and made deposits to it for the next 5-years. I am a humble person and would never ask for money -- they know this of my character (which has nothing to do with me being disabled.) I do not make contact with my Vikings, unless I have news to put out about 'Reunions or (sadly to say) the loss of one of ours, for these are the times when I email the whole class or classes. I am proud to say, my class leads the way with accountability (72) plus another 14 'In Memory, two of which we lost in Vietnam) and the highest number of military 26. I am proud of them and they are of me... I have helped a couple other classes with their reunions not just my names, but experience and now one with CC Reunion Planner (which took a lot of worry out of their hands when it came to finances.)

So Elaine, that was my story and my advice is to "in a nice way. explain to them the cost of having all this come together for their benefit and honor, remind them that of all the friends you have come along in life's highway, it is probably these from HS that had the greatest impact. They helped through puberty, of asking girls to dance and then out on a date. Of all my degrees, medals, awards and accolades, I treasure my friends most. And as life closes the book on all of us in time; it’s nice to have a way to tell them one more time what they meant to you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 7:32 PM - Response #15

Elaine, I now have over $1100.00 in my web-site from donations.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 10:03 PM - Response #16

I password protected my homepage and message forum after an incident with a former classmate. I found this was also a good way to verify the validity of someone trying to join the site. This was a long time before the verification process was implemented.

I would hope that my classmates would be glad that we don't have "outsiders" gaining access to certain information.

Just my two cents.


Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 11:13 PM - Response #17

I had the same feeling and didn't protect most of the pages on our site.... now I regret it.... we have been disappointed at the number of people creating profiles only to find out that many classmates were visiting the site and not creating profiles because they had access to most of the pages without doing so... this not only kept classmates from communicating with each other, but made it difficult for the administrator to communicate with much of the class.... with our reunion so close, there is not point in making changes now, but if I had it to do over, I would have kept announcements and reunion details open, but password protected all photo galleries and other pages.....

Monday, September 13, 2010 at 7:13 AM - Response #18

I sat awhile and thought about these issues. I started my page "early" which means while we have 29% involvement, there is far to go. I went back in and password protected the pages that have places for my classmates to add their own pictures. I did not protect the yearbook, the music, the former reunions, there has to be something left to attract interest. But I am with the person who has a committee that some just "are too busy" to do this. Give me a break!

Also as I thought about the user forums, I thought that's where people share their hearts and ideas, the whole world does NOT have to see that, and by golly if you want to participate, set up the minimal profile! So that is protected also.

Thanks for giving me something to think about. That is why we are here.

Denise Derge

Monday, September 13, 2010 at 1:25 PM - Response #19

Anybody using the System Password to access the site will now see any Announcements on the home page that have been marked for members only. If we're already letting anyone with the System Password into all password protected areas of the site there's no reason for them not to see member announcements.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 2:35 AM - Response #20

Thanks, Brad & Team.

Wishing there was a thumbs-up sign here to click.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 1:28 PM - Response #21

I password-protected most of my pages recently for two reasons.

Firstly, at least somewhere on most of the pages you'll find a Classmate's name, something personal about them or something personal they've contributed which they're happy to share with other Classmates but not with the whole world.

Secondly, I've put a lot of research hours and effort, for no financial reward, into finding out things about the school, its people and its history. I wouldn't take kindly to just anyone 'lifting' what I've written and using it for their own ends, but I'm more than happy to share what I've done with old school pupils and teachers who are verified site members. I have to believe I can trust those who I approve for registration not to misuse what I write, but am less sure about the general public.

Only a couple of days ago I found an internet auction site had advertised for sale a World War 1 medal belonging to one of our quite well-known (in the UK) former Headmasters. Accompanying a photograph of the medal was a piece I had written about him, which appears on the school website, and which they'd reproduced word for word. I suppose I should feel flattered really but I hadn't been consulted about its use and, whilst I know this is common practice, all they had to do was ask and I could have verified that what they wanted to use was correct anyway.

On another occasion a Classmate had inadvertently put his email address on the User Forums and as a consequence was inundated with junk mail, and not all of it pleasant. I check Uaser Forum entries now to prevent it happening again.

Apart from a few general interest pages, Classmate Profiles, Contact Us and the Home Page, the only other pages I haven't protected are the User Forums because there's a forum on there that allows Classmates to list names of anyone they've lost contact with and ask for information about what happened to them (I insist they don't put personal contact details down. Everything comes through me), and two page I've called Old Boys' Business and Any Other Business, where I let Classmates advertise businesses and money-making ventures for free. The wider the audience on those two pages the better.

I'm one of those who's a little paranoid about identity theft too, so don't want the world to have access to the names on the In Memory page.

A school and its pupils, past and present, shouldn't really be of too much interest to anyone else other than those who have a connection with it and them, so I'd have to question the motives of anyone else who wanted access to the information the website might hold.

The bottom line for me has to be that anyone who registers for the website must be confident that I'll be looking after their interests and have enough trust in me to believe that I'll do all I can to prevent any of their personal information and thoughts being viewed by anyone who might misuse them. Who knows where it might lead? By restricting it to approved website members I'm narrowing the field of potential culprits if any of that information does turn up somewhere else.

I'm sure this will all sound, to some of you, as if I'm making too big an issue of site privacy and security, but it puts my mind at rest knowing that I do all that I can.

I promise I'll lighten up now!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 2:05 PM - Response #22

Since I began this issue several days ago, it has caused quite a stir. I appreciate all the comments and do understand the reasons stated. I would like to clarify my statement and my intent.

I did mention I was not interested in, and understood the reason for protecting, pages with personal information. I was wondering why pages which would help other admins with suggestions for their sites such as ideas for reunions, or games, or cute ditties and apps would be password protected. I never minded sharing anything I wrote that would be of use to others, and do consider it a compliment when folks choose to copy it. Anything I didn't want used, I would ask them to contact me for permission.

Although we all have different takes on this, I believe this was a great forum for communicating our feelings.

Thanks for all your input.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 2:19 PM - Response #23

I think I get it but then I am not sure. If I create a system password to protect certain pages, do I need to let those that have joined know? What is the check box right below the password entry?
We just had our 45th and have a great video on the site--more pictures will soon be added and we don't want anyone having a free ride--selfish? Probably!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 4:13 PM - Response #24

Margaret - When your classmates who have joined log on to the site, they can navigate the site freely... no additional passwords are necessary. This password protection only keeps people who are not logged in, from navigating to these pages.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 5:10 PM - Response #25

Thank you, Scott. I am going to try it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 5:13 PM - Response #26

Do I check the box that says allow viewers to access......????

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 5:52 PM - Response #27

The checkbox under the System Password will allow non members who you give you System Password to to enter Profiles that have been restricted by the Classmate to viewing by only fellow Classmates. You really need to make the call on that one.

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