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    Email Safety Tip
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff posted:
    WebMD created these Exchanges so our members can talk with each other, sharing information and support, in a safe, well-lit place.

    We understand that friendships can be made and, eventually, email addresses shared and that's fine. :-) But please use caution and email others only when you are comfortable doing so (and we encourage you to use throw-away email addresses when/if you post an email address here).

    Play safe, folks! :-)
    Was this Helpful?
    36 of 61 found this helpful
    BrenBren30813 responded:
    THIS IS SO TRUE PEOPLE! I wish I had seen this tip early on in my experience here for the first time on a public message board. I am guilty of posting m own email address from time to time myself, but only for the best intentions. However, I was recently "burned" by exposing myself in what I thought was confidentiality while responding to someone on the public board. I had sent an email to a person on one of these public sites and, come to find out, my personal info/story ended up being distorted then represented to the public only to end in humiliation and the loss of friendships.

    I can't emphasize enough how this world is so much different from the real world and how easy it is to fall into a trap when you are at your most vulnerable points. If you are feeling vulnerable, just post here on this site and someone will try and take care of you and give you advice in the public forum (or exchange). I would not advise anyone that feels vulnerable to email any "stranger" because you never know what could happen; you could end up in an even darker space - that's what happened to me.

    Be safe for sure, and thanks Caprice! -B
    An_223024 responded:
    This is an excellent suggestion and should definately be taken into account by those members who are underage. If you are under 18 and someone has offered their email address to you, please allow your parents/guardian to guid you in the right direction.
    -Just another concerned parent
    gailb54 responded:
    Hi Caprice,

    I appreciate this suggestion. I made the mistake of believing that anyone who "acted nice" here would also be nice with my private email. But, I've been very hurt by the experience.

    The only thing is that as an RSD patient I have met a couple of other RSD patients on this exchange who wanted more information that I could print here, such as Dr. names as it's very difficult to find doctors who specialize in RSD. Also, through those good emails I was told about things such as an online support group that is very small that they would not have posted about here.

    I think you're suggestion is excellent about using throw-away email addresses. I was naive (I don't know why) to believe that nothing would go wrong. I was wrong. Please do be careful and I hate to say it but don't trust anyone until they have earned your trust.
    annette030 replied to gailb54's response:
    I have two email addresses, one for family and friends and professional use, and one for on line use that I opened by using a free Yahoo email address.

    I was burned by sharing my email address early on, someone started writing me very upsetting emails alluding to suicide, etc. Things that could not be dealt with on line. I gave her the appropriate places to go get help, then stopped contact with her. I finally had to change my email address entirely.

    Minors should not accept or use any email addresses they get on line, there are too many pedophiles and weirdos around, give them to your parents, they can check them out for you and decide after speaking to the person if they want you to correspond with a particular person.

    Take care, Annette
    Geradine4733 replied to annette030's response:
    My e-mail was invaded. They took all my e-mail addresses and sent out all kinds strange messages and signed my name to each message.

    I tried to contact my e-mail provider. My e-mail provider wanted me to give them the exact information that I had given when I opened the account. I did, and they said that it was wrong.

    Finally I figured out that our telephone area codes had changed since I opened the account. When I sent them the telephone number with the old area code, they could help me.
    gailb54 responded:
    Hi again Caprice,

    This makes me so sad but just tonight I received an email from someone I met here and it was extremely upsetting. I actually cried for a long time after reading it. I think I've decided that from now on I simply will not be giving out my email address under any circumstances, or home address, or my phone number. I absolutely trusted people who had not earned my trust and have paid a price for my ignorant trust. It makes me sad because there will not be the same possibility of getting closer to someone than can happen here, but at least it denies many of the problems that have come up for me. Please be careful everyone.'
    davedsel57 replied to gailb54's response:
    Hi, Gail.

    I would suggest that you mark that person's emails as 'spam'. That should block anything they send to you. If not, then maybe just delete their emails without even opening them. No need to upset yourself.

    We have to be so cautious on the internet. It is a sad but true fact that you really should not trust anyone with your personal information. While WebMD is a wonderful place, it is still a public message board and our posts can be read even by people that are not members. All the more reason for the extra caution.

    I hope you are doing OK today.

    Have a blessed and fantastic Friday! :)
    Blessings, -Dave
    gailb54 replied to davedsel57's response:
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for that idea. I will do that. I don't know about others but for me my pain takes a significant climb when I get upset. So, I will surely be doing things differently from now on and I appreicate your message. I hope you are doing OK as well. Thanks for writing!

    Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to gailb54's response:
    I think that happens for many of us, Gail, me included. (((hugs)))

    I'm sorry this happened to you and agree with Dave's suggestion. If and when you ever DO feel comfortable sharing an email address again, always use an anonymous one that you can easily throw away if it becomes a problem.

    I'm very sorry this occurred. Sadly, I think it's happened to many of us at some point or another and it's a lesson learned.

    But I also want to say that while we always DO have to be cautious, I have formed many lasting real world friendships with people I originally met on message boards so there are always positives too. :-)

    I hope your pain eases over the weekend.
    Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you'll help them to become what they are capable of becoming. ~Goethe
    gailb54 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Thank you, Caprice. I hope your pain is less over the weekend and maybe you can put your feet up and just relax. I have a lavender candle and some lotion with lavender in it, and it sounds goofy but the lavender is very calming and I use both things on the worst days and it seems to bring a little bit of calm relief. Maybe that would help you, too. I appreciate you being there for us, especially since you really are one of us. Take good care! (((Hugs))), gail
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to gailb54's response:
    Thanks for the tip, Gail. :-) (Unfortunately, my allergies and asthma prevent me from using candles, especially scented ones.)
    Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you'll help them to become what they are capable of becoming. ~Goethe
    annette030 replied to Geradine4733's response:
    The same thing happened to my niece recently. She contacted her email provider, and sent new emails to all of us telling us not to respond to the other emails being sent out in her name. She changed her email account entirely.

    I am lucky that nothing like that has ever happened to me. But, then again, I rarely give out even my throw away email address, and I never post them on line.

    Take care, Annette
    transcriber52 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Thank you for also stating the positive that can happen here. I also have met people here that have become friends from the message board. When we post messages here for someone to contact us at our personal email, whether real or temporary address, it goes out to the whole board. Not just to the person we are trying to get it to. It becomes public domain.
    RSDhurtzme responded:
    Thank you for adding throw away email addresses and yes, we must be very careful on any site about giving out our email and any personal info.
    I was blessed 5yrs ago to have met another lady on here that has RSD like I do and we have been friends for so long and I even had the chance to fly to CA to meet her and we are like true sisters.
    I love to help and support anyone in chronic pain and am knowledgeable about RSD since I've had it for 11yrs now.
    Even though I gave her my info as we exchanged it, we have both been burned by people that just can't be helped unfortunately and/or want more of you than you can offer especially when it comes to suicidal behavior.
    This is a great forum for advice and to find others and support groups that can help.

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