Think I can solve this privacy issue of mine?
December 11, 2012 6:28 PM Subscribe
Think I can solve this privacy issue of mine? If not, what to do if I'm "discovered"?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Years ago, when I was an immature, attention-whoring and irresponsible internet user, I let loose on an internet board (internet boards being something I was new to, by the way) and made thousands of posts—especially ones of a sexual nature—that would likely horrify my family if they were to see them. Additionally, being discovered there would disclose my mental condition—which I like to keep private—to my family. And one more trivial reason for not wanting my family to see those posts: My writing, though admittedly still not of a professional quality, sucked back then; I don't want my family to think I still write like that.
All in all, the posts I made on that site paint a false image of my current self and the thought of my family finding me on there horrifies me (note that I say "family" rather than "sister" because if my sister finds me on there, she'll most definitely tell other family members about it).
At the time I frequented the board it felt nice to say as I wished until came the realization that, shit—my sister was familiar with the (super unique) username I chose to use on the board. When this realization came, I immediately requested a username change and was glad that my wish was granted. But, what I didn't realize right away, was that my old username was still showing up in quotes, making me still easy to find in search engines. When this realization came the worrying persisted for a while but I eventually forced myself to stop visiting the site and put it out of my mind and merely hoped my sister wouldn't ever bother looking up my username in Google (which, I believe, all these years later, she still hasn't; I'm sure that if she ever finds me, she'll be notifying me about it ASAP).
Fast forward to the present and I'm suddenly thinking about those forum posts again. I feel that merely hoping my sister won't find them isn't good enough and that I should do something about this rather than hope. But what is there to do? Would anyone even bother trying to help someone who was irresponsible? Even if I could get a staff-member to bulk-delete my posts—something most forum staff don't do (and for good reason)—my quoted posts, which there are many of, would still show up and I'd still be Googleable. A word filter on my old username would do the trick, but this is something I've already requested but my request was ultimately ignored. And requesting a staff member to manually delete all occurrences of my old user-name, which would also do the trick, is out of the question as that would be insanely time-consuming considering how high my post count is.
So what to do? Is there any solution? If you think not, what on earth will I say to my sister in the event that she sees my posts?
I'd like to stop worrying, but there's a lot of embarrassing shit about me out there. Reading through my old posts has made me start worrying again. :(