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Thread: A Word on Privacy
February 17th, 2013 10:54 PM #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2012
A Word on Privacy
So a small but nagging concern crossed my mind this past week. As I've made clear in posts throughout these forums, I don't yet have any children, but my husband and I have been TTC for several months, and thus the names that I discuss on these boards are no longer pipe dreams, but are definite options for a hopefully soon-to-come little person. Like many name lovers on this site, I have some particularly unique name combos in mind for future babies, most of which I thankfully haven't posted yet. Several days ago it dawned on me that some of my name combos are actually unique enough that a Google search of them could potentially lead straight to this site. So I tried it. I Googled my top combo for a girl, the name that my husband and I sometimes refer to our "future daughter" as in conversation; of course the name choice could still change, but for now, we like to think of that as a future daughter's name. It's a combo that I haven't outright said in the forums yet (waiting until we are actually pregnant to seek feedback on it), but I had written it on another Nameberry user's profile in a conversation with her, where it would be visible to anyone who visited her Nameberry profile page. I won't post the full combo here, but to make my point I will mention that the first name is Narnia (again, please no feedback on this yet; I will explain why it's so well-loved when we're pregnant and will ask for feedback at that time). A Google search of "Narnia" of course will not lead straight to my posts on these forums, but the middle name we have chosen is equally unique, and when I searched the two words together, sure enough, the VERY TOP Google entry that came up was "Conversation between [other user] and alzora..." and included actual snippets of our conversation, containing the full name combo, visible right on the Google search page. I am completely uncomfortable with the idea of my child's name leading people around the world straight to my posts on this site, and to my user name, partially for security reasons but also because it is just awkward. I have since been able to clear the trail (and it wasn't as simple as deleting the conversation; for some reason that didn't seem to wipe it, but I finally changed profile settings and contacted Pam, and it no longer shows up on Google but I'm not sure what finally achieved that). It has made me more cautious about what combos I post in such a public forum. Posting just a unique first name or just a unique middle name alone likely won't be traceable with Google, but to those users who have entirely unique combos, please think twice before posting them here if you seriously plan to use them in the future. Some may not consider it "dangerous" (we all have different definitions of what constitutes dangerous behavior online), but I just found it extremely awkward and embarrassing to have my user name revealed right up front by a Google search of our top name choice, a name that we are leaning toward using for an actual, real-life person. Maybe most of you have already thought this through and I'm just a little slow, or maybe the idea of your children's names leading Google users to this site doesn't bother you, but I wanted to at least bring it to your attention that if you plan on actually using a unique name combo, you may not want to post it together in a single post on the forums or on a user's profile. Pam pointed out to me that the only truly private aspects of the forums are those sections marked as "Private," such as the private messaging function.
To be honest, the experience made me wonder if I even want to give my child such a unique, Google-able name at all in the age of the internet, because ultimately a person given a unique name WILL be easily traced online, via that child's future Facebook profile, Twitter account, or even brief mentions of him/her in community newspapers posted online, etc, and I'm not so sure that's a good thing...? Maybe it would be safer if I just named a girl Sophia like everyone else! Just some things to ponder....
February 17th, 2013 11:21 PM #3
Honestly, I've thought about it as well, and I realised that I'd much rather have a semi-unique name than a totally unique one. I have a totally unique one and it's pretty cool in theory, but I feel weird that if I ever put my full name up there, I'd be the ONLY ONE ever with it, which I am. I don't like being that traceable, you know?
But then again, my combos picked out are pretty unique...
February 17th, 2013 11:35 PM #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2012
I completely understand having a completely unique name could be problematic. All of my names are common enough that even the full combo on Google gets various results. I go for a common/familiar name and then one unique one.
February 17th, 2013 11:46 PM #7
Good point you have made there, especially with the way things are heading i.e technology evolving.Ingrid | Kit | Esclarmonde | Alistair | Susanna | Emun
February 18th, 2013 12:14 AM #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
Definitely a great point! I've googled my own name, and there are at least 5 other women with the same first and last name as me, and both are relatively uncommon. I don't have to worry about other people sharing my first name (although I do encounter a few) but I'm not the only person that shows up on a google search either. I strongly believe that there are great things about having a common name, and this is definitely one of them- it's easy to hide if your name is Katherine!