Usernames On Google

This subject came up in another story yesterday.

I had no idea until then, that our usernames on EP together with our stories are available on Google.

It concerns me insofar as our stories can provide indentifiable info.


felicita felicita
66-70, F
11 Responses Mar 26, 2009

Just tried it again, think you can only get on someones profile if your logged in. I think that's what happened, I was logged in on another window, had EP open on another, so maybe it only works that way, hopefully!!

Hmmmm!!!<br />
I just tried it too, and it is true - you google up a reference to your username, go to the EP reference, click on the username in that, and you can get into your profile without a password. So anyone who knows your username could get access to your profile and do mischief there!<br />
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I will write to EP Staff about this. Its a major security loophole...<br />
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LATER:<br />
I wrote EP - haven't heard back yet. But I had a thought: I was myself logged in when I did the test... if I was not logged in on EP and did the test from the Google page, would I still have access to my profile? And the answer is thankfully No.<br />
If I WAS logged into EP and somebody else not an EP member tried to access through Google, would they get in to my profile? This I can't test myself; so its hard to say...<br />
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A basic problem is that the link to my username on Google is a live link; if this were not so, or could be identified as from an outside website and disallowed, that would fix it. But EP seems to have done a pretty thorough job with the security programming - they probably thought of this situation.

It does happen, just tried it. More disturbing that when you click on a profile name, you are logged into EP. This site is no longer what I thought it was! Anyone could write comments using my profile!!

Does this still happen? Am a bit annoyed by this, I had no idea could be traced this way. I may have to change username, but then will I lose my circle of friends?

I like that I can use Google to search EP. Mainly because the searches provided by EP don't work right and only return the first ten results.

Yes it's a pain though and makes us feel inhibited

Thanks Rhiannon69.<br />
If you google your username, your age and the first line or more of your stories appear without the need to login to EP. It's often the first line of our stories which make us identifiable.

Thanks for your comment and suggestions EPErica.<br />
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In my case, the username is not the problem. It's the info in the profile like age and location which are. These I cannot change. As I said earlier, I shall probably delete my stories for without the identifiable bits the stories would be meaningless.

In order to remain anonymous, EP encourages its users to omit revealing and uniquely identifying details from their stories. <br />
If you are concerned that your user name gives too much about your identity away, then you may change your user name under account settings. Your old user name will be completely removed from google cache within the next few weeks, but EP has no control over how quickly the search engines updates their caches. <br />
If you are concerned about details in a specific story, you should go back and edit the story to remove the uniquely identifying details. In most cases, it isn't those specifics that make the story powerful. <br />
Anything that you post that is marked as visible only to your circle is not visible to Google. Everything else is.

Thanks for your comment Myonis.<br />
I am thinking of removing some of my stories.<br />
What do you plan to do about it?

I hate that we can be found so easily just by googling. I freaked out the first time I learned about that!