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How safe is it to respond to a member personally?

By November 10, 2009 - 10:49am
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I have been contacted by a member wanting me to communicate with her via private e-mail. How safe is this? She wants to talk about health issues and send me a picture. What is the experience of this group regarding personal contacts?


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Agreed-- I simply delete those messages.

November 11, 2009 - 6:30am
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Anne - I would just like to echo Alison's comments, and to also thank you for bringing up this topic. There are both human beings and automated software tools that deliberately look for people in specific categories and then send out targeted spam or other materials. I recently learned about some specific scams that target young children with cancer, compounding the grief faced by their families.

It's important that all of us look out for each other, support each other in safe online practices and help weed out the bad guys. Thanks for your help.
Take good care,

November 10, 2009 - 6:47pm

This was my feeling. Thank you for responding. And yes, the spelling and grammer were incorrect. That must have been what alerted me.
Thank you,

November 10, 2009 - 2:51pm


For others wondering this same question, my response is that most individuals who are sharing personal experiences and health conditions on an online community, such as EmpowHer, do not also want to share personal identifying information. In fact, most individuals do not ask for pictures and personal emails, do not ask you to reply to their personal email, and I would be cautious of anyone who does. Also, any misspellings or confusing sentences can be signs of a spam email.

Please know that the person you are talking with is anonymous beyond their chosen username and profile picture; you don't really know if they are who they say they are as a few individuals may take on another identity, including changing their gender, age, race, ethnicity, geographic location, medical condition, etc.

We respectfully ask that you use caution when (and, we recommend against) sharing personal emails or other identifying information.

Lastly, it is helpful to the entire EmpowHer community for the health discussions to continue in the open forum, so that others can benefit from learning about the ups-and-downs from personal experiences and health conditions.

Alison Beaver
EmpowHer Guide and Moderator

November 10, 2009 - 12:49pm
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