Hey there — ach, hate to hear about anyone getting spam. We definitely have measures in place to prevent anyone from obtaining email addresses from Lightstalkers. Here’s how we roll:
There’s such a thing as spam “crawlers”, which go through public Web sites and parse out email addresses. To protect you, we have always “munged” email addresses in a semi-random way. (That means scrambling and re-encoding the letters and numbers. The end result is that it’s still readable to the human eye, but what software sees — the actual code inside the page — is an unpatterned string of encoded character entities.)
However, and although I’m certain that no one has been able to get your email address from the site, we’re going to implement additional security measures immediately. From now on, your profile email address is only visible to members of your “Inner Circle”, which you can manage via the Organize page. Only specific people you know, trust, and choose can gain access to that info.
I’m sure this is unnecessary, but I want you to know that you can trust us to take these issues very seriously.
In addition to “crawling”, there’s another big problem these days: spyware. This is software which can sometimes be surrepticiously installed on your computer, records your activity, and sends the info back to wherever (hell, I’m pretty sure).* This is a big problem, because spyware can theoretically have access to anything you have access to, including signed-in pages at Lightstalkers.
To fight this, we continue to munge email addresses, even if you’re actually logged in. So even the stuff you’re allowed to see has anti-spam measures in place.
And of course, we don’t sell, share, or exchange any kind of personal data — email or otherwise.
Lastly, definitely let us know what you find out. You can always forward samples of what you’re seeing to email@example.com.
- If you use a PC and have ever installed file-sharing software, you should check yourself out for spyware, for sure. Spyware isn’t a problem on Macs, as far as I know.