Are PM's Private???

@LadyMarissa (12165)
United States
November 5, 2008 5:51am CST
I was drawn to a discussion a few days back that asked a myLot question that I didn't know the answer. Realizing there was something here I didn't know, I started looking for the answer. I did a keyword search under myLot. I was SHOCKED as I looked down the list to see my Avatar. Thinking, since I know nothing about this, how did I respond to anyone? Upon looking further, I realized it was a Private Message I had sent to a friend giving him my email address & commenting on my inner thoughts. I don't put keywords in my PM's just for fear of this happening. My friend was still new here & I guess he did like I had done when new & just put in a keyword assuming he had to. I cannot fault him for not knowing yet. However, I was upset that anyone who just happens to put in the same keyword could have gotten my email addy without me giving it to them. I didn't break a guideline here & yet my email addy was out there for the whole world to see!!! Just think, had I done the same keyword search in Google, I would probably had the same result. So, not only was my private information out there for the 150,000 myLot members to see, It was out there for billions of people around the world to see. People I don't even know & would NEVER give my email addy. So, I felt I needed to make everyone aware of this situation. I have had some REALLY PRIVATE thoughts expressed through PMs here & now wonder when they might pop up without my knowledge. Be aware my friends!!! DO NOT ADD KEYWORDS TO PM's!!! I understand how they can be important to discussions. Please can you tell me how they are important to PMs??? Do you think keywords are necessary for Private Messages??? Do you think Admin should remove the option to add keywords from PMs??? Shouldn't one of the guidelines state Do NOT add keywords to Private Messages This really bugs me!!!
6 people like this
15 responses
@SomeCowgirl (32273)
• United States
5 Nov 08
Do not stress as it is completely normal to find this information as you searched for it. This is not visible to anybody but you and the person you are exchanging the PM with as the guidelines state that the PM's in the search function are for your convenience only!
4 people like this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
5 Nov 08
Thanks, Cowgirl! Your response is the same as meeming's below. It certainly is reassuring to know that only WE can see our own PM's and not anyone else's! Thanks again for posting this!
4 people like this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
5 Nov 08
You're kidding! Please say you're kidding! No, I know you're serious. I can't believe that our private messages are available for anyone to see if they do a search for a word we've used in our tag line! I mean... they're called PRIVATE messages!!! Have you addressed this issue with myLot? Has anyone? I would think this would be called an invasion of privacy! MyLot could be liable for many lawsuits!!! THEY are calling them "private messages" and, if they're not really private, that could lead to some serious legal ramifications! Oh, man! Well, I'm glad I don't use keywords in my PM's. I never saw the sense in it so I never did it. And, don't worry... I won't be looking for your PM's or your email address or anything else! Even if I did stumble onto someone's private message, I wouldn't read it. "Treat others the way you would like to be treated." I grew up with that and still believe in it. Thanks for the warning!
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
6 Nov 08
I wish I were kidding & I wasn't looking for it either...it just jumped up & slapped me in the face. I will be researching this a little further. If I find out I was wrong, I will apologize. If I find out I am right you'll be hearing more from me!!!
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45647)
5 Nov 08
PM are NOT private! I discovered this some time ago. Even myLot admin has failed to reassure me of that matter. I now conduct any private correspondence away from myLot although someone has to give their E mail address to start the ball rolling and it can really only be through a PM. As you say, never tag a PM unless you are prepared for some passer by, or maybe someone with malicious intent to perhaps find it. A timely warning and thank you for that.
3 people like this
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
5 Nov 08
You are NOT the first I've heard say that. As is was a common keyword, I immediately deleted that PM just in case. I have PM'd Admin several times on other problems but have NEVER received a response on ANY of them. I find that somewhat disheartening!!!
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
5 Nov 08
I am very sorry to hear about this! Never give tags to an PM... I would never want anyone to see what I emailed an person in private messaging.. Only put tags on your discussions only.. Your PM will show up on an search that is for sure!
2 people like this
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
5 Nov 08
I don't think that they are necessary for private messaging, only for discussions only!
2 people like this
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
6 Nov 08
I think you are right. When I was new, I was so conditioned to tagging ALL my discussions that when the PM came up asking for a tag, i just automatically did it. Then I thought better!!! Plus the PMs look a lot like a discussion. I remember dozing off in the middle of a PM one night. When I woke up it was asking for a tag. In my sleepy stupor I just added one. You know...one of those DOH moments!!! I tried telling myself that it just didn't matter. Now I see how easily it possibly could happen. There is no way for me to check to see who can see what. In my haste to protect, the PMs in question are no longer there.
1 person likes this
@hildas (3031)
5 Nov 08
Thank you for this. I had an idea this was happening. Why would they want keywords on privite messeges. A fellow Mylotter send me his address through private message the other day. O no this is not good. What can I do about it. I will have to tell him. Goodness me. Thank you so much for putting this up for us. I really thought this was happening anyway and now you have proved it does. Why the heck would MyLot do this, this is actually dangerous.
@hildas (3031)
5 Nov 08
Yes maybe hiccup is right. Maybe we can only see our own. No I am never chancing emails or addresses ever through PM again.
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
6 Nov 08
I've gone back & deleted any PMs that had my email addy or other pertinent info today. That made me sad as I enjoy going back & rereading them every now & then. But, I'd rather be safe than sorry!!!
1 person likes this
5 Nov 08
Hi LadyMarissa, That is shocking and I never new that your pm could be seen by others, I will have to be so careful what I say or put in it, thanks. Tamara
2 people like this
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
6 Nov 08
I enjoyed assuming that private meant PRIVATE!!! Now I really wonder. I hope those that are so sure that I'm wrong are correct. I'm the first to admit that I don't know everything!!! I will be looking at this closer. Not sure when or how. But it will happen!!!
1 person likes this
@tyc415 (5706)
• United States
5 Nov 08
Oh no, that does not sound good at all. I would think private meant exactly that PRIVATE. It seems like nothing is private anymore on the internet. I am not sure if I have put keywords in PM's or not but I don't think so. I usually have a hard time getting a PM to even go through. Thank you for letting us know about this.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 08
I often wondered if the PM's here on myLot were private also because I thought it was REALLY odd to have the option to tag your message. Good thing I never was tempted to tag any keywords to any of my personal messages here on MyLots. MyLot really needs to make a different looking & safe type of PM compose editor that looks way different from the discussion form editor and they need to leave out the "Tagging keyword" option so unsuspecting people don't accidentally fill out the keyword section and have there private messages available to the whole internet world:( I'm sorry that this happened to you and naturally this would make anyone upset and paranoid about using myLots PM system.Maybe MyLots will see this post and consider improving their messaging system and make it safer to use.
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
6 Nov 08
Oh I hope they do. Some are so convinced I'm wrong, I pray they are right. I'm NOT normally a paranoid personality but this totally freaked me out!!! I do try & be extra careful what I put out on the internet & have trusted myLot more than many sites. I guess we will see!!!
1 person likes this
@rocketj1 (6957)
• United States
5 Nov 08
I thought the whole idea of private messages was that they were PRIVATE! That is horrible!! I wonder if there is some way that they can be seen without tags now too! Thank you for the warning.
1 person likes this
@Sheepie (3121)
• United States
14 Nov 08
I've been wondering this too, but then I realized that really, I haven't been able to find anyone elses' private messages. I'm glad that we're pretty sure this is not really going on, because then we might as well just be responding to something, and messaging wouldn't really be meesaging.
@guybrush (4662)
• Australia
12 Nov 08
That's terrible, Lady M! I had no idea that could happen, and I'm sure most of us assumed PMs were private. I've also given my email address to myLot friends, and it would be horrible to start getting weird mail from unwanted sources. Keywords are definitely not necessary for PMs!
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
9 Nov 08
Thanks for the tip. Your posts is a real eye opener. Thanks once again. I hope that this won't happen to you once again. © ronaldinu 2008
@subha12 (18462)
• India
6 Nov 08
I think they are private here.otherwise we could have seen other people's PM.it is the news from your post. i never knew the PM also can be seen if we search. oh my God!
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
6 Nov 08
yea it happened to me too I was searching for something and because I tagged my PMs with this word too, they showed up but they wouldn't show up if other ppl searched for the same word you can try searching for any word, you won't see anybody's PMs show up I didn't always tag PM but since then I started not to tag at all no I don't think it's necessary for PMs
@littleowl (7157)
6 Nov 08
Yes it is thumbs doen about the pm situation I have knowwn about it through another mylotter who did a similar discussion about this..it is apalling a private pm should be that PRIVATE obviously \mylot don't see it that way and \i think we should all complain to them about it but don't know if that would do any good really as they hardly seem to listen nowadays..guess all we can do is be careful in what we say in future when pming someone...brightest blessings littleowl