Motivation Articles

SparkPeople's Internet Safety Tips

Things to Keep in Mind when Surfing the Web

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The Message Boards and SparkPages are great places to find others with common interests and goals. SparkPeople's Community is very positive and you’re likely to develop great relationships with others who share common experiences and support during your ups and downs. Although it’s not always something we like to think about, it is important to remember some general safety tips when sharing information about yourself on the Internet.
  • Keep in mind that all public information you share on the SparkPeople website can be viewed by anyone with access to the Internet. This includes information that you might post on the message boards, in your message board profile or signature, on your SparkPage, or in your public journal entries. So if you're sharing personal information that you wouldn’t want everyone to see, you might want to think twice before posting it. For example, providing your full name and the city you live in would make it very easy for someone to locate you.

  • If your email address is through your employer, you might not want to post it unless you’re okay with people knowing where you work and you're prepared to receive a number of personal emails at that account.

  • When using the Internet to communicate with someone, there’s no way to know for sure that they are who they say they are. So keep this in mind if you’re setting up a meeting with another member to exercise, for example. Pick a public place where there are a lot of people around and arrange to meet there (at least in the beginning) instead of meeting privately or riding together. 
These tips aren’t meant to scare you, but rather to ensure your safety as you use our site. There are many wonderful benefits to participating in our Community, and we want your experience to be as positive as possible!
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Member Comments

  • SFARRAH1
    I honestly think this is what caused my stress, trying to read everything and still get confused over the computer, I pad, and facebook before I make any more mistakes,Sparks is killing me by sitting here all day and night trying to learn! - 3/21/2012 9:51:07 PM
  • How I wish that Spark People would only allow members to access message boards and blogs. As it is, Spark People is of much less help to me because everything posted here is instantly transmitted through Google. - 2/15/2012 12:10:41 AM
  • SARAHMAC1978
    I agree that it would be great if our Sparkpages wouldn't make it into web searches online. And if they must, I think that people should be required to create an account before seeing Sparkpages. While I post nothing that I would be devastated about if someone I knew were to find me online, I do prefer a bit of anonymity in my weight loss and healthy living journey.

    Simply requiring people to create an account before getting to view a Sparkpage would deter many from signing up just to be nosy. And from a business strategy standpoint, it would increase SparkPeople's new account generation. - 8/8/2011 12:33:40 PM
  • Thanks for the info, sure wish i had found it about 10 hours ago. now i know how to handle my situation that i have occuring now. I just wish that everything we put on a posting would not make it onto the internet, The people on the internet are using info they get off my sparkpage and puting it onto facebook where i dont have any control over who sees it there. But now i know how to handle that problem..thanks for a great place to meet other people who share my problems..... - 3/30/2011 3:04:00 PM
  • JBRAD70
    Thanks for the info!! - 2/1/2011 2:27:02 PM
  • My comment isnt's directly related to the article but it does concern computer safety. The only way I can input info for my nutrition tracker is to disable the pop up blocker. All three days that I've used the tracker I've had to clean up malware on my computer - this is something I've rarely had to deal with so I'm sure it's not coincidence. Is there some way to use the tracker without disabeling my pop up blocker? I don't want to mess up my computer nor do I want to spend an hour or two every day clearing out malware. Has anyone else had this problem? Aside from that, Sparky Stuff looks great and I can't wait to dive in head first! - 10/13/2010 6:20:32 PM
  • VICKIESHELBY
    i go to weight watchers and a friend there told me @ your site got a computer &learning how to use it 3weeks experience! i have heart problems all my arteries are over 80% blocked so i am very limited in what i do so i can't exercise !i need to lose at least 17lbs i feel even with the odds against me i can do this i use to nape daily do to bordom long days but it's been a week no naps rather read articles on losing weight doctor says every pound your overweight it is 10 lbs of pressure on your arteries so if i can lose i have more of a change to live longer thank you for your program! - 11/27/2009 7:43:15 AM
  • PNGIRL
    Thanks for caring! It means alot!! :) - 8/29/2009 9:57:46 PM
  • MMMINKA
    I have less of a comment as it is a question: earlier today I read advice on how to get
    control of hypothyroidism with natural supplements. In addition there was a link
    to a website that was promoting a supplement for mild adrenal insufficiency that looked
    very promising. Unfortunately I lost that link and can't find it anymore. Is there anyone
    out there who knows what I am talking about? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you so much in advance. :) - 7/27/2009 1:54:08 AM
  • RIDMYW8
    Thanks for the great advice. You can't be too careful these days. I remember the horror stories on the news and I hope everyone else does too.l - 5/1/2009 2:11:43 PM
  • DAN_ODEA
    I greatly appreciate this article. As a data security professional for the last 25 years, I understand the aspects of privacy and risk management from both sides, the tech side and the people side.

    If you're on SparkPeople through Firefox (the browser I recommend to people), the Firefox addons NoScript, FlashBlock, and World of Trust (WOT) are excellent tools to protect yourself. Also, I recommend setting Firefox to clear your private data when you close the window, or manually clear your private data when you've finished working on a private site.

    If you're using Internet Explorer, make sure your firewall is turned on. Other than that, I can't help you.

    Finally, make sure your anti-malware software (antivirus, spam blocker, spyware blocker) is up-to-date and is running frequently. - 3/8/2009 1:20:30 PM
  • I received about a billion (ok exaggerated) spark threads from other members of my teams! OMG! no one can read them all. How can I get them stopped. I barely have time to post my goals and track myself. - 1/3/2009 10:45:08 PM
  • I haven't been able to 0pen up my Spark articles for a while. I need to read information daily and I need the points. - 8/9/2008 11:06:46 AM
  • SLIMDEVON
    I'm so glad I found this program, it just popped up from out of nowhere and it's so helpful. I need all the help I can get by changing my diet...with out using diet pills. I want to change my eating habits... - 6/25/2008 6:07:24 PM
  • An excellent article! From Woolripper - 5/25/2008 10:20:54 PM