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  • Staying Safe on LoveShack.org: A Guide

    Your safety and privacy are of paramount importance to us. While we provide a platform for anonymous collaboration and sharing, we depend on you to make sure that you do your part to stay as safe as possible when using LoveShack.org.

    An intimate venue, with the world as your audience

    While our community is close-knit and can often feel like a private, intimate space, it's important to remember that what you post and share here is viewable across the public Internet, cataloged by search engines, and may become a permanent exhibit on Internet archives. To illustrate our global reach, it's helpful to imagine that when sharing and posting on LoveShack.org, you are standing at a podium, with an open microphone, on a stage, with the entire world as your audience, and being recorded in perpetuity. As such, you should only post what you'd be comfortable sharing on the front page of a newspaper.

    Stick to the big picture and keep the little details about yourself private

    Choose a display name that's unique to LoveShack.org and doesn't match what you've used on other sites or services. As with your posts, your display name becomes a permanent part of the public Internet. Using the same display name/username across multiple services and web sites makes it easy for others to connect your identity across different platforms through a simple web search.

    Be judicious when sharing details that are directly and indirectly attributable back to your identity. While the opinions and experiences you have are often shared by many others, it's the little, seemingly insignificant details that you might share that are often unnecessary to the discussion and may jeopardize your anonymity. As an example, you aren't the only person struggling with communication issues with your partner, however if you include details about your hometown, your precise ages, your occupation, your children, or your pets, you may inadvertently make it easy for someone to recognize you. Remember: while these specific facts about you are interesting, they are not necessary to get feedback and have engaging discussions on topics of interest.

    Strive to keep yourself as unidentifiable as possible in each submission you make, and across all your submissions. Be cognizant of clues you might unintentionally leave about yourself in different contributions over time that could be pieced together by someone looking at all your historical content. Don't forget to consider your anonymity when choosing things like profile pictures and avatars. Pictures of yourself and others may be linked back to other online profiles using reverse image searching features of search engines or advanced facial recognition technologies that are becoming commonplace.

    Have you shared too much in retrospect? We're here to help

    While we encourage you to be cautious when posting, we understand that mistakes happen. If you find that there are specific submissions you've made to the community that contain information that may reasonably compromise your anonymity and the window of time you have to make changes has elapsed, you may request that a moderator review the content in question and remove or change specifics that should have not been included in your original submission. To do so, you will need to sign into LoveShack.org with your account, navigate to the content in question, and use the "flag" link that appears on the submission to mark the content for moderator review. Please be sure to let us know what details you'd like altered and provide an edited version of your posting if possible.

    Please remember, that as a matter of practice, we will only make changes that prevent your identity from being recognized by others. As examples, we may remove or alter references to specific geographic places, names, specific ages, workplaces, and other content that were included against our Community Guidelines, however we will not remove anything that radically alters the basis of the discussion in question. Also, please be mindful that while we can edit your postings on LoveShack.org, copies may exist in search engines and archives that are beyond our control. This underscores why it's essential that you use every precaution when first submitting your posting.

    See our Community Guidelines on Anonymity and Disclosure for more about staying anonymous.

    Keeping your account safe and secure from prying eyes

    LoveShack.org uses industry standard security and encryption safeguards to help protect your account, however security is only as strong as the weakest link. You have a responsibility to safeguard and protect your account through the following common-sense guidelines:

    • You should always use a unique password for every site and service you use, and LoveShack.org is no exception to that rule. Make sure that your account is secured with a unique password that you haven't used elsewhere and that's not easily guessed or derived by others.
    • Never share your LoveShack.org display/username and password with others. Moderators and other staff from LoveShack.org will never ask you for your password.
    • Make sure the e-mail address associated with your account is secured. Someone attempting to access your account that has access to your e-mail account can use the forgot password option to reset your password and gain entry.
    • Consider turning on two-factor authentication to further secure your account.

    Make it a point to regularly review your account settings to ensure the options you've selected make sense for you and for your security.

    Keeping your account safe from others that have access to your computer or devices

    Be sure to keep in mind the other people in your household or shared spaces that may have access to your computer or other devices you use to log into LoveShack.org. If you are using a shared computer, such as in a shared office or computer lab environment, or others have access to your devices, we have some recommendations:

    • Make sure that you log out of your account whenever you've finished visiting LoveShack.org.
    • Be mindful of your Internet browsing history. You may want to use your web browser's private browsing or incognito mode when using our site.
    • Don't forget notifications! Both browser notifications and e-mail notifications may inadvertently identify you if others have access or see your e-mail. Consider things like notifications displayed on your mobile phone when you have new e-mails and browser notifications that appear on your screen even when you're not actively browsing LoveShack.org.

    Be smart when connecting privately with others

    We understand that over time, you may want to connect privately with other participants on the community. It's especially important that you think carefully before sharing anything in a private conversation with anyone else. Private discussions between participants should always happen in private, and we offer functionality like private conversations and chat, so you do not need to share contact details to connect one-on-one or in small groups. However, there are no guarantees that the people you are conversing with are who they say they are, nor that they will keep what you share with them private.

    We offer private conversation privileges to participants who have established themselves within the community, and to those who support LoveShack.org through a Premium Subscription. You can also choose to disable private messenger entirely from your messenger inbox once you've been granted access.

    We recommend that you choose carefully whether to engage in private contact with participants on LoveShack.org. We also recommend, as with public contributions, that you do not overshare or reveal information that would compromise your identity and privacy, even though you are having a one-on-one or small group conversation.

    Tools to help set limits with other participants

    Sometimes you'd rather not hear from others through private messaging. We have two options available to limit private messaging:

    • You can disable your private messenger entirely on a permanent or temporary basis so that you won't be able to send or receive private messages until you re-enable your messenger. Click the Disable messenger link at the bottom of your messenger inbox.
    • You can add members to your personal ignore list to hide any private or public messages written by that person. You won't see public or private messages from ignored participants unless you take extra steps to view them, and people added to your ignore list won't know or be alerted by us that you have chosen to ignore them.

    We also offer the ability when you log in to sign in anonymously (so you're not visible on LoveShack.org as being 'online' to others). You can still post, and receive and send messages, yet you won't have an online icon on your profile.

    Cyber-stalking and bullying are NOT okay: Let us know if someone is harassing you or not taking no for an answer

    The flag link appears in the menu located in the upper right corner of every message.If someone is sending you private messages or chats that are inappropriate or make you uncomfortable, or someone is continuing to contact you after you've asked them to stop, alert us to the problem by clicking the report link that appears in every private conversation and chat. Remember, even if you aren't sure, report it!

    Let us know when things don't seem right

    Trust your judgement and let us know when things seem suspicious, when someone is disrespecting your personal boundaries, or when you just have a funny feeling about something. We have several tools you can use to alert us to things you're not sure about or that are problematic:

    • Use the report/flag link on any post or private message to report something as unwanted, to alert us of something you don't feel right about, and to bring something directly to the attention of our moderators.
    • Use the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page of LoveShack.org to get in touch with us about anything else.

    We want to help make your experience and journey with us as safe and secure as possible. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns, questions, or suggestions.

  • Speak up!

    If you have a concern about your safety, anonymity, or privacy, use the report link on any post or message, or Contact Us to send a message to our moderators and staff. We're here to help!

  • Are You In a Crisis Situation?

    LoveShack.org is not a substitute for professional psychological counseling or medical advice. If you or someone close to you is currently in crisis or in an emergency situation, contact your local law enforcement agency or emergency services number (usually by dialing 911 or 112 for many countries).

    For a list of crisis hotlines in your area of the world, see our list of compiled resources.

  • Doing your part to stay safe: A checklist

    Review these important tips to staying safe and secure on LoveShack.org:

    Protect your anonymity and identity from being revealed

    • Choose a display name that's unique to LoveShack.org and doesn't match one you use on other sites and services.
    • Protect your anonymity by leaving out details and clues that are directly and indirectly linked to your identity.
    • Remember that everything you post is forever shared on the Internet's search engines and archives. Only include details in your post that you'd be comfortable sharing on the front page of a newspaper.
    • Strive to keep yourself as unidentifiable as possible in each submission you make, across all submissions.
    • Be cautious of using profile or avatar pictures that include your face or others close to you.

    Secure your account with these best practices

    • Use a unique password for every web site and service you use, including LoveShack.org. Don't reuse passwords and avoid those that are easily guessed or derived by others.
    • Never share your LoveShack.org account information with anyone. LoveShack.org's moderators and staff will never ask you for your password.
    • Make sure the e-mail address associated with your account is secured and not accessible by others. Someone who has access to your e-mail can use the forgot password tool to reset your password and log in as you.
    • Consider turning on two-factor authentication to further secure your account.

    Protect yourself from others who have access to or share your computers or devices

    • Log out of your account whenever you've finished visiting LoveShack.org.
    • Consider using your web browser's private browsing or incognito mode to not leave traces of your visits here in your web browser's history.
    • Check your notification settings to make sure that browser and e-mail notifications displayed on your devices even when you're not actively browsing LoveShack.org make sense.

    Use caution when connecting privately

    • Don't overshare or reveal information in private messages or chat that would compromise your identity and privacy.
    • Set limits with other participants by disabling your private messenger, managing your personal ignore list, and signing in anonymously so you don't show an online status.
    • Contact us or use the report message/post feature to tell us when others are harassing you or won't take no for an answer!
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