Author Topic: Safe and Responsible Use of the PM System  (Read 29912 times)

[Buddie]

Safe and Responsible Use of the PM System
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:34:48 pm »

Guidelines for the Safe and Responsible Use of the Personal Message System

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Why the Extra Precautions?

Unfortunately, like the wider Internet, BenzoBuddies is not immune from those who would seek to misrepresent themselves as counsellors, doctors, confidants, etc. We have suffered our fair share of those whose only motivation in life is the desire to hurt others. It would be fair to describe one or two of these people as unhinged and a menace. We remind members that the PM (personal message) system is meant for chit-chat and moral support. The nuts and bolts of benzodiazepine withdrawal should be discussed on the forum boards. Please do not share your contact information and personal details through the PM system or the open forum.

In the past, we have had terminate many accounts created by one individual who has, at various times, misrepresented himself as a doctor, a counsellor, a researcher, etc., at BB, and for many years before at other benzodiazepine withdrawal support communities. Another individual was stalking those with whom he had arguments at another related support forum, and then concentrated his efforts upon here when we banned his account at BB and the other forum closed.

We have almost totally shut down their access to this forum, but the occasional fake account makes it through our blocks. It is therefore imperative for you to keep your personal information private. We are mindful that our membership is, on the whole, more vulnerable than the general population. We don't wish for members to be too worried about these potential abuses, but it is unfortunate fact that a few sick people seem to derive pleasure from such games, so please use your best judgement when using the the BenzoBuddies forum, PM system, and other forms of communication.

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Reporting PMs (Personal Messages):

Members are requested to report PMs in the following circumstances:
  • The member tries to lure you away for contact outside of the BenzoBuddies community;

  • The member attempts to solicit your real name, email address, phone number, asks you to join a Facebook group (or other social networking sites), seeks out any other personal information, or anything else which might reveal your real-world identity;

  • The message you receive contains information which seeks to make you feel guilty or at fault for your situation;

  • The member claims to be compiling a study on people in benzodiazepine withdrawal;

  • The member tries to give you direct taper advice relating to your benzodiazepine withdrawal (or other medications), or tries to give specific medical advice such as advising you drop a particular medication or start another, or offers to provide counselling (or similar) services;

  • Anything else which makes you feel uncomfortable.
Please use the 'Report to Admin' tab associated with the individual message of concern. This will send an unedited copy of the message to the forum Administrators. You will be able to attach your own comments at the time of making the report. It is important that you do not delete any inappropriate messages. We cannot act upon hearsay.

We understand that members will form friendships, and some will wish contact away from the BenzoBuddies community. Of course, this is your decision. However, given the nature of some of the reported abuse and misrepresentations, we strongly discourage you from doing this. By reporting PMs of dubious intent/nature to the Administrators, we can monitor for suspicious patterns of behavior, and act in obvious cases of abuse or rule breaking.

Please understand that it normally will not be possible for us to take action regarding events and problems occurring beyond this website. We provide multiple (and secure) platforms for communication right here at BenzoBuddies.

If you ignore our warnings and share your contact information, you do so completely at your own risk. We disclaim all liabilities pertaining to the use of these systems.

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Password Advice

Because of past attempts at cracking member account passwords at BenzoBuddies, and the publication of private messages stolen from the cracked accounts of another another online benzodiazepine withdrawal support group, we also wish to remind you how important it is for you to ensure that your password at BenzoBuddies is unique, and consists of a random string of characters (we recommend that it is at least 9 characters long, using a mixture of UPPER and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters). The forum system will allow only five unsuccessful login attempts before locking-down your account. If this should occur, the forum software will automatically send you an e-mail to the address you supplied when you created your account (or new address if you have updated your contact details through your profile), with instructions (and link) to allow you to easily unlock your account. It is important that you keep your e-mail details with us up to date so that you will receive such notifications should you inadvertently lock yourself out of the forum. In the event that you do not receive the an e-mail notification, the system will automatically unlock your account after a few hours have passed. The point of this system is to prevent a so-called 'dictionary attack', where rapid automated guessing of your password can be carried out without interruption. If you use a long random text string password for this forum, our five incorrect password attempts limit means that a dictionary attack becomes impractical.

If you should receive an e-mail asking you to unlock your account because of five unsuccessful login attempts, but you were not responsible for the login attempts, use the link provided in the e-mail to unlock your account, and use the opportunity to ensure that you create a new, secure, random text string password. We would also appreciate you reporting to us any such attempts to crack your account, with a copy of the automated notification e-mail you receive (these should be sent by PM to the forum Administrators).

In addition to properly securing your account at BB, you need to ensure that you use a strong password for your e-mail. It is also important that you use a different password for this community to anywhere else, and your e-mail account. Your own e-mail provider or Internet Service Provider will probably have their own guidelines or suggestions about creating secure passwords - you should check with them. Your e-mail provider might have weaker protection against 'dictionary attacks', so we suggest that it might be prudent to create a longer random text string password for your e-mail account (12 characters or more).

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Edit: typo.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 09:58:13 pm by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.