Ah yeah, gidday, how ya going, all right? Story.
(For those of you who don’t understand the world’s most curious language (Kiwi), that translates to: “Hello, how are you today? You’re okay? Excellent!”)
Now I’m a man of words, so I’ll try to keep this post as short as Anna Nicole Smith’s strides in a tight pink dress:
Some of you tender souls might be posting under your real email addresses. Now hear this from old Moe here: THESE ADDRESSES ARE VISIBLE TO BLOG OWNERS. Ya hear? Don’t make old Moe come close and bellow it in your ear ‘ole… Okay, you heard.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “W-e-e-e-ll I think I’m OK, there’s an etiquette that blog owners won’t use my email without a specific request from me, right?” Right, but there’s a “But“. The owner of this site I’m blogging in right now is meticulous all right. With my special talents, special radar, and other instincts possessed by a Moehau Man, I happen to know this for sure. But with the same special talents I also know that NOT ALL BLOG OWNERS HAVE THE SAME RESPECT FOR ETIQUETTE. Ya hear? Don’t make old Moe come close and… okay, you heard.
Actually I didn’t need any special talents to know it. It actually happened in front of me own two gawking eyes: A MESSAGE FROM A BLOG OWNER IN MY EMAIL! That message, well…. let’s just say it was not exactly a “hail fellow well met” friendly pat on the back. It fair slapped me in the face like a wet fish, more like!
Now the bloke who sent that message wasn’t the type to give my email address and personal particulars to all and sundry, but there are people out there who might have done just that.
PREPARE BEFORE JUMPING INTO MOE’s DOUGHTY STEPS
Try to minimize information you provide. Think about it before jumping in.
Take notes of all new email addresses, account names, user names, passwords. If you’re anything like old Moe, you’ll forget them as soon as they’re out of sight.
With those things in mind, here we go:
MOE’s DOUGHTY STEPS
(A) Close other active gmail account(s)
Go to https://mail.google.com/ If it opens automatically on another of your gmail accounts, click on the blue “head and shoulders” icon at the top right then opt for sign out.
Repeat until a page opens with blank boxes where you can sign into a gmail account. Don’t try to sign in though. Just close your browser at this point.
(B) Create a new gmail account
1. Go to https://accounts.google.com/signup
2. In the required boxes:
(a) Enter a name such as Sam as first name and Smut as last name. Don’t enter your real name. But the name needs to be a plausible enough for Google to accept it.
(b) In “Choose your username”, enter a unique email address. YOU WILL NEVER BE SENDING EMAILS FROM THIS ACCOUNT [SG – See below you can use this address if you want, so try and make it memorable]. This means you can name it anything e.g. email@example.com. If you can have a name you’ll easily remember, so much the better, but it’s not essential.
[Spawny Says – YES you will be able to send from this address, so I’d try and make a memorable address. You can send from a browser, or set up your email client to add this as a second address – Be careful not to send from the wrong address! I have done this!]
(c) Create and confirm a password.
(d) Enter a FAKE birth date
(e) Enter your real gender. [SG – If you want to *shrug*]
(f) Provide a phone number. Make sure the phone is handy, because they’ll text or ring you (your choice) with a security number. Enter the security number in the box they provide.
(g) Enter a real email address for Your current email address.
(h) Do the Type the text thing.
(i) Select Location.
(j) Agree to Google Terms of Service (you are going to read them first, right?).
(k) Click Next Step
3. On Create your public Google+ profile page: click on No thanks (unless you want to, that’s over to you)
FYI re Google+
if you want to form/join a community online (of fake characters), you can chat with audio, or audio+video, or just message…really no downside (that I know of) because all you’re doing is connecting anonymous addresses. You can join Google+ later if you like.
4. Click on Get Started, and have a look at your new gmail account.
(C) Get yourself an Avatar (optional):
1. Find one on the net. For example if you want a wolf avatar you might start by googling on “wolf avatars”
2. When you find one, right-click on it and select the option to Save Image or Save Image As. If you don’t see this (or similar) option, keep looking for another avatar that will show it. (Note: My OS is Windows 8. An older OS might lack a Save Image facility, in which case you’d have to research and install the appropriate software).
3. Enter the address of the folder you want to save it in and a name for the file on your hard drive. Click Save. After the download, open the file to make sure it’s the image you expected. Close the image file but keep the folder open.
(D) Create a new Gravatar Account
1. Go to http://en.gravatar.com/
2. Click on Create Your Own Gravatar
3. Complete the required boxes:
(a) E-mail Address: the new gmail address
(b) Username: use the one they give you automatically or try for a unique one of your own
(c) Enter a password.
(d) Click Sign up
(e) Go to https://mail.google.com/
If it opens another of your gmail accounts, follow the procedure outlined above in (A), except that this time as the final stage you should enter your new gmail address and password and login to your new gmail account.
(f) In your new email account, attend to any messages that gravatar or google have sent you.
(g) Close http://en.gravatar.com/
(E) Apply the Avatar (Skip if you opted not to do “Get yourself an Avatar”)
1. On the top bar click WordPress.com Sign In
2. In the My Gravatars tab click on add a new email
3. Enter your new gmail addess then click on Add
4. Reopen your new email as per (D)3(e) above, open the message from Gravatar and click on the link they sent you. This should automatically return you to your My Gravatars tab (i.e. (E)2 above).
5. Click on your new gmail link (in a large bluish rectangle near the middle of the page)
6. Click on Add a new Image
7. Click on My computer’s hard drive
8. Click on Choose File
9. You’ve already got the folder open per (C)3 above. Double-click on the image.
10. Click Next
11. Crop the image to the size they want (the square or rectangular outline)
12. Click on Crop and Finish
13. Select a rating.
14. Select your new gmail address (by clicking it) then click on Use for selected addresses. The avatar should appear to the left of your new email address. Close en.gravatar.com.
CO-ORDINATE YOUR NEW GMAIL WITH YOUR “REAL” EMAIL ACCOUNT
[You might wanna improve this, Spawny]
I personally haven’t done this, but I know it can be done:
You can set your gmail to forward copies to your “real” email account (REMEMBER not to ‘reply’ from gmail!).
You can get your “real” email software to download your gmail as a separate account. You can then, from your “real” email account, send emails from your gmail account. Use the ‘POP and forwarding’ tab in the gmail settings
FUTURE ACCESS TO YOUR NEW ACCOUNTS
You get into your gmail account from https://mail.google.com/
Remember to sign out of any other gmail account you’re already in.
Get into your gravatar account from http://en.gravatar.com/
Those of you who have more than one persona in blog comments are at risk of profiles getting crossed up. I’m talking about the profiles the public sees.
You will either need a different browser for each persona (e.g. Chrome for John Doe, IE for Richard Roe, Pale Moon for Uncle Tom Cobbly etc) OR if you want to use only one browser you’ll need to flush its cache before switching persona (http://www.howtoanswer.com/clear-data-in-all-browsers–35.html).
Google, wordpress, Gravatar know full well who we are. It’s best to be aware, but not paranoid about things we can’t change.
The above steps will improve things. However…
It doesn’t matter what precautions you take, you are always as safe on the net as a worm inside a fish’s closing jaw, on a hook, on a line, held by a man about to get jumped by a tiger that in turn is being stalked by a pride of vengeful lions who in turn are about to be ambushed by a Moehau Man wielding a Kauri Club… okay, you get it.
It’s possible that you are all ahead of old Moe and attended to this stuff already. But even if only one of you finds this useful it will have been worthwhile.
Let me know if it works or not.
Spawny Says – Thanks very much Moehau Man, this is basic sensible security when commenting on blogs.