Your Privacy Matters
At My Old House we take your privacy seriously. We understand that some people may be worried about the concept behind My Old House and what it could mean to their privacy or security. Here we hope to outline why registering on and using the site will not compromise your safety and to alleviate any fears you may have.
You cannot be traced
The first and foremost issue is the fact you cannot be traced by registering on My Old House unless you wish to be. We understand why some people may not want old neighbours, or even old friends to find out where they live now. You may worry that by adding an old house and a current address, someone could locate you at a former home and track you to your current house. That is not possible through My Old House.
If somebody knows where you used to live, it is possible for them to search for that address but there are no links between any of the properties you add to the site. It is, therefore, not possible for anyone to find your address unless they already know or have a good idea where you live.
Of course, if you want to be found you may add a memory to any of your houses to say where you moved to or respond to any posts sent to you via the 'Send an email' service but that is entirely your decision.
Your email address is kept private
We ask you for your email address for three reasons. Firstly, so we can, at your request, keep in touch with you and send your our free monthly newsletter. You can choose whether or not you want to receive the newsletter and you can change your mind at any time by clicking on 'Your Details' and changing your preferences.
Secondly, we ask for your address so we can validate you are signing up from a real email address. When you register we send you a validation email containing a validation code. You must enter this code to complete your registration. This is simply to protect all our users and prevent a minority of potentially unscrupulous users from potentially pretending to be somebody they are not.
The final reason we have your email address is to allow other users of My Old House to contact you should you want them to. If you look at one of your houses on the site and click on the 'Residents' tab, you will see your name and details, and a link to 'Send an email'. This allows people to send an email and make contact with you. The email is sent via the My Old House site and at no point does the person contacting you know your email address. The only way they can find out your address is if you choose to respond to them using your usual email system.
Will I receive spam by signing up to My Old House
In theory somebody could search for a house at random, find your details, and send you an unsolicited email promoting a product. However, to minimise potential for such abuse, each user of My Old House can send only a very small number of contact mails per day. People who send spam normally send many thousands - and often millions - of emails every day. Sending spam via My Old House would be an extremely time consuming and ultimately fruitless task. If anyone ever does receive spam via My Old House, and they report it to us, we will suspended the account of the person who sent it.
Am I safe to post my current house online?
Ultimately this is a question only you can answer but before you do, let's look at the facts.
Many people are not aware of this, but your name and address and possibly your phone number will probably already be on the web. If you have a telephone and you aren't ex-directory, the chances are you can be found via the BT directory enquiry service. Even if you are ex-directory, if you are a registered voter and on the electoral roll (which, by law, you should be) your details will be available via 192.com for free. If somebody wants to find your current details, there are many sites that will let people do that by searching by name. My Old House does not allow this.
You cannot be found on My Old House by anyone attempting to search by name. If, however, you have a strong reason not to be found, for instance if you are escaping an abusive partner, then you may decide it best not to post your current property on the site. If you live or have lived in a women's refuge or similar hostel, we would strongly recommend that you do not include these addresses in order to protect those currently living there.
The vast majority of you will be completely safe adding your address to the site.
What about child safety?
The safety of children on the internet is very much in the public eye at the moment and rightly so. People of ill intent do not exist solely on the internet. They are, and always have been, an unacceptable presence in our society. Because of this, we recommend caution at all times wherever the possible identification of children is involved.
Registration on My Old House is allowed only to those over 16 years old. One of the popular features of My Old House is the ability to upload photographs along with your memories. Only you can decide what is best for your family, but please consider whether you want to upload pictures of children at an address they now live at.
Will you remove my house from the site?
If you have added your details to the site and want to remove them you are, of course, completely entitled to to do so and this can be achieved by clicking 'Remove House' when you view your houses.
However, anyone is entitled to add an address that they used to live at, even if it is now your address. Unless they post an abusive message about you or your family or it can be proved that they did not live at that address, we will not be obliged to remove their details.
What if I see something abusive?
At the side of each memory and photograph (apart from your own) there is an icon of a bell and the text 'Report Post'. If you find a memory or a photograph offensive or abusive, click on the icon. You will then be asked to give a reason why you find the item offensive or abusive and you will be able to report it. The second you report the item, it will be taken off the site, no buts, no maybes.
The system will then send an email to you, to let you know the item has been removed, an email will be sent to the person who created the item to tell them it has been removed.
We will then review the item and, after careful consideration, will decide whether to return the item to the site or permanently remove it. We may even permanently ban the item creator from My Old House. At all times the people involved are kept up-to-date with the process.
Any other questions?
If you have any other questions relating to your privacy or security in relation to My Old House, please get in touch by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
The key thing is...
Please enjoy using My Old House. Houses are so much more than just a box to shelter us from the wind and rain. They are the places where our lives are played out. People are born, grow up, fall in love and pass away in homes. If you read some of the ghost stories on the site, you will find that people live on after death in houses! Even if their presence is never felt, spirits remain. That is what My Old House is all
about - please enjoy revisiting time and time again.
We hope we have alleviated any fears you may have. Please now register and enjoy making history.