PSA: On the topic of user safety (Please take a few minutes to read this thread)

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Max. Optimizer

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The Smogon forums staff takes the safety of their forumgoers very seriously and we over here in the Wi-Fi sub-forum welcome the opportunity to do our part as well.

Errors and omissions occur. However, we use reasonable care to ensure that we include as much useful information as we possibly can.
If forumgoers have any concerns or further suggestions, they should never feel discouraged to reach out to a staff member at their earliest convenience.
We think that it is better to be safe than sorry.

Without further ado:

On the topic of using Google documents as a means of a trade thread:

The forumgoers that have already familiarized themselves with our Forum Rules will already know about the rule down below:
  • Do not post a link to another site or a spreadsheet as your trade thread. You must list all the information on the forum.
While we do not completely prohibit the use of Google documents, especially not when most of the forumgoers using them already have an existing trade thread in our section, we still wanted to explain that a part of our reason includes concerns regarding safety and privacy: if you use your real first name and/or your real last name, then this piece of private information will be visible to anyone viewing your Google document when you are currently viewing it yourself. We also advise against using photos of yourself as profile pictures. Since Google is outside of our jurisdiction, we will unfortunately not be able to help you if anything comes up. In this sense, we wanted to welcome the opportunity to raise awareness for the forumgoers that may not have known about this yet. Please consider staying careful when using personal information online, for example by using an alternate throwaway email in conjunction with an alias.

A potential workaround for hiding your name when online is to publish the sheet to the web, and share that link to other people. Within your Google Sheet, go to File > Publish to the web. With the link tab selected, choose whether you want to publish the entire document or just a sheet, and leave the publishing type as web page. Expand the "Published content & settings" section, and check the "Automatically republish when changes are made", if desired. Click Publish to obtain a shareable link. If you share this link with other people, they will not be able to see your name, even if you have the parent sheet open and are logged in. Note that if you share the parent (direct) link to your sheet, users will be able to see your name. Should you wish to stop publishing, go to File > Publish to the web > expand the Published content & settings section > Stop publishing.

On the topic of using 2-Step Verification:

In a similar vain, we also wanted to welcome the opportunity to remind our forumgoers about the benefits of using 2-Step Verification when it comes to protecting their accounts like Smogon, Nintendo, and Discord accounts for example. Data breaches happen every now and then, and it can never hurt to add an extra layer of protection to your accounts.

We compiled the ways in which you can set up 2-Step Verification for accounts our forumgoers are most likely to use to stay in touch with us:

  1. Smogon: Click on your username on top of the website > Click on "Password and security" > Enable "Two-step verification"
  2. Nintendo: https://en-americas-support.nintend...up-2-step-verification-for-a-nintendo-account
  3. Discord:
We will update the list in the future if need be.

Stay safe everyone!
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