FAQ: Can people see my email address ?


There are actually several questions to be answered about email addresses and emailing people from the forum:

Q1. Why can't I see the email address of a user on the forum like I could with WebBoard ?

In order to prevent potential problems with abuse of email, including marketing companies "harvesting" the addresses - we decided when we set up the forum that there would be no email addresses shown - unless people explicitly wanted them shown.

The only way of explicitly showing your email address - is by putting it in your signature so that when you post, your address shows up. The good thing about signatures on vBulletin - is that they are not stored in the posts themselves, so if you change your address or decide that you don't want it shown, you can edit your signature and instantly the signature on all of your existing posts change !

Q2. So can people still email me ?

Yes, if you want them to be able to.

If you have enabled people to send you emails through the forum, someone can view your profile (either through the members list, or by clicking on your name on a post or in the current users list). On the profile page is a section that says "Contact Joe Bloggs" (assuming you are Joe Bloggs !) - and there are links to email or private message you.

If they click on the "Click here to email Joe Bloggs" link, then a page will come up with an email form, which they can fill out to send Joe Bloggs an email. They don't actually get to see Joe's email address !

Joe could set his preferences so that people are not allowed to email him via this form - I'll talk about that later.

Q3. But if I send an email to Joe Bloggs from the forum, can't Joe see my email address ?

Yes !

This is the thing to be aware of. If you use the email form to send an email, it will have YOUR email address in there - so Joe Bloggs would see your address and be able to reply to you directly. If you don't want people to know your email address - use private messaging and not the email feature.

Q4. So can I stop people from sending me emails ?


Go to your user control panel ("user cp" button at the top of the page), then to the "Edit Options" page.

In the "Messaging & Notification" section is an option called "Hide Email Address?"

If you set this to "yes", then people will NOT be able to send you emails via the forum. In fact, your email address is never visible at all on the forum (except to the administrators - but not the moderators).

If you leave it set to "no" - which is the default - then people can use the email form to email you. If you do get an email through the forum, it will be obvious where it came from, and will clearly mention who sent it - including their email address. Just because someone has emailed you through the forum, doesn't mean they automatically get your email address - you have to explicitly give it to them by replying directly to their email, or by emailing them through the forum.

Just remember that if you reply to the email yourself using your mail program, the user who sent you the email will be able to see your address. Also remember that even if you have "Hide Email Address" set to 'yes', if you use the email form to send an email, the recipient of that email will still be able to see your email address !

I know it's all a little confusing... but it does make sense. Honestly ! If you have questions or concerns - please ask !

(Note that the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page is a mailto link. If you click on the link, it will start your email program so you can send email to us directly the simple way !)
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