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Internet Safety Guide

Dec 11, 2009
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The staff at Bulbagarden would like to take the opportunity to present a guide on Internet Safety. Here at Bulbagarden, we are concerned about our members' safety. Please use this guide to help you evaluate other members behavior or to learn what is acceptable/unacceptable when talking to people over the internet.

Guide to Internet Safety

Meeting and getting to know people online is usually a great way of socializing and developing friendships; in fact, several members initially met on Bulbagarden and are now good friends.

While Bulbagarden is a strong community, it's important to keep your privacy and safety in mind when you are communicating with other users. Is the person you are conversing with acting strangely? How are they treating you? Do you feel comfortable around them? This guide will help you make good decisions about friendships with the members of our communities.

Make Good Friendships

How do you know if you have a healthy friendship?

We all found Bulbagarden and enjoy posting here because of our love of Pokémon. This means that you will probably have a lot in common with several other users on the boards. Many members join the forums to get away with real life stress, and enjoy having people to talk to.

The following are examples of what to look for in quality online relationships:

-Both members are benefitting from one another: Do you enjoy talking to this person? Does this person make you happy? Is this person helpful and kind?

-Respecting each other’s boundaries: Asking for or sharing personal information can sometimes make a person feel uncomfortable. Respect the other person’s decision to withhold personal information. If you are asked about something that you do not wish to discuss, it is in your right to refuse to share information.

Warning Signs

If you witness the following behaviors, they may be signs that the friendship is going sour.

-Unwanted Attention: Does this user give you unwanted attention? The following are examples of types of attention you may not want:

-User constantly puts you down.

-They say offensive things; use inflammatory/derogatory language..

-They do/say things purposely that make you uncomfortable such as, ask for requests or favors.

-They act jealous when you talk to other members.

-Legitimate Name Calling: Does this person judge you, or make crude comments about your race/gender/ sexual orientation?

-Threatening./Harassing/stalking: This type of behavior includes constant unwanted visitor messaging, and private messaging, or trying to contact you outside of Bulbagarden through any other social media such as Facebook, Twitter, AIM, Skype,, IRC, etc, when it is unwanted.

-Also, this includes attacking you directly in threads or in any of our sections on the forums.

-Threatening to stop being friends for meaningless reasons.

-Threatening to self-harm: If this person threatens to hurt themselves in any way (including suicide). This behavior could be a response to trying to guilt you into forming a relationship with this specific person, or a response to rejection.

What to Do

Report Strange Behavior

If you feel another user has been acting oddly, or in an offensive manner, please report them to staff immediately. In your report, make sure you explain why you are reporting this user, and give evidence if possible. Make sure to save PMs and chat logs exchanged with the suspected user.

Even if you are not involved, report something that looks suspicious. If you witness off-putting or suspicious behavior from members of the community, and you are not involved, please report it to a staff member.

There will be no repercussions for reporting. You won’t get in trouble.
The staff will put any harassment to an end. Depending on the situation, the perpetrator will be taken care of in some way.

Other Tips

-Remember that ANYTHING you post/create can always be traced back to you, or your computer. Even if it is deleted, it is still out there in cyberspace.

-Make sure you think before you post: Could what you are posting be taking as offensive? Inappropriate?

-Many users of Bulbagarden are under the age of 18. It would be advisable that you don't discuss sexual content with users under 18.

-Be cautious when giving out any personal information. This includes your full name, address or school, phone number, facebook page, or twitter account. Remember, if you give out your e-mail address that you registered with facebook people can use it to search for you.
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Dec 29, 2002
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N.B. My day job is in academia, researching consumer behaviour with a focus on online privacy and related issues. This is an issue that's very important to me, and it should be important to you as well. So please, pay attention.

We've had a few users contact us because they've had a little trouble with the password reset system, so before we put through the general password reset we'd promised to do, I just wanted to make sure everyone is on the same page about what makes a strong password.

And for that, I think this XKCD comic explains it best.

The password system we use here on the Bulbagarden Forums makes use of Dan Wheelers password strength estimator zxcvbn. It does not weight password strength by their combination of upper/lower letters, special characters and numbers, but on how easy they are to crack in reality. So if you're entering something more like the first example in that comic above (like the people who've asked us why their 10 letter passwords were rejected), that's why it's not letting you through.

If you're having trouble remembering longer passwords, I strongly recommend making use of a Password Manager of some kind. An incomplete list of password managers can be found on Wikipedia. Pick whichever one works for you, though I personally feel that the safest Password Managers are those which do not rely on cloud storage and actually store passwords securely on your own device.
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