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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Feedburner Email Subscription - Security Risk?

A Reader's Email Address becomes visible to the blog owner/Feedburner Account owner, when the Reader subscribes via Email - ONLY. This does NOT apply for a 'normal Subscription'. For instance, there are NO email addresses listed on the Feed for this blog, as I have NO Email subscribers!

This, however, is a security risk for those bloggers who may subscribe to other blogs!

This morning, Australian time, I saw a question thread in the Blogger Help Forum, where a blogger asked;

"I just added the new feature "follow by email" where readers can subscribe to the blog. And its great! But is there a way that I can track who has subscribed?"

The very correct answer, as expected from him, was supplied by fellow TC, and pretty 'techie' bloke, Yoboy, but it got me thinking about Security of my Email Address. I was, honestly, NOT aware of this, so thanks Yoboy!

I offer my Readers, a Feedburner Subscription button, which offers them a way to get a Feed from my blog - either in a News Reader, or By Email, or in a Bookmark! But, my Readers only know me by reputation (I hope it's good) and presume, that I will NOT mis-use their Email details. They possibly don't know every blog owner that they might subscribe to. One of them may NOT be like me! One of them might be "Steve, or Suzie the SPAMMER", in disguise!

I don't want to know people's email addresses, either. There's plenty of ways to contact them if I want.

The Feedburner Subscription - Options, are many - and include the Email Subscription as well ...

So, I have to ask myself, which is better for them? Which is safest?

The email address doesn't become visible when you Subscribe via a News Reader, or Bookmark! If you have Email Subscribers to your Feedburner Feed, and you wish to know their Email Addresses, all you have to do is:

1) Log-on to Feedburner, (My Feeds), and click the Blog Name ...

2) Click where it says - "See more about your subscribers »"

3) View your Email Subscriber's Email details ...

I don't like that. I don't want people knowing my Email Address. I'll be changing my subscription methods in future.

I don't have that problem with Follower/Friend Connect. I don't have that problem with a News Reader Feed, or a Bookmark Feed. I don't have to be a rocket-scientist to figure this one, either!

BTW, the options for Email Subscription are coming off my blogs! The Feedburner Subscription chicklet will stay, though.


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