Innocently lurking in my letterbox recently was a plain white envelope addressed to:
<my suburb> Neighbour <my address line 1> <suburb> <state> <postcode>
The return address was
<my street> Neighbours <my suburb> <some PO Box in Chester Hill NSW>
Inside was a letter that was rather curious:
Hi <my street> Neighbour! Our neighbourhood is now using a free private online network called Nextdoor <my suburb> and you should join us. On our website and mobile app, we share recommendations for tradies, discuss safety and local issues, plan neighbourhood events, post things for sale, and much more. It's 100% free and private - just for our neighbours. Please go to au.nextdoor.com/join and enter this code to join us: <six character upper case string> (This code expires in days!) -<name of instigator>, <my street> P.S. It's a great way to meet neighbours and get recommendations for sitters, painters, cleaners and more!
… things like “Our neighbourhood is now using” and “you should join” immediately make me ponder “says who?”. Of course if you don’t join, you will be given to thinking everyone on the street is talking about you - and why wouldn’t they?
“100% free and private” also makes my BS detector ring it’s $&$'s off - because the letter was specifically addressed to me, and a code is required to join. I’d bet that code is matched against my address. It also expires … why? sense of urgency and missing out I’d guess.
Then theres the instigator, who from various searches I’m led to believe will be some kind of administrator of my neighbourhood.
You don’t have to go far to find how this can play out …
Various and sundry …
and this one - apparently advice I can trust but anyway, she says in summary:
Fortunately, you have a few options when it comes to restricting Nextdoor’s access to your personal information. These include:
- Simply, don’t sign up in the first place.
- Manage your Personal Profile settings (click on the down arrow by your profile photo >> Your Profile).
- Delete your Nextdoor account from your computer (steps for iOS and Android vary slightly from these): Click on the down arrow by your profile picture >> Settings >> Account >> Deactivate Your Account >> tell Nextdoor why you’re leaving >> Deactivate.
I haven’t signed up … yet … trust = 0, so far …