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Lingvopoint - reduce profile info?
Thread poster: Deirdre Brophy

Deirdre Brophy  Identity Verified
France
English to Irish
+ ...
Nov 19, 2014

Following the fraudulent publication of proz.com profiles on lingvopoint.com, is anyone thinking of reducing the amount of profile information published on proz?

I know some people are already very careful about the information they put out there: personally, I do not have my CV out there, but my profile is quite detailed. I like to think it helps clients to understand what kind of work I might be suitable for.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 22:13
Turkish to English
+ ...
Block copying? Nov 19, 2014

You raise a valid concern.

I believe that it is technically possible to block text from being copied on a web page and maybe the text in our profiles should be so protected. This would go a long way to circumvent such practices as scammers would then have to type the whole thing out.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:13
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
ABBYY Screenshot Reader Nov 19, 2014

Sadly, even with some form of copy protection, they could quite easily copy it using something like ABBYY Screenshot Reader. You just point the program at a part of your screen and it will extract any text using OCR.

I also think it's probably better to leave it copyable so clients can copy/paste it into Google themselves to check that your portfolio translations are actually yours and are not being used elsewhere online (as happened to me recently, when someone stole my sample translations).

Michael


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:13
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Unlikely to be effective Nov 19, 2014

Tim Drayton wrote:
I believe that it is technically possible to block text from being copied on a web page and maybe the text in our profiles should be so protected.

Tim, while not an expert I don't think such measures would prevent automated extraction of text. If it can be seen, it's in the browser somewhere and can usually be pulled out. Just as a test I attempted to scrape my own profile programmatically yesterday and that worked fine.

In answer to the OP's question no, I am not going to reduce the information in my ProZ profile. In fact I intend to (judiciously) add to it when appropriate.

If others in my language pair wish to prune or hide their profiles then in relative terms I should have an advantage in attracting new clients who use ProZ/search engines to find translation providers. That would make me happy.

Of course, the risk of scams is there, but then it always has been there. I take what steps I can to protect myself and I refuse to worry beyond that.

Regards
Dan


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:13
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
speaking of which Nov 19, 2014

Dan Lucas wrote:

Tim Drayton wrote:
I believe that it is technically possible to block text from being copied on a web page and maybe the text in our profiles should be so protected.

Tim, while not an expert I don't think such measures would prevent automated extraction of text. If it can be seen, it's in the browser somewhere and can usually be pulled out. Just as a test I attempted to scrape my own profile programmatically yesterday and that worked fine.

In answer to the OP's question no, I am not going to reduce the information in my ProZ profile. In fact I intend to (judiciously) add to it when appropriate.

If others in my language pair wish to prune or hide their profiles then in relative terms I should have an advantage in attracting new clients who use ProZ/search engines to find translation providers. That would make me happy.

Of course, the risk of scams is there, but then it always has been there. I take what steps I can to protect myself and I refuse to worry beyond that.

Regards
Dan


One tip is to regularly Google any sample translations in your portfolio, to check whether they are being used elsewhere. To my surprise, I recently discovered mine were being used, verbatim, on this site: http://www.edwardmahana.com/#!cv/c18h9 (along with the sample translations of 3 or 4 of my colleagues here on Proz).

Michael


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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:13
English to German
+ ...
I deleted my CV Nov 19, 2014

for starters...

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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 03:13
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Like most copy protection Nov 19, 2014

I believe that it is technically possible to block text from being copied on a web page and maybe the text in our profiles should be so protected. This would go a long way to circumvent such practices as scammers would then have to type the whole thing out.

This has all the effect of antagonizing legitimate users and none of preventing harvesting. Disabling javascript will in the vast majority of cases circumvent any so-called protection designed to annoy readers.

If someone wants to burn down their house to take care of termites, they are free to do so. Just don't drag me into it.


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R Farhat  Identity Verified
Lebanon
Local time: 22:13
Member (2004)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Check this post Nov 19, 2014

Edited
-------

Thanks for pointing this out!

Regards,
Randa

[Edited at 2014-11-19 10:49 GMT]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:13
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Re Nov 19, 2014

I have entered a copyright notice

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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:13
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
agree Nov 19, 2014

Lincoln Hui wrote:

I believe that it is technically possible to block text from being copied on a web page and maybe the text in our profiles should be so protected. This would go a long way to circumvent such practices as scammers would then have to type the whole thing out.

This has all the effect of antagonizing legitimate users and none of preventing harvesting. Disabling javascript will in the vast majority of cases circumvent any so-called protection designed to annoy readers.

If someone wants to burn down their house to take care of termites, they are free to do so. Just don't drag me into it.


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Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
No, reducing is not the solution Nov 19, 2014

But maybe I will take my CVs off. Anyhow, my CVs are on my homepage, but maybe that is harder for scammers to find. ProZ is a huge site, so I understand their predilection towards it.

Michael, how can I see the translation samples you mention? I had a look at the link you gave, but didn't find any samples, and not any ProZ profile of this person any more.

Regards,

Agnes


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:13
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
@Agnes: Nov 19, 2014

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. He has since taken them all down. Funny that he still lists his Proz profile on his website though, seeing as how he was politely asked to leave and is no longer a member of the site.

Michael


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:13
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Good idea Nov 19, 2014

Angie Garbarino wrote:

I have entered a copyright notice


Thank you Angie for this idea. I'll do it momentarily.

As sad as it is, IMO the only way any of us can be safe from scammers is to disappear completely from the Internet. On second thought, whatever has been put online remains there forever.


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other options Nov 19, 2014

Their website seems to be down, which is a good thing

A couple of things that I noticed while playing with their site: You could put anything in after www.lingvopoint.com/ and it would take you to a "translator profile." I typed in as'dlkfhasodkjfha'sdkh and it pulled up a profile.

I noticed that it couldn't pull up any information from my profile, aside from my logo, my language pairs and they invented a rate for me. I think it is because of the way I designed my profile with more advanced HTML (I'm really proud of it, by the way). It may have caused the web crawlers/bots to get lost and not find the rest of my information. I made a YouTube video explaining how you can do the same to your profile without any technical knowledge, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5a4bHGE54A or read it here: http://www.opl10nt9n.com/blog/hacking-your-proz-profile

Going down that same route, you could also post your information in the form of an image instead of straight text. This may hurt your search engine ranking through Google or Bing, but if you aren't getting many hits from them now, it won't make a difference. I only get one or two each month. To create the image, use a program like Photoshop, Gimp 2, or even paint to write out your text and save it as an image. You can then upload it to something like Photobucket.com or host it somewhere else, and paste the link as part of an HTML line in your profile (Photobucket gives you the code for free). It sounds like a lot of work, but it's really easy and I'd be happy to help anyone that needs it.

In regards to using ABBYY or something along those lines, I would bet that they aren't putting that much effort into their data mining. They would have to come to each of these adapted profiles individually, take a screenshot, run it through a OCR and then upload the information to their site. And that's assuming that they are able to identify which profiles weren't scanned during the crawl.

Maybe I should make another YouTube video on how to do it? I have found that making those videos is terribly addictive.


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inesec  Identity Verified
Latvia
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Risk-benefit analysis should be carried out Nov 19, 2014

to assess all possible advantages and disadvantages of marketing our services via ProZ or another website. As we know, there exist no safe websites, even FBI website has been hacked several times, therefore, it would be wise to wake up and smell the coffee (or roses) and try to protect ourselves.
As a preventive action, I have included in my "About me" text the following sentence: For business correspondence, I use ONLY the EMAIL address WITH THE DOMAIN NAME specified in my profile, no gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc., therefore, any my business-related e-mails from free email addresses are INVALID. Besides, I have encrypted my CV (of course, it can be typed but cannot be copied or edited). And last but not the least: never ever include your e-mail address in your CV or elsewhere


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