- First and last name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Serial number, order number, account number, etc.
Best practices in removing data from a post
Usually it is enough to remove the information from a post by editing it. You should leave a note behind that you have edited the post:
While removing data, you should always try to preserve the context of a post. In the case of the example above:
The sentence "My e-mail address is myname@inSided.com." is not necessary to understand the issue / question which the user is sharing. So it can be removed completely.
The sentence "I also didn't get a notification text message on my cell phone (number: +1 123 456 789)" however could be relevant for troubleshooting the problem. So here you might only want to remove the phone number, and leave the rest.
Should the personal data be in the middle of a sentence, e.g. "I did not receive an email to firstname.lastname@example.org after registration", then you could also decide to replace the removed information with your note: I did not receive an email to (personal data removed) after registration.
Personal data in attachments
Personal information in e.g. screenshots cannot be picked up automatically by webcrawlers/spiders etc. (so systems which automatically scan the internet for such data in order to abuse it). Nevertheless you should remove this information, as it can be used against the will of the user.
Often attachments are an important part of a post, so simply deleting them could have a negative impact on the whole topic. I sometimes used to download, edit, and then reupload the attachment. If you have the time to do this as well, your users will appreciate your help.
Should you have questions about certain cases / scenarios, just let us know in the comments! Also feel free to share your processes around this!