I recently edited this question, which had formatting problems and had the question in form of an image as a link. The user who's question I had edited, then asked me for my email id through the comments.

On asking the user for the purpose of such a request, he/she replied that it was to ask "mathematical questions only".

I am unsure what to do in such a situation. I am certainly not giving my email id out on a website that can be accessed by absolutely anyone, for obvious reasons.

Is there any safe and secure channel or way to communicate with such a user? Even if such a channel exists, how safe will it be to give your email id to such a person claiming the above?

Please help me on what to do in such a situation.

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    $\begingroup$ DO NOT GIVE your EMAIL ID, under such circumstances. If you want to to communicate with them, you can invite them to chat. That does not require that you give to them ANY PERSONAL information whatsoever. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ I noticed the question in reference has been closed.....idk if it was in response to this post....if so, to make it clear I had no problem with the question or the user who asked it....I was merely confused on what to do with such an odd request. $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2020 at 20:59
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks @amWhy..... $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2020 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


There are no safe and secure channels for user-to-user communication. Everything is in principle readable for everyone.

There are some things that are more visible than others, but there are no private messages or anything like that. A quickly deleted comment when you are both online is likely the least visible. But for actual communication, as amWhy recommends, it would be best to create a chat.

Regarding the risk, that's hard to answer.

I'd advise against doing it, first the purpose of the site is to record Q&A publicly and taking this to email defeats the purposes. Second, it seems that you are not entirely comfortable with the idea, so why do it.

Then, in real-life my professional email addresses are all over the place (on my personal website, in the faculty listings of current and former employers, research papers, conference websites, and a couple more places), as are those of any number of other people. Thus, in principle, there is not that much issue with having an email public. Various users do make available their emails here, too; if not directly at least by proxy of linking to their webpage.

Usually, this has no particularly bad consequences. I did hear about some stories of at least annoying emails being sent by disgruntled users. Thus, yes, better avoid it.

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    $\begingroup$ No problem, thanks for the correction @amWhy. I restored the lost phrase. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 20:47
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the advice. I strongly believe and have no intent of breaking the site's ideology of making Q&A public. I just wished to know the options I had in similar circumstances. Thanks anyway. $\endgroup$ Commented May 18, 2020 at 20:54

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