Changing a Group.io member email address


Dale Drexler
 

I’m a Co-Owner/Moderator of a large closed (community residents only) group in a senior community.  Our group is not listed in Groups.io Directory and our Archives are not open to the public.

There is a smaller Groups.io group in our community that is listed in the Groups.io Directory and their Archives are open to the public.

I experienced an odd situation when a member in my Group requested I change her email address.  A simple request done in a few seconds but (there’s always a but) when I changed her address in our group it changed her address in the other group.  Could anyone tell me how this happened and what I need to do to prevent it in the future.

I would appreciate any help you could give.

Sent from Dale Drexler - ColonyCeMGroup Moderator 



 

Dale,

Would by any chance one of these two groups is a subgroup of the other?

Cheers,
Christos


Dale Drexler
 

No - both Groups are independent of one another.

Sent from Dales Drexler

On Sep 22, 2020, at 10:08 PM, Christos G. Psarras <christos@...> wrote:

Dale,

Would by any chance one of these two groups is a subgroup of the other?

Cheers,
Christos








Duane
 

On Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 08:49 PM, Dale Drexler wrote:
I experienced an odd situation when a member in my Group requested I change her email address.  A simple request done in a few seconds but (there’s always a but) when I changed her address in our group it changed her address in the other group.  Could anyone tell me how this happened and what I need to do to prevent it in the future.
That's the way it works.  The email address is for their account and if it's changed on one group, it will be changed for all groups.  There's no way you can keep it from happening.  If the member joins another group with a different account/email, that would be separate.

Duane
--
The official Groups.io user documentation is in the Groups.io Help Center.
GMF's Unofficial Help Wiki: https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/wiki


Nigel Brooks <nigel.brooks@...>
 

Wow that doesn’t sound right. Info that’s a property of an account should only be changeable by the account owner, not the admin of a group they belong to. That is an invite to phishing. 

On 23 Sep 2020, at 8:41 am, Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:

On Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 08:49 PM, Dale Drexler wrote:
I experienced an odd situation when a member in my Group requested I change her email address.  A simple request done in a few seconds but (there’s always a but) when I changed her address in our group it changed her address in the other group.  Could anyone tell me how this happened and what I need to do to prevent it in the future.
That's the way it works.  The email address is for their account and if it's changed on one group, it will be changed for all groups.  There's no way you can keep it from happening.  If the member joins another group with a different account/email, that would be separate.

Duane
--
The official Groups.io user documentation is in the Groups.io Help Center.
GMF's Unofficial Help Wiki: https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/wiki


Duane
 

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 02:44 AM, Nigel Brooks wrote:
That is an invite to phishing.
I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion.  It would have nothing to do with phishing.

Only admins on paid groups can change a person's email address.  It's a useful tool when members have trouble understanding how to change their own email address, such as when they change providers.  Unfortunately it does have the side effect noted when its function is misunderstood.

Duane
--
The official Groups.io user documentation is in the Groups.io Help Center.
GMF's Unofficial Help Wiki: https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/wiki


Nigel Brooks <nigel.brooks@...>
 

Probably used wrong term. Scenario I had in mind was: User belongs to 2 groups, one sensitive (maybe business), the other hobbyist. Admin of hobbyist group changes their email to bad guys email address. Bad guy now sees all posts to the sensitive group. 

Maybe I’m misinterpreting. 


On 23 Sep 2020, at 9:31 am, Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 02:44 AM, Nigel Brooks wrote:
That is an invite to phishing.
I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion.  It would have nothing to do with phishing.

Only admins on paid groups can change a person's email address.  It's a useful tool when members have trouble understanding how to change their own email address, such as when they change providers.  Unfortunately it does have the side effect noted when its function is misunderstood.

Duane
--
The official Groups.io user documentation is in the Groups.io Help Center.
GMF's Unofficial Help Wiki: https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/wiki


Bruce Bowman
 

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 04:39 AM, Nigel Brooks wrote:
Probably used wrong term. Scenario I had in mind was: User belongs to 2 groups, one sensitive (maybe business), the other hobbyist. Admin of hobbyist group changes their email to bad guys email address. Bad guy now sees all posts to the sensitive group...
Yep, and the hobbyist group, too. And the "bad guy" could subsequently participate in both groups under the good guy's Display Name...for awhile.

What you described is a malicious act on the part of the hobbyist group Owner, done in collaboration with the "bad guy." Under normal circumstances the address would be changed to a known address of the same person, at the request of that person (as actually happened in this case). Certainly, the "good guy" would soon realize that something was amiss (when he discovers that he can no longer post to or receive messages from either group).

Maybe I’m misinterpreting. 
No, you're really not...although the abuse of the feature suggested above would not be called "phishing."

People normally change the email address associated with their account themselves, according to the instructions found at https://groups.io/helpcenter/faq/1/group-member-faq/q-how-do-i-change-my-email . The "change email" feature (available only to Premium groups) allows a group Owner to perform this function for them.

As Duane stated, this change affects all associated subscriptions. If you don't want that to happen, you have to create a new subscription under the new address (for example, by sending that person an invitation via the new address) and delete the old subscription. Doing so will keep subscriptions in other groups intact, but will cost that person "ownership" of any content already posted to the [hobbyist] group.

I hope that made sense.

For reasons you've noted I'm not fond of the "change email" feature and believe most group Owners should refrain from using it. But I guess many Owners of Premium groups find it invaluable to be able to manage their subscribers' accounts by proxy. This is under the assumption that no one is going to set up a group and pay $220/year just for the privilege of jerking people around. 

Hope this helps,
Bruce


 

Hi Bruce,

On 2020-09-23 07:03, Bruce Bowman via groups.io wrote:
As Duane stated, this change affects all associated subscriptions.

Hmm, I learned something new today, I was under the impression -and I bet Nigel as well- that if a mod changes the address of a member in one group, GIO would act as if the member themselves went to GIO and created a new account, then removed themselves from the group and rejoined that group with the new account, except when the mod does it through the group GIO does it as a "transfer" so the member pertinent info (join date and such) remains the same, since the idea is that one can have multiple GIO main accounts, which each can belong to a different group if they so wished.  Apparently not!

Now that I see how it works, I personally don't think this functionality should act the way it does now, or at least have some kind of option (change email for this group only or all groups) but regardless, I guess I'll post a suggestion to Docs to update the owner manual to add that bit in there because it's not in the "Editing members’ email addresses" section, and it really should be as the action does have "unintended" consequences.  (unknown consequences, for a percentage of owners at least)

Cheers,
Christos


Dale Drexler
 

Thanks much for the long but very very helpful explanation.
Since my Group is a Premium group and the other Group is not I can make email changes to a members account that would have an affect on all their Group accounts.
The other Group owner/moderator can’t make membership account changes, so changes their members make to their own account would not transfer to that members account with our Group.
In the future if a member in my Group is unable to make the change but wants their email address change I will delete their old account, do a “Direct Add” and create a new account.

Thanks again for the help.

Sent from Dale Drexler



On Sep 23, 2020, at 4:03 AM, Bruce Bowman <bruce.bowman@...> wrote:

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 04:39 AM, Nigel Brooks wrote:
Probably used wrong term. Scenario I had in mind was: User belongs to 2 groups, one sensitive (maybe business), the other hobbyist. Admin of hobbyist group changes their email to bad guys email address. Bad guy now sees all posts to the sensitive group...
Yep, and the hobbyist group, too. And the "bad guy" could subsequently participate in both groups under the good guy's Display Name...for awhile.

What you described is a malicious act on the part of the hobbyist group Owner, done in collaboration with the "bad guy." Under normal circumstances the address would be changed to a known address of the same person, at the request of that person (as actually happened in this case). Certainly, the "good guy" would soon realize that something was amiss (when he discovers that he can no longer post to or receive messages from either group).

Maybe I’m misinterpreting. 
No, you're really not...although the abuse of the feature suggested above would not be called "phishing."

People normally change the email address associated with their account themselves, according to the instructions found at https://groups.io/helpcenter/faq/1/group-member-faq/q-how-do-i-change-my-email . The "change email" feature (available only to Premium groups) allows a group Owner to perform this function for them.

As Duane stated, this change affects all associated subscriptions. If you don't want that to happen, you have to create a new subscription under the new address (for example, by sending that person an invitation via the new address) and delete the old subscription. Doing so will keep subscriptions in other groups intact, but will cost that person "ownership" of any content already posted to the [hobbyist] group.

I hope that made sense.

For reasons you've noted I'm not fond of the "change email" feature and believe most group Owners should refrain from using it. But I guess many Owners of Premium groups find it invaluable to be able to manage their subscribers' accounts by proxy. This is under the assumption that no one is going to set up a group and pay $220/year just for the privilege of jerking people around. 

Hope this helps,
Bruce


Duane
 

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 11:45 AM, Dale Drexler wrote:
The other Group owner/moderator can’t make membership account changes, so changes their members make to their own account would not transfer to that members account with our Group.
That's incorrect.  Any changes the member makes to their account (email address) are propagated to all of their groups.  They'd need to subscribe to your group with an entirely different email address or you could send an invitation or do a direct add to the new address.

Duane
--
The official Groups.io user documentation is in the Groups.io Help Center.
GMF's Unofficial Help Wiki: https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/wiki


Andy Wedge
 

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 05:43 PM, Christos G. Psarras wrote:
I personally don't think this functionality should act the way it does now, or at least have some kind of option (change email for this group only or all groups)
That's not possible because your account (email address) is the top-level entity and under that you have one or more groups and subgroups, each with their own profile.

I put a bit more info about this in another topic on this group https://groups.io/g/Group_Help/message/935



Regards
Andy


 



On 2020-09-23 13:06, Andy Wedge via groups.io wrote:
I personally don't think this functionality should act the way it does now, or at least have some kind of option (change email for this group only or all groups)
That's not possible because your account (email address) is the top-level entity and under that you have one or more groups and subgroups, each with their own profile.

You may have misunderstood what I was trying to say; so what if one's address is at the top level?  That's irrelevant with what we are discussing here. 

I hope I'm explaining this clearly, but in other words,

- I'm aaa@... and I belong to group1 and group2. (unrelated groups)
- I want to change my address only in one of those groups, let's say group2, to bbb@....
- Currently, user-wise, I would unsubscibe from group2 with my aaa@ address.
- I would then create a new GIO account, bbb@..., and subscribe that to group2. (and yes, when I resubscribe to group2 with the new address, I'd lose the ownership and such info from my previous account)

Currently, if a mod in a (premium) group changes the member's address in one group, GIO unilaterally changes it for all the groups that address is subscribed to.

So what I meant by my original statement is that when the mod is in that member's screen to change the address, they should be presented with the option of either changing it at the top level (as it happens now) or only at the group level, in which case, GIO would do what the user would have done (as noted above), i.e. create the new account and move only that group's subscription to the new account (which unlike the user-way above, would then keep the join date and such info)

Just like Bruce, I don't quite like the way it operates now; it has unintended (and undocumented) consequences.

Cheers,
Christos





Michael Pavan
 

Think of a Groups.io Account (email address) as your 'home'.
Groups.io allows only one (receiving*) email address per Account.
*email aliases allow you to post from other addresses while appearing to come from your singular 'home' (Account) address.

If you move, your address changes and all of your mail should go to your new 'home'.

If you want only some of your mail to go to a different 'home', that different 'home' needs to have a different address (Account).

So, if you want multiple email addresses to receive Groups.io email, you need an Account for each email address; and subscribe each email address (Account) accordingly.


[Whether you or a Moderator changes the email address of your Account makes no difference.]


Nigel Brooks <nigel.brooks@...>
 

Not sure if I’m really understanding this - it seems very illogical. 

The email address is what defines the account holder, it is their unique id. If a group admin can unilaterally change the email address of a member, that is equivalent to Id theft (albeit hopefully benign).

Surely only the account holder should be able to change their account-level metadata, and particularly their primary Id.

The only way this makes sense to me is if account holders have a primary email which is their system-wide unique I’d and only they can change it, but with the option of adding email aliases that can be used for groups they belong to. Eg letting them use a work email for professional groups and a personal email for hobbyist groups. Maybe then it might be allowable for a group admin to change the email of a member if it is an alias email and is only being used for a single group (or group hierarchy). That still doesn’t feel right though, and would be complicated to implement.  


On 23 Sep 2020, at 7:47 pm, Christos G. Psarras <christos@...> wrote: 

On 2020-09-23 13:06, Andy Wedge via groups.io wrote:
I personally don't think this functionality should act the way it does now, or at least have some kind of option (change email for this group only or all groups)
That's not possible because your account (email address) is the top-level entity and under that you have one or more groups and subgroups, each with their own profile.

You may have misunderstood what I was trying to say; so what if one's address is at the top level?  That's irrelevant with what we are discussing here. 

I hope I'm explaining this clearly, but in other words,

- I'm aaa@... and I belong to group1 and group2. (unrelated groups)
- I want to change my address only in one of those groups, let's say group2, to bbb@....
- Currently, user-wise, I would unsubscibe from group2 with my aaa@ address.
- I would then create a new GIO account, bbb@..., and subscribe that to group2. (and yes, when I resubscribe to group2 with the new address, I'd lose the ownership and such info from my previous account)

Currently, if a mod in a (premium) group changes the member's address in one group, GIO unilaterally changes it for all the groups that address is subscribed to.

So what I meant by my original statement is that when the mod is in that member's screen to change the address, they should be presented with the option of either changing it at the top level (as it happens now) or only at the group level, in which case, GIO would do what the user would have done (as noted above), i.e. create the new account and move only that group's subscription to the new account (which unlike the user-way above, would then keep the join date and such info)

Just like Bruce, I don't quite like the way it operates now; it has unintended (and undocumented) consequences.

Cheers,
Christos





Andy Wedge
 

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 09:58 PM, Nigel Brooks wrote:
Surely only the account holder should be able to change their account-level metadata, and particularly their primary Id.
I believe the ability of a premium group owner/mod to change a members email address was at the request of an enterprise group. Personally, when dealing with non tech-savvy people it has been useful to be able to do this when I get a request to to change someone email address on Groups.io because they a) don't understand how to do it themselves or b) expect a group owner to be able to do things for them. Sometimes, it's just quicker to do it to help people out. I always ask the question and point out that if they have subscribed to any other groups, it will change the email address associated with those too. I've never come across an instance where that is the case.

Andy


 

FYI, the manual was updated but also the change email screen as well, see 

https://beta.groups.io/g/docs/message/159

Chees,
Christos