I'm not the expert on this area but for the time being I would say that a textual link is certainly a safe route.
Good point in that this isn't mentioned anywhere, it probably should be though. Something I expect we will add.
Here's what I can tell you just off the top of my head.
Your email, as well as the IP addresses that you access the site from are visible to administrators and moderators of the site. We do not sell or share this information with third parties. The only exception made to this was a case a few years back where a person was using the forum, specifically the Trading Post, to scam other members of the site; in this situation we gave the email and IP logs of said person to their local police department in aid of the investigation.
The information stored on the forum exists within a database that is stored on web servers run by Devoted Hosting
as well as local backups made by myself. These files are quite secure however as all of you know nothing with computers can truly be 100% secure. If at any point we felt that the security of these files had been compromised we would be sure to let the affected persons know.
If for some reason a member would like their personal information removed (and their account deleted) from the forum it is possible to do so and it can be done through contacting one of the site's administrators. The posts and personal messages made by said member though will continue to exist.