Seriously though, privacy is important to me. My data was breached by someone working at my local hospital who accessed my medical record without a legitimate reason and it was decided in court that it was sexually motivated. That person was charged with data protection and stalking offences. It caused me all sorts of mind-f**ks and I really really do take it seriously because I know what it can do to someone when their private information is mistreated. Although I joke on this post, I GET IT.
What Information Do We Collect?
Currently, I’m not asking anyone for any personal information. However, just by visiting my site, I do collect certain information with software like Google Analytics and Statcounter. This counts the number of visits, IP address of visitors and how they move around the site. The IP address is classed as identifiable information and I can scrape the rough location, like the city where you reside. I can also see what you searched for in order to find my site. Occasionally, I do have giveaways and in this event I will ask you to provide your postal address. Rarely I will send a signed copy of one of my paperback books to a reader. In this event, you can pay using PayPal. Your email address and postal address will be sent to me. If you use the “Contact Me” form, this does ask for a certain amount of information to allow me to contact you back, funnily enough, and my site has an SSL security certificate, so this information will be encrypted when sent to me. You have the right to request what information I hold on you and the right to ask me to delete this information.
Will You Share My Information With Anyone?
No. Nobody else has the password for my laptop. Passwords are memorised and never written down. My office has a lock on the door and all digital information in email accounts etc is password protected. Passwords are changed every 30 days. Where possible, I use a second login option so it’s a password and a verification code required to login. My phone has access to the WordPress app, email app and social networks I use and a 6 digit code is required for login, as well as a fingerprint login or facial recognition software where possible. And half the time it doesn’t even recognise MY face.
How Is My Information Stored?
In the case of your postal address, the short answer is, it’s not. I delete the email with your postal address right away and I do not store it anywhere else.
Any emails sent to me are kept in my inbox for no more than six months. My email inboxes are emptied completely each year in February and August.
Tracking information stored through Statcounter is deleted every 500 hits because I am on a free plan. After your last visit, the information is stored until 500 more page views and then your information drops off the chart. At present, this takes less than a week.
I always update WordPress and plugins used as soon as updates are available, meaning the latest version with the latest security updates are installed.
How Is My Information Used?
I use the analytical software to monitor how people are finding my site, how engaged they are and to watch out for spammers so their comments can be filtered. This information is never used for any other purpose and will never be shared with anyone. I will never use your information to target you with a sale or advertising in mind. Anything I advertise or promote will be clearly marked as an advertisement. Anything unmarked as an advertisement is something I have not been paid for and it is based on my own personal experience.
I do have a mailing list. You have to double-opt in to this list so once you’ve provided your details you have to confirm that you want to be receiving the emails. I use MailChimp and it’s easy to unsubscribe by hitting the unsubscribe option at the bottom of the emails. I email every month on the 1st of the month. To sign up you have to provide your name and email address, nothing else.
Who are you?
My legal name is Sharon Milligan and in my writing career, both fiction and blogging, I use the pseudonyms Lacey Dearie and Heidi Hendren. You can contact me using this site, using Twitter (@laceydearie) or Facebook (facebook.com/laceydearie). Because the protection of data is important to me, you’re not getting my phone number 🙂