I had a conversation with a friend the other day about one of my recent blog posts.
She had really enjoyed reading it and wanted to know more.
I am not sure how this came up, but she told me that she logs onto my website every week to read my blog. Fantastic, I thought, but why do it that way?
I told her that the benefit to her if she signs up to my blog via my website, is that it will be delivered in an e-mail to her every week without the extra effort she is going to.
My friend went on to explain that she wasn’t comfortable with the questions being asked when she tried to sign up, so she decided to just log on each week instead. I have to say I am impressed; what a great friend I have there.
Obviously, I haven’t tried to sign up to read my own blog before but I decided not only should I find a way to sign up myself but also I should see what might be off-putting to other people who are thinking of signing up.
Advice from my super computer wizard son enabled me to follow the procedure just the same way as anyone else does. There are some very simple keystrokes you can use once on a Google search page, which allows you to visit websites incognito. Armed with that information I decided to sign up to my own blog and see exactly what information is being asked of my followers.
I totally understand the desire not to have your information out there so the first thing I did was check that WordPress follow the EU guidelines on GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulations) and yes, they do.
Your details will not be shared by them or me at any time. I am notified that I have a follower and I am told your name and your e-mail address but that is all. Unlike when you sign up for a Next account or place an Amazon order, I don’t know where you live or what you do and, personally, I do not use your data at all. I don’t even add you to my monthly newsletter list, preferring that you sign up for that yourself too.
I may not be like everyone else out there, I know that there are people who abuse your data, but having myself been hacked through a third party and suffered as a consequence, I can assure you that I take all data protection very seriously. So great is my concern that after having this conversation with my friend I decided to investigate for myself and took the decision to write this week’s blog to, hopefully, help put your mind at rest.
When you search my website www.alisongsaunders.art you will be taken to the home page. On the top line there is a tab for my blog.
When you click onto a blog there is a small box which appears at the bottom right hand side of the screen which states ‘follow’.
When you click on this box which will be asked for your e-mail address and then you need to click the ‘sign me up’ box.
Once you have clicked that you will get a notification which says,” Thanks you’ll get an e-mail with a link to confirm you sub. If you don’t get it, please contact us.”
By ‘us’ it means me. Go onto the contacts page and drop me a message. My phone number is there so you can call me, but if you want to be added to the list it is best that you use the name, e-mail and comment boxes. That way you can make sure that I have the correct information for you, and I am covered as I will have a request from you to say that you want to join the list. It protects us both.
The email you receive once you have clicked on the ‘sign me up’ box will look like this: –
That’s it. You will then receive my weekly blogs delivered to you by email at around 6.00 pm on a Sunday evening. If you want to unsubscribe there is a button at the bottom of the emails which allows you to do so whenever you want to. There is nothing to be frightened about, you are still in full control and I will only have your name and e-mail address. That’s it.
The benefit to me is that the more people actually sign up to the service, the more the algorithms take notice of me and my website will do more to share my blog with other people and help me grow my following. I don’t use paid advertising for my blogs or newsletters; I prefer that people find me by themselves.
I know we live in an age of fear where our personal data is a concern and it is a very clear threat too. You do need to be careful about what you sign up to, but reputable organisations like WordPress, the company I use to promote my website and through which I publish my blogs, are the good guys. They have been doing this for decades now and one whiff of trouble and their entire company would be damaged. They would lose everything, so it stands to reason that they take every possible care to protect me and my website and anyone signing up to receive my blog.
If you are still too worried, you can also read my blog via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Sometimes the links to these sites stop working. I do check up when I schedule each blog for posting but links can stop working between that point and the time of publication, so sometimes I do miss them.
As much as I am able to, I have taken steps to protect my computers, my website and any information I hold about all the people I come into contact with. As I said before, I take the responsibility of holding data very seriously, both for you and for myself. My followers will be just as quick to leave me if I do anything wrong or if someone hacks into any of my accounts.
I do have a very high level of password protection on all my accounts. Apparently, it would take a computer thirty years to figure out some of my passwords. Computer wizard son has made sure that I am working with the best in terms of protecting myself.
I hope that will help allay your fears.
Don’t let fear stop you living your life, ever, just make sure that you are aware of who the good guys are and ignore the bad guys. 🙂