Privacy Policy

Thank you for coming to my website and, if you have done so, for subscribing to it and/or my newsletter and/or commenting on the posts.

In order to publish the website, it is sometimes necessary to obtain personal information about you. This privacy policy sets out the details of what information I collect and in what form, as well as how that data is used and protected. This policy was published on 15th June 2019 and will be reviewed and updated as necessary.

I am committed to respecting and maintaining the privacy of any information provided by readers of this website. The information requested is the minimum necessary to continue running the website.

I am also committed to complying with data protection and privacy regulations, in particular the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation

Who am I?

Vanessa Couchman, a private individual and author and the owner of this website. For data privacy and protection purposes, I am the Data Controller of this website.

If you have any questions about the use of your data in relation to this website, please contact me using the form at the bottom of this privacy policy.

Types of personal data collected

Subscription to the blog via WordPress

You can sign up to my blog on this website via the embedded WordPress form on the site if you wish to receive email alerts every time a new post is published. This is done by clicking on the “Follow” button that appears in the bottom right hand corner of the page. You are then asked to specify if you wish to receive notifications of new posts via web and mobile and/or email. The information requested is your email address and it is held on WordPress’s server in a securely encrypted form. You can unfollow at any time simply by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner.

Alternatively, you can click on the button in the left hand sidebar to sign up for notifications. The information requested is the same as in the paragraph above.

Subscription to my newsletter via MailChimp

What data is requested? I use MailChimp, an email automation service, to send out my monthly newsletter. If you opt to receive my newsletter by clicking on one of the links on this website, MailChimp requests your email address (essential in order to send the updates) and your first and last names. The latter two are optional. This data is securely stored on MailChimp’s server and is accessible only by me. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any newsletter.

How is your data used? This information is used only to send you email newsletters. MailChimp also collates statistical data, such as the number of times an email has been opened, how many times the links contained in it were clicked and broad geographical data about the whereabouts of subscribers. I use this data to determine which newsletter items have been most popular with readers and to decide what information I might include in the newsletter in the future.

Comments on the blog

What data is requested? When you leave a comment on the blog underneath any of the posts, WordPress asks you to leave a user name (this can be a pseudonym), your email address (obligatory) and your website (optional). This information is held securely in encrypted form on WordPress’s secure server. You can also opt to be notified each time a reply is posted on a particular post. In this case, you provide the same data as above. You can cease to receive these notifications at any time.

How is your data used? On occasion, if your comment requires a long or private response, I might send you an emailed reply rather than replying on the blog itself. In this case, once our correspondence has ceased, I delete all your personal data from my computer, but it will remain in encrypted and secure form on the WordPress server.

Website contact forms

What data is requested? A contact form is included on the blog under the “Contact” tab and on this page below. This is for occasions when you might wish to send me a private message about a topic that is not related to a particular blog post. Your email address is required (essential to reply to your message) and your name. For obvious reasons, the comment field is also obligatory.

How is your data used? I reply to your message from my own email address using the email address you have provided. Once our correspondence has ceased, I delete all your personal data from my computer, but it will remain in encrypted and secure form on the WordPress server.

Other, technical data

IP address

When you visit this website, WordPress’s systems will log a record of your visit in its server logs, and typically this record will include the technical ‘IP’ address that is associated with your device, and the browser type and version that you are using.

How is this data used? I do not use this data myself. However, IP addresses are important to web providers for identifying technical problems or to prevent fraudulent or malicious activity. IP addresses, in and of themselves, do not allow you to be identified in any way as an individual and do not come within the scope of personal data.


These are small text files placed in the memory of your browser or device when you visit a website. Cookies allow a website to:

  • Recognize a particular device or browser.
  • Remember information such as items added to a shopping cart in an online store (not applicable on this website).
  • Record the user’s browsing activity.
  • Remember information stored in form fields such as names and email addresses (e.g. on blog comment forms).

The first time you access this website, a message about cookies appears in a banner at the bottom of the screen. You can click on the link to find out more about WordPress’s cookie policy.

Most commercial browsers (such as Chrome, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox etc) allow you to set preferences for whether to allow or block website cookies.

In my posts, I sometimes include links to other websites. I try to ensure that these links give access only to sites whose web address is preceded by https, i.e. it is a secure site and any data exchange is protected by encryption. This means that any personal data being transmitted will be very difficult to view or crack by anyone.

I also include Amazon links to my books in posts or in the sidebar. These links are geo-located, i.e. they take you to the Amazon store in your country. No personal information is exchanged when you click on one of these links, and the Amazon web addresses are https, which means they are secure (see above).

Thank you for reading this far! I take data privacy and security very seriously and will never share, sell or otherwise transmit your data to third parties.

If you have any questions about data security, or if you feel I have missed out anything important from this policy, please don’t hesitate to contact me on the form below. I will do my best to answer or point you in the right direction to find more information.

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