What we do to protect you
Secure practices are followed to protect the website itself, and to protect your privacy and your computer’s security. The web admin keeps up-to-date on the latest security issues and procedures for the Web and for WordPress, and implements them as soon as possible.
Some technologies are used which may expose your data to third-parties. Just like the trade-offs of life, i only use these where the benefits outweigh the compromise. These are listed in the rest of this article, and you can see the things you can do to protect yourself below
No tracking is used on this site, and no personally-identifiable information is held by us from your visit to this site. The ip number of your ISP is logged, as it is on every website in the world — that is the only way the server can know how to send the web page back to you! And from that we can see graphs showing us which countries our visitors are (probably) coming from — which is nice. But we do not track or otherwise analyze those logs.
Contact form: When you send a message through the contact form, your data (name, email, ip number, and message) are stored on the email account to whom it is sent: The manager and the web admin. The manager uses Gmail, which may or may not be considered trustworthy for privacy concerns. The web admin uses a secure email service which is located outside of the United States, does not search or read emails, and does not have ads or other tracking code on its pages which could compromise email messages.
Cloudflare: Your computer and this website are protected by Cloudflare, which sits in the middle of your connection to this site. This means that everything between you and this website pass through Cloudflare’s servers. Cloudflare’s policies are here
We will never knowingly disclose your information to anyone. Ever.
Advertising and its tracking
Ads on websites set cookies on your computer and use tracking code to follow you around the Web. There are no ads or hidden code on this website.
Built with WordPress
The site is built with the WordPress CMS, which puts a few cookies in your browser — it needs to do this in order for the website to function. All WordPress cookies are automatically deleted when you close your web browser.
To the best of our knowledge, neither WordPress nor any of the plugins used save any information from the website, including any of your personal data. (Except see caveats below. The web admin keeps current on latest versions of all technologies used, and will remove (and has done) any that have “gone bad” and are compromising our website or our user’s information.
No use of external resources
I cannot guarantee that all plugins used have the same policy, but i do my best to keep an eye on them and modify or drop any plugin that i find doing the bad things.
No linking to tracking websites
Where we have mentioned accounts to a “social” (i.e., surveillance) website such as Facebook or Twitter, we have given the account name, but not made a link to it. You can go to the site and copy/paste or type the account name in search and that should get you to the right page on that site.
Why we are doing this? The tracking, privacy invasion, and connection with various governments’ surveillance what is being done by these websites has become a huge problem. We cannot in good conscience help them do that. We would rather not be involved with those “social sites” at all, but the realities of the day make it necessary.
There is third-party tracking occurring on this website. I would of course rather not allow this at all, but there are features that i find too useful to leave out. (It is not difficult to protect yourself from this tracking, see below)
- Google’s translation tool, on all pages. This translation feature is just so helpful, as we have visitors and retreatants from all over the world. Google is a notorious tracker and privacy-invader; learn how to protect yourself here
- Commenting on most pages: We use a plugin called “Akismet” to protect the comments … and our server … and you! from spam and viruses. In order for it to work, the Akismet program has to “read” the comments and your email address, location, etc., from any comment you leave. Akismet (which is made by the same company that oversees WordPress) assures us that they do not save personal information and are in compliance with on their website, and we have also provided this same link at the bottom of every contact form. . You can read their statement
I can’t turn off those tracking activities on my end, but you can protect yourself from third-party tracking on this — and on all websites — by disabling it in your web browser. It is not at all hard to do, and highly recommended that you do it. One place for good instructions is HowToGeek.com.
I can’t protect you from all the invasive technologies out there on the World Wide Web — but you can protect yourself. A more comprehensive set of information and tools is at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
If you have any questions about these or any other aspects of this website, please contact the web admin, who is always happy to discuss the details!
My sincere apologies for all this mind-numbing detail, and for the possible worries it may set up in your mind. The Web is just that — a Web: it is interconnected and interdependent. This is its great strength, but also enables people with bad intent to use it for harm. As it is my pleasurable duty to harness that strength for you, it is also my duty to help you be aware of the negative aspects.
You don’t have to read all this, or even be aware of it. The whole thing is bigger than any of us, and bigger minds than ours are working on solving these problems!
page revised: 21 June 2018