Privacy Policy

Last Updated: February 7, 2024

I take your privacy very seriously. A small amount of user data is collected when you visit this Website, and it is only collected for the purposes of site security and basic traffic analytics. To learn more about how and why your data is used, please review this page regularly. I reserve the right to revise this Privacy Policy at any time.

Clarification of Terms: The phrase “this Website” is used to identify https://stephvanlinden.com, the website domain to which this Privacy Policy applies. The Owner of this Website is referred to as “I”, “my”, “me”, and “Steph Van Linden”. Visitors to this Website are referred to as “you”, “your”, “user”, and “users”.


1. Website Information

Owner: Steph Van Linden
URL: https://stephvanlinden.com
Hosting Provider: SiteGround
Blogging Platform: WordPress
Launch Date: May 28, 2023

2. User Data that is Automatically Collected

Some user data is collected without any input on your part when you visit this Website. This data is collected via SiteGround’s security plugin for WordPress, and it includes:

  • Your Internet Protocol (IP) address
  • Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Pages visited on this Website under your IP address
  • Time stamps associated with your activity on this Website

This information is collected for site security purposes only, and is stored for a short period of time. Collection of this data is necessary to prevent malicious activity and loss of data. Any IP address that frequently engages in suspicious activity (e.g. brute force login attempts) will be blocked.

Furthermore, SiteGround — like all website hosting providers — collects and stores server log files, as outlined in Section I.5 of SiteGround’s privacy policy. Website hosting providers use server log files for site security purposes and data protection, both of which are necessary.

In addition to end user logs, SiteGround also collects the following anonymous user traffic data: (1) countries; (2) referral sources; (3) operating systems; (4) browsers; (5) page views. This data is extracted from server log files for statistical purposes only, and is not associated with specific user IP addresses in my SiteGround admin panel.

3. User Data Associated with YouTube Comments

Communicating with me via the YouTube community link provided is completely optional. No user data associated with your YouTube account is stored on this Website. All of your YouTube account-related data is stored securely on Google’s servers. Prior to reaching out to me on YouTube, please take the time to familiarize yourself with YouTube’s privacy policy and community guidelines. If you do not consent to Google accessing your data, please do not communicate with me via YouTube.

By clicking on any YouTube-related links on this website, including any links to my YouTube channel, you consent to Google accessing your user data.

You can delete any comments you make on my YouTube channel at any time. I also reserve the right to delete and report any comments that violate YouTube’s community guidelines at any time.

4. User Data Associated with Comments & Emails

Public comments were previously enabled on this Website to enhance user experience and drive engagement. A Gmail account was also previously created for this Website to allow users to ask questions related to the Website’s content. The WordPress commenting system and Gmail account have both been removed and all communication has shifted to YouTube (see Section 3 above), thus significantly reducing the amount of user data collected in the day-to-day operation of this Website. All user data associated with old comments (name, email address, website URL, and comment data) was deleted from this Website’s database in August, 2023. Any emails previously sent to the Website’s former Gmail account were also permanently deleted in February, 2024.

5. Cookies

Cookies are small text files that are used to identify users, improve browsing experiences, or tailor advertisements. Some cookies are installed automatically when you visit websites, while others are optional. No cookies (either automatic or optional) are installed when you visit this Website as of June 6, 2023.

Privacy Improvements:

1. The checkbox to save your name, email, and website for future comments was disabled on June 6, 2023. This checkbox is a WordPress feature designed for user convenience, but it does not provide any clear way for users to rescind their consent. If you previously consented to save your name, email, and website in this preferences cookie, you can delete the cookie from your computer, as it no longer serves any purpose.

2. As of June 6, 2023, YouTube videos are no longer embedded on this Website. I experimented briefly with YouTube’s so-called “privacy-enhanced” embed mode, but it is possible that Google could still install cookies when users click on videos (Google is not transparent on the matter). Given the uncertainty surrounding YouTube’s “privacy-enhanced” mode, I now include external links to YouTube where I would have otherwise embedded a video, and clearly demark these links with the following symbol:

Video Title Here

Clicking on those links is completely optional, and will open YouTube in a new window. As per Section 8 of this Privacy Policy, external websites are governed by their own privacy policies. I am not responsible for any privacy concerns you may have while visiting external websites, including YouTube.

6. Typeset Delivery

This Website uses self-hosted Google Fonts typesets (Raleway, Lato, and Fira Sans Condensed). The Google Fonts API is not used to deliver these typesets to end users.

7. Analytics

For your privacy, I do not use any third party analytics software on this Website for any sales or marketing purposes. This Website’s hosting provider does automatically collect anonymous traffic analytics (as described above in Section 2 of this Privacy Policy). This data is collected by SiteGround for statistical purposes only and cannot be disabled. Please refer to SiteGround’s privacy policy for more information.

8. External Websites

Articles on this Website contain links that may lead to external websites. If you click on external website links, be aware that other websites are governed by their own privacy policies. Also be aware that other websites may install their own cookies, use targeted ads, track user habits, and more when you visit them via links posted on this Website. I have no control over this, and am not responsible for any privacy concerns you may have while visiting external websites.

9. How Long Your Data is Retained

Activity logs collected through this Website’s security plugin are retained for 8 days. Server access logs are kept for 30 days.

10. What Rights You Have Over Your Data

You have a right to request deletion of any user data associated with any website at any time; this does not, however, include any user data website administrators are obliged to keep for legal and/or website security purposes (such as log files). It also does not include any anonymous traffic statistics that cannot be tied to specific individuals, such as the anonymous traffic statistics collected by hosts like SiteGround. Since these are the only forms of user data currently collected via this Website, it is not possible at this time to request deletion of user data. As mentioned in Section 4 of this Privacy Policy, any user data previously collected via comments or emails has already been permanently deleted for your privacy.

11. Where Your Data is Sent

This Website uses a Content Delivery Network (CDN) provided through SiteGround’s customer services to improve Website performance. As such, user data may be transferred around the world, and the actual location of your data cannot easily be determined. CDNs ideally route data to servers that are geographically close to the user, but it cannot be guaranteed that any user data generated within the European Union (EU) will remain in the EU.

SiteGround takes considerable efforts to safeguard user data that is transferred internationally in order to comply with various international privacy regulations, including the GDPR. You may learn more about these safeguards under Section VI of SiteGround’s privacy policy.

12. How Your Data is Protected

This Website uses a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption protocol to protect user data. This protocol thwarts malicious attempts to intercept encrypted data while in transit, and prevents certain types of attacks against this Website via authentication handshakes.

This Website also uses log files to monitor for and block any suspicious IP activity, along with an advanced security plugin that makes it significantly harder for bad actors to launch malicious attacks or install malware on the Website.

It must be noted that while the most appropriate measures possible have been taken to protect the limited amount of data collected by this Website, no internet security measures in existence are 100% guaranteed to prevent loss or theft of data.

13. Information Regarding Minors

Protecting privacy is especially important where minors are concerned. Parents and guardians can rest assured that this Website does not target children who are legally considered minors (the exact legal age of minors varies by country). This Website also does not collect any sensitive or identifiable information (e.g. names, screen names, geolocations, photos, etc.) from minors.

If you are the parent or guardian of a minor and have reason to believe that they accessed this Website and clicked on any external website links without your consent, please be aware that all external websites are governed by their own privacy policies (see Section 8). This particular Privacy Policy does not apply to any content your child may see or engage with on any external website (e.g. YouTube, which is governed by Google’s Family Link policy).

14. Changes to this Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy is updated whenever changes related to user data are made, or when further clarification of terms is necessary. Since this Website does not currently collect or store any means of contacting individuals (e.g. email addresses), you will not be notified in advance of any changes to this Privacy Policy. The date of the most recent update to this Privacy Policy is always indicated at the top of this page.