Privacy Policy

Who we are

I’m Katie and I’m currently the Chief Executive Office, Chief Content Creator, sole decision-maker, and lady who gets far too little sleep because of the work she puts into WeirdTravelFriend.com and all its social presence.

Below, I’ve got some information you should review about the type of data collected and how it’s used. I’ll do my best to distill it so it makes the most sense. This website (WeirdTravelFriend.com) is governed by this privacy policy that exists to inform you of the types of personally identifying information that the site collects-and how it is used.

Before we jump in, I want to make a note about collecting data from minors. I will never knowingly collect or store the data of a minor; and thus, I require that all persons under the age of 18 years of age refrain from sharing any personal information with the site (like leaving a comment). If you (a parent/guardian) suspects that a minor in your care has left a data footprint on the site, please contact me immediately at katie@weirdtravelfriend.com.

Personal data collected: Why and How

Comments

When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

In layman’s terms:

When you choose to leave a comment, I’ve got the help of a few applications. Gravitar is a service that helps auto-populate your information into comment sections. If you’re frequently commenting on blogs, this can save you a little time. 

I also use Akismet to help determine if you’re a spam bot. This basically peeks at your IP address and figures out if it’s attached to spammy behavior and then segments the comment for my review.

Media

If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

I don’t have any photo submission forms, but you should know that all photos you take contain something called “metadata.” This is embedded information that recalls the time, place, and sometimes location the photo was taken. This is fabulously helpful for a travel blogger who may forget addresses, but also something you should be aware of when sharing photos. You can find the metadata of your photos (on your phone, for example) if you select an image and click “details.”

Contact forms

I  actually don’d have a contact form (wild, I know). If you’d like contact me, please feel free to email directly at katie@weirdtravelfriend.com

Cookies

If you leave a comment on this site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

I’ll put some more information about cookies below.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracing your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

In layman’s terms:

I sometimes embed stuff from other places (Youtube, Instagram, Google Maps…) and if you choose to click to those sites, you’re then operating under their privacy policy. They may (and probably do) collect cookies, so if you’re feeling wary – make sure you check their privacy policies.

Who we share your data with

Google Analytics 

WeirdTravelFriend.com uses Google Analytics to track traffic and site statistics. They may receive anonymous information like your location, how you arrived at the site, how you long you stayed on individual pages, and any links you may click (among other statistics). Please see Google’s privacy policy for more information.

In laynman’s terms:

Google Analytics helps me see where my traffic is coming from and “who” likes to read my content. I’m not using it to hunt anyone down or find any particular user… I don’t think I could do that if I tried. But what I do use it for is the see what articles people like the most and get a sense of the demographics of my reader. For example, once I realized I have a lot of readers clicking in from non-English speaking countries, I tried to make sure my  posts aren’t riddled with colloquialisms that might be tough to understand. Y’all also really like my Boston stuff, so I’ll lean into that. Having the info helps steer my content since I know what you like!

WordPress

This site is run through WordPress and they may receive a bit of analytics data from you. This is very similar to the data collected above with Google Analytics (IP address, email, and maybe even name if you choose to comment on this site). The WordPress privacy policy can be found here.

SiteGround

SiteGround is my host. This means that they provide all the important, backend functionalities to keep the site running. Think of it like this: if this website is a car, all the little customizable variables (like color, shape, sunroof, etc…) – that is all taken care of by WordPress. The engine, the part that keeps the car moving and actually functional, is SiteGround. They may collect the same types of data as WordPress and Google Analytics. The SiteGround privacy policy can be found here

Akismet + Gravatar

We’ve already talked about these two, but here’s their privacy policy once again.

Sumo

This one is for gathering emails (not as shady as it sounds). I have a little popup when you first enter the site asking if you; like to receive the monthly travel content roundup. Sumo is just the form I use to do that- and you are absolutely not under any obligation to get emails from me. Read their privacy policy here.

Shareaholic

This is the company/plugin I use to make sharing on social media as easy as possible. If you choose to share (that’s great!), they’ll collect data on the platforms you choose to share on, the account (or where on the platform) it is shared to, time/date stamps, and devices used. Check out their privacy policy here.

 

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

In layman’s terms:

This acts as a protective measure for myself and my readers – comments containing threats or hate-speech will not be tolerated, and having that little extra bit of information about the poster will help me make sure that I can be on top of managing any bad behavior.

 

What rights you have over your data

If you have left comments on this site, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

If you want to opt out of newsletters, please contact me and I’ll be happy to remove your information.

Where we send your data

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service. I use Akismet which is also under the same privacy policy as Gravitar that I mentioned above. That policy can be found here.

A note about marketing

In order to monetize this site, I will occasionally share affiliate links and paid content/marketing materials. This will always be clearly disclosed in-post (at the top). If there are clickable ads in the sidebars or footers, I may make a small commission for any purchases made (at no additional expense to you). 

These links and ads fall under the category of “embedded content” – and by interacting with those links/embedded ads, it’s as if you were interacting with that site directly. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the privacy policies of those companies as the need arises.

As a side note: I will never knowingly work with an organization with unsound data practices. And for that matter, won’t share products I haven’t tried. 

Contact info:

If you have any data concerns, please feel free to reach out at katie@weirdtravelfriend.com

 

Alright, let’s take a look at those cookies:

Shortly, a summary from Cookie Bot will provide all the info about the specific cookies used on WeirdTravelFriend.com