Privacy diary – day one

As part of my work for Unit H807 from my MEd course with the Open University, I am keeping a privacy diary for a week. It appears I’ve had an irony bypass, because I’m publishing my privacy diary here. I wonder what I will discover?

I thought this was going to be a quiet day on the privacy front since we were spending the day at home. Then I posted to my personal blog and a whole range of privacy issues emerged.

Firstly, I was putting personal information about myself online; however that isn’t really a big risk because I have some fairly strict self-censorship rules:

  • Anything I publish must be fit to be seen by anyone who knows me either professionally (colleagues, students, their parents) or personally (family, friends, neighbours). I lost my false sense of anonymity a long time ago, but since I had always assumed that sooner or later someone I knew would stumble on my blog, it wasn’t a problem.
  • I don’t publish personal details, including my whereabouts (at least, not until after the event). I suspect that neither burglars nor stalkers are reading my blog, but why take the chance?

I enjoy blogging and have built up online friendships that I really value. It’s just a case of not being stupid and remembering that some of my students do read what I write.

Secondly, I was surprised that I couldn’t log in to my own blog because the account was locked. Bad news: someone has been trying to log in. Good news: the User Locker plugin did its job and shut down access after a few failed login attempts. I’m glad I installed that. Re-setting my password was inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as trying to deal with the likely consequences of unauthorised access.

I also had a few interesting moments watching a YouTube video of the event I attended yesterday evening. I spent some time trying to spot myself in the background. I didn’t appear, but I recognised some scenes and then remembered standing next to someone with a video camera. Aha, that’ll be the person who made the video I was watching.

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