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Privacy Policy

The privacy of all our visitors is extremely important to us. The following document outlines how information is received, processed, and stored in this site, and how that information is protected.

Who are we?

This site is written and managed by Gordon Russell, but it is owned by Edinburgh Napier University. It runs within Edinburgh University University, and therefore under the regulations of that University, as well as under the regulations of JANET, our network provider..


The authors of this website aim to ensure that all the information published is accurate and error free, but in no way is this guarenteed. There are bound to be errors, but we do our best. We also do our best to remain free of malware or viruses. In any case we cannot accept any liability for your use of this site and its material.

Any personal data collected by this site is treated as confidential. The site operates in the United Kingdom, and operates in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 and any other relevent laws.

External links leading away from this site may lead you to other sites outwith the control of of this site. You should review the privacy policy and the terms and conditions associated with such sites yourself, as the authors have no control over external sites. We do not warrenty in any way links which lead to external sites.


When you visit this site we may set cookies for our use. These hold your interface preferences, cache information, session information, and other operation information. This site is not usable if you disable cookies.

When you log out of the site some cookies may remain, but these do not contain any tracking information or personal information. These are purely cookies involved in managing the user interface.

We also use third party advertisements. Our advertising partners include Google Adsense. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on our site, which will also send these advertisers information including your IP address, your ISP , the browser you used to visit our site, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed. This is generally used for geotargeting purposes or showing certain ads based on specific sites visited.


We also may use DART cookies for adverts served using Google's DoubleClick, which places a cookie on your computer if you visit a page which uses DoubleClick advertising (including some Google AdSense advertisements). This cookie is used to serve ads specific to you and your interests (e.g. interest based targeting). The ads served will be targeted based on your previous browsing history (e.g. if you have been viewing sites about visiting Las Vegas, you may see Las Vegas hotel advertisements when viewing a non-related site, such as on a site about hockey). DART uses 'non personally identifiable information'. It does NOT track personal information about you, such as your name, email address, physical address, telephone number, social security numbers, bank account numbers or credit card numbers. You can opt-out of this ad serving on all sites using this advertising by visiting http://www.doubleclick.com/privacy/dart_adserving.aspx

You can choose to disable or selectively turn off our cookies or third-party cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs such as Norton Internet Security. However, this can affect how you are able to interact with our site as well as other websites. This could include the inability to login to services or programs, such as logging into forums or accounts.

You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party ad servers for more detailed information on their practices as well as for instructions about how to opt-out of certain practices.

Deleting cookies does not mean you are permanently opted out of any advertising program. Unless you have settings that disallow cookies, the next time you visit a site running the advertisements, a new cookie will be added. If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your individual browser options. More detailed information about cookie management with specific web browsers can be found at the browsers' respective websites.


Our sites are mostly focused on teaching, but they also form part of our non-commercial teaching research activities. As such we maintain logs for non-commercial research, so that we can better understand how to teach effectively. Additionally we have to maintain logs for security and legal reasons. As such a great deal of information is logged on your use of the sites. This includes your IP number and username. We monitor and record packet information for legal reasons. As such you should never keep confidential or valuable data in these sites (e.g. dont use virtual machines on this site for your online banking). Data is retained as required by the Data Protection Act.

Having said all that, great effort is made to protect your information, no matter what form it is in. When we use log information for our university research, it is anonymalized at every stage. We will never reveal any of your information unless this is required by legal or for subjudicial reasons (e.g. to meet a requirement of my University's Regulations).


All passwords held in these sites are secured using current best practice. As of 2012 passwords are encrypted using a 512 bit sha encoding, which is dynamically seeded by 128 random bits, plus per user seeding using some of your account details (e.g. email address) plus a large static seed not stored in the database. If the best practice encoding ever changes your password is automatically re-entrypted next time you type it in again (e.g. log into the site). We have no realistic way of recovering your password.

Personal Information

We do not share your information with anyone. We do not sell or give your information away. We do not spam you or email you in general. We do however email you as part of our registration process (a one-off email), and we do email you if you request a password recovery email. We also reserve the right to email you on security matters (e.g. if you are abusing the system) and we may email you as part of our teaching research (e.g. a questionaire as to how you liked/hated our site). However in the last decade of running these sites we have never actually sent any such teaching research messages. Rest assured your email and other details are safe with us. We never send marketing information.

There is one exception to our sharing of information. If you are actually a student studying at our University, and you are accessing this site as part of your University education here, then we will use your information as required to properly support our education processes. For instance, if you undertake an online accessment in this site we naturally need to take your identity and assessment scores and use that to give you a grade in your course. Additionally, we may use site information to validate your grade, e.g. plagiarism and collusion detection.

Changes to your information

If you have provided us with personal information, then you can always log back into the account and change this as required.

If you need your account deactivated then please email me using the details in your registration email. For security reasons we do not support deleting an account, so for instance if you use a virtual machine to do something bad you cannot just delete your account in an attempt to avoid any legal action. However account information, logs, etc, are handled using the Data Protection Act 1998, and this includes retention periods, after which all deactivated and inactive accounts are destroyed. Depending on the data this can be up to 7 years.

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