Security Questions

In the 2000 surveys we have conducted between Turk users and BYU students, the only concern has been whether or not pyxlin will be secure enough to keep a personal journal online. Here are the comments (My responses are below):

…HOWEVER I find it very interesting that your survey did not address one of the most likely concerns of its users – namely, that of online security. Journals are private, intimate things and it will be paramount to completely convince users that their private writings, photos and data are not going to be plastered all over the internet by an ex-employee with a grudge.

I would not want an online journal, because if someone found out my password, they could break in and read my journal. I would literally rather die!

The way I feel about it, it sound like a good idea but won’t other people who would remain nameless (government) want to have access to this; and if so how personal is this personal journal?

I would like my personal journal to be personal, hence would not want to archive it online. I guess a lot of people would share my view.

A journal for me is very private. I would not be comfortable if it were on the net.

Anything I would put in a journal would be too personal and computers are too public – that’s why I’m not interested.

Slightly worried about hackers being able to obtain personal details with this system

Keeping a paper journal private may be difficult, but I rarely worry that some technical error will make it public to millions of people! This would terrify me unless I was writing for the purpose of having other people read it.

Journals are private. I’m sorry, but in this day and age of cross-site-scripting, SQL injections, identity thievery, and other malfeasance on the Internet, I wouldn’t trust my deepest, darkest, personal secrets, to a third party. …Then there’s the topic of security. How can you guarantee that your geeks and DBAs won’t read my journal?

Interesting for people who want to share their journals. I prefer to keep mine to myself.

Good luck in your venture. It sounds like a neat idea. The only thing I’d be worried about is how people would feel about privacy concerns. Either way, good luck.

Main reason for not digitizing – privacy. Nothing stays private once on internet. Old Deep Blog is more likely your audience. Those entries are generally unconcerned with privacy.

Service sounds great. But for me to use it, it would need to be secure. I don’t keep an online journal currently due to privacy. Still, sounds interesting.

Please get in touch by email on intro of this service. Sounds good. But you must offer guarantee of sorts on confidentiality of information from these journals.

Neat idea saving a journal online. How private would it be though? Would be worried that the hosts of the service are reading my journal and laughing 🙂

One thing to keep in mind is the personal nature of a journal. Some things are too private to be put on the internet, or printed out where one’s child might read them 10 years in the future. If the journal only includes happy, non-private things, what is the point?

You say that one of the advantages of the site is that it allows you to keep things completely private. Isn’t that lost when it is printed out?

I would never put such private information where others could potentially read it.

It sounds like a nice service, but I would be very concerned about privacy. Being able to access my journal from anywhere in the world with an internet connection is great, but I wouldn’t want anyone else to be able to access my journal… the idea that my journal is out there on some server somewhere is a bit scary.

I would be interested in a free trial of this product with security measures in place so others couldn’t read my journal.

How would it be completely private? Would there ever be any way that someone else could read it? How would it be organized if there weren’t specific topics like ‘Trips’? It sounds like a really cool idea though!

As I previously mentioned I would be concerned about the public access and safety of my journal online. Otherwise it sounds like a great service.

What are the chance of someone hacking into the system? It may happen!

I would be concerned about the privacy. My journal isn’t something I want the whole world to have internet access to.

pyxlin – the security YOU want

These are all excellent concerns. Security for your journal has been the topic of many water cooler conversations at FamilyLearn (parent company of pyxlin).

Due to these concerns, a couple of days ago we added a new question to our survey. Interestingly enough, we have not had a single comment about security sense we added this question. Here it is:

What kind of security would you need to feel comfortable keeping your privatel journal online?
  • I don’t keep a personal journal.
  • O encryption – As public as your blog, the whole world can read it.
  • 128 MB encryption on login – as secure as your email.
  • 128 MB encryption all-the-time – as secure as your online banking.
  • 256 MB encryption all-the-time – more secure than most banks (highest possible level of security)
  • I will never keep my journal online.

It is important that YOU decide what kind of security pyxlin will offer. So YOU vote here and we will listen.

funny security stuff

Your comments reminded me of a classic story about my grandpa in Burley, Idaho. I was visiting his house for a family gathering and I asked him if I could use the Internet. He passionately declared that he had no Internet and no plans to ever get it.

Grandpa, who had never used the Internet in his life, proceeded educate me on his superior Internet conspiracy knowledge. One: anyone with Internet can be spied on in their house by government agents. Two: if you have the Internet, technology pirates will come and take the money out of your bank accounts.

Moving On.

Here is comment on the survey that made me think:

“Keeping a paper journal private may be difficult, but I rarely worry that some technical error will make it public to millions of people! This would terrify me unless I was writing for the purpose of having other people read it.”

Last Fall I was inspired to start a blog by Paul Allen’s Internet marketing class at BYU. Two weeks into class Phil Windley, an early blogger, visited the class as a guest speaker. Phil was asked, “I can’t get anyone to come and read my blog. How do I get people to come to my blog?”

Phil first pointed out that it takes time to build “Google Juice” for your blog. He suggested that for the present we send our blog URL to our moms. Your mom will always read your blog.

In my enthusiasm I went home and emailed every family member I knew a link to my blog, including my mom. I posted regularly as I imagined that moment when the traffic would just flow like magic from Google. That moment never came. When you are competing with over 76 million other blogs it can be difficult to stand out. I can’t even get my mom to read my blog!

This reminds of the above t-shirt:

If I can’t get anyone to care about my blog, I can’t imagine that anyone would really care about my personal journal. Even if I did post my personal journal to the public I would never get “millions” of readers.

pyxlin – more secure than your traditional journal

Considering that 37% of journalers have had a journal lost or destroyed. Your private journal is probably more secure with pyxlin than your standard handwritten journal buried at the bottom of your dresser. Let me give you a comparison:

The Standard Journal

Your Private Online Journal

  • Only as private as the place you put it. Drawer, backpack, under your pillow. Your only security is your bad handwriting.
  • 128 MB Encrypted Password Protected.
  • Easy to lose, forget, or misplace.
  • Impossible to lose, forget, or misplace anywhere in the world.
  • Erodes, fades, and can be damaged over time.
  • We upload and preserve your journal perpetually. Your kids, grandkids, and great grandkids will enjoy this forever.
  • Your journal can be destroyed by: Housefires, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Floods, Tornadoes, Landslides, Terrorist Attacks, Avalanches, Volcanos, your kids, siblings, or friends.
  • Multiple servers in multiple countries back up your every file. If your home town ges destroyed by an earthquake you can feel safe that your journal is secure.

May 26, 2007. discussions, journal research, Uncategorized.


  1. 25.9 millions blogs are used as personal journals. Pyxlin will turn them to "blooks". « pyxlin’ - journal smart replied:

    […] Considering that the ONLY concern of over 2000 people those surveyed was security for their personal journal online, this following statistic seems unbelievable! How could anyone feel comfortable with so much […]

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  3. » Blog Archive » Pyxlin - A New Way to Keep Your Personal Journal replied:

    […] that the ONLY concern of over 2000 people that we have surveyed was security for their personal journal online, this following statistic seems unbelievable! How could anyone feel comfortable with so much […]

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