Personal Information, Privacy, & Security
Data Collection and Transfer:
We do acquire the e-mail addresses of those who communicate with us via e-mail (so we can respond to queries, etc.). We do use tracking aids (StatCounter and Clicky) to see what pages of this site are popular and what pages are not. We do not use trackers that we think are too intrusive on privacy or that we suspect may be collecting data about our visitors for subsequent sale to other firms for marketing purposes. We do gather such non-personal information as the type of browsers that are used most often (because our site sometimes looks a little different with different browsers), and the more popular screen resolution settings used (so we can better plan website formatting and other modifications that might improve the experience of our visitors). This information is never sold to anybody. In short, the tracking information we try to collect is for the purpose of enabling us to intelligently customize content and/or layout. It is NEVER used to build a profile on you. These tracking tools will attempt to install cookies. Those “cookies” give us the information just mentioned. We hope you are willing to leave them alone, because their purpose is not to track your activities on other sites or to build a profile on you. Their only purpose is to help us analyze how our own site is performing and determine where more work is needed. Nevertheless, you can delete the cookies after your visit, and they do not automatically regenerate themselves like some cookies. There is nothing on our site by which we collect the more personal information (such as names, addresses, etc.), unless you are placing an order on a secure location of this site. We may also collect other information (for our own use only) if you volunteer it, such as survey information, but the survey information we gather is not designed to collect any personal information other than opinions and preferences. For example, we once ran a survey to see what percentage of our visitors could see and hear our videos. Visitors clicked on one of three options and the totals were computed. We do not consider that kind of information to be “personal” because the information provided did not identify the individuals who gave it.
Theoretically, contact information could be used to contact people for marketing purposes. However, we do not bother people with unwanted advertisements. We believe anybody who has shared that kind of information with us knows where we are if they want any of our services, and they know how to reach us if they care to do so. If you do not want to receive e-mail from us in the future, please let us know by sending an e-mail, calling, or writing and telling us that you do not want to receive e-mail from our company. However, notices of expiring subscriptions, free upgrades to our software tools, and error corrections for our publications are sent by e-mail. We do not use e-mails to pitch products.
Even though our products are not physical objects sent through the U.S. Postal Service, for legal, service, and communication reasons we do require you to provide your name, physical address, postal code, e-mail address, and telephone number when you order. These items are requested on a secure page at “checkout.” To determine if any website page used to capture information is really secure, look for an “s” following “http” on the page’s URL in the address bar of your browser. Another sign of a secure page is black or green padlock in the address bar or a little yellow lock icon at the bottom of the browser window. Never provide personal information unless you are on a high-security page. If the URL in the address bar of your browser does not have “https” at the beginning rather than the normal “http,” or if you do not see the padlock mentioned, then you are probably not on a secure page. That should never happen on our site.
“Share” Buttons on Other Sites
The “share” buttons used on most sites place code on a visitor’s computer that records places visited. This information is then collected by the creators of those “share” buttons (AddThis, ShareThis, Facebook, and others) to create a profile of the individual’s interests and then sell the information to advertisers and others. The typical owner of a website has no interest in tracking you from site to site or in profiling you and your interests. Generally, he also does not have access to the information that is collected in that way. However, when he installs the share buttons created by others (it’s convenient to do so, and it can increase visitor count), he is also aiding and abetting this information gathering process.
Our “Share” Buttons
We have created “share” buttons, but because of our recent move to another host, they may not be installed by the time you read this. When they appear, this is what you should know. We do not believe people should have to give up their privacy in order to use the Internet. The “share” buttons on our site are NEVER the “buttons” provided by AddThis, ShareThis, Facebook, Twitter (or any other company that tracks your behavior on the Internet). We created our own buttons by making images of the “real” buttons and attaching links to those images without including any “tracking” code whatsoever. Our “share” buttons were not created by us to track you, gather information about you, place code on your computer, or record anything, either for us of for anybody else.
Credit Card Information
We do not process credit card information. The amount charged and other credit card information is automatically encrypted and routed to our very secure and highly reputable payments partner Authorize.net. Authorize.net validates, manages and processes all Credit and Debit Card transactions. Authorize.net is fully PCI-DSS certified. The Payment Cardholder Industry (or PCI) standard was created by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and others to protect cardholder information. The PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an evolving set of requirements intended to ensure that all companies who process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
Other Security Measures
Very strong security measures are in place to protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of all personal information housed on our server and placed on our Website.
•SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) helps us deliver a secure and convenient way for our customers to interact with us over the Internet. The SSL Certificate is used for transmission security by Fortune 500 companies and the world’s largest banks, businesses that know the most about Internet security. SSL encrypts all information you input before it is transmitted.
We do NOT sell the personal information of our customers to any other organizations or businesses. We will not share it with any third party unless such disclosure is necessary to comply with a court order or other legal process, protect our rights or property, or to enforce our terms of service. We will not tell another business entity about any of your activities on our website. We will not let another business entity know, for example, that you personally paid for a subscription to one of our publications, a license to use Stops, or any other product. We may at some future date provide aggregate statistics about our customers, sales, traffic patterns, and related website information to third parties, but these statistics will not include ip addresses or any personally identifying information.
Our website contains links to other websites, operated by third parties that we think may be of interest to you. We are not responsible for the actions of those third parties, the content of their websites, the products or services they may offer, or their privacy policies.
The color of the padlock is not as important as the fact that it is there. Recently, color has been more a function of the browser used, though at one time the color indicated the thoroughness of the identification process. Now, for example, Chrome shows a black padlock for Amazon.com, Google.com, Microsoft.com, and for any other site that has an SSL Certification (including this Website). The same is true for Firefox. However, Opera shows a green padlock for all sites with that certification.