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Our View on Reader Privacy
(Our Official Privacy Statement)

Last Updated on Saturday, June 18, 2005

Information Collection and Use

Virtually Everything, Inc. is the sole owner of the information collected on this site.  We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement.  Virtually Everything, Inc. collects information from our users at several different points on our website.


Cookies

A cookie is a piece of data that is stored on your hard drive.  While cookies have often received a bad rap, they are actually a harmless mechanism.  They are necessary for the proper operation of many websites. While our site can request a cookie to be created, or request that an existing cookie we created be read, the access to cookie's on your computer is strictly controlled by your web browser.  We can not read cookies that were created by other websites and vice versa.

If you configure your system to reject our cookies, you may still use our site.  However, your use will be limited in some areas.  For example, you will not be able to post in the Community Forums.

Some of our business partners use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers).  However, we have no access to or control over these cookies.


Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyze trends, administer the site, track userís movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.  We also use IP addresses to track down abusers of the site, i.e. people who post abusive messages in the forums or announcements.  In order to prevent habitual abuse, we may forward a complaint to the owner of the network that the abuser is using.  At a minimum, the complaint will include the abusive message(s) in question along with the originating IP address and timestamp.


Sharing

We will share aggregated demographic information with our partners and advertisers. This is not linked to any personal information that can identify any individual person.

We use a credit card processing company to bill users for services. To our knowledge, these companies do not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.

We partner with other parties to provide specific services. Each service will provide it's own privacy policy which may or may not differ from ours.


Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we [Virtually Everything, Inc.] are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites.  We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects personally identifiable information.  This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.


Newsletters

If a user wishes to subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, we may ask for contact information such as name, address and email address.  We use a double opt-in confirmation process to ensure that the only people who receive our mailings are ones who specifically requested it.  Once you subscribe to a newsletter, our system will send an email to the address you used to register.  You must click on the validation link contained in the confirmation email in order to validate your registration.

We do not sell, rent, or share our mailing list with any third party organization.  We only send newsletters to people who have requested to be on our mailing list(s).  Any reader can add or remove their name from the respective mailing list at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link that will be included in each mailing.

If you have removed your address from the mailing list and still continue to receive E-Mail from us, please bring it to our attention by using our Feedback Form.


Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests.  Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information.  Information requested may include contact information (such as name and shipping address), and demographic information (such as zip code, age level).  Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes.  Survey information will be used for purposes of entertainment, or improving the use and satisfaction of this site.


Security

This website takes every precaution to protect our usersí information.  When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and off-line. 

We do everything in our power to protect user-information off-line.  All of our usersí information, is restricted in our offices.  Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, our billing clerk or a customer service representative) are granted access to personally identifiable information.  Our employees must use password-protected screen-savers when they leave their desk.  When they return, they must re-enter their password to re-gain access to your information.  Furthermore, ALL employees are kept up-to-date on our security and privacy practices.  Every quarter, as well as any time new policies are added, our employees are notified and/or reminded about the importance we place on privacy, and what they can do to ensure our customersí information is protected.  Finally, the servers that we store personally identifiable information on are kept in a secure environment.

How We May Contact You

Automatic Mailings:

Whenever you take certain actions on our system, you may receive an automated email from us.  Some examples are:

  • Whenever you register for an account for a service such as the forums or classifieds, you will receive automated email to communicate the status of your account request.
  • Whenever you request the retrieval of a lost or forgotten username or password, the system will respond with an automated email.
  • Whenever you subscribe to one or more of our mailing lists, you will receive automated validation messages.
  • Whenever you make on-line posts using services such as the forums or classifieds, you will received automated emails regarding your posts or subsequent responses.

Account Service:

Once you register for any type of account with us-such as forums, classifieds or calendar-we may contact you in regards to your account or to provide information about a new system feature or upgrade.  We will not contact you for the sole reason of marketing a third-party service or product.

Information Update Request:

If you are the Point of Contact (POC) for an organization that is listed in our database, we may periodically contact you to request that you review or update your information.  We will not contact you for the sole reason of marketing a third-party service or product.

SPAM

The definition of SPAM is vague.  The zealots consider SPAM to be any unsolicited email.  A more reasonable definition of SPAM is an unsolicited mailing that is often sent in a devious manner for the sole purpose of selling you a third party service or product.  We do not engage in SPAMMING.  Furthermore, we do not sell, rent, or otherwise share any of our mailing lists with any third party.

SPAMMERS are known to routinely scan websites in order to harvest email addresses that will be added to their mailing lists.  When you post information on one of our websites, we take measures to protect your address.  However, harvesting techniques are forever becoming more and more devious.  As such, we can not guarantee that your email address will never be inadvertently harvested.

We can not protect your address if you post it in plain text.  If you post your email address on-line via any of our information sharing services such as the community forums, announcements, or classifieds, there is nothing we can do to protect it.  It is extremely likely that it will eventually be harvested by SPAMMERS.  If you would like your address to be displayed in plain sight, we recommend that you do one or more of the following:

  • Disguise the address, i.e. rather than typing bill@domain.com, try bill -AT- domain.com.  Most users will know what you mean.  Spammers look for anything in the format of name@domain.
  • Obtain a disposable email address.  Once the level of SPAM becomes unbearable, stop using the address and get another one.  You can get a free somd.NET address to do the job.
  • Contact your federal legislators.  The CAN-SPAM law is a nice start.  But, without aggressive enforcement and prosecutions, the law is meaningless.

Unsolicited Feedback

Any unsolicited email or feedback that you send us becomes our property.  We may use it in any manner we see fit including publishing it on-line.


Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on our Homepage so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.  If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email.  Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

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