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Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions

The siteGuardian Frequently Asked Questions is a collection of basic information concerning privacy issues and our services. Although we are happy to answer your questions personally, please browse through the list first as we may have already answered it before.

Click on a link for more information:

How do we protect your privacy?
What is SPAM?
Where can I find Privacy Policies?
How do Websites collect my information?
What is a cookie?
Where can I get more information?

Q. How do we protect your privacy?

Our seal is awarded to sites who maintain an established Privacy Policy which is outlined in easy-to-read form. Each site that displays our seal has agreed to implement principles that represent fair information practices. When you see our symbol, you can be assured that the web site will tell you exactly what it does with its information such as what will be gathered, where it is stored, and how to change or remove it.
In the unlikely event that your personal information is compromised, we will act as your liason in resolving the issue.

Q. What is SPAM?

SPAM is the electronic version of Junk Mail or unsolicited email. Most mailings of this type are from individuals with so-called "Get Rich Quick" schemes. Most SPAM messages are illegal in the United States. Some forms of unsolicited email are legal provided the sender of the message:

  • Has a verifyable return address
  • Contains an opt-out procedure to permanently remove your email from their list
  • Provides ADV: as the first four letters of the subject header
  • Lists a contact name, mailing address, and phone number
If you receive an email from one of our member sites that you feel violates this principle, then we may be able to help remove your name from future emailings.

Q. Where can I find Privacy Policies?

Privacy StatementMember websites will contain numerous links to their Privacy Policy. The links must be available wherever the site collects personal information. Many of our members also contain either a text or graphical link from their homepage similar to the button on the left. Each Policy page will contain our seal of approval that, when clicked, verifies their participation.

Q. How do websites collect my Information?

There are two primary methods of data collection that are used to collect information about users. The first method involves collecting data that is automatically sent by your browser, while the second method requires user input such as a name or email address.
Automatic data collection occurs when your browser requests a page. Many sites will use this information to gather statistics on what pages were viewed and how long you visited their site. Here's how it works: Consider the sequence of events that must take place in order for a webpage to be delivered to your browser...

  • You type a URL or Click a link
  • The browser sends a request (GET) to retrieve the page you want to view
  • Your request is returned by the server
In order for the server to return the correct page it must know: who requested it (your IP address), what page to get, who you are (anonymous if not logged in). The browser has to send this minimal information (it actually sends more) in order for the request to be processed.
Servers, by default, log each request in a text file which can later be retrieved for statistical purposes.
This information is fairly anonymous unless you are either logged in to that server (provided a username and password on their site) OR have a static IP address. In all circumstances our member sites must disclose their usage on these statistics.
Another form of automatic data collection is the reading and writing of "cookies" which is discussed elsewhere.
Finally, manual data collection occurs when you complete a form. Just remember that anything you click or type on a website may be recorded somewhere. The most common forms of manual data collection are: signing a guestbook, completing an application for membership, purchasing items, or search queries. Member sites fully disclose all information that is collected and stored by manual data entry.

Q. What are cookies?

Have you ever returned to a website and it seems to remember who you are? This is accomplished because they were able to write and read from a cookie.
Almost every web browser has the ability to read and write "cookies" which are small text files that reside on your computer. It can only store information you provide to a website, or a piece of automatic data such as the date/time of your last site visit.
Most of these are harmless if you are the ONLY person with access to your computer.
Because a cookie can store any type of information you provide, it would not prevent a site to store personal information such as your social security number or credit card information. It is against our policy for sites to store any type of personal information that would assist a third party in assuming your identity.
Because of this possibility, our sites are required to disclose all information that is stored to a cookie.
Finally, each browser has a method for removing cookies and there are numerous third-party tools available to help manage them should you feel it necessary.

Q. Where can I get more information?

We have provided a page of links in our educational section that you can use to find additional information about privacy and how to protect yourself.

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