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Privacy Policy

Updated January 24, 09, 2014

1. Overview

Bleeping Computer® is strongly committed to protecting the privacy of consumers of its services and of visitors to its site. We want to contribute to providing a safe and secure environment for our members. This privacy policy ("Privacy Policy") is designed to inform you about the type of information that Bleeping Computer LLC ("BleepingComputer", "we" and "us" ) may gather or collect from you in connection with your use of this site (this "Site"). It also explains the conditions under which we use and disclose that information, and your rights in relation to that information.

BY ACCESSING THIS SITE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THIS POLICY. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THIS POLICY, IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE, OR IF YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED BY LAW TO ENTER INTO LEGAL OBLIGATIONS, YOU SHOULD NOT USE THE SITE. WE MAY MODIFY THE POLICY FROM TIME TO TIME AND POST THOSE MODIFICATIONS HERE. EACH TIME YOU USE THE SITE, THE CURRENT VERSION OF THE PRIVACY POLICY WILL APPLY. ACCORDINGLY, WHEN YOU USE THE SITE, YOU SHOULD CHECK THE DATE OF THIS POLICY (WHICH APPEARS AT THE TOP) AND REVIEW ANY CHANGES SINCE THE LAST VERSION. YOUR CONTINUED USE OF THE SITE AFTER ANY SUCH MODIFICATION CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE MODIFIED POLICY.

2. Overview of the information we collect.

A. Personally Identifiable Information

BleepingComputer will collect personally identifiable information (e.g., name, e-mail address, postal address), from you when you voluntarily provide such information. For example, you may submit personally identifiable information (i) to register with the Site or use interactive parts of our Site where users can provide content and suggestions or participate in interactive discussions and/or (ii) to participate in optional events, sweepstakes, contests or promotion registrations.

B. Aggregate Information

Aggregate information is non-personally identifiable/anonymous information, such as type of web browser used, type of operating system, the domain name of your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Each time a visitor (whether they are registered or not) connects to a page on the Site, we log that visitor's IP address in our web server's log files. This is a common practice used by almost all sites and is used to track which pages visitors access and how much time is spent on a page.

BleepingComputer also uses cookies to enhance user experience on the Site. Cookies are small text files that a web site sets on your computer's hard drive in order to recognize you in the future. Cookies make using our Site easier, as they allow you to register an account, stay logged in as you traverse the Site, and save your password for future visits. Third parties may use cookies as described in Section 4 below.

You may disable cookies at any time. But, if you do not allow cookies from BleepingComputer, then you may not be able to use certain features of the Site.

Certain web pages may contain invisible images, sometimes called web beacons that allow a web site to count users who have visited that page. BleepingComputer will only use web beacons within its Site for statistical purposes. Third parties may use web beacons as described in Section 4 below.

3. Use and Disclosure of information collected by BleepingComputer

A. Personally Identifiable Information

We may use personally identifiable information for the following purposes: (i) validation of a user's registration, (ii) topic and forum subscription notifications, (iii) for Site administrators to contact a particular user, (iv) to notify a user that he or she won a contest, (v) performing customer service activities, (vi) making available services to you or notifying you about new services or offers you may find valuable, (vii) marketing materials. If you wish to opt-out of receiving marketing materials from us, please follow the instructions at the bottom of each email for opting out. Personally identifiable information will not be disclosed to any third parties, except as follows:

  1. We may disclose personally identifiable information to third parties if you consent to such disclosure. For example, if you indicate that you would like to receive information about the products or services of third parties, we may supply your contact information to third parties such data aggregators, marketers or others for the purpose of sending you e-mail or otherwise communicating with you. We may use data we have about you (such as the experience you have or the interests and preferences you have expressed) to determine whether you might be interested in the products or services of a particular third-party.
  2. We may disclose personally identifiable information to companies and individuals we employ to perform functions on our behalf ( third party service providers ). Examples of such third party service providers may include companies who host our Web servers, analyze our data, provide marketing assistance, process credit card payments. These third party service providers will have access to your personally identifiable information only as necessary to perform their functions, but they are not authorized to retain, share, store or use your personally identifiable information for any purpose other than completion of the services for which they were hired.
  3. We may disclose personally identifiable information if legally required to do so, if requested to do so by a governmental entity or if we believe in good faith that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to legal requirements or comply with legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of BleepingComputer or its affiliated companies; (c) investigate or prevent a crime or protect national security or cooperate in investigating any incident in which we believe that you have abused the Site by using it to attack other systems or to gain unauthorized access to any other system, to engage in spamming or otherwise to violate applicable laws; or (d) protect the personal safety of users or the public.
  4. BleepingComputer may from time to time allow public visibility of user profiles. These profiles may contain personally identifiable information volunteered by its users. All information that may be publicly visible is provided entirely by the member and can be changed by the users when or if they edit their personal forum profile. (Please see Section 6 below for directions on how to edit your profile.)
  5. From time to time Bleeping Computer may offer surveys, optional events, sweepstakes, contents, and promotions to members and/or visitors to the Site. Any personally identifiable information that is collected during these events will only be shared with another company for the purposes of delivery of a prize. By participating in a survey, event, sweepstakes, contest or promotion and by completing the submission you acknowledge that Bleeping Computer has hereby notified you and that you expressly agreed to the sharing of your submitted personally identifiable information.
  6. We reserve the right to transfer all personally identifiable information in our possession to a successor entity in the event of a merger, acquisition, bankruptcy, creation of a new business entity, or other sale of all or a portion of our assets. Other than to the extent ordered by a court, the use and disclosure of all transferred personally identifiable information will be subject to this Privacy Policy, or to a new privacy policy. In the event of a new privacy policy, you will be notified of such and given the right to affirmatively opt-in to accept the new policy. Personally identifiable information submitted and/or collected after a transfer, however, may be subject to a new privacy policy adopted by the successor entity.

B. Aggregate Information

BleepingComputer uses aggregate information for the purpose of operating and improving the Site, fostering a positive user experience and delivering the products and services that we offer. We may sell, share or trade compiled aggregate information with third parties. As stated earlier, no single person can be identified by such aggregate information.

4. Do any third parties collect information about me on the Site?

BleepingComputer uses Crowd Science to deliver surveys where we may ask generic questions of to our users. These surveys allow us to collect non-personally identifiable information about our visitors in order to create interesting and quality content and advertising campaigns. Under no circumstances will any personally identifiable information be asked of you during these surveys. These surveys will be displayed to randomly-selected registered or unregistered members and appear as a small prompt at the bottom of a page on the Site. If you do not wish to take part in the survey, you can either decline or ignore the message and it will disappear shortly. If you choose to participate in a survey, you will be issued a cookie from Crowd Science so that you are not prompted to participate in another survey for 3 months. This cookie will not be used for any other reason.

We use third party advertising companies, such as Google, NetShelter, Kontera, and Vibrant Media as providers of third-party ads. These third party ads will be reasonably identifiable as coming from a third party. Third-party advertisers may use cookies (as defined in the preceding paragraph) or web beacons to collect non-personally identifiable information such as IP address and pages viewed. If a conversion occurred during your visit to this third party website or third-party advertiser, this information may be used to show third party advertisements that are likely to be more interesting to you. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice, you can visit www.networkadvertising.org.

We do not have access to or control over web beacons or cookies that third-party companies may use, and the information practices of third-party companies we use are not covered by this Privacy Policy but are covered by each company's privacy policies. To review how they use cookies and web beacons and to manage your cookies, please see the following privacy policy links that belong to our third-party providers and advertisers:

Google's privacy policy is located at: http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html.

Crowd Science's privacy policy is located at: http://www.crowdscience.com/privacy-policy-opt-out.

Netshelter's privacy policy is located at: http://www.netshelter.net/privacy-policy.

Kontera's privacy policy is located at: http://www.kontera.com/em-privacy-policy.

Vibrant Media's privacy policy is located at: http://www.vibrantmedia.com/privacy.asp.

Google specific cookie information:

  • Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on your site.
  • Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to your website.
  • Google's use of the DoubleClick cookie enables it and its partners to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and/or other sites on the Internet.
  • Users may opt out of the use of the DoubleClick cookie for interest-based advertising by visiting Google's Ads Settings page .

If you would like more information about Google's use of cookies and to understand your choices, click here.

5. How does BleepingComputer protect and secure my information?

BleepingComputer follows generally accepted industry standards to protect your sensitive information from unauthorized access. Any data that is stored on our servers is treated as confidential and is not made generally available to the public. Our servers are protected by firewalls and are located in secure data facilities to further increase security. Please keep in mind, however, that despite these reasonable efforts to protect data on our servers, no method of transmission over the Internet is guaranteed to be secure. Therefore, while we strive to protect your personal data at all times, we cannot guarantee its absolute security and shall not be liable for any breach of security by an outside party.

6. How can I update or change my personal information?

You can update almost all information about your account by logging in and clicking on My Settings found under your User Name. From the My Settings you can edit your profile and manage other profile settings. If there is information that you can not change with this method, please contact us by using this feedback form with all relevant information.

7. Policies for individuals under 13 (COPPA)

We are concerned about the safety of children when they use the Internet, and understand that children may not understand all the provisions of our Privacy Policy or make informed decisions about the choices that are made available to adult users of the Site. We encourage parents and guardians to spend time with their children online and to be familiar with the sites their children visit. BleepingComputer is not intended for children under 13 years of age, and we will never request personally identifiable information from anyone whom we know to be under the age of 13 without verifiable parental consent.

8. How to Unsubscribe from BleepingComputer

If you are a member of BleepingComputer.com, and would like to unsubscribe, you can contact us and provide your login name and E-mail address. We will then verify via e-mail that you are indeed the owner of the account and remove or deactivate it per your instructions.

If at any time you would like to communicate with us about your privacy concerns, please contact us using this feedback form.



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