Effective May 24, 2018
BleepingComputer® is a news and support site with technology news, tutorials, tips, reviews, and support forums to receive help from volunteers. BleepingComputer was founded in 2004 by Lawrence Abrams and the site is located at the URL https://www.bleepingcomputer.com. We are physically located in the United States of America.
As a rule, BleepingComputer does not collect personally identifiable information other than IP addresses unless you register for an account on the site. If you register for an account, you will be required to provide a display name and login name of your choice (we suggest that you do not use your real names), and an email address. There are also fields for specifying your location, birthday, and gender, but these are optional.
We also work with third-parties to display advertisements, social sharing links, article comments, affiliate marketing, and analytics. All third party partners have assured BleepingComputer that they are working within the laws and guidelines of a BleepingComputer visitor's country. All third party partners will be outlined later in this document.
We are also committed to offering GDPR compliance, allowing our users to opt out of data collection, and to understand their rights. As GDPR goes live, more information becomes available, and policies are further defined, we will modify this policy accordingly.
BleepingComputer provides the ability for visitors to register a free account so that they can make comments to news articles or make posts in the forums. When registering an account it is required to provide an email address, a login name, and a display name that is publicly visible. When selecting the Display Name, you should not use your real name unless you do not care if it is publicly displayed.
It should be noted that when you register an account, you agree to allow BleepingComputer to display your forum posts indefinitely. We will be happy to remove any personal information or disassociate posts with an account at the request of the member.
As a benefit of registering an account, you will no longer see advertisements on the site when you are logged in.
When you use BleepingComputer, there is certain data that is automatically collected by our server and web site. As previously stated, if you decide to register an account, additional data is also collected in order to create the account. This data is necessary for the proper operation of the site and to provide the features you would expect from it. We have described what data is collected by BleepingComputer below.
When a user registers an account on the site to become a member, they must provide a login name, display name, and email address. When registering, their IP address at the time of the registration will be associated with the account for security purposes. This IP address is not publicly displayed.
Once registered, a member can optionally add their birthday, gender, location, and other information. This information can be removed at any time.
A registered and logged in member may create new topics or reply to existing topics in the forums. When posting to the forums, their IP address is associated with the post for security reasons, such as the proper operation of spam filters and moderation tools. This IP address is not publicly displayed.
Any data that is posted to the site is completely up to the member and should be sanitized of all personal data. If a member posts content that contains personal information by accident they can edit the post and remove the personal information themselves within 24 hours. Otherwise they need to contact us to edit the post and remove the personal information.
Registered members also have the ability to post status updates in their user profiles. Like posts, what content is posted is up to the user. Status replies can be removed by the member or they can contact us to have it removed.
If you register an account and make a post in our forums, depending on the forum you may have the ability to upload images, data files, and text files. This is completely optional and up to the member, but if a member does upload content, they should make sure to strip any personal information from it. Members can manage their attachments and delete any that they wish.
When registering an account or using the Contact Us form on the site, users may provide contact information such as their name, address, and email address. This information is used only to contact the member as necessary and is never shared with third parties.
Registered members have the ability to subscribe to articles, topics, or forums to receive notifications when new content has been posted to BleepingComputer.com. BleepingComputer will send these notifications to the email address associated with the account. Users can disable these notifications at any time in their settings.
From time to time, BleepingComputer may host contests that requires personal information to be submitted. This information will only be shared as needed to enter the contest and send a prize if the member wins.
We use a custom commenting system for some of our articles and Disqus for others. For our custom commenting system, only registered and logged in users may post a comment. When doing so, they can edit their comment within 24 hours of its creation and must contact us afterwards to delete it.
BleepingComputer, and its users, may embed content such as images, Tweets, videos, and more from third-party sites into articles, forum posts, tutorials, and other user submitted content. When a visitor browses to a page that contains embedded content it will be retrieved from a third-party site. BleepingComputer has no control over what tracking and cookies these third-party sites may utilize.
When anyone, regardless of whether you are a member or guest, visits BleepingComputer, our server will automatically record the IP address of the user and save it to our server logs. This is common practice for all web servers and we only use this information for security reasons or when required to legally. These logs are only saved for 30 days.
BleepingComputer also uses Google Analytics to provide anonymized and aggregated data about our visitors. This allows us to see what content our visitors like the most, what sections get the most traffic, and allow us to provide the experience you expect to receive from BleepingComputer.com. In order to anonymize the collection of data in Analytics, we have enabled the "IP Anonymization" feature and disabled the "Remarketing" and "Advertising Reporting Features" features.
We now get to the everyone's favorite snack, but biggest annoyance when it comes to browsing the web.
When it comes to browser cookies, BleepingComputer only sets cookies that are required for the proper operation of the site. This includes cookies that keep track of what forums you have read, session cookies that allow you to stay logged into the site as you browse it, cookies related to Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule ("COPPA"), and cookies that provide information needed by various sections of the site. None of these cookies, though, are used to track you on the site.
There are other cookies, though, that will be added to your browser through third-parties. These third-party cookies are described in the next section.
It is important to note that BleepingComputer does not share your data with anyone unless to comply with the law. We do, though, work with third party services that may collect data from users that visit BleepingComputer.com and place their own cookies in a visitor's browser.
Below we have outlined each of the companies we work with and how they may collect data as you use the site.
In order to continue providing the terrific news and support you have come to love, we need to pay the bills and therefore display ads. The good news is that if you do not want to see any ads, just register a free account, login to the site, and *poof* they are gone :)
The advertisers we are currently working with, their privacy policies, and any opt-out information is below:
Google specific cookie information:
The other advertisers may drop their own cookies, including tracking cookies, use tracking pixels, or perform interest based advertising as allowed in a visitor's country.
BleepingComputer also uses affiliate links, which allow BleepingComputer to earn a commission if you purchase a product from an affiliate linked page. While we have many affiliate partnerships, the main ones that we work with are:
The above companies may drop their own cookies to track which affiliate referred a user to a product page or site.
As previously described, BleepingComputer uses Google Analytics to provide anonymized and aggregated statistics about how visitors use the site. Google Analytics will place cookies that allow it to track how a user uses the site, but these cookies are not shared with any third-parties.
We use Cloudflare for DDoS attack mitigation, web site security, and as a Content Delivery Network (CDN). When our traffic flows through their service, Cloudflare will add cookies to a visitor's browser in order for some of their security features to work. You can read about their cookies here.
In order to stay compliant with current regulations, BleepingComputer has entered into a EU GDPR Data Processing Addendum with Cloudflare, which can be read here.
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.
Don't do anything wrong and we won't have to worry about the above :)
There is no data that we keep for those who have not registered an account on the site.
If you have registered as a member then you have access to all of your posted data by viewing your profile, examining your preferences, seeing the content you follow, viewing your posts and topics, viewing your personal messages, and viewing your subscribed news articles.
In the near future, we will provide a tool that you can use to download all of your data in one archive.
It should be noted that as a member, you agreed to allow BleepingComputer to indefinitely display any posts or topics you created in the forums. With that said, we do not want you to be concerned about any personally identifiable information and if you find any, you can always contact us and request that we remove the personal information.
Any submitted content will be associated with your profile until you either delete it or we delete your account. When an account is deleted, your submitted content may stay on the site, but be shown as if it was from a guest.
BleepingComputer will only contact you for the following reasons:
We are committed to protecting your data and addressing any privacy concerns that you may have. You can always contact us using our Contact Us form or you can snail mail us at:
Bleeping Computer, LLC.
273 Walt Whitman Road
Huntington Station, NY 11746
If you actually read this whole thing, then you deserve a !