We believe in a lot of things at EduGuide – and one of our core beliefs is your right to privacy. We hate spam and the dozens of mail-order catalogs that mysteriously appear in your post box after you buy something online, too. Rest assured – we never share, sell or divulge your information to third parties. We guard the information that you give us like we guard great-great-grandma’s good china – securely, and with reverence.
How Does EduGuide Use Contact Information?
We use your contact information to communicate with you – and only you (FYI except in the event of endangerment in which case we are obligated by law to contact local agencies.) Internally, we also rely on user comments and web analytics (see below for more detail) to guide the design of our products and programs.
Why Do I Need To Sign Up?
Users can always surf our library of content, read articles, tips, guides and answers, take quizzes and generally just check out the EduGuide community without signing up. When you order EduGuides, donate, subscribe to the EduGuide Parents' Newsletter, save goals, create an EduGuide RoadMap Plan, download resources or contact us with a question, we ask you to create a username and password and provide an email address so we can confirm your requests and give you updates. Knowing a little bit about our contributors also helps us to secure the EduGuide community. Since users have to log in to contribute, we can also prevent community offenders from logging in again. If there’s a problem, we want to know how to let our community know. If there are new resources available that we think you would like, we’d also like to fill you in.
And – signing up does have its advantages for you.
When you sign up, you get…
- Faster check-out – no need to re-enter shipping and billing info
- Easy access to your account and the ability to manage it by yourself
- Free downloadable resources for your students and children
- The ability to save and manage goals in your EduGuide RoadMap
- To preview and test innovative user functions before anyone else
- Up-to-the-minute info about the new stuff at EduGuide.org
Username and Password Safety
Remember to be smart about your username and password. Make it tricky for others to figure out by using combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Keep it in a secure place. Never tell others your username and password. EduGuide will assume that you are the only person who uses your username and password. This means that you are fully and solely responsible for all activity at EduGuide.org from your account.
How Do I Opt in/Opt Out?
Receiving email messages and posted mail from EduGuide, our partners and sponsors is optional. When you sign up for an EduGuide account, we invite you to subscribe to resources that we think you will find useful. Of course, users are welcome to give our value-added resources a pass at any time. We do, however, reserve the right to send registered users certain communications such as service announcements and essential administrative messages that keep our users informed and enable us to maintain relationships professionally, ethically and responsibly.
Email Updates - Opting Out
Email messages sent to our users will always allow users to unsubscribe by following the “unsubscribe” links. Users can also go to “Edit My Profile” at EduGuide.org and select “Notifications” to opt in or out of any subscriptions directly. Once you opt out, EduGuide will use every reasonable effort to delete your records from our databases. That said, because we’re also pretty big on back-ups for security, residual database copies of user information may continue to exist in a system back-up file. Though we’ll do our best, we can’t guarantee deletion in every instance.
Email Updates - Opting In
Users can review their opt In choices at EduGuide.org. Once you are logged in, go to “Edit My Profile” and then “Notifications”. You can opt in to email alerts by checking the options available there.
Posted Mail – Opting Out
If you would rather not receive information from EduGuide via the post, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at the address listed below.
Managing My Account
Logged in users can edit their profile at any time by using the “Edit My Profile” link. If you need technical support to update your information or would like to cancel your account, you may contact our Community Coordinator, Jenny Holliday at Jenny@EduGuide.org. She’ll take care of your needs.
If you contact us to request a change, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to implement your request as quickly as possible.
The contact information we collect from EduGuide.org users is kept on a secure server in a physically-secured building owned and operated by Liquid Web in Lansing, Michigan. The server is constantly monitored, automatically updated and patched to protect information from outside malfeasance using the best encryption software and industry security standards that include but are not limited to:
- Ongoing hardware maintenance, conducted only by certified Liquid Web technical staff.
- A software firewall updated and maintained by Web Ascender, EduGuide’s web development partner.
- Nightly backups to a spare drive
- Weekly backups to an offsite storage facility. These backups are stored for a minimum of seven days.
- Proactive server monitoring tools that generate system failure alerts.
- Internet redundancy. Internet access to our server is delivered through gigabit switches connected to 4 ISP carriers. This ensures seamless internet service should one or more ISP fail. It also ensures seamless security.
- Power failure contingencies. Generators and power supplies give at least 5 hours of uptime when all power is cut to the Liquid Web server facility. In the event of a long power outage, Liquid Web has contracts, contingencies and policies in place that ensure continued security and service.
Information that users provide is transmitted over secure lines. You can tell whether encryption and security standards are being used by noting the “locked” or security status indicator in your web-browser window. You should see a lock icon or other security indicator when you are sharing information with EduGuide.
Only approved EduGuide officers have access to information that is stored in our databases. Only officers of Liquid Web have access to the server location.
We also use commercially reasonable efforts to secure our offices and protect user information offline. All sensitive user information is securely maintained in our offices or at the facilities of our information technology providers. Access to our office server is limited to authorized EduGuide employees and our authorized computer technician. Hard-copy files are held under lock-and-key. We use reasonable efforts to assure our employees and agents are informed of our security and privacy policies.
How Does EduGuide Protect Children
We exist because we believe that children are our most precious resource. We want to do everything we can to help kids reach their full potential so we take the Child Online Privacy and Protection Act and other child privacy laws very seriously. EduGuide takes every possible precaution to protect the privacy of children. First and foremost, the “My EduGuide RoadMap” function is intended for use by parents and high school students who are over the age of 13 only.
Parents may personalize roadmaps for each of their children by naming the roadmaps, and indicating their child’s age and grade. Parents should not, however, publish anything on our site that divulges the identity of their child. Parents should never use their child’s full name on our site. Educators creating RoadMaps for their students are encouraged to use student numbers rather than full names to identify their students.
Students, who are younger than 13, are encouraged to read articles, take quizzes and use information that helps them set goals and succeed in school. They can do all of these things without providing any personal information on our site. They are not allowed, however, to participate in any of our contests or blogs, community forums, save goals, create roadmaps, take surveys, or sign up for emails. Students under the age of 13 are not permitted to create accounts at EduGuide.org.
What if Personal Information Is Accessed by Unauthorized Persons?
If we believe that your personal information has been accessed by unauthorized persons, we will contact you by email, telephone, fax, post or by posting a notice on the site. Depending on the circumstances, we will decide the best way to contact you. Where any notice is sent to an address or number, we will use the latest available address in our records. Except to the extent prohibited by law, you agree to this means of notification.
EduGuide promises to adhere to the following guidelines whenever it communicates with its members, user, readers, and web visitors:
- Email will always be sent from a real, live staff member. We like getting email so much that we’ll always make it easy for you to reply to us.
- Subject lines will be descriptive. Users will never have to guess what our latest EduGuide Insider or Roadmap Update is about because there will always be a headline in the subject bar.
- It will always be easy to unsubscribe. Whether you are clicking a link or making changes to your EduGuide profile, our email publications offer more ways to get out than a four-star hotel.
- Advertisements will be prominently identified. In a perfect world, we’d be able to bring you informative and helpful content without display ads or messages from sponsors. The truth is, we need support from advertisers so we can pay for things like heat and lights. We will, however, always label advertisements plainly so users can tell the difference between ads and EduGuide content.
- We will never add your email address to a mailing list without your permission. Because that’s just plain rude.
What Information Does EduGuide Share with Advertisers?
Our non-profit mission is supported by advertisers who pay to present their names, logos, products and advertisements on our website. Advertisers who spend money on the web want to know how many people are seeing their ad. They also want to know how many individuals use our site each month. To sell and maintain the advertising streams that support our work, EduGuide does share aggregated analytics – including number of unique users and number of page views. We also tell advertisers which pages on our site are most often visited. We tell them, on average, how much time users spend at our site and the number of pages they visit when they come to EduGuide.org. We also tell them which site features are of greatest interest to our user population. None of this information is linked to information that can identify individual users.
Users will be given the option to request information from our advertising partners. If a user sees an ad on our site and clicks to request information, the user accepts full responsibility for managing the flow of his or her own personal information. EduGuide.org will not divulge a user’s email or personal information to advertisers unless a user specifically requests information from an advertising partner.
Analysis of User Information
Based on the information that users provide when they sign up and manage their account with EduGuide, we also analyze our registered user population. We share, with advertisers, general information about our users as a group. We analyze trends. We never share specifics or personal information.
We analyze data to answer the following potential questions about our user population:
- How many registered users do we have?
- How many registered users are women?
- How many registered users are men?
- What is the age distribution of our user population?
- What is the income distribution of our user population?
- What other kinds of technology do our registered users also use?
- How often does the average registered user visit our site?
- How long does the average registered user spend at our site?
- How many students are registered?
- How many parents are registered?
- How many educators are registered?
- What pages do registered users most often visit?
- What site features do registered users most often use?
How Else Does EduGuide Use these Analytics?
These population statistics direct, in part, EduGuide’s product and site development as well. We consider user needs and interests when we design new functionality, new content, blog topics, material for the EduGuide insider, and make revisions to our web pages.
Outsourcing of Distribution
Links and Information Gathered by Others
EduGuide may link to other websites. We link only if we feel, in our best judgment, that another site is reputable, credible and reliable and that the link offers enhanced service to our user commmunity. We cannot and do not, however, operate those websites and we cannot control the information that the operators of other websites gather about you, publish on their site or distribute. We are therefore not responsible for any of the activities of the operators of other websites. We cannot constantly monitor websites. If it comes to our attention that a website to which we have linked no longer meets the criteria of our linking policy, we reserve the right to remove the outside link.
Email a Friend
We allow you to email articles and other content to friends from our site. If you choose to email a friend, you represent and warrant to us that you have an existing buisiness or personal relationship with the friend or acquaintance sufficient to avoid liability under any law that applies to unsolicited email. You will be the sender of any such email and we will merely be a service provider facilitating your sending of the email.
Judicial and Legal System Compliance
Though EduGuide promises to keep your information secret and secure, we may be compelled to release information should the law require it. We will only disclose personal information when we have a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with a current judicial proceeding, a court order or legal process served on our organization.
By using EduGuide.org, you agree to this change procedure.
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