How We Collect and Use Information
We collect the following types of information about you:
Information you provide us directly:
We ask for certain information such as your username, real name, birthdate, address, phone number and e-mail address when you register for an STE account, or if you correspond with us. We may also retain any messages you send through the Service and may collect information you provide in User Content you post to the Service. We use this information to operate, maintain, and provide to you the features and functionality of the Service. Your username and if you choose to disclose it, your real name, will be published publicly. Once published your username and / or real name may not be able to be removed.
Information we may receive from third parties:
We may receive information about you from third parties. For example, if you access our websites or Service through a third-party connection or log-in, for example, through Facebook Connect, by “following,” “liking,” adding the STE application, linking your account to the STE Service, etc., that third party may pass certain information about your use of its service to STE. This information could include, but is not limited to, the user ID associated with your account (for example, your Facebook UID), an access token necessary to access that service, any information that you have permitted the third party to share with us, and any information you have made public in connection with that service. If you allow us access to your friends list, your friends’ user IDs, and your connection to those friends, may be used and stored to make your experience more social, and to allow you to invite your friends to use our Service as well as provide you with updates if and when your friends join STE. You should always review, and if necessary, adjust your privacy settings on third-party websites and services before linking or connecting them to the STE Service. You may also unlink your third-party account from the Service by adjusting your settings on the third-party service.
Inviting a friend to use STE:
STE may, in its sole discretion, develop a feature that allows you to invite third parties to the Service. If you choose to use our invitation service to invite a third party to the Service through our “Invite friends” feature, you may directly choose a friend to invite through your mobile device’s native contact list – but we do not require that you import your contacts list to the Service, and we do not retain the information contained in your contacts list. You understand that by inviting a friend to STE through the “Invite friends” feature, you are directly sending a text or email from your personal accounts and that we are not storing your contact list. In addition, you understand and agree that normal carrier charges apply to communications sent from your phone. Since this invitation is coming directly from your email or phone, we do not have access to or control this communication.
Finding your friends on the Service:
STE may, in its sole discretion, develop a feature that allows you to locate your friends with STE accounts through a “Find friends” feature. The “Find friends” feature allows you to choose to locate friends either through (i) your contact list, (ii) social media sites (such as Twitter or Facebook) or (iii) through a search of names and usernames on STE. If you choose to find your friends through your contact list, then you agree to provide STE access to your contact list such that we can perform the search necessary to determine whether or not someone associated with the information you provide is using STE. If you choose to find your friends through social media sites, then you understand that the information these sites provide to use to conduct this type of search is governed by their privacy policies and your account settings on those sites. If you choose to find your friends through a search of names or usernames, then simply type a name to search and see if that name or username appears on our Service. Note that we do not retain any information contained in your contacts list, or information from social media sites about your contacts, and we do not use such information for any purpose other than to help you find your friends on STE.
We may directly collect analytics data, or use third-party analytics tools and services, to help us measure traffic and usage trends for the Service. These tools collect information sent by your browser or mobile device, including the pages you visit and other information that assists us in improving the Service. We collect and use this analytics information in aggregate form such that it cannot reasonably be manipulated to identify any individual user.
Log file information:
Log file information is automatically reported by your browser or mobile device each time you access the Service. When you use our Service, our servers automatically record certain log file information. These server logs may include anonymous information such as your web request, Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser type, referring / exit pages and URLs, number of clicks and how you interact with links on the Service, domain names, landing pages, pages viewed, and other such information.
Clear gifs/web beacons information:
When you use the Service, we may employ clear gifs (also known as web beacons) which are used to anonymously track the online usage patterns of our Users. In addition, we may also use clear gifs in HTML-based emails sent to our users to track which emails are opened and which links are clicked by recipients. The information is allowed for more accurate reporting and improvement of the Service.
When you access the Service by or through a mobile device (including but not limited to smart-phones or tablets), we may access, collect, monitor and/or remotely store one or more “device identifiers,” such as a universally unique identifier (“UUID”). Device identifiers are small data files or similar data structures stored on or associated with your mobile device, which uniquely identify your mobile device. A device identifier may be data stored in connection with the device hardware, data stored in connection with the device’s operating system or other software, or data sent to the device by STE. A device identifier may convey information to us about how you browse and use the Service. A device identifier may remain persistently on your device, to help you log in faster and enhance your navigation through the Service. Some features of the Service may not function properly if use or availability of device identifiers is impaired or disabled.
When you access the Service by or through a mobile device, we may access, collect, monitor and/or remotely store “location data,” which may include GPS coordinates (e.g. latitude and/or longitude) or similar information regarding the location of your mobile device. Location data may convey to us information about how you browse and use the Service. Some features of the Service, particularly location-based services, may not function properly if use or availability of location data is impaired or disabled.
Commercial and marketing communications:
We use the information we collect or receive, such as your email address, to communicate directly with you. We may send you emails containing newsletters, promotions, and special offers. If you do not want to receive such email messages, you will be given the option to opt out or change your preferences. We also use your information to send you Service-related emails (e.g., account verification, purchase and billing confirmations and reminders, changes/updates to features of the Service, technical and security notices). You may not opt out of Service-related emails. You may also be able to be “found” on STE based on information that you provide (see “Find friends on STE”) above.
Use of certain service type information we collect about you:
Sharing of Your Information
Who can see User Content: Any User Content that you voluntarily disclose for posting to the Service becomes available to the public and cannot be removed, except by STE in its sole discretion? Once posted on STE, User Content may not be removable from public view, as copies may remain viewable in cached and archived pages of the Service, on other sites that have republished us, or if other Users have copied or saved that information. If you do not wish your User Content to be available to the public, please don’t post it on STE. Your username and if you choose to disclose it, your real name, will be published publicly. Once published your username and / or real name may not be able to be removed.
Who can see your IP address: If you post User Content on the Service while not logged in, your IP address will be published with your User Content to attribute your contribution to the Service? A selection of Trusted Users with administrative powers on STE have the ability to review IP addresses of users to reduce abusive behavior. Any third-party service embedded on STE such as an advertiser, video provider, social network or other third party will also have access to your IP address.
Who can see your email address: If you enter an email address, you will enable communication from STE and other users? If you reply to users or participate in group STE activities such as meetups, your email address will be shared with these users. In addition, some email addresses such as blocked@wikiHow.com forward to a group of Trusted Users, who will use your email address to reply to the email.
What happens in the event of a change of control?
We may buy or sell/divest/transfer the company (including any shares in the company), or any combination of its products, services, assets and/or businesses. Your information such as customer names and email addresses, User Content and other user information related to the Service may be among the items sold or otherwise transferred in these types of transactions. We may also sell, assign or otherwise transfer such information in the course of corporate divestitures, mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, dissolutions, reorganizations, liquidations, similar transactions or proceedings involving all or a portion of the company.
Instances where we are required to share your information:
Sharing certain service type information, we collect about you:
We may share certain service type information, including information obtained through tools such as cookies, log files, device identifiers, location data and clear gifs (such as anonymous usage data, referring/exit pages and URLs, platform types, number of clicks, etc.): (i) with our third-party business partners for the purposes described in the section above on “How We Collect and Use Information.” We may also aggregate or otherwise strip data of all personally identifying characteristics and may share that aggregated, anonymized data with third parties.
Ads on STE:
For example, Google uses DART cookies to deliver ads to you through the Service. Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it and its partners to serve ads to you based on your visit to the Service and previous websites that you may have visited. Other advertising networks also use similar cookies, clear gifs, or other mechanisms to deliver targeted advertising to you through the Service. You can delete these cookies by following the instructions here: http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser%27s-Cookies . You may opt out of use of Google’s DART cookie and cookies placed by Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) certified ad networks here: http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp . Opting out of these cookies will be effective not only on the Service, but on all websites with NAI certified advertising networks. However, these opt-outs will be ineffective on networks that are not NAI certified.
Please note that an advertiser may ask STE to show an ad to a certain audience of Users (e.g., based on demographics or other interests). In that situation, STE or our Partners determines the target audience and STE serves the advertising to that audience and only provides anonymous data to the advertiser. If you respond to such an ad, the advertiser or ad server may conclude that you fit the description of the audience they are trying to reach.
To enhance your user experience or help us improve and measure our effectiveness, STE may embed code from third parties on the Service. Examples of such parties may include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, YouTube, Howcast, VideoJug, AOL, and others. These third parties may collect information about you including IP address, cookies in ways STE does not control.
How We Store and Protect Your Information
Storage and Processing:
Keeping your information safe:
STE cares about the security of your information, uses commercially reasonable safeguards to preserve the integrity and security of all information collected through the Service. To protect your privacy and security, we take reasonable steps (such as requesting a unique password) to verify your identity before granting you access to your account. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your unique password and account information, and for controlling access to your email communications from STE, always. However, STE cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to STE or guarantee that information on the Service may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed. Your privacy settings may also be affected by changes to the functionality of third-party sites and services that you add to the STE Service, such as social networks. STE is not responsible for the functionality or security measures of any third party.
Compromise of information:
In the event that any information under our control is compromised as a result of a breach of security, STE will take reasonable steps to investigate the situation and where appropriate, notify those individuals whose information may have been compromised and take other steps, in accordance with any applicable laws and regulations.
Your Choices about Your Information
You control your account information and settings: You may update your account information and email-communication preferences at any time by logging in to your account and changing your profile settings. You can also stop receiving promotional email communications from us by modifying your preferences at http://www.wikihow.com/Special:Preferences.
We make every effort to promptly process all unsubscribe requests. As noted above, you may not opt out of Service-related communications (e.g., account verification, purchase and billing confirmations and reminders, changes/updates to features of the Service, technical and security notices). If you have any questions about reviewing or modifying your account information, you can contact us directly at wiki@wikiHow.com.
Opting out of collection of your information for Tracking / Advertising:
Please refer to your mobile device or browser’s technical information for instructions on how to delete and disable cookies, and other tracking/recording tools. Depending on your type of device, it may not be possible to delete or disable tracking mechanisms on your mobile device. Note that disabling cookies and/or other tracking tools prevents STE or its business partners from tracking your browser’s activities in relation to the Service, and for use in targeted advertising activities by third parties. However, doing so may disable many of the features available through the Service. If you have any questions about opting out of the collection of cookies and other tracking/recording tools, you can contact us directly at wiki@wikiHow.com.
How long we keep your private profile information:
Following termination of your User account, STE may retain your private profile information for a commercially reasonable time for backup, archival, or audit purposes. For the avoidance of doubt, any information that you choose to make public on the service may not be removable.
STE does not knowingly collect or solicit any information from anyone under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to register as Users. The Service and its content are not directed at children under the age of 13. In the event that we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from or about a child under 13, please contact us at wiki@wikiHow.com.
Links to Other Websites and Services
When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.
If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.
If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.
If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.
When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.
If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.
Embedded content from other websites
Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.
Who we share your data with
If you request a password reset, your IP address will be included in the reset email.
How long we retain your data
If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.
For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.
What rights you have over your data
If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.
Where we send your data
Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.