Privacy and Security
Q: How do you use my personal information?
A: There are several types of information about you
that are available to a web server when you visit a site
hosted by that server.
||What we do with it
|Your browser type
We collect this to see what types of browsers we should be
designing for, but we don't associate it with you individually.
|Your network address
We collect this to see where our customers and potential
customers are located, but we don't associate it with you
Personal information available from your browser
This usually isn't available, but we don't look at it even
if it is.
|Your email address
We have your email address when you provide it during order
checkout. We use it to send a receipt via email and possibly
follow up on your order. We'll also keep it on file and may
use it to provide you with information about new products or
promotions unless you ask us not to. We won't share it with
Your name, address, telephone number
We use these to follow up on your order, and we keep them in our
files along with your order. We also add you to our mailing list
for future product announcements.
|Which pages you visit
We track the "hit rate" for each page on our site (everybody
does) but we don't associate the data with you individually.
We use the data in summary form only, giving us the popularity
of each page.
|What you search for
This too is commonly collected information. We use the data to
determine what visitors are looking for, what isn't being found,
and what the difficulties are in using the search page. We do
not associate this data with you individually.
information about you, other than to associate you with your
Q: Can you tell me more about cookies?
Cookies are small files that web sites can leave on your
computer. You can set most browsers to unquestioningly accept,
accept with confirmation, or reject requests to store cookies.
For more about cookies, see the
helpful information provided by Microsoft
(including how to set your browser) or the more
technical information from Netscape.
Warning If you have items in your shopping cart but
you have cookies turned off in your browser, then going to a
web page outside this catalog (such as the Microsoft and
Netscape links just above) means that when you come back to
our catalog, we may not know that you've been here before and
that you have items in your basket.
One note: Some places on the web you can read:
Well, that may be true for some shopping cart systems, but not
ours. We keep the list of items in your cart on our server and
use the cookie only to associate you with that cart.
If you visit a site that features a "shopping cart" of items
you wish to purchase, a cookie can keep track of what you put
in the cart. If you need to leave and come back later, your
shopping cart should be as you left it. This keeps you from
having to start over on the page.
Q: If I give you my credit card over the
internet, how safe am I?
A: When we are dealing with your credit card
information, we use a secure site that uses SSL (Secure Sockets
Layer, a protocol created by Netscape Communications
Corporation for authentication and encryption over TCP/IP
networks, including the Web). This assures that your credit
card number is encrypted to protect it from prying eyes as it
flies across the internet.
Q: How secure is the encryption used
A: SSL uses public-key encryption to exchange a session
key between the client and server; this session key is used to
encrypt the http transaction (both request and response). Each
transaction uses a different session key so that if someone
manages to decrypt a transaction, that does not mean that
they've found the server's secret key; if they want to decrypt
another transaction, they'll need to spend as much time and
effort on the second transaction as they did on the first.
Servers and browsers do encryption using either a 40-bit secret
key or a 128-bit secret key. Many people feel that using a
40-bit key is insecure because it's vulnerable to a "brute
force" attack (trying each of the 2^40 possible keys until you
find the one that decrypts the message). Using a 128-bit key
eliminates this problem because there are 2^128 instead of
2^40 possible keys.
Q: How can I tell if this is all
A: Examine the browser status indication, and if
you see an indication that this transaction is
secure, (the indicator varies between
browsers), you can be assured that your vital information is
securely encrypted as it flies over the Internet.
Q: But I looked at your
certificate and it's not you!
A: As is sometimes the practice, we use the certificate
of our hosting site, American Data Technology, Inc. in Research
Triangle Park, North Carolina, US. If you would like to learn
more about American Data Technology, you can visit
their web site.
Q: How can I learn more about
A: Reference the
WWW Security FAQ.