What Information Does Best Friends Collect?
In several areas of the Websites Best Friends collects personally identifiable information, such as your name, home address, e-mail address, and telephone number.
Best Friends also collects anonymous demographic information, which is not unique to you, such as your ZIP code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites.
We may collect information about your interaction with the Websites. For example, we may use website analytic tools on the Websites to retrieve information from your browser, such as the site you came from, the search engine(s) and the keywords you used to find the Websites, and the pages you view within the Websites. We will also use technologies, such as cookies and Web beacons (both described below), to collect information about the pages you view, the links you click and other actions you take on the Websites. Additionally, we collect certain standard information that your browser sends to every website you visit, such as your IP address, browser type and language, access times and referring website addresses.
The Websites are directed at a general audience and Best Friends does not knowingly collect or store personally identifiable information about children under the age of 13.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
We provide Website visitors with a secure experience when making a donation or purchasing merchandise through our Websites. When personal information is transmitted by Best Friends to other websites, it is protected through the use of industry standard security technology, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol. To further enhance security, stored donation and order information is also encrypted to prevent unauthorized access to the data.
Although we use industry standard safeguards to secure the privacy of your personal information, transmissions made via the Internet cannot be made absolutely secure. Users should use special caution when using publicly accessible computer terminals or transmitting personal information over unsecured wireless networks.
In addition, on certain Website pages we offer visitors the opportunity to provide comments or other user-generated content on blogs and articles. Any information that you disclose when posting a message to these areas, along with the screen name or ID used, becomes public. We are not responsible for any personally identifiable information that you choose to disclose in the public areas of our Websites.
How Does Best Friends Use Your Personal Information?
Best Friends collects and uses your personal information to operate the Best Friends Websites and deliver the services you have requested. We may use personal information collected on our website to circulate news about Best Friends and its programs, to promote events, to acquire new members and subscribers, and for other internal marketing, promotional and Best Friends fundraising purposes.
A visitor who receives e-mail from us may opt out of e-mail at any time by following the opt-out instructions contained in the e-mail, or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Friends does not sell, rent, or exchange its donor list for direct mailing purposes, except as strictly necessary to satisfy ongoing contractual obligations resulting from contracts entered into prior to adoption of its policy prohibiting the sale, rental, or exchange of its donor list. Not all donors are impacted by these contractual commitments. If you have questions about this policy and whether your personal information may be shared as a result of these prior contractual commitments, please contact email@example.com to inquire.
Except to the extent your personal information independently falls under the paragraph immediately above, Best Friends does not sell, rent or exchange personal information collected on our website with non-affiliated third parties.
Best Friends may share personally identifiable information with the Network Charities for whom you elect to raise money. For example, if you elect to raise funds at Strut Your Mutt for a Best Friends Network Charity using the Strut Your Mutt website, we will share your information with the Network Charity you have selected (and only that Network Charity). We will not share your information with other Network Charities that you have not elected to raise funds for. If you have concerns and do not wish to receive communications from your selected Network Charity, please contact us before registering for the event by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Friends may, from time to time, share personally identifiable information, including e-mail and home addresses, with carefully selected corporate partners, for example, as may be required to offer and market products such as our affinity credit card, and other programs, products, and services which benefit Best Friends. These corporate partners are required to (i) protect the privacy of your Personally Identifiable Information, and (ii) not use or disclose your Personally Identifiable Information for any purpose other than providing the programs, products or services for which we contracted. If you do not wish to receive communications from those partners, you may opt out by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
We may employ independent contractors, vendors and suppliers (collectively, "Outside Contractors") to provide specific services and products related to our Websites such as to help us perform statistical analysis, send you e-mail or postal mail, send e-mail or other messages on your behalf (such as issue advocacy e-mails to legislators), or arrange for deliveries. All such third parties are prohibited from using your personal information except to provide the contracted services to Best Friends and they are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information. These Outside Contractors may sometimes have limited access to information collected on our websites, including your Personally Identifiable Information, in the course of providing products or services to us.
We may share aggregated demographic information with our funders, such as grant-making organizations and foundations, for the purpose of demonstrating that we are meeting our organization goals.
Best Friends may release personal information if we believe that the law or legal process served on Best Friends requires it, to protect and defend the rights or property of Best Friends, or in an emergency, to protect the personal safety of an identifiable visitor or the public.
Becoming a Registered User and Subscription
In order to access certain areas on our Websites, you must first complete certain steps to become either a registered user or a subscriber. During these steps, you may be required to provide us with information (including Personally Identifiable Information) such as name, ZIP code and e-mail address. This information is used to help us understand who uses our Websites, to operate and improve our Websites, and to deliver the services or carry out the transactions you have requested.
The Best Friends website uses "cookies" to ensure the integrity of the registration process and to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard drive by a Web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a Web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.
No personal information is ever stored in a Best Friends cookie even if you have entered your name or e-mail address on other parts of the Website.
One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The cookie tells the Web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize Best Friends pages, or register with a Best Friends Website or services, a cookie helps Best Friends recall your specific information on subsequent visits. This simplifies the process of recording your personal information, such as billing addresses, shipping addresses, and so on. When you return to the same Best Friends Website, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the Best Friends features that you customized. To protect our visitors, cookies do not save payment or credit card information. You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the Best Friends services or Websites you visit.
How Does Best Friends Use Web Beacons?
Best Friends web pages may contain electronic images known as Web beacons—sometimes called single-pixel GIFs—that may be used to assist in delivering cookies on our sites and allow us to count users who have visited those pages and to deliver services. We may include Web beacons in promotional e-mail messages or our newsletters in order to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon.
Best Friends may also employ web beacons from third parties in order to help us compile aggregated statistics and determine the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns. We prohibit Web beacons on our sites from being used by third parties to collect or access your personal information.