How We Collect and Use Information
We collect the following types of information about you:
Information we may receive from third parties:
We may receive information about you from third parties. For example, if you access our website or app through a third-party connection or log-in, for example, through Facebook Connect, or by “following,” or “liking” our app or website, that third party will likely pass certain information about your use of its service to us. 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 wikiHow. You should always review, and if necessary, adjust your privacy settings on third-party websites and services before linking or connecting them to the wikiHow Service. You may also unlink your third party account from the Service by adjusting your settings on the third party service.
Information you provide us directly:
When you correspond with us, we may ask for certain information such as your username, real name, birthdate, address, phone number and e-mail address. We may also retain any messages you send. We use this information to operate, maintain, and provide to you the features and functionality of our app and website. 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.
Inviting a friend to use our app or website:
We may, in our sole discretion, develop a feature that allows you to invite third parties to our app or website. If you choose to use our invitation service to invite a third party through our “Invite friends” feature, you may for example 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 our app or website, and we do not retain the information contained in your contacts list. You understand that by inviting a friend 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 may 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:
We may, in our sole discretion, develop a feature that allows you to locate your friends using our app or website, 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 our app or website. If you choose to find your friends through your contact list, then you agree to provide us 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 our app or website. 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 is returned. 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 our app or website.
We may directly collect analytics data, or use third-party analytics tools and services, to help us measure traffic and usage trends for our app or website. These tools collect information sent by your browser or mobile device, including the pages you visit and other information that assists us in improving our app or website. We collect and use this analytics information in aggregate form such that it cannot reasonably be manipulated to identify any particular individual user.
When you visit our app or website, we may send one or more cookies – a small text file containing a string of alphanumeric characters – to your computer that uniquely identifies your browser and lets us help you log in faster and enhance your navigation through the app and site. A cookie may also convey information to us about how you use our app or website (e.g., the pages you view, the links you click and other actions you take on our app or website), and allow us or our business partners to track your usage over time. A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive after you close your browser. Persistent cookies may be used by your browser on subsequent visits. Persistent cookies can be removed by following your web browser’s directions. A session cookie is temporary and disappears after you close your browser. You can reset your web browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, some features may not function properly if the ability to accept cookies is disabled.
Log file information:
Log file information is automatically reported by your browser or mobile device each time you access our app or website. When you use our app or website, 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 our app or website, 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 allows for more accurate reporting and improvement of our app and website.
When you access our app or website 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 us. A device identifier may convey information to us about how you browse and use our app or website. A device identifier may remain persistently on your device, to help you log in faster and enhance your navigation through our app or website. Some features may not function properly if use or availability of device identifiers is impaired or disabled.
When you access our app or website 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 our app or website. Some features, 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 may 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 our app and website, technical and security notices). You may not opt out of service-related emails. You may also be able to be “found” on our app or website based on information that you provide (see “Find friends”) above.
Use of certain service type information we collect about you:
Sharing of Your Information
We will not rent or sell your information to third parties without your consent, except as noted below:
- Who can see user content: Any user content that you voluntarily disclose for posting to our app and website becomes available to the public. You at any time can choose to end this disclosure of user content. However, copies may remain viewable in cached and archived pages of our app or website, 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, do not disclose your user content.
- Who can see your IP address: If you post user content on our app or website while not logged in, your location information, including your IP address, may be published with your user content in order to attribute your contribution to our app or website. Any third party service embedded on our app or website 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 us and other users. If you reply to users, your email address will be shared with these users.
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 our services 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.
Please note that an advertiser may ask us to show an ad to a certain audience of users (e.g., based on demographics or other interests). In that situation, we or our partners determine the target audience and we serve 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, we may embed code from third parties on our app or website. 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 we do not control.
How We Store and Protect Your Information
Storage and Processing:
Keeping your information safe:
We care about the security of your information, and use commercially reasonable safeguards to preserve the integrity and security of all information collected through our services. To protect your privacy and security, we take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting you access to your account. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your unique password, if any, and account information, and for controlling access to your email communications from us, at all times. However, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or guarantee that information on our app or website 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 our app or website, such as social networks. We are 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, we 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.
If you have any questions about reviewing or modifying your account information, you can contact us directly at [email protected].
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 us or our business partners from tracking your browser’s activities in relation to our services, and for use in targeted advertising activities by third parties. However, doing so may disable many of the features available through our services. If you have any questions about opting out of the collection of cookies and other tracking/recording tools, you can contact us directly at [email protected].
How long we keep your private profile information:
Following termination of your user account, we 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.
We do not knowingly collect or solicit any information from anyone under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to register as users. Our services and their 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 [email protected].
Links to Other Websites and Services