ResourcesForLife.com Privacy Statement

Introduction. Most people don’t realize it, but every website we visit collects data about us. That data is usually analyzed in great detail. The website owner knows what kind of computer we have (Windows, Apple, Linux, or other). Our display resolution and browser information is reported. Even our general location is available to the website owner, as well as all the pages we visit on the site and how long we stay on those pages. If a Google search was performed, the website owner knows what was searched on. If we came from another site by following a link, the name of the other website is reported. However, nothing more than an IP address is provided as the anonymous user information. So, a website owner will know the IP address of a visitor, but nothing that would tell them the name or any personal information. This is explained in greater detail below.

Our Practices. We do not request any financial information through our site. Instead, we rely upon secure sites such as PayPal and Amazon for transactions.

Name & Address. We do not sell or share your contact information with any third-parties, advertisers, or organizations.

Visitor Feedback and Analysis Usage. In addition to responding to visitor feedback and email, we use three services to evaluate how people arrive at our site and how they use our site: Google AnalyticsQuantcast, and StatCounter. By evaluating website usage reports, we are able to invest more time into web pages that are being used more frequently. Content can be expanded and improved to better serve the needs of our site visitors. We’re able to see what search results are sending people to our site and then provide expanded information to serve those searches better. When people land on our site, we want them to have found exactly what they were looking for. Even without any direct feedback from site visitors, we’re able to make changes to the site based on visitor experiences. Using these methods and others, our efforts are focused effectively and efficiently where they will produce the greatest good.

Visitor Feedback. We do not receive or collect any personal information from our website visitors other than what is voluntarily disclosed using our Contact page.

Collected Anonymous Information. For security purposes, our website (like every other website on the Internet) collects anonymous data about every visitor. The specific details are kept confidential except in the event of an investigation into possible fraud or related cybercrime which may involve contacting and working with local, state, and federal agencies. The anonymous information collected includes:

  • IP Address. Assuming the IP address isn’t spoofed, it is an indicator of the country, state, city, and Internet service provider of the computer or mobile device used to visit the site. Because IP addresses typically change, they are not unique identifiers of a particular computer or person. For example, wireless service at a coffee shop may be used by many people, so the IP address of that coffee shop isn’t revealing a particular computer or person. Even a person’s home Internet service IP address may change and/or be used by neighbors or visitors. So, the IP address is really only a reference number for a moment in time.
    • Typical Usage. As indicated above, the IP address is kind of like a Zip code for the Internet, but doesn’t provide any information about the user or their physical address. This information can help improve a site by tailoring the website to meet the interests of people in a geographic area who are predominant users of the site. It can also help those promoting the site better gauge advertising campaigns (print, radio, television, or others) to see how effectively a campaign delivered visitors to the site.
  • Computer Information. All websites collect information about the site visitor’s computer or mobile device including the operating system, the browser software used, and the display resolution settings.
    • Typical Usage. This information is very helpful to ensure that the website is compatible and relevant for the majority of people visiting the site.
      • Operating System. For example, a website devoted to computers may have 80% of their visitors using Apple computers. If so, then articles and content could be written to be more accommodating to Apple users.
      • Browser. If a majority of visitors to a site are using the Apple Safari browser, then, it would be important to test the website design on an Apple Safari browser to ensure the pages and graphics are displayed appropriately. Websites will appear different from one browser to another and sometimes certain features just don’t work on some browsers.
      • Display Resolution. It’s essential to know the display resolution being used by the majority of website visitors. This determines what the optimal page size (width and height) should be. It allows the site designer to know what a person sees (how much they see on their screen) when they arrive at the site (assuming their browser window is maximized). If essential information is cut off on the right or bottom of the page, the site can be redesigned to better serve site visitors.
  • Referring Page or Search Request. This shows the website page that sent the person to our site and what page the person landed on here.
    • Typical Usage. There are a few ways in which this information is commonly used to enhance the content and effectiveness on a website.
      • Identifying Sources of Website Traffic. Sometimes a flood of visitors will be sent to a site because of a link on another site. Sometimes the website owner won’t be familiar with the referring site. To a website owner, it’s helpful to know what sites are promoting your site. Sometimes a reciprocal link is appropriate, or an email of thanks to the referring site owner. Heavy traffic from another site can be an indicator of how your own site content should be tailored to better serve the visitors coming from the other site.
      • Special Message. Occasionally, a special landing page will be created so the visitors from another site are welcomed with a more personalized message. For example, visitors from the Los Angeles Times website could be greeted with an appropriate message. Sometimes a welcome page is used when the referring source is a television ad. For example, Dell advertisements on TV will tell viewers to go to www.Dell.com/tv
      • Refining Content. If it’s a Google search, for example, then the search request information is provided. This information can be used to improve the content on a site based on what people are looking for and expecting to find on a site. For example, if one or more people perform a search such as “hybrid bicycles used off road” and find an article on the site, but the article doesn’t  address the off-road use of hybrid bicycles, then adding information about off-road use can make the site more useful to visitors.
      • Advertising Assessment. When an advertisement is placed on another website, it would be possible to track how many visitors result from that ad. Sometimes advertising is paid for based on how much traffic it generates. Advertisements that aren’t working effectively can be improved accordingly or discontinued.

Summary. The above list provides the comprehensive ways in which anonymous information is gathered and used. Our primary daily use of anonymous website visitor information is to improve our site. Because our website is specialized, and we don’t formally advertise the site, we have a relatively low volume of visitors. This allows us to take more time in using the above information to improve our site.

[Revised: 20100324we1514]

About Gregory Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer in Iowa City and also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. He also manages IowaCityWebDesignArtist.com and many other topic specific websites.

View all posts by Gregory Johnson
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