Our commitment to your privacy
Your privacy on the Internet is of the utmost importance to us. At The Plank Buddy we want to make your experience online satisfying and safe. Because we gather certain types of information about our users, we feel you should fully understand our policy and the terms and conditions surrounding the capture and use of that information. This privacy statement discloses what information we gather and how we use it.
Information we gather and track
The Plank Buddy gathers two types of information about users:
- Information that users provide through optional, voluntary submissions. These are voluntary submissions to receive our electronic newsletters, to participate in our message boards or forums, to email a friend, and from participation in polls and surveys:
- Information The Plank Buddy gathers through aggregated tracking information derived mainly by tallying page views throughout our sites. This information allows us to better tailor our content to readers’ needs and to help us better understand the demographics of our audience. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.
Children: Consistent with the Federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), we will never knowingly request personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13 without requesting parental consent.
Optional voluntary information
“E-mail this to a friend” policy
Our site users can choose to electronically forward a link, page, or documents to someone else by clicking “e-mail this to a friend”. The user must provide their email address, as well as that of the recipient. This information is used only in the case of transmission errors and, of course, to let the recipient know who sent the email. The information is not used for any other purpose.
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.
Data collected from our contact and other online forms is sent to our offices via secure email, however this data is stored in an online database only as a backup, only to be used if email processes fail.
Aggregated tracking information
The Plank Buddy tracks user traffic patterns throughout all of our sites. However, we do not correlate this information with data about individual users. The Plank Buddy does break down overall usage statistics according to a user’s domain name, browser type, and MIME type by reading this information from the browser string (information contained in every user’s browser).
The Plank Buddy sometimes tracks and catalogs the search terms that users enter in our Search function, but this tracking is never associated with individual users. We use tracking information to determine which areas of our sites users like and don’t like based on traffic to those areas. We do not track what individual users read, but rather how well each page performs overall. This helps us continue to build a better service for you.
A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.
- Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
- Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
- Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
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.
WooCommerce / eCommerce Store
We collect information about you during the checkout process on our store.
What we collect and store
While you visit our site, we’ll track:
- Products you’ve viewed: we’ll use this to, for example, show you products you’ve recently viewed
- Location, IP address and browser type: we’ll use this for purposes like estimating taxes and shipping
- Shipping address: we’ll ask you to enter this so we can, for instance, estimate shipping before you place an order, and send you the order!
When you purchase from us, we’ll ask you to provide information including your name, billing address, shipping address, email address, phone number, credit card/payment details and optional account information like username and password. We’ll use this information for purposes, such as, to:
- Send you information about your account and order
- Respond to your requests, including refunds and complaints
- Process payments and prevent fraud
- Set up your account for our store
- Comply with any legal obligations we have, such as calculating taxes
- Improve our store offerings
- Send you marketing messages, if you choose to receive them
If you create an account, we will store your name, address, email and phone number, which will be used to populate the checkout for future orders.
We generally store information about you for as long as we need the information for the purposes for which we collect and use it, and we are not legally required to continue to keep it. For example, we will store order information for 5 years for tax and accounting purposes. This includes your name, email address and billing and shipping addresses.
We will also store comments or reviews, if you choose to leave them.
Who on our team has access
Members of our team have access to the information you provide us. For example, both Administrators and Shop Managers can access:
- Order information like what was purchased, when it was purchased and where it should be sent, and
- Customer information like your name, email address, and billing and shipping information.
Our team members have access to this information to help fulfill orders, process refunds and support you.
What we share with others
The Plank Buddy uses the above-described information to tailor our content to suit your needs and help us better understand our audience’s demographics. We will not share information about individual users with any third party, except to comply with applicable law or valid legal process or to protect the personal safety of our users or the public. We share information with third parties who help us provide our orders and store services to you; for example —
We accept payments through Authorize.Net. When processing payments, some of your data will be passed to Authorize.Net, including information required to process or support the payment, such as the purchase total and billing information.
We use UPS as our principal vendor for shipping our products to online purchasers. At times we may elect to use a different shipping vendor who can better facilitate timely and accurate delivery. When processing shipping information, only your name and shipping address is shared with the shipping agency.
We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.
Use of information
The Plank Buddy uses any information voluntarily given by our users to enhance their experience in our network of sites, whether to provide interactive or personalized elements on the sites or to better prepare future content based on the interests of our users.
As stated above, we use information that users voluntarily provide in order to send out electronic newsletters and to enable users to participate in polls, surveys, message boards, and forums. We send out newsletters to subscribers on a regular schedule (depending on the newsletter), and occasionally send out special editions when we think subscribers might be particularly interested in something we are doing. The Plank Buddy never shares newsletter mailing lists with any third parties, including advertisers, sponsors or partners.
How we secure your data
We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.
The Plank Buddy operates secure data networks protected by industry standard firewall and password protection systems. Our security and privacy policies are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary and only authorized individuals have access to the information provided by our customers.
Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.
If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.
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.
We give users options wherever necessary and practical. Such choices include:
- Opting not to register to receive our electronic newsletters.
- Opting not to participate in certain interactive areas, which completely alleviates the need to gather any personally identifiable information from our users
Last modification was made June 12, 2019.