Privacy Policy

Helpful Crooks Privacy Policy
I would like to tell you how my site manages and uses personal information collected or received by this website.

I don’t sell any information that is collected.

I am collecting information only to improve my website, stay legal, and stay in touch with my readers and site users. Some of my advertisers are collecting information to try to best present ads that meet your shopping needs. (honest!)

What Information Is Gathered
Very little information is gathered directly. If you post a comment, I collect your name and email address, your website if you care to tell me what it is, and the information you send me in your note. Obviously, I am collecting this information primarily to discuss the site or the content of the site with you.

At this time I am not gathering any passwords from you. You don’t require a password to use my site or to comment.

If I ever run any contests, I might collect some personal information to contact you if you win. However, I probably would just collect your email address. Ask me if I have a contest!

My hosting computer may automatically receive and record information in its server logs from your browser. This might include your IP address, information from any “cookies” on your computer, and information about which pages on my website you request to visit. This information is not connected to your personal information however, so while I might know IP address 999. 99.999.9 visited 47 times today, I won’t know that was specifically you.

This host-gathered information is used primarily to improve the website. If everyone seems to be visiting to read tips about dealing with potato, rose and lily beetles, I’ll probably write more of those than I would otherwise. That kind of thing.

I won’t be collecting any billing information, because I don’t directly sell anything on this website. If you want to send me money, let me know and I’ll give you an address to mail the cheque to!

So in general, I only gather information to stay in touch with you, and to improve my website.

Advertising on This Site
In a desperate attempt to help get back some of the money I have spent to rent the domain name and web hosting space for this website, I do run some ads on the site. These ads are provided by third party companies. If you happen to choose to visit the websites linked to one of these ads, I might receive a penny or so, but only if that’s the way that particular ad works. For some ads, like amazon.com ads, I don’t receive anything unless you buy something from them. Some ads I am running without any chance of receiving anything back: for example, for Piggles Rescue, a guinea pig shelter in Ontario.

AdSense
Google AdSense wants to be sure you know the following:

Third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information as a result of ads serving on my website.

Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user’s (your) prior visits to this website.

Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it and its partners to serve ads to you based on your visit to my site and/or other sites on the Internet.

You may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the advertising opt-out page at http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/ads/#toc-optout. (Alternatively, you can opt out of a third-party vendor’s use of cookies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page at  http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices/ .)

The DoubleClick DART Cookie
The DoubleClick DART cookie is used by Google in the ads served on the websites of its partners, such as mine. When you visit my site and either view or click on an ad, a cookie may be dropped on your browser. The data gathered from these cookies will be used to help better serve and manage ads on this website and across the web.

Google uses the DoubleClick DART cookie on publisher websites displaying AdSense for content ads. Subject to any applicable laws, rules and regulations, Helpful Crooks will have the sole and exclusive right to use all data derived from this use of the DoubleClick DART cookie for any purpose related to Helpful Crooks’ business, provided that Google may use and disclose this data subject to the terms of Google’s advertising privacy policies and any applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Other Ad Services
Since I have not opted out of third-party ad serving, the cookies of other third-party vendors or ad networks may also be used to serve ads on my site.

Third-party vendors and ad networks serving ads on my site could include amazon.com, amazon.ca, indigo.ca, financeads, and others.

If I start running ads, I will provide links to the appropriate vendor and ad network websites.
Users may visit the above websites to opt out of cookies (if the vendor or ad network offers this capability). Users can also opt out of some, but not all, of these cookies in one location at the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out website at www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp.

Amazon
Helpful Crooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and amazon.ca.

Also, Helpful Crooks is a participant in the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.ca.

You can click here to review amazon.com’s privacy policy.

Google Analytics
My website may use Google Analytics provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”).
This program helps determine how people visiting Helpful Crooks are using the website. To do that, Google Analytics may place small text files called “cookies” on to the computers of visitors, including your computer.

The cookie collects information about visitors to the website. This information includes the IP address of the computer used by the person viewing the site. The information includes things like which web pages a visitor went to, how long they spent on each page, what they did on that page (e.g. if they filled out a survey or a comment form) etc. This information, including the IP addresses, is sent to and stored by Google on its United States server computers.

Google uses this information to evaluate use of the website, to compile reports on website activity for website operators and to provide other services relating to website activity and internet usage.

Google may give this info to third parties if required to do so by law, or if third parties are processing the information on Google’s behalf.

Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

You can set your browser to refuse the use of cookies. If you do you may not be able to use all of the functions on this website.

By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

IP Addresses
As mentioned before, this website may collect your IP address. Frankly, we don’t use it for much. This is a really simple website! If we find a specific IP address is being used to send lots of nasty comments (e.g. racist, hate mail, etc.) we might use the IP address to block acceptance of comments from that IP.

Cookies
A cookie is a small text file sent from a browser to a visitor’s computer and stored there. Most big websites use cookies. The cookie may include an anonymous unique identifier to allow a computer to “remember” if someone has visited before.

People browsing the internet can set their computers to accept or reject cookies. I think you can use most of my website without accepting cookies, although I am not completely sure.

In theory, cookies should help me know more about who is visiting my site (e.g. people from Canada or the USA or Australia), and what they do when they visit. Frankly, I don’t know how to do that yet, although I hope to learn!

Some of my advertisers, like Google AdSense, use cookies.

Widgets
You may choose to provide information to complete a survey or poll, enter a contest, write a comment, or subscribe or unsubscribe to an email or RSS feed. That type of information will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected.

This site does not ask for financial information such as credit card numbers!

Children
I don’t mind if children read my website, my own kids do. (They do think it’s boring though.)

However, I remind all children and adults that no one should be posting personal, identifying information in the comments section.

For example, if I find a comment that says “Hi, I’m 9 and I love to walk in the park at Riverwood. I often walk through there on my way home from school on Thursdays. I sometimes find it spooky though since I’m alone, so if anyone wants to go birding with me, please meet me at 3:30 at the east gate” I will delete it immediately. Those kinds of comments are terribly dangerous as anyone can read them.

No one should meet anyone (at any age) that they’ve chatted to over the internet only, without meeting them first in a very safe location with backup of adult friends with them. I’d suggest only meeting inside the police station, while walking your trained canine defence dog, and with two or three of your favourite police officers in attendance!

Sharing, Disclosing and Using Your Personal Information
Helpful Crooks does not share any personal information except as described in this policy.

We never sell, rent or trade personal information with third parties for any reason.

We will only use or share your personal information if it is necessary to complete a transaction or do something that you asked us to do.

Remember if you write a comment that includes personal information such as your website or email address (in the body of the comment I mean) that information is available to anyone and anything using the internet. The email address you provide in the box before making a comment is not shared.

If I am legally or morally required to, I will provide what little personal information I have received from you to the appropriate law enforcement officers.

If for some unlikely reason, I have to sell Helpful Crooks, the sale would include any personal information you have provided to me. The information will continue to remain subject to the above policies.

Changes to this Policy
If this policy is significantly revised, I will contact any users for whom I have their email addresses. Otherwise, I will post a notice on the site about the changes.

For minor adjustments and corrections, I will not make a big fuss. You can always click on the policy and read it again if you have any concerns, or send me an email.

Contacting Us
If you have any concerns about this privacy policy, write an email to Bet Crooks at naturalcrooks dot com. (I think you know how to correct that to a real email address!)
Last updated on 2012 09 24