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PRIVACY POLICY
Last Updated March 2005

We take your privacy very seriously. Our primary goal in collecting information from you is to provide you with a smooth and customized experience while you use our services or with Homestead services. Except as otherwise contemplated in this Privacy Policy, we and/or Homestead do not disclose any personally identifiable information about you to any third party without your permission, unless we believe in good faith that we are required to do so by law. We do share aggregated information about our members with third parties, such as advertisers or partners, for marketing and promotional purposes. This document will answer the following privacy concerns:

What information do we gather and track?
How do we use this information?
Do we share member account information?
How private is my account information?
How secure is my account information?
How do I opt out of receiving messages?
How do I update or deactivate my account information?
What are cookies and how do they work with my Homestead account?
How does Homestead notify members of changes to the Privacy Policy?
Has this Privacy Policy been reviewed by a third party for approval?
How do you protect Children's Privacy?
What information does Homestead gather and track? In general, we collect information about you in the following ways:

Registration
When you register for any of the website or Homestead services we may ask you how you heard about Homestead. The more information you provide (and the more accurate it is), the better we are able to customize and provide our services to suit your needs and preferences. When you register for one of the Homestead services, we may ask that you give us non-personal information such as the purpose for which you will be using a web site as well as the name of the person who may have referred you. We also ask that you give us personal information such as your name, email address, zip code, country, gender and birth date. When you register for a subscription-based service, we ask that you provide us with additional information, such as your mailing address, credit card number and credit card expiration date. Finally, when you register for a Homestead account, in addition to the above information, we may also ask that you provide us with a variety of information about your business, which may include (among other things) your company name, billing address, your role in your company, number of years of company's existence, and phone number.

Usage Tracking/Hardware/Software/Cookies
While you are on our web site, we may automatically track information related to your use of the Homestead services. This information may include (among other things) files viewed by the user, type of web site built, domain name and a user's path through our web site. There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by Homestead when you are using Homestead's downloadable software. This information can include information such as: your browser type, type of operating system, type of Java virtual machine, Internet connection speed, access times and identification of any software program which has previously caused technical problems with the Homestead product. This information will be matched with your personal information. In addition, when you connect to our web site, we will detect your IP address and store a cookie on your computer. An explanation of cookies can be found in #8.

Technical Support/Information
When, as a Homestead Member, you request technical support or information for Homestead services, we ask you for your personal information and other information necessary to answer your question or resolve your problem.

Promotions or Contests
When you enter a contest or promotion sponsored by Homestead and/or our partners, we ask for your contact information so that our partners or we can administer the contest or promotion, and notify winners.

E-Commerce Programs
When you sign up for any of our e-commerce programs that are available on Homestead services, we ask for your first/last name, mailing address, and e-mail address, as well as your phone number. We need this information in order to administer the program.

Discussion Boards
If you choose to post messages on our Discussion Boards or leave feedback for other members, we may collect such information about you as you choose to disclose.

Surveys/Questionnaires
We occasionally ask Homestead members or visitors to fill out optional surveys and/or questionnaires. These surveys/questionnaires may ask for demographic information and other information about computer use.

Other Information You Give Us
When you visit the Homestead web site, we may collect any information that you enter on our web site or give us in any other way in order to contact you about Homestead services. Additionally, if you want to learn more about our products or services, we may request that you fill out a form in which we ask for information such as your first/last name, mailing address, email address, as well as your phone number. We only use this information to contact you in order to provide you with information about Homestead products and services, answer any questions that you may have, and/or help you sign up for the Homestead service of your choice.

How does Homestead use my information? Homestead uses your information on an aggregated basis to do such things as operate our site and enhance our site. We statistically analyze site usage, including the behavior of our members, to improve the content, layout, and services of the Homestead site, as well as to enhance our marketing and promotional efforts.

We share aggregate information about our members with third parties, such as advertisers or partners, for marketing and promotional purposes. However, except as otherwise contemplated in this Privacy Policy, we do not disclose any personally identifiable information about you to any third party without your permission or as otherwise required by law.

We use the information we collect to better understand your needs. Additionally for the Homestead subscription services we use the information we collect to process payments, confirm renewal charges or payments to your account, administer your account and the like.

Finally, we may use the information we collect to occasionally notify you about important functionality changes to the web site, new Homestead services, and special offers (including promotion of our product or third party products) we think you'll find valuable. Except for communications sent to you regarding material company announcements or policy changes, if you would rather not receive this information you can indicate your preference. You may choose not to receive messages from us by following the opt-out instructions listed in #6.

The following describes some of the ways your information may be used:

Your contact information from the sign-up form is used to send you information about our company and products. We also use this information to contact you when necessary. Except as otherwise contemplated in this Privacy Policy, you may choose not to receive messages from us by following the opt-out instructions listed in #6.

Your unique IP address is used when we need to diagnose technical problems with our site. We use cookies to correctly deliver account information to you. To find out more about cookies, please see #8.

Any information collected regarding your hardware or software is used for the operation of the service, to maintain the quality of the service, to improve our products or services or to provide general statistics regarding use of the Homestead service.

Any information you provide to us through a form, email, or telephone requesting customer support, or information, is used for that specific situation only or to administer our service to you.

We will occasionally offer sweepstakes or contests on our web site. To participate, you will likely be asked to provide some personal information, such as e-mail address. This information may be shared with sponsors if the sweepstake/contest is co-sponsored by Homestead and a business partner.

We also partner with other companies that can help us provide enhanced services to our members. Any information you provide through a registration form for any service, is used to administer the service.

Any information you submit in a survey or questionnaire is used to help us better understand and serve our members. This research is compiled and analyzed on an aggregated basis; we may share this aggregated data with advertisers or business partners.

The contents of email correspondence to us or postings on our discussion boards may be used for promotional purposes, such as customer testimonials.

Any information that you enter on our web site and/or any contact information that you provide to Homestead may be used to send you email messages and direct mailings which supply detailed information about Homestead and/or the applicable Homestead service. We may also use your telephone number to call you in order to discuss the Homestead services and assist you in signing up if you choose to become a Member.


Does Homestead share member account information? As a general rule, except as otherwise contemplated in this Privacy Policy, Homestead will not disclose any of your personal information without your permission, except under special circumstances, such as when we believe in good faith that the law requires it. Any information provided by you for the purpose of registering a domain name will become part of the public WHOIS database and you will not be able to opt-out of this directory.

Business Partners: In addition to disclosing personal information to agents who provide services to you on Homestead's behalf, Homestead may disclose your personal information to business partners, but this is specifically described to you prior to data collection or prior to transferring the data. Our business partners have separate privacy and data collection practices. Homestead has no responsibility or liability for these independent policies. For more information regarding the partner or service and their privacy policies, return to that partner's home page and click on their Privacy Policy link. Additionally, Homestead may disclose your personal information to a third party who is a successor in interest, in the event of a merger, reorganization, change of control, acquisition or sale of all or substantially all of Homestead's assets.

Agent: We employ other companies and individuals who are subject to confidentiality obligations, to perform functions on our behalf. Examples include, but are not limited to, web site design services, sending postal mail and e-mail, registering a respective domain name, removing repetitive information from customer lists, analyzing data, providing marketing assistance, providing customer service, and collecting and processing payments for the Homestead subscription service. They have access to personal information needed to perform their functions, but may not use it for other purposes.

Promotions, Sweepstakes/Contests: Some Homestead promotions, sweepstakes/contests may require that you provide additional information, such as your mailing address, social security number or credit card number. Such information may be shared with a third party if such third party is sponsoring the "event" or if the information is necessary in order to administer the service or process your transaction.

Some Homestead promotions and sweepstakes/contests may also offer opportunities to request additional information from sponsors and/or may require that you share some basic information in order to participate. By requesting more information or by participating, you give Homestead permission to transfer your personal information to the sponsor or partner so they can fulfill your request.

Legally Compelled Disclosure and Other: Homestead may disclose or access account information when we believe in good faith that the law requires it or for the protection of our legal rights. Homestead may also disclose information in special cases when we have reason to believe that disclosing this information is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be violating the Homestead Member Agreement. We can disclose any personal information about you to law enforcement or other government officials as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate, in connection with a violation of the Homestead Member Agreement, an investigation of fraud, intellectual property infringements, or other activity that is illegal or may expose us to legal liability.

How private is my account information? Homestead makes every effort to ensure the confidentiality of all information you provide about yourself. As a general rule, except as otherwise contemplated in the Privacy Policy, Homestead will not disclose any of your personal information without your permission, except under special circumstances, such as when we believe in good faith that the law requires it. If personally identifiable data about you will be shared, we will tell you, whenever possible, before we collect or transfer the data.

As a Homestead member, you have exclusive access to your account information when you log in to http://www.homestead.com. Our Member Support staff also has access to your account information, which is viewed for reasons such as when technical support is requested or maintenance is required. In addition, any partner you request to provide services to your account may have access to your account information.

Homestead makes chat rooms, guest books, discussion boards, and other means of online communication and collaboration available to its members. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information. You should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, guest book, discussion board, or when you invite others to join your Homestead site or mailing list, or vice versa.

How secure is my account information? Homestead uses industry standard efforts to safeguard the confidentiality of your personally identifiable information, such as firewalls and Secure Socket Layers. We make every effort to protect the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under our control. In addition, we always use a secure connection when collecting personal financial information from you. However, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure.

Your Homestead account is password-protected so in addition to those partners or agents who may provide you services, only you and those you designate can access it and view the member information relevant to your account. Ultimately, you are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your passwords and any account information. Remember to log out of your Homestead account and close your browser window when you are done. This ensures that others cannot access your personal information if your computer is accessible to others.

How do I opt out of receiving messages from Homestead? Except as otherwise contemplated in this Privacy Policy, as a Homestead member, if you do not want to receive messages from Homestead about new features and promotions, you can indicate your preference by clicking the respective box of your choice. You can opt-out of receiving such information by logging into your account and visiting the "Update Profile" section within the "Manage Account" page. If you would ever like to start receiving messages, you can always update your profile accordingly.

Since it is necessary for us to contact you regarding certain matters, you may not opt-out of receiving messages relating to material company announcements or policy changes, or administrative matters relating to your account, like billing, collections, customer support or the like.

If you have been contacted by Homestead as a result of information you entered on our web site or if you provided your personal information to Homestead for the purposes of receiving more information about a Homestead service before choosing to sign up as a Member, and you no longer want to be contacted by Homestead, you can click on the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of any email you receive and Homestead will remove you from the list of those who will be contacted with more information about the Homestead service.

How do I update or deactivate my account? You can control and update your contact information for Homestead services by logging into your account and visiting the "Update Profile" section within the "Manage Account" page. If you wish to deactivate your Homestead service, please contact customer support by logging into your account and accessing the customer support phone number within the "Managing My Account" section of Homestead's Help Topics.

What are cookies and how does Homestead use them? Cookies are small pieces of information stored on your hard drive, not on our site. The use of cookies is an industry standard, generally used by most major Web sites to improve their services. Homestead uses cookies because they allow us to store your password without your having to constantly re-enter it. Cookies can also help us track your behavior on our site so that we can tailor our marketing message to better match your needs and interests. Finally, by tracking behavior on our site, cookies allow us to better understand how members use our site, which in turn helps us focus our resources on features that are most popular with our members. You are always free to decline our cookies if your browser permits, but some parts of our site may not work properly if you do so.

Note: Homestead places advertising on our site, and in some cases on our Member Web sites, that originates from outside advertisers and/or advertising agencies, and may use the services of third party companies to display such advertising. For a list of our third party providers, please click here. For more information regarding the advertiser and/or advertising agencies and their privacy policies, return to that advertiser's home page and click on their Privacy Policy link. In some cases, if you click on or view these ads, the advertiser may assign you a cookie. Homestead does not control these cookies.

How does Homestead notify members of changes to the Privacy Policy? This policy is periodically reviewed by Homestead and may be subject to change. Therefore, please check this Privacy Policy periodically and you may refer to the date posted at the top of this page to determine when this policy was last updated. Use of the Homestead Site constitutes consent to any policies then in effect.

If we are going to use your personally identifiable information in a manner different from that as provided in our Privacy Policy at the time of collection we will notify you via email. You will have a choice as to whether or not we use your information in this different manner. In addition, if we make any material changes in our privacy practices that do not affect member information already stored in our database, we will post a prominent notice on our web site notifying members of the change. In some cases where we post the notice we will also email members who have opted to receive communications from us, notifying them of the changes in our privacy practices.

Has this Privacy Policy been reviewed by a third party for approval? Homestead is a licensee of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. TRUSTe is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to build members' trust and confidence in the Internet by promoting the use of fair information practices. Because Homestead wants to demonstrate its commitment to your privacy, it has agreed to disclose its information practices and have its privacy practices reviewed for compliance by TRUSTe. If you still have questions or concerns regarding the Homestead privacy policy, please contact Homestead Member Support at privacy@homesteadsupport.com, and if you do not receive acknowledgment of your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactorily addressed, you should then contact TRUSTe.

How does Homestead protect Children's Privacy? Homestead does not direct its services towards minors and we do not allow Children under the age of 13 to sign up for the Homestead services. No information should be submitted to or posted at Homestead by children under the age of 13 ("Children") without the prior consent of their parent or guardian.

Verifiable Parental Consent. We are required by law to obtain verifiable parental consent in order to collect, use, or disclose personal information from Children. Before we collect any information on a Child, we require the parent or guardian (collectively, the "Parent") to verify his or her consent by either completing a consent form which may be obtained by e-mailing kidsafety@homesteadsupport.com or by providing us with their credit card or social security number. By agreeing to the registration of his or her Child a Parent (i) agrees that the Child's online activities are subject to a number of rules and policies, including without limitation this Privacy Policy and the Member Agreement, and (ii) consents to our collection, use, and disclosure of personal information about the Child as described in this Privacy Policy. We make special provisions to allow parents to control the personal information we collect from Children as described below.

Collector of Personal Information. Homestead Technologies Inc. owns and operates this web site and this policy only addresses the activities of Homestead. Other sites (including those that we link to) and the sites of our members may have their own policies, which we do not control and which are not addressed by this policy.

What and How Personal Information is Collected.

Collection by Homestead. We may directly collect the following types of personal information about Children: name, address, email address, parent's registration information, birthdates, gender, or such other data that may help us to better tailor our services for each member. In addition, our servers may collect personal information indirectly and automatically (through, for example, the use of "cookies") about Children's activities while using our services, including internet sites and web pages visited.

Public Areas. "Public Areas" are those member web sites and other areas, such as chat rooms, guest books and other means of online communication, in which a member or a third party may send a communication that is publicly available to other members. Public Areas provide special circumstances relating to the collection and disclosure of personal information. Members voluntarily may disclose any personal information whatsoever when they participate in Public Areas, but should exercise caution when doing so. In these instances, Homestead does not control that disclosure, and the personal information may be available to anyone who is also participating in that Public Area.

Prohibited Collection. We are prohibited by law from conditioning Children's participation in a game, the offering of a prize, or another similar activity on the Child's disclosure of more Personal Information than is reasonably necessary to participate in that activity.

Our Use of Personal Information. Homestead may use Children's personal information: to operate its site, to fulfill a requested transaction, for record keeping, for technical support or maintenance, to obtain verifiable parental consent for the collection of personal information, or for marketing directly to the Child.

Disclosure of Personal Information.

Disclosure by Homestead. Except as contemplated in this section, we will not share personal information with a third party who does not agree to maintain the confidentiality of that personal information using reasonable security measures. We may disclose aggregated information about our members but that information contains no personal information. In some situations, we share personal information with third parties who provide support for the internal operations or enhancement of the services.

Unfortunately, due to the existing regulatory environment, we cannot ensure that all of your private communications and other personal information will never be disclosed in ways not otherwise described in this Privacy Policy. By way of example (without limiting the foregoing), we may be forced to disclose personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, or third parties may unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications. We can (and you can authorize us to) disclose any personal information about you to law enforcement or other government officials as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate, in connection with an investigation of fraud, intellectual property infringements, or other activity that is illegal or may expose us to legal liability.

Public Disclosure by Members. Any time any member, including Children, voluntarily discloses personal information in a Public Area, that personal information may be used by third parties. In these cases, the member must choose whether or not to disclose personal information.

Review and Control of Personal Information. If parents/guardians wish to request that their child's information be deleted or that no further information be collected from their child, please e-mail us at kidsafety@homesteadsupport.com.

The Internet is huge and can be great fun to explore, but parents and children need to educate themselves if they want to have a safe and enjoyable online experience. Click http://www.homestead.com/~site/Legal/safety.ffhtml if you'd like some tips on how to stay street smart on the Web.