How We Collect and Use Information
We collect the following types of information about you:
Information you provide us directly:
We ask for certain information such as your username, real name, birthdate, address, phone number and e-mail address when you register for a wikiHow account, or if you correspond with us. We may also retain any messages you send through the Service, and may collect information you provide in User Content you post to the Service. We use this information to operate, maintain, and provide to you the features and functionality of the Service. 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.
Information we may receive from third parties:
We may receive information about you from third parties. For example, if you access our websites or Service through a third-party connection or log-in, for example, through Facebook Connect, by “following,” “liking,” adding the wikiHow application, linking your account to the wikiHow Service, etc., that third party may pass certain information about your use of its service to wikiHow. 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.
Inviting a friend to use wikiHow:
wikiHow may, in its sole discretion, develop a feature that allows you to invite third parties to the Service. If you choose to use our invitation service to invite a third party to the Service through our “Invite friends” feature, you may 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 the Service, and we do not retain the information contained in your contacts list. You understand that by inviting a friend to wikiHow 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 apply to communications sent from you 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:
wikiHow may, in its sole discretion, develop a feature that allows you to locate your friends with wikiHow accounts 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 wikiHow. If you choose to find your friends through your contact list, then you agree to provide wikiHow 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 wikiHow. 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 appears on our Service. 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 wikiHow.
We may directly collect analytics data, or use third-party analytics tools and services, to help us measure traffic and usage trends for the Service. These tools collect information sent by your browser or mobile device, including the pages you visit and other information that assists us in improving the Service. We collect and use this analytics information in aggregate form such that it cannot reasonably be manipulated to identify any particular individual user.
Log file information:
Log file information is automatically reported by your browser or mobile device each time you access the Service. When you use our Service, 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 the Service, 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 is allows for more accurate reporting and improvement of the Service.
When you access the Service 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 wikiHow. A device identifier may convey information to us about how you browse and use the Service. A device identifier may remain persistently on your device, to help you log in faster and enhance your navigation through the Service. Some features of the Service may not function properly if use or availability of device identifiers is impaired or disabled.
When you access the Service 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 the Service. Some features of the Service, 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 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 the Service, technical and security notices). You may not opt out of Service-related emails. You may also be able to be “found” on wikiHow based on information that you provide (see “Find friends on wikiHow”) above.
Use of certain service type information we collect about you:
Sharing of Your Information
We will not rent or sell your information into third parties outside wikiHow and its group companies (including any parent, subsidiaries and affiliates) without your consent, except as noted below:
- Who can see User Content: Any User Content that you voluntarily disclose for posting to the Service becomes available to the public and cannot be removed, except by wikiHow in its sole discretion. Once posted on wikiHow, User Content may not be removable from public view, as copies may remain viewable in cached and archived pages of the Service, 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, please don’t post it on wikiHow. 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.
- Who can see your IP address: If you post User Content on the Service while not logged in, your IP address will be published with your User Content in order to attribute your contribution to the Service. A selection of Trusted Users with administrative powers on wikiHow have the ability to review IP addresses of users to reduce abusive behavior. Any third party service embedded on wikiHow 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 wikiHow and other Users. If you reply to users or participate in group wikiHow activities such as meetups, your email address will be shared with these users. In addition, some email addresses such as blocked@wikiHow.com forward to a group of Trusted Users, who will use your email address to reply to the email.
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 the Service 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.