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Privacy Policy



Safeguarding Our Members' Privacy

Collection of Information
Personally Identifiable Information
Agreement, Interactive Features Guidelines and policies
Aggregate Information
E-Commerce
A Special Note Concerning Privacy and Children Online
Chat, Newsgroups, Bulletin Boards and Kids
How Parents Can Reduce the Risks
Guidelines for Parents
Contact Information

Safeguarding Our Members' Privacy (top)

Your privacy is very important to Varsity.com ('Varsity'). This Privacy Policy spells out our commitment to respecting the privacy of Varsity.com users. Varsity reserves the right to change this policy, and we will notify you of any changes.

Collection of Information (top)

Collection of information is usually grouped into two categories: personally identifiable information and so-called 'aggregate' information. Personally identifiable information is any information in Varsity’s possession that is associated with a specific user of our site (such as a name or address) and information we collect about how individual visitors use our site (such as the fact that a visitor likes entertainment news or has purchased certain merchandise). It does not include aggregate information, which is general demographic information (such as the total number of visitors who are more than 35 years old).

Personally Identifiable Information (top)

Varsity.com uses personal information only for the following purposes:

  1. to process requests and orders placed with advertisers, merchants and service providers;

  2. to personalize content based on visitors’ interests, including making visitors aware of editorial features, advertisements, and commercial offerings that may be of interest;

  3. to communicate with visitors;

  4. to register a visitor for a contest or sweepstakes and to administer or make related offers from the same;

  5. to serve visitors when they have questions or problems;

  6. to perform normal business operations, such as billing, collection, and accounting; and

  7. to investigate complaints and protect visitors, in compliance with the law.

Varsity.com contains links to a variety of providers who offer content, services and e-commerce. Many of these links may be in 'frames,' meaning that Varsity.com’s navigation will still be visible as you move throughout the linked site(s). Varsity.com may or may not have a formal relationship with the linked site. If we have a formal relationship, you are still covered under the Varsity.com privacy policy. If we do not have a formal relationship with the site, you will know that you have left the Varsity.com site (and thus are no longer covered by the Varsity.com privacy policy) when the words 'Return to Varsity.com' appear in the Varsity.com 'frame.' When you see 'Return to Varsity.com,' please be aware that you are no longer under the Varsity.com privacy policy. You should review the linked site’s privacy policy before divulging any personal information, including your e-mail address, credit card number (for an e-commerce link), name, etc.

Your profile information (any demographic information you provide to Varsity.com such as zip code, age, expected year of graduation and major) may be used to create personalized content, services, and marketing on Varsity.com so that we can deliver information to you based on your interests and location. In addition, Varsity.com may provide affiliates with non-personally identifiable profile information to generate aggregate reports and market research, for example, '30% of Varsity.com visitors/members are Varsity cheerleaders in the Southeast').

We use 'cookies' to deliver content specific to your interests and to save your password so that you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit the site. For more information on cookies and why we use them, please read our Varsity.com Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page.

Agreement, Interactive Features Guidelines and policies (top)

From time to time, we'll make our visitorship list available to carefully selected outside organizations. We may also send approved commercial communications to visitors on behalf of outside parties. If you do not want your name, address, e-mail address or other personal information to be provided for such purposes, indicate your intent by going to Visitor Preferences and choosing to opt out.

Varsity.com uses strict procedures and safeguards designed to protect the privacy of all personal information. All Varsity.com employees with access to personal information are required to follow specific practices concerning its proper handling, as specifically authorized or as required by law.

Varsity.com complies in all respects with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, as amended, ('ECPA'). Subject to the subpoena, warrant, consent, and court order provisions of ECPA, we must provide visitor information and/or Internet communications to the proper authorities.

Aggregate Information (top)

Varsity.com tracks the total number of visitors to each of our pages in an aggregate form to allow us to update and improve our sites. Personally identifiable information is not extracted in this process. Varsity.com may use or disclose aggregated (not personally identifiable) information for any purpose.

On a limited basis, we use 'cookie' technology. Cookies are pieces of information that an Internet site transfers to your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. Our servers then use these cookies to make your sessions easier by saving your preferences while you are on Varsity.com pages. The use of cookies is an industry standard -- you'll find them almost everywhere on the Internet. Our cookie usage is single session-only information, and is not stored across multiple sessions. There are two cookies used throughout our site. The first cookie allows us to know who the Visitor is and that he or she properly authenticated into our network. This cookie information can be used to retrieve personal information needed during the Visitor session, for example, to build your customized pages. Personal user information is stored only temporarily in this cookie. Once this information is retrieved for this purpose, the visitor identity is not stored or used for any other purpose. The second cookie is an 'advertising' cookie which we use to keep track of the ads you have seen. Varsity.com tracks which ads have been viewed, and we tie it to demographic data, but not to personally identifiable information. Remember, this describes cookie usage ONLY on Varsity.com (and its affiliate) sites. We have no control over the use of cookies by other Internet sites and their owners.

E-Commerce (top)

If you make a purchase from a store hosted by Varsity.com (please note that this does NOT include linked e-commerce sites where the 'Return to Varsity.com' phrase appears in the frame), you need to review the merchant’s privacy policy prior to providing them with your information. The information obtained during your visit to those stores, and the information you give such as your credit card number and contact information, is provided to the merchants. This is to enable transactions to take place and for the items to be shipped to you. However, these merchants, by contract, cannot use this information for any other purpose without your permission. For example, the merchant may ask if you would like to receive marketing information directly from them. If you choose to receive this information (by checking an 'opt-in' box at the point of purchase), you will receive marketing information directly from the merchant in the future until such time as you ask them directly to be taken off of their distribution list. While we encourage all of our merchant partners to adhere to a privacy policy, it is a good idea to read the merchant’s privacy policy yourself before agreeing to give them permission to use your personal information for marketing purposes. For example, their privacy policy may not prevent them from selling or sharing your personal information with other third parties. If you do not grant our merchant partners permission to contact you with marketing information (which will be signified by checking an 'opt-out' box at the point of purchase or by leaving an 'opt-in' box blank), the merchant is prohibited from contacting you directly, except to communicate customer service information regarding a specific purchase and cannot share or sell any of your information to third parties.

A Special Note Concerning Privacy and Children Online (top)

Although the Internet offers a wealth of information and exciting opportunities to explore, some of its content may not be suitable for children. Understandably, as the popularity of the Internet has grown, so have concerns among parents. Varsity.com believes that parents should supervise their children's online activities and suggests that they consider using parental control tools such as Cyber Patrol, and software manufacturers that help provide a child-friendly online environment.

Please instruct your children not to give us their name, address or e-mail address, or provide any personal information to anyone without your permission. It may also be wise to carefully note all the people with whom your child frequently corresponds over the Internet or on any online service.

Chat, Newsgroups, Bulletin Boards and Kids (top)

Chat, newsgroups, and bulletin boards offer children and parents alike the unique opportunity to make friends and talk to people all over the world. Please remember, though, that these interactive features are just like other public places where strangers meet. If you allow your children to access interactive features, please remind them of the dangers involved when corresponding or communicating with strangers or new acquaintances on the Internet (especially in Chat and Newsgroups, as well as when using e-mail).

We strongly recommend that you supervise your children's activities on these areas as you would in any public area. You should help your children understand that people they do not know will be reading their notes. They should be careful when choosing what to post (particularly information about themselves), as well as when choosing the people with whom they correspond. Also, only you, as a parent, can establish which topics and individual notes are appropriate for your family, just as you would for television programs or movies.

Children and teenagers get a lot of benefit from being online, but they can also be targets of crime and exploitation in this as in any other environment. Trusting, curious, and anxious to explore this new world and the relationships it brings, children and teenagers need parental supervision and common sense advice to ensure that their experiences in 'cyberspace' are happy, healthy, and productive.

How Parents Can Reduce the Risks (top)

Take advantage of Cyber Patrol. Also, to further restrict your child's access to discussions, forums, or bulletin boards that contain inappropriate material, some Internet sites and private bulletin boards have systems in place for parents to block out parts of the sites that they feel are inappropriate for their children. If you are concerned, you should contact the site find out how you can add these restrictions to any accounts that your children can access.

The Internet and some private bulletin boards contain areas designed specifically for adults who wish to post, view, or read sexually explicit material. Most private bulletin board operators who post such material limit access only to people who attest that they are adults but, like any other safeguards, be aware that there are always going to be cases where adults fail to enforce them or children find ways around them.

The best way to ensure that your children are having positive online experiences is to stay in touch with what they are doing. One way to do this is to spend time with your children while they're online. Have them show you what they do and ask them to teach you how to access the sites. While children and teenagers need a certain amount of privacy, they also need parental involvement and supervision in their daily lives. The same general parenting skills that apply to the 'real world' also apply while online.

If you have cause for concern about your children's online activities, talk to them. Also seek out the advice and counsel of other computer users in your area and become familiar with literature on Cyber Patrol and other filtering devices. Open communication with your children, utilization of such computer resources, and getting online yourself will help you obtain the full benefits of these devices and alert you to any potential problem that may occur with their use.

Guidelines for Parents (top)

By taking responsibility for their children's online computer use, parents can greatly minimize the potential risks.

Make it a family rule to:

  1. Never give out identifying information - home address, school name, or telephone number - in a public message such as chat or bulletin boards, and be sure you are dealing with someone that both you and your child know and trust before giving it out via e-mail. Think carefully before revealing any personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information. Consider using a pseudonym or unlisting your child's name from Internet sites in which they participate.

  2. Consider keeping the computer in a family room rather than the child's bedroom. Be sure to make this a family activity. Get to know their 'online friends' just as you get to know all of their other friends.

  3. Get to know the Internet sites your child uses. If you don't know how to get to them, get your child to show you. Find out what types of information it offers and whether there are ways for parents to block out objectionable material.

  4. Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission. If a meeting is arranged, make the first one in a public spot, and be sure to accompany your child.

  5. Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening, or make you feel uncomfortable. Encourage your children to tell you if they encounter such messages. If you or your child receives a message that is harassing, or of a sexual nature, or threatening, alert the appropriate law enforcement agency.

  6. Should you become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography while online, immediately report this Federal Bureau of Investigation and to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by calling 1-800-843-5678.

  7. Remember that people online may not be who they seem. Because you can't see or even hear the person, it is easy for someone to misrepresent him - or herself. Thus, someone indicating that 'she' is a '12-year-old girl' could really be a 40-year-old man.

  8. Remember that everything you read online may not be true. Any offer that's 'too good to be true' probably is. Be very careful about any offers that involve your coming to a meeting or having someone visit your house.

  9. Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use by your children. Discuss these rules and post them near the computer as a reminder. Remember to monitor their compliance with these rules, especially when it comes to the amount of time your children spend on the computer. A child or teenager's excessive use of the interactive features of the Internet, especially late at night, may be a clue that there is a potential problem.

Because some of the content on the Internet consists of material that is adult-oriented or otherwise objectionable to some people, the results of your search may automatically and unintentionally generate links or references to objectionable material. Varsity.com has no control over, and can make no claim that such surprises will not occur. Computerized search technology does not give you search results limited to only the hits that you were seeking. There may be extraneous hits as well.

Varsity.com recommends that to avoid any such surprises, you take advantage of the access controls that Varsity.com offers, as we discuss above, and be diligent in your supervision of any children you allow to use Varsity.com Internet.

Contact Information (top)

For answers to specific concerns regarding privacy that are not addressed here, see our About Us and Reporting Violations sites. These sites provide information on whom and how to contact us at Varsity.com.

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