Data Protection & Cookies
This page contains information concerning the nature of our data collection policies, it's be written to try and help our readers understand what information we capture on our websites and why we capture it. We also provide specific contact details should you require any more information about this topic.
So what data do we capture?
The most basic information stored is your details once you have registered on the site, we keep a track also of which magazines you have expressed an interest in.
Page request logging is carried out and means that we log the request for every page when it's asked for by a user, this is by far the largest amount of information we store.
The session-tracking data is simply an extension to this logging system, it allows us to tie together all the page requests made by someone in a single session at their computer.
We also keep a log of all the enquiries sent from our site, enquiries are not directly linked to user profiles, only store the information you enter into the actual enquiry.
All searches are stored along with the hit counts and the date/time the search was performed.
Advertising data consists of mainly banner clicks and exist points, banner clicks are stored regardless of whether you are logged in or not, exit points are links on the site which take you to pages outsite our site. Every click on these are logged.
All competition entries are logged and linked directly to user profiles.
And why do we capture that?
This information is used mainly to help us understand how to structure our site better and how to deliver the most relevent content to you.
Page request logging gives us a really good idea about what parts of the site are popular and which need work, session-tracking is a great way of finding trends in your own personal visits to the site. We can use this to make your experiences on our site better in the future, we can remove parts of the site you aren't interested in and customise the site to better fit your needs.
Enquiries are stored so we can provide companies with a backup service in case they misplace an enquiry, searches are stored so we can produce 'top search' lists, no search is actually associated with any specific user.
Advertising data is stored so we can produce reports for our advertisers, the actual information we provide includes banner hit counts and aggregated statistics about the types of people clicking on the links, if you have allowed us to share your information with third parties then some advertising reports will include your company details as your click on a banner indicated an interest in their product or service.
Is it difficult to get all that data?
Most of this information is extracted from common logs generated by the webserving software we use to serve our web site, however information like competition entries and banner clicks are stored in our own secure database.
Whilst the overall performance of our website takes a small hit from the logging we endevour to invent novel mechanims for making this hit as small as posible.
Right, so where is it stored?
All our data is either stored on our web server hard drive in folders not accessible to users (in technical terms they are 'off the web root' and not accessible via and ftp or ssh accounts).
Other data is stored in our secure database, the database is located on the same machine as the webserver, no person or program operating outside this machine is allowed to access the database.
Once a day the server is backed up onto tape and all logs are rotated on a weekly basis to keep everything ticking over. The backups are held on physical tape in secure cabinets, the logs are held in other private folders on the server.
We may also store information about you using cookies (files which are sent by us to your computer or other access device) which we can access when you visit our site in future. We do this to give you the option of automatically logging yourself in when you return to our site, it is only activated if you choose 'remember me' on the login form.
If you want to delete any cookies that are already on your computer, please refer to the instructions for your file management software to locate the file or directory that stores cookies. Our cookies will have the file names www.hsmsearch.com.
Information on deleting or controlling cookies is available at www.AboutCookies.org. Please note that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our site.
Where can you get more information?
Our technical support team are always happy to answer any questions you may have about any aspects of this website, just use the 'Contact' link on the home page to post your questions.