At Mystery Competition, protecting our users' privacy and security is a top priority. For this reason, we have adopted the following policy to advise you of your choices regarding the use of your personal information online. This policy describes what types of information we gather about you, how we use it, under what circumstances we disclose it to third-parties, and your rights to update or correct it.
This Policy applies to 5 Minute Mystery. It does not apply to other companies' or organizations' web sites to which we link. You should carefully review the privacy policies of those web sites in order to determine how they treat your personal information.
Information Gathered From All Visitors
We gather certain generic information with respect to customers' use of our web site, such as the number of unique visitors, the frequency with which they visit, and the areas on the web site that they favor. These statistics are very much like television ratings that tell the networks how many people tuned in to a program. We only use this type of data in aggregate-that is, we look at the data on a collective basis, in summary form, rather than on an individual basis. This data helps us determine the extent to which our customers use certain parts of our web site, which, in turn, enables us to make it as appealing as possible. We may also provide statistical "ratings" about how our customers collectively use our web site to advertisers, sponsors, and other companies with which we do business ("Business Partners"). We do this so they, too, can understand how often people use their areas of the site in order for them to provide you with the best possible experience. These statistical ratings do not contain any personally identifiable information about you or any of our users.
We collect and analyze traffic on our web site by keeping track of the IP addresses of our visitors. IP addresses are unique numeric identifiers that are assigned to each computer browser accessing the Internet. An IP address, by itself, cannot identify you personally. However, when combined with other information provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), your IP address can be used to identify the computer originating a message.
We try to personalize your experience on our web sites in order to shape our mysteries that might be of interest to you. We also examine customer traffic patterns and web site usage to help us enhance the design and layout of the site and make it easier to navigate.
From time to time, we may send you surveys or solicit your feedback. We use surveys to gauge user interest in new products and premiums we may offer. We will ask for your feedback on mysteries and other site features. We will use the information we gather to improve our sites and provide a more meaningful experience for our users. We may also use the information to alert you to offers and products in which you have expressed an interest.
We send to all of our users our exclusive 5 Minute Mystery Newsletter, which alerts you to new features, content, and services, premiums available on our site. From time to time, we will also send you invitations to enhance your 5 Minute Mystery membership, or special offers from our affiliates and sponsors. These communications are sent to you directly by Mystery Competition. We do not share your personally identifiable information with any third parties in connection with the newsletter.
You can always decline our emails by un-checking the emails box on the "My Account" page or registration pages on our site. For other ways to unsubscribe, see Opt-Out/Changing Your Status, below.
Mystery Competition reserves the right to communicate with you from time to time about important administrative, policy, legal, credit card, and billing matters, which will affect your use of our web sites, including without limitation any alleged violations of our Terms of Service. These communications are mandatory.
If you elect to purchase a Membership on 5 Minute Mystery, you will be required to provide us with certain personal information, including your name, e-mail address, credit card number, expiration date, and billing address (this required information is subject to change from time to time). There will also be opportunities for you to provide us with additional information regarding your preferences and interests. This information, however, is not required and is completely optional on your part.
Additional data may be collected from Members based upon certain services they elect to utilize on our web site. For example, we may track the categories of mysteries you solve in order to make appropriate recommendations for products or services available on our site or those of our Business Partners. By obtaining this information, we can provide our Members with specific content and advertising in which they might be interested. None of this information is required to use our service or to become a Member; however, the omission of certain types of data will limit the value of your membership.
If you have provided us your consent, we will use the information we have collected about you in five ways:
To send personalized, targeted information that we think our users will find relevant, either from Mystery Competition or directly from its Business Partners;
To include targeted advertising within such messages;
To send promotions and coupons based on the user's interests;
To contact the user for feedback and surveys; and
To send the user other information about Mystery Competition.
Information Sharing Between Affiliates
Mystery Competition reserves the right to share your personally identifiable information with our affiliate companies, including your e-mail, postal address, phone number, and purchase history. We may use that information to conduct joint promotions, offer you special premiums, and to share databases and equipment. We also reserve the right to share your personal information with other companies that Mystery Competition may subsequently acquire. We will only share your credit card information among our affiliates if you expressly give us permission to do so.
Notwithstanding the above policies, we reserve the right to disclose your personal information to appropriate third-parties if we are required to do so by law or we believe that such action is necessary:
To comply with legal process such as a search warrant, subpoena or court order;
To protect the company's rights and property;
To investigate reports of users sending material using a false e-mail address or users sending harassing, threatening, or abusive messages;
To protect against misuse or unauthorized use of our web site and/or the 5MinuteMystery.com service; or
During emergencies, such as when we believe someone's physical safety is at risk.
At any time, you can change choices you have previously made as to the use of your personal information. Every communication Mystery Competition sends you will contain instructions to access your account to effectively 'opt out' of future mailings. Permission changes will be honored immediately. Permission changes will however not affect any information which you provided to us and which we previously shared with our Business Partners.
If you are a registered member, you have the ability to review and correct your personally identifiable information at any time. Simply sign into the site and click the "My Account" link on the header of every page. There, you can change your address information, e-mail type, sign-in, and e-mail permissions.
We are committed to protecting the privacy and rights of children online. We believe that children should be able to use the Internet in a safe, productive, and efficient manner and should be afforded the highest protection available with respect to their personal information. To that end, we have made it our policy to not collect any individually identifiable information from users whom we know are under the age of 13.
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA") imposes certain requirements upon web sites and online services that are directed toward children. To learn more about COPPA, click here for the Federal Trade Commission COPPA Web Site.
In the event that Mystery Competition and/or its units or subsidiaries are ever sold, acquired, merged, liquidated, reorganized, or otherwise transferred, we reserve the right to transfer our user databases together with any personally identifiable information contained therein, to a third-party acquiring Mystery Competition ‘s assets. In the event we do so, we will place a prominent notice of the sale on the homepage of our site, with links to information as to how you can change your privacy preferences.
When you place orders for purchased products or access your payment information, we use an advanced encryption technology known as Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to protect the storage and transfer of your data from unauthorized parties. While on a secure page, such as our registration form, a lock or key icon appears on the bottom of your web browser.
In addition to our online security efforts, we take steps to protect your personal data offline, as well. All of your information, not just the sensitive information mentioned above, is restricted in our offices. Employees are granted access on a need-to-know basis (for example, our billing clerk or a customer service representative). Furthermore, ALL employees are kept up-to-date on our security and privacy practices. Finally, the servers on which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment, behind a locked cage.
Mystery Competition ‘s main servers are operated from a dedicated Internet hosting facility with state-of-the-art physical security features, including smoke detection and fire suppression systems, motion sensors, and 24x7 secured access, as well as video camera surveillance and security breach alarms. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to Customer Service.
Even the best policy can't protect your online privacy and security in all circumstances. Unscrupulous advertisers, hackers, and scam artists are constantly searching the Internet looking for new targets. Your best protection is to understand the limits to privacy on the Internet and use common sense in all of your on-line activities.
Be aware that e-mail is an inherently insecure form of communication. Remember that third parties are sometimes able to illegally intercept your unencrypted messages, including online greetings. Anytime you visit a chat room or post a message to an on-line bulletin board, your e-mail address can be accessed by advertisers looking to compile lists for unsolicited commercial e-mail (also known as spam). Be sure that you only disclose your e-mail address in circumstances in which it is safe to do so.
Beware of scams in which persons unknown to you request your screen name, password, or credit card information. Make sure you verify the identity of anyone asking for personal information. Always monitor your children's on-line activities and educate them as to the rules for safe Internet use.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Mystery Competition Customer Support.