- All of our Apple iOS device apps
- All of our Android device apps
These sites/device apps are owned and run by the SOS Publications group of companies. Some services and/or features mentioned below may not be available on all our sites/device apps.
1. Information SOS Collects
SOS gathers two types of information about users: data that users provide through optional, voluntary registrations on our sites/apps and in certain Competitions; and data SOS gathers through aggregating tracking information derived mainly by counting page views throughout our sites and click-throughs on advertisements. Such information enables us to better tailor our content to readers' needs and to help our advertisers better understand the demographics of our website/app audience. The only situation in which SOS divulges information about an individual user to a third party is with certain Competitions but only with the user's express prior consent (indicated by the user checking a box on the submission form).
Information You Provide Directly To SOS
If you are interested in obtaining information, products or services from SOS, or in participating in certain activities on this Site or via one of our apps, you may need to provide us with information about yourself. For example:
- If you order a product from us, we ask for your name, postal address, email address, telephone number and your credit/debit card number.
- If you are ordering a product as a gift for another person, we will ask you for that person's name, postal address and phone number in order to enable us to deliver the gift to the recipient.
- If you participate in an activity such as a Survey or Competition, we may also ask you to provide other types of information such as gender, personal interests or future buying preferences which we may associate with personally identifiable information that we have obtained about you.
In addition, we may combine personally identifiable information that you have provided to us with other information that is publicly available or that we receive from other sources.
Information We Collect Automatically
In addition to information you choose to provide to us, we also use standard Internet technologies to collect automatically certain additional information. For example:
- IP Address - When you come to our Site, we collect your Internet Protocol ("IP") address, which identifies the computer or service provider that you use to access the Site. We may use IP addresses to collect information regarding the frequency with which specific visitors visit various parts of our Site. We may combine this information with personally identifiable information that we have collected to make our Site and our communications to you better targeted to your interests.
- Web beacons and other tracking technologies - The Site uses other tracking tools, including web beacons (sometimes known as clear GIFs or web bugs). Web beacons are images on the Site (or in emails we send to you) that help us determine what parts of the Site you have visited, whether you have opened an email that we have sent to you, or otherwise to measure the effectiveness of the Site. These technical methods may involve the transmission of information directly to us or to a service provider authorised by us to collect information on our behalf.
The information we collect automatically may be combined with information that is personally identifiable so that we can make our Site and communications more interesting to you.
Third-Party Online Advertising
Third parties that currently serve ads on our Site, and thereby may collect information about your online activities to deliver tailored ads, include, but are not limited to, DoubleClick ( a Google company). These companies may offer you a way to choose not to have your information used for advertising purposes. These and other third-party companies may also be members of the Network Advertising Initiative ("NAI"), which offers a single location to opt out of receiving tailored ads from member companies. To opt out or to obtain information about the technologies member companies use or their own privacy policies, please visit the NAI consumer opt-out page. Also, through the Digital Advertising Alliance ("DAA"), several media and marketing associations have developed an industry self-regulatory program to give consumers a better understanding of and greater control over ads that are customised based on their online behaviour across different websites. To make choices about interest-based ads from participating third parties, please visit the DAA consumer opt-out page.
Several SOS sites offer free registration to users: Readers' Ads and Forum, for example. By registering, users can enter the sites without having to log in each time; you can vote in forum polls and on our Awards site, and you can take advantage of personalisation (the ability to select content according to a user-supplied profile).
When you register, SOS uses a cookie to store a unique, random user ID. We do not store passwords or any personal information about you. We use this ID to identify you anonymously in our database and to track the pages you visit on our site. Cookies also enable you to enter SOS sites (eg. the Forum) as a member without having to log on each time, and to visit member-restricted "Subscribers-only" areas of the SOS sites. We encrypt the user ID for added security.
During registration the user is required to supply a first name, last name, and password. In addition, the user can opt to subscribe to various SOS email newsletters and choose whether to have his/her email address and/or URL appear in Forum postings.
The SOS sites offer interactive polls to users so they can easily share their opinions with other users and see what the SOS audience thinks about important issues. SOS uses a system to "tag" users after they have voted, so they can vote only once on a particular question. This tag is not correlated with information about individual users.
Users of the Forum discussion groups must register for these services (it is free of charge) in order to post or reply to messages; there is no requirement to register in order to read/browse messages. During Forum registration the user is required to supply a Display Name, Password, valid Email Address, and to state whether or not they are an existing SOS Subscriber.
Forum's "Email This Topic To A Friend" Service
A Forum reader can choose to electronically forward a news story or discussion thread to someone else by clicking the link at the top of that topic. The user must provide their email address as well as that of the recipient. This information is used only in the case of transmission errors and, of course, to let the recipient know who sent the story. The information is not used for any other purpose.
Occasionally SOS conducts user surveys to better target our content to our audience. We sometimes share the aggregated demographic information in these surveys with our advertisers and partners. We never share any of this information about specific individuals with any third party.
SOS regularly runs Competitions in which we request certain personal information. At a minimum, the required information includes name and email address; in some cases, the user must answer mandatory survey questions about a range of other personal data. The information gathered in the entry form is used to verify the entrant's identity, to send the entrant an email notification that their entry has been received, and to contact winners and/or prize recipients.
A user may expressly choose to receive additional information from the Competition sponsor, in which case the user's personally identifiable information is divulged to the advertiser.
Because the rules and terms of each Competition can vary, all information about each Competition is clearly posted on the entry form. All Competitions are conducted in full accordance with English laws.
SOS tracks user traffic patterns throughout all of our sites using Google Analytics.
SOS sometimes tracks and catalogues the search terms that users enter in our main site Search engine and Forum search engine, but this tracking is anonymous and never associated with individual users.
SOS's online advertising system delivers a cookie to better track ad impressions and click-through rates.
If you've set your browser to warn you before accepting cookies, you will receive the warning message with each cookie.
During the process of delivering an advert to you, SOS does not collect any personally identifiable information about you such as name, address, phone number or email address. However, SOS does obtain some types of non-personally identifiable information such as the service provider you use to connect to the Internet, your browser type, or your computer operating system (Mac OS or Windows, for example). The information collected by SOS is used for the purpose of targeting ads and measuring ad effectiveness on behalf of ourselves and our advertisers.
In some cases, you may voluntarily provide personal information in response to a specific advert (this ad may ask you to fill out a survey or provide your postal code). If this does occur, SOS may collect this information on behalf of an advertiser. This information is used by an advertiser to respond to your request. In addition, SOS may combine this information with other users' information and review it in an aggregate (non-personal) form to understand the type of individuals who view a specific type of ad or visit a particular kind of web site.
2. Information Use
SOS may use information we gather from you for a variety of business purposes, including:
- To maintain and manage your account, deliver Services that you have requested, and enhance your experience on our Site;
- To process and track your product or service orders and provide the services you request;
- To communicate with you about the Site or other products or services in which you may be interested, or to respond to your inquiries or comments;
- To perform business analyses or for other purposes to improve the quality of our business, the Site, and the products and services we offer; or
- In accordance with your consent.
Opt-in Email Newsletters
From time to time, the SOS sites/app may offer a free email newsletter to users. Users can also subscribe to the newsletters at the time of registration. SOS gathers the email addresses of users who voluntarily Subscribe. Users may Unsubscribe from this mailing list by following the instructions included at the end of each newsletter they receive.
SOS delivers newsletters, marketing and product offerings via email to Opt-in recipients from our email marketing provider. The email tracking system recognises the URL that was clicked, and records some information to help us analyse response in the form of aggregated results.
SOS also uses the feature of your browser software to set a "cookie" on your system. This allows us to measure and report the click-through rate on email newsletters we send out and better determine future content.
While aggregate counts of click-through patterns may be provided to advertisers on request, an advertiser will never know that a specific user clicked their ad. SOS does not target advertising against specific user information and SOS will not provide specific user information to any third party company.
Other Email Correspondence
If you have paid for a subscription we may from time to time send you emails to keep you informed about your subscription status, for example when it is due to expire together with renewal offers and special discounts.
If you have a complementary subscription for whenever reason, the above also applies.
If you have purchased a product or service from our online store we may send you an email relating to your transaction, for example if we have run out of stock or not been able to collect payment.
Whatever the reason for contacting you by email, it will be specifically to correspond with you and no copy of the message or your email address will be provided to a third party.
3. Information Sharing
We take very seriously our responsibility to maintain your privacy with respect to your information. We will therefore share that information only with the following entities, and only under these circumstances:
- With identified entities whose products or services you specifically use or request to receive while you use the Site;
- With other selected third parties so that they may send you promotional materials about goods and services that they offer, but you have the opportunity to opt out of our sharing personally identifiable information about you as described below in the section entitled "Your Choices", and we will not share your email address with third parties for promotional purposes unless you specifically agree to such sharing;
- In aggregated or other non-personally identifiable form; or
- In accordance with your consent.
4. Your Choices
We understand the importance of protecting our customers' privacy, and we therefore provide you with the opportunity to opt-out of having your personally identifiable information used or disclosed for certain purposes.
You can opt-out of receiving promotional communications from SOS and our Affiliates and our licensees, or request that we not share personally identifiable information about you with third parties for the third parties' marketing purposes. You can change your preferences relating to our email newsletter by logging into your My Account on our site or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because we plan our communications in advance, it may take several weeks for your request to become effective. If you continue to receive our communications in error after expressing an opt-out preference, please let us know so that we can investigate the situation.
5. Third Party Sites
SOS does not control the practices of our advertisers. If you have questions about how one of our advertisers use information about you when you click their ad and go to their content, please contact them directly. (SOS will divulge information only as legally required to comply with governing laws.)
6. Correct/Update Your Personal Information
SOS offers users the ability to correct or change the information collected during registration for any SOS site. The instructions for doing this can be found in the My Account area of the main SOS site. Users may change this information at any time and as often as necessary. Users who are experiencing problems or who have any questions about how our web services work can contact us at email@example.com.
7. Delete/Deactivate Policy
Users may Unsubscribe from any of our email newsletters at any time by following the instructions contained at the end of each newsletter you have subscribed to.
8. Information Security
The security and confidentiality of your information is extremely important to us, and we take a number of steps to safeguard any personally identifiable information or credit card information that you provide to us. We use data encryption technology to help protect against loss, misuse or alteration of your credit card information. Secure Socket Layers (SSLs) encrypt the credit card information sent between your computer and our database, or to our card payment service provider. However, no method of transmitting or storing electronic data is ever completely secure, and therefore we cannot warrant or guarantee that such information will never be accessed, used or released in a manner that is inconsistent with this policy.
9. Credit Card Information
We do not store credit card or debit card details nor do we share customer details with any third-parties.
10. Transfer Of Personal Data Overseas
As the internet is a global environment, collecting and processing personal information may involve the transmission of this data internationally, including outside of the European Union or United States. Therefore, by communicating electronically with us you acknowledge and agree to your personal data being processed in this way.