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Why do we have a Privacy Policy?

We have developed this Privacy Policy because we want you to feel confident about the privacy and security of your personal information. We are registered under English data protection laws and take all reasonable care to prevent any unauthorised access to your personal information.

When we refer to 'personal information' in this Privacy Policy, we mean information which identifies you as an individual, or is capable of doing so. Accordingly, we may hold and use data about you in your capacity as a consumer, a business customer, or as an individual acting on behalf of a business customer.

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully. If you are visiting our web site or using our services, by continuing to do so, you indicate your agreement to our use of your personal information as set out in this Privacy Policy.

What does this Privacy Policy cover?

This Privacy Policy only applies to our web sites and services. It does not apply to any third party services, or to any third party sites even if we host them or you access them from our web sites. If you disclose your personal information directly to other companies, your personal information will be dealt with according to their privacy practices.

What personal information do we collect about you, and when do we collect it?

When you register to become a customer, we may ask you for information such as your name, address, contact telephone numbers, email address, credit card details, gender, date of birth and other (optional) information. We may also ask you for personal information if you enter a competition or promotion on our web sites.

We may receive personal information about you from third parties. Except in the cases where we are merely processing such information for them, we rely on third parties to obtain your consent for us to use this information.

What do we use your personal information for?

If you register to become a member of SimplyExplained.com, we may use your personal information to:

  • confirm your question has been received
  • communicate with you about your access to, or use of, our services
  • check that you're a registered member if you call the helpdesk. For security reasons we'll ask you for some of the information you gave us when you registered and check this against our records
  • collect payment from you
  • let you know (by post, telephone or email) about any changes/additions to our services or our web sites or partner sites
  • contact you to ask whether you would like to join in one of our research groups to help us improve our services to you
  • improve our understanding of the type of customers we're attracting to our services and how they use our services
  • provide a personalised online experience,
  • generate your personalised ID,
  • subject to your agreement, provide you with information about our and/or third party products and services
  • manage our network
  • prevent and detect criminal activity, fraud and misuse of or damage to our network, and to prosecute those responsible.

If you enter one of our competitions or promotions, we use the personal information you provide to manage the competition or promotion you've entered.

We may also ask other companies to provide any of the above services on our behalf. When we do this, we share your personal information with these companies to enable them to provide the service on our behalf. Please see 'Do we share your personal information with anyone else?' for more information on this.

What other information do we collect?

As with most (if not all) web site operators, we also collect information from visitors to our web sites and registered customers to help us improve our web sites and the services we make available. This information tells us, for instance, how many visitors there were to our web sites, how many customers have logged in, when they visited, for how long, which areas of our web sites they went to and which web site they go to when they leave our web sites. This information helps us to assess which parts of our web sites are popular or need improving. We may share this aggregate, anonymous data with advertisers and other companies which offer their goods or services on our web sites so that they can see how effective our web sites are as a sales channel for their goods and services. We also share it with companies which we use to provide some of our services, for instance to provide reports to us on the use of our web sites.

If you are a visitor to, or registered user of, our web site, this information is gathered on an anonymous basis. We do not use this information to identify you individually (unless you agree to this by clicking on the 'Remember Me' function) or track any internet searches you make while on that web site.

Do we share your personal information with anyone else?

We sometimes use other companies to provide some of our services, or to provide services to us, and we share your personal information with these other companies. However, these companies can only process this information according to the instructions we give them, may only do things with your personal information that we are entitled to do, and may only act on our behalf. In addition they are required to meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act to keep the information secure.

We also share your personal information with other parts of our group or other companies so that they (or we, on their behalf) can contact you with details of other products or services you may be interested in. We'll only do this with your agreement. During your registration to become a customer, or if you enter a promotion or competition on our web sites, you can decide whether you would like to receive such information.
If you agree to receive information about other companies' products and services, we'll only share your personal information with those companies if they agree to use your personal information only for that purpose.

If you're a registered member, you can change your mind at any time about receiving information about other products or services from us or other companies. Please see 'How can you change the personal information we hold about you?' for more information on this. However, if you had previously agreed to receive information about products and services from other companies, you will need to contact those companies yourself.

We'll also disclose your personal information when required to do so by law, for example under a Court Order, or in response to properly made demands under powers contained in legislation. If there is a change (or prospective change) in the ownership of Simply Explained or any of its assets, we may have to disclose personal information to the new (or prospective) owner.

For how long do we keep personal information?

The time period for which we keep information varies according to what the information is used for. In some cases there are legal requirements to keep data for a minimum period. Unless there is a specific legal requirement for us to keep the information, we will retain it for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the data was collected or for which it is to be further processed.

How do we protect your data when it is transferred out of Europe?

Countries in the European Economic Area are required to have a similar standard of protection of personal data. This is not always the case outside that area. We may sometimes transfer data outside that area but before doing so we take steps to ensure that there is adequate protection, as required by English data protection laws.

How can you find out what personal information we hold about you?

If you want to know what personal information we hold about you, please write to the following address, enclosing a cheque for the administration fee of £10 made payable to “The Data Protection Controller” and post to the address on our website:

If you want specific information, please tell us, because this will speed up our reply. Please also give us any relevant details to help us find the information you're looking for. Please also note that in some instances, we may be able to provide the information you want without you having to make a formal request as described above.

How can you change the personal information we hold about you?

If the information we hold about you is inaccurate, please let us know and we will make the necessary amendments and confirm that these have been made.
How can you manage our contact with you for marketing purposes?

How do we protect your personal information?

We're serious about guarding the security of your personal information and the details of any transactions made. We take appropriate organisational and technical security measures to protect your data against unauthorised disclosure or processing.

Over and above what we do to safeguard your privacy and security, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from internet fraud:

  • choose a password you can remember but others will not guess, change it regularly and, if you do write it down, keep it somewhere safe and secure
  • when you have finished your session on our web sites, make sure you prevent your details being seen by anyone that you do not wish to see them. So, if you've registered and logged in, remember to log off. Clear any cache so there is no record of any transactions left on screen - both Netscape and Internet Explorer let you do this. We also recommend you then close your browser so any history of the session is cleared

When do we use cookies?

A 'cookie' is a text file which is allocated by our server to your PC. The text file contains a random number which, unless the cookie is deleted, allows your PC to be identified if you visit our web sites again.

For other customers and visitors to our web site we use cookies to collect information. Our servers use two different types of cookies. The first type is known as a 'session-based' cookie and is allocated to your PC only for the duration of your visit to our web site. It helps you to move around the web site faster and, if you're a registered customer, it allows us to give you information relevant to your selected service. This cookie automatically expires when you close down your browser.

The second type of cookie known as a 'persistent' cookie is allocated to your PC only if you agree by selecting the 'Remember Me' function. This cookie, if chosen, will remain on your PC for a period of time.

This cookie allows us to:

  • welcome you as an individual when you log on to our web site
  • limit how often you see particular advertisements or announcements on our web site
  • identify your defaults if you have set up a customised homepage
  • provide you with relevant self-help information
  • track where you have come from if you have come to our web site from another web site
  • track how many times you visit a page or advertisement
    Other companies which advertise or offer their products or services on our web sites may also allocate cookies to your PC. The types of cookies they use and how they use the information generated by them will be governed by those companies' Privacy Policies, not ours.

All types of cookies can be removed from your PC. However, if you do this there is likely to be a deterioration of your experience of our web sites (e.g. you may end up being shown endless numbers of pop up boxes containing the same advertisements or not being able to see a personalised page). Your browser lets you choose whether to accept, not to accept or to be warned before accepting cookies.These settings can be found in the advanced preferences -
In Internet Explorer select : Tools menu > Internet options > Security > Custom Level In Netscape 4.x select: Edit menu > Preferences > Advanced
For removing the 'Remember Me' cookie, just untick the box when you sign in.

Are third party sites covered by this Policy?

Third party internet sites that you can link to from our web sites are not covered by our Privacy Policy, so we urge you to be careful when you enter any personal information online. We accept no responsibility or liability for these sites.

How do you find out about changes to our Privacy Policy?

We may change our Privacy Policy from time to time. If you are a registered customer, we will notify you of the changed Policy.

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