PRIVACY POLICY for www.howtothinklikeaprogrammer.com

At howtothinklikeaprogrammer.com we are dedicated to safeguarding and preserving your privacy when visiting our site or communicating electronically with us. Our Privacy Policy has been adapted from one provided and approved by internet law specialists LegalCentre.co.uk and also incorporates adaptations or inclusions from those used by the UK Government’s Dept. for Children, Schools and Families, Insomniac Games, and www.standards.dfes.gov.uk, www.insomniacgames.com, and Anglia Bus Forum

This Privacy Policy, together with our terms of use, explains what happens to personal data that you provide to us, or that we collect from you when you are on this site. We do update this Policy from time to time so please do return and review this Policy regularly.

Information We Collect

In operating our website we may collect and process the following data about you:

  1. Details of your visits to our website and the resources that you access, including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data.
  2. Information that you provide by filling in forms on our website, such as when you registered for information or make a post on our forums.
  3. Information provided to us when you communicate with us for any reason.

All information collected is provided by you on a voluntary basis. Any personal information gathered is used solely for communication purposes (with the exception of special course-related boards – see below). Most of the content supplied on howtothinklikeaprogrammer.com requires no personally identifying information to be collected. Sometimes we do need to collect information which identifies you personally. Activities requiring this include:

  • signing up for email newsletters or any other online services we may offer from time to time
  • taking part in surveys
  • contacting us
  • registering to use an educational course-related board (see below)

Any surveys on this site are used for entertainment purposes (e.g. polls on forum threads).for our own internal profiling purposes in order to learn more about how this site is being used and to keep track of non-identifying (anonymous) demographic information, for the development of new resources for the website or for revisions to the How To Think Like A Programmer book.

If you contact us by email through links provided on this site any personal information included in the email is used to respond to questions and comments contained in the sender’s email.

We only collect information that we deem reasonably necessary to fulfil your online requests and to carry out the legitimate objectives of this website

Use of Cookies

Please note that the site software places a cookie (a text file containing bits of information such as your username and password), in your browser's cache. This is ONLY used to keep you logged in/out. The software does not collect or send any other form of information to your computer. The cookie is also used if you select the item marked "Login forever/keep me logged in". The administrators do not see what is contained within this cookie. Cookies are essential for the use of the Forum board to work properly. 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 have the file names SMFCookie956. Information on deleting or controlling cookies is available at www.AboutCookies.org (this link provided for guidance only).


Additionally, we might combine this information with personally identifiable information to identify a visitor in order to enforce compliance with our Terms of Use, or to protect our service, website or visitors to the website.

All computers have the ability to decline cookies.  This can be done by activating the setting on your browser which enables you to decline the cookies. Please note that should you choose to decline cookies, you may be unable to access particular parts of our website.

Our advertisers may also use cookies, over which we have no control.  Such cookies (if used) would be downloaded once you click on advertisements on our website.

Use of Your Information

The information that we collect and store relating to you is primarily used to enable us to provide our services to you.  In addition, we may use the information for the following purposes:

  1. To provide you with information requested from us relating to our products or services.  
  2. To notify you about any changes to our website, such as improvements or service/product changes, that may affect our service.

Further, we may use your data, or permit selected third parties to use your data, so that you can be provided with access to special private discussion boards used to support the curricula of educational institutions (see section on Course-related boards below).

Please be advised that we do not reveal information about identifiable individuals to our advertisers but we may, on occasion, provide them with aggregate statistical information about our visitors. 

If you elect not to submit personally identifying information when requested, you may not be able to access certain areas of our website and this might limit the services available to you. For example, if you wish to use an educational course-related board, you will need to provide details of your student i.d. for verification purposes. However, if all you want to do is browse this site you do not need to provide any information that identifies your personally. To make posts on the forum discussion boards you will need to register and provide a valid email address.

Storing Your Personal Data

The transmission of information via the Internet is not completely secure and therefore we cannot guarantee the security of data sent to us electronically and transmission of such data is therefore entirely at your own risk. Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password so that you can access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential.

Disclosing Your Information

Where applicable, we may disclose your personal information to any member of our group. This includes, where applicable, our subsidiaries, our holding company and its other subsidiaries (if any).

We may also disclose your personal information to third parties:

  1. Where we sell any or all of our business and/or our assets to a third party.
  2. Where we are legally required to disclose your information.
  3. Where we are acting in the good faith belief that we are required to do so by law or to comply with legal processes, respond to any claims or protect the rights, property, or personal safety of Paul Vickers or the public.
  4. To assist fraud protection and minimise credit risk.
  5. To prevent the use of this site by forum spammers (see Forum spam, below).

Forum spam

When an attempt is made to register on this site, we will check the username, email address, and IP address provided by the applicant against databases of known forum spammers. If a match is made, we will submit the username, IP address, and email address provided by the applicant to such databases, the user account will be deleted, and further applications  will be blocked. If you register or attempt to register on this site with the intention posting unsolicited advertisements of any sort (or to otherwise engage in ‘forum spam’ activity), you waive all rights to privacy and legal recourse and agree that your details may be used in order to prevent spam by any means that we deem appropriate, including the submission of your details to third party affiliates and databases.

Course-related boards

Some educational institutions have chosen to use the discussion boards feature of this site as a complementary resource to their curriculum. Normally, this is done through the use of private boards to which only students registered on a particular course have access. If you have been recommended to register here to supplement your learning on an educational course then your institution will have asked you to provide it with the username you used to register on this site. This is necessary to allow the moderator of the private board to give you the necessary permissions to access it. The main moderator of the private board will be a representative of the educational institution that requested it and this moderator (as well as the howtothinklikeaprogrammer.com administrators and global moderators) will have access to your howtothinklikeaprogrammer.com user profile).

Although you do not have to supply your institution with this information, without it they will not be able to grant you access to the relevant private boards. If you do supply them with your username then you also give permission for your institution to use information from the content of any posts you make on this site in any way they deem necessary to fulfil the needs of the course on which you are registered and which is supported by the private board. For example, your institution might cite inactivity on the specified private board as evidence of lack of participation on the relevant course.  Also note that even if you are using the forum as part of a formal course of study you are still bound by our normal terms of service and any activity that breaks the conditions of use may result in a ban or other limitation of service and this may in turn negatively impact on your studies.

Third Party Links

You might find links to third party websites on our website. These websites should have their own privacy policies which you should check. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for their policies whatsoever as we have no control over them.  

Spoofed emails

You should be aware that there are computer viruses currently active that copy email addresses from infected computers and use those addresses to fake a "From" address on emails that they then send to other users. We have no control over, or responsibility for, these forged messages as they originate from infected third party computers. If you are not expecting an email from howtothinklikeaprogrammer.com, then you should treat emails that appear to originate from the site with caution.
Note that any "From" address can be faked, not just that of howtothinklikeaprogrammer.com. Treat all incoming email with the same caution, and do not open any attachments that you do not know the contents of - even if they appear to come from a trusted source - in case they contain computer viruses. It is recommended that you have up-to-date virus detection software on your computer in order to prevent infections and to protect your files.

Storing Your Personal Data

The transmission of information via the Internet is not completely secure and therefore we cannot guarantee the security of data sent to us electronically and transmission of such data is therefore entirely at your own risk. Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password so that you can access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential.

Contacting Us

We welcome any queries, comments or requests you may have regarding this Privacy Policy.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at admin@howtothinklikeaprogrammer.com.

BY USING THIS SITE, YOU SIGNIFY YOUR ASSENT TO THE HOWTOTHINKLIKEAPROGRAMMER.COM ONLINE PRIVACY POLICY. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THIS PRIVACY POLICY, PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS WEBSITE. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY POLICY AT ANY TIME. PLEASE CHECK BACK FROM TIME TO TIME TO ENSURE YOU ARE AWARE OF ANY SUCH CHANGES. YOUR CONTINUED USE OF THIS WEBSITE WILL SIGNIFY YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE CHANGES.


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Paul Vickers is a participant in the Amazon Europe S..r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk/Javari.co.uk.

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