Here’s our privacy and disclosure policy. If you have any questions about it, you can reach us via our contact page. Here goes…
First of all, please know that your privacy and safety on the internet is incredibly important to me. You can be sure that I do everything I can to make sure that your online experience with me is both comfortable AND a great experience.
Our site is meant for all audiences, and I work very hard to make sure that the information we provide here is safe and ‘clean’, so to speak, and that my website is kept up to date with regards to its platform – WordPress. I work by the rule that I’m here to serve you, and that you can expect me to do my best to make sure you’re taken care of, and never, ever exploited in any way.
Now, because I do gather certain information via my website (like when you sign up for free offers, newsletter, etc.) and promote specific products and services that are not my own, it’s important to me that you really understand my policy and the terms and conditions surrounding the capture and use of that information, and the sale of third party products. This privacy statement is to put in black and white what information I gather and exactly how I use it, as well as disclosing our affiliate status. I tell you this because you’re valuable to me. And because I expect the same from any website I visit personally. And because I have to as best practice for online businesses, but honestly, I’d tell you even if it wasn’t required. My ultimate goal is for you to feel comfortable with your experience each and every time you visit my site, and that you aren’t wondering if clicking on a link will take you out to some crazy website that has nothing to do with modern homesteading or the other topics we discuss here (we’ll tell you if that’s the case… ;o).
How I Use Surveys:
Occasionally, we’ll run a survey to find out what information we can provide that will help solve the problems you’re facing when it comes to modern homesteading and rural living. As such, most of these surveys will ask for personal contact information, information about your homesteading or rural living journey, and other relevant factoids. Know that you may choose NOT to respond to any survey – they’re not required! But they do help me get you relevant information… :o). As for the use of the survey content, I maintain the right to use any information I collect to assist with the research and development of books, workshops, courses, training, and other promotional content that will best serve my readers and subscribers. I will never, ever EVER give access or sell any of your information to others not employed by me. Now, that said, you should know that I do use third party software services to store and maintain client information – apps such as SurveyMonkey.com and AWeber.com (they provide the autoresponder & contact management services most online businesses need). I’ve been using these services for awhile, and they are used by some of the biggest companies in the information business (and all other business!) – as far as I’m concerned, they are trustworthy, or I wouldn’t be using them.
How I Use Your E-Mail and Phone Number:
If you take nothing else away from reading this Privacy Statement, take this: you can be absolutely, 100% sure that your email address or phone number, if I ever ask for them, will only be used by ME to communicate with you. Since I am a business owner, it is not possible to always handout FREE, super high quality, truly helpful information by email and online – without offering something for sale once in awhile. I’m actually happy to tell you that a great deal of the free information I send your way via the website and email will be valuable demonstrations, product reviews or previews of my services and/or products. Bottom line? I want you to feel comfortable buying from me. You always have the option of not buying anything at all, and just putting all the great free information to use in your own life and on your own property. I encourage you to use all of my best free reviews, tips, and checklists and articles to learn how you can go from urban stress to rural bliss – with style! In fact, you may just prefer to benefit from our promotional materials and never pay a cent for anything. And that is perfectly OK by me! My goal is to serve YOU, and as a result, I’m here to serve and to get this information out to as many people as I possibly can, to help them avoid all the mistakes and pitfalls that can befall newbie homesteaders. And maybe, just maybe, help them have some fun doing it!
Now, of course, livin’ ain’t free. We’ve got costs that include purchasing the products we review to save you the time of having to do the research yourself (we happen to think that’s pretty valuable!), building greenhouses and sheds, experimenting with new power systems and the like, all so we can tell you about it later. As a result, I’ll often run promotions and send out emails about particular products available from specific trusted partners and providers that I personally use in our home and on our homestead. I do this for two reasons: 1) My goal is to spare you all the years of research I’ve put into this enterprise, so you can get your rural life rolling faster than it took me; and 2) I want you to benefit from the same resources and products that have made my life easier, and dare I say, more fun! And you can be assured of this: I’m a pretty tough cookie when it comes to products and resources, and I’ll give you the good, bad and the ugly so you can make up your own mind. I don’t believe in fluff. If it doesn’t work, or is a royal pain in the butt to use, I’ll tell you. By the same token, I’ll tell you if it’s a product I absolutely love and couldn’t do without (’cause I can gush, too!).
In all of our correspondence with you, regardless of it being a promotion or not, it’s my goal to make even the promotional emails useful to my customers and subscribers, whether or not they choose to take me up on the offer. Emails and updates are TYPICALLY sent out 1 or 2 times a week. However, during special promotions you may receive, for example, two emails from me in a single day. I reserve the right to choose how frequently I email as long as I allow my subscribers to choose whether or not they want to hear from me (which I do, clearly, both when you subscribe AND on each correspondence). You’re not locked into anything – you can unsubscribe from our list at any time. But we aim to provide so much value that you won’t want to!
Third Party Contact Management Software:
I never share any information I collect with any third parties, except those that collect the information for me (e.g., AWeber [contact management system] and Paypal [payment management system]). These third party services do not contact you. They are business tools that make it easier for me to manage contacts and finances. It is best practice and normal for most businesses on the internet to use these exact services because they add another layer of protection for you, the customer (and they make it easy for us, the information provider). For example, by using PayPal, I never SEE the information you use for making purchases. Instead, I use a 3rd party payment processor such as Paypal, a well established, highly regarded company that can employ much higher security than I could ever provide on my own. This protects YOU and me! PayPal also protects you should you have issue with me as a service provider and feel the need to complain. Processing services help you claim refunds or request disputes if necessary. Now, I hope that never happens, and I’m almost 100% positive it won’t ever be an issue, but you just never know. I strive to handle ALL customer issues myself, but am also smart enough to understand that having a 3rd party to arbitrate any disputes can make things easier for everyone. The upshot of all this? I never see, handle, or store any payment or payment password information. I leave this in the more than capable hands of professionals who maintain the highest security standards so you can always feel safe and secure purchasing anything from our website.
Tracking on My Websites:
Currently, we use only Google Analytics on our website. This service provides me with anonymous data about visitor activity on my website and allows me to determine which internet browsers are most popular for browsing our website, which screen resolutions the majority of our visitors use, how many pages they are visiting, which pages are the most popular with visitors, and so on. I am also able to measure other general data that helps me create a better experience for future visitors and loyal returning visitors. If you don’t want to be tracked, you may turn off ALL tracking by disallowing cookies when browsing my website (though your own browser settings – I can’t control that on my end).
Tracking in My Emails:
Through AWeber, we track how often our emails are opened and whether or not links inside them are clicked. Not all of this activity can be tracked, and it depends on what email client you use and which settings you chose in your email client. This tracking can be turned off from your email client if you rather not contribute to our statistics. Why do we track these metrics? They help us determine what information you find useful or interesting, and which you do not. All of which helps us create content that you’ll find useful and compelling, and will hopefully help you in creating your new rural lifestyle!
If you’re concerned about this sort of tracking, you can easily turn it off: simply turn off HTML emails and only receive text – you can do this in the settings of your subscription with us (links are at the bottom of every email you receive from modernhomesteading.ca). If you do this, we can’t tell if that email is opened. Another tip? Avoid clicking links if you don’t want me to count your click. All links in email are automatically tagged by my email service (not me) with a click-counter.
And just so you know, I always comply with ICAN email standards. Everyone on my email list is a double opt-in subscriber, meaning that you personally had to respond to a confirmation email in order to be added to my list. ICAN’s extensive anti-spam rules say that I cannot email anyone unless they have specifically opted-in and requested contact from me. For this, I use a third party service as mentioned above, AWeber, which ensures strict adherence to those standards (even when I don’t know them in detail) and they prohibit me from sending unsolicited email or using any blackhat or illegal email practices. Part of the ICAN standard requires me to allow subscribers to easily remove themselves from my email list any time they want to stop receiving emails from me. Now we hope that never happens, but hey, situations change and maybe you just won’t need our super valuable information any more (we won’t be offended, I promise!). And honesetly, I don’t want to be bugging you with information you don’t want – that’s not good for either of us. So every single email communication from this website has a link at the bottom allowing you to stop hearing from me at ANY time. It’s that simple, and again, we won’t be offended (though we’d love it if you told us why you’re leaving so we can improve!).
Thanks for reading all the way through!