Currently there is great concern about privacy and information collection on the internet. Many people are concerned about cookies, website logs, and other techniques that can be used for collecting user information or tracking a user's browsing habits as well as the ways which online companies may use information they collect.
Hortico feels strongly that such information is private and treats all customer and visitor information with utmost confidentiality and respect. This data is never given or sold to others, and is protected on all our systems.
The only private information hortico has about you is what you choose to give us in submitting an order, sending us an email message, or posting a message in our guestbook.
This information is only used in fulfilling your order or in responding to your messages. Again, we will never sell or give any of this information to third parties or use it for bulk advertising or other purposes.
Order Submission and Storage
The other security and privacy issue involves transmission of personal information to our server during order submissions. During ordering, we submit directly into a database. Payment data is not emailed. Once we retrieve your order, credit card numbers are erased from the database.
Hortico's website offers SSL secure ordering to encrypt your name, address, payment information and other order details as they are passed from your browser to our webserver. We also offer non-SSL ordering for browsers without SSL support.
Either method of passing data into our database is generally secure, and more secure than email. If you are uncomfortable about this or about using your credit card on any website, we have several methods by which you can pay for your order.
Hortico's website uses session cookies throughout. However, they are ONLY used in order to implement the catalogue browsing and the online ordering. Without cookies, these features would not work. Hortico's site does not use persistent cookies at all. Some things cookies are used for include:
- Maintaining current position within the catalogue browser
- Enabling the shopping cart and ordering forms to work
- Communicating your order details to Hortico
- Position data is saved only for the length of one session on our site
- The only personal information saved is what is entered by the user when an order is entered.
We review aggregated results from our site's visitor statistics. These data are, by their very nature, aggregate totals and can not disclose any sort of individual information. No one can identify, contact or find you through our use of this data, or even its collection.
- Cookies are a means that www browsers and servers can use to accomplish certain complex tasks. Cookies are simply information that the server (hortico) asks the browser (you) to store locally. This info is stored by your browser in a particular file (generally cookies.txt) and can only be retrieved by our site. On Hortico's site cookies are necessary for the catalogues, shopping cart and ordering to work.
- Session Cookies
- Session cookies are only saved for the duration of your present session. If you close your browser, the information is discarded.
- Persistent Cookies
- Persistent cookies are saved by your browser from session to session. In other words, they are stored even when you close and restart your browser.
- Website Logs
- Most, if not all webservers (the software that runs any website), provide logs of the traffic visiting that site. These logs generally contain only information such as IP number, date, time, and the page or image loaded. Generally these logs are processed into a report by an analysis program such as Analog or Webtrends. See Statistical Information.
- Internet Cookies
Info bulletin from the Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC) site.
(according to the March 19, 1998 tourbus, "... the nice folks at the CIAC also recently conducted an in-depth investigation into the threat posed by Web browser cookies. Their conclusion? "The vulnerability of systems to damage or snooping by using web browser cookies is essentially nonexistent." You can read their entire cookie report (which is _VERY_ well written and is quite easy to read) ..."
- The Internet Tourbus (July 29, 1997): A Closer Look at Cookies
- Cookies: what they are and how they work from the Netscape Tech Support Knowledge Base.