Site Policies

On this page:

Privacy

Your privacy is very important to us.

HowTo.gov doesn't collect personal information when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information. If you do choose to provide information to us, it is only used to fulfill your request for information.

We do collect some technical information on HowTo.gov. We explain below how we collect and handle this technical information.

Personal Information

We do not collect personal information for any purpose other than to respond to you (for example, to respond to your questions or provide subscriptions you have chosen). If you choose to provide us with personal information—such as contacting us via email—we only use that information to respond to your message, and to help get you the information you requested.

We only share the information you give us with another government agency if your question relates to that agency, or as otherwise required by law. HowTo.gov never collects information or creates individual profiles for marketing purposes.

While you must provide an email address for a response to any incoming questions or comments to HowTo.gov, we recommend that you NOT include any other personal information, especially Social Security numbers.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

We invite visitors to give us feedback about the quality of the content and performance of this website by completing a Customer Satisfaction survey. Responses to the survey help us improve the site and guide the future development of HowTo.gov.

The U.S. General Services Administration, who manage the day-to-day operation of HowTo.gov, have, in accord with federal law pertaining to the collection of data from the public, obtained clearance to serve this survey to the public.

See the information below for the OMB Control Number and more information pertaining to the delivery of the survey.
 

OMB Control No: 3090-0297
Expiration Date: 09/30/2014

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement - This information collection meets the requirements of 44 U.S.C.  §3507, as amended by section 2 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. You do not need to answer these questions unless we display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3090-0297. We estimate that it will take 3 minutes to read the instructions, gather the facts, and answer the questions.

Send only comments relating to our time estimate, including suggestions for reducing this burden, or any other aspects of this collection of information to:

General Services Administration
Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB)
1275 First Street, NE, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20417

ATTN: Flowers/IC 3090-0297

 

Comments

You are fully responsible for everything that you submit in your comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain. We reserve the right to delete comments that are generally understood as any of the following:

  • Violent, racist, obscene, profane, or hateful
  • Comments that threaten or harm the reputation of any person or organization
  • Advertisements or solicitations of any kind
  • Comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity
  • Multiple, off-topic posts or repetitive posts that are copied and pasted
  • Personal information including, but not limited to, identification numbers, phone numbers, emails

We also reserve the right to delete comments related to content we substantially revise or remove.

Technical Information Collected and Stored Automatically

This website uses Google Analytics Premium. Please refer to the following policies on Google’s website for more information:

When you visit HowTo.gov, we may store some or all of the following: the Internet address from which you accessed HowTo.gov, the date and time, the Internet address of the web site from which you linked to HowTo.gov, the name of the file or words you searched for, items clicked on a page, and the browser and operating system used.

This information is used to measure the number of visitors to the various sections of HowTo.gov and identify system performance or problem areas. We also use this information to help us develop the site, analyze patterns of usage, and to make the site more useful. This information is not used for associating search terms or patterns of site navigation with individual users. HowTo.gov periodically deletes its Web logs. On occasion, HowTo.gov may provide this information to third-party entities it contracts with for the purposes of analyzing website traffic.

Cookies

When you visit some websites, their Web servers generate pieces of information known as cookies. Cookies are commonly used to recognize your computer in the future.

HowTo.gov uses single-session cookies to serve technical purposes, like providing seamless navigation through HowTo.gov. These cookies do not permanently record data, and they are not stored on your computer's hard drive. HowTo.gov's session cookies are only available during an active browser session. When you close your browser, the session cookie disappears.

HowTo.gov also uses multi-session cookies to help us understand how people use the site, and how we can make it better. We use WebTrends Web analytics software, and while we do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII), WebTrends uses IP addresses to track what sites and search queries refer visitors to HowTo.gov. Traffic statistics are collected anonymously and aggregated, and no information is traceable to any specific individual.

Cookies—Tier 1 (single session) and Tier 2 (multi-session without PII)—are used on HowTo.gov in compliance with OMB Memorandum 10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies (PDF, 9 pages, June 2010). HowTo.gov does not use Tier 3 (multi-session with PII) cookies.

You can remove or block the use of Web measurement and customization technologies by changing the setting of your browser to block cookies as described on USA.gov’s Web Measurement and Customization Opt-Out page.

Site Security

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs commercial software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes and are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration guidelines.

Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

Disclaimer of Endorsement

The information posted on HowTo.gov includes hypertext links or pointers to information created and maintained by other public and/or private organizations. This site provides these links and pointers solely for our users' information and convenience. When users select a link to an outside website, they are leaving HowTo.gov and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the outside website. The managers of this site:

  • Do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained on a linked website;
  • Do not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer;
  • Cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked websites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked website;
  • Are not responsible for transmissions users receive from linked websites;
  • Do not guarantee that outside websites comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act.

We strongly recommend that you review the policies of any outside websites you visit from this site, since you will be subject to the privacy and security policies of those other sites, once you leave HowTo.gov.

Links to Other Websites

HowTo.gov links to other websites that provide additional information and practical tools to help government agencies serve customers. We primarily link to other government sites, but will also link to non-government sites for information not available elsewhere within government. We'll choose links that go directly to useful pages, not necessarily to organizational home pages. GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) and the Federal Web Managers Council (FWMC), which manage the site, evaluate links using the following criteria:

  • Does the suggested link point to an official government-owned or supported website, or a reliable and trustworthy non-government site?
  • Is the recommended website's content relevant, useful, and authoritative?
  • Does it complement existing information, products, and services on HowTo.gov?
  • Does the information appear to be current and accurate?
  • Does the recommended website’s approach to the privacy of personal information appear to be consistent with the government’s privacy and security policies?
  • Is the recommended website user-friendly, accessible, and applicable to the HowTo.gov audience?

HowTo.gov may also embed (incorporate) content from social media websites (such as YouTube videos or Twitter feeds) to provide a richer experience for our visitors. Such tools are always used in accordance with OMB Memorandum 10-23, Guidance for Agency Use of Third-Party Websites and Applications (PDF, 9 pages, 103 KB, June 2010).

If you click a link to an outside website, such as Facebook or YouTube, you will leave the HowTo.gov site and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the outside website. If you have concerns about how these other websites handle privacy and security issues, we strongly recommend that you review the policies of any external sites you visit.

Use of HowTo.gov Materials

Unless a copyright is indicated, material on HowTo.gov is free of copyright and may be copied and distributed without permission. Citation of HowTo.gov is appreciated.

If a copyright is indicated on a photo, graphic, or other material, you must get permission from the original source to use or to copy this material.

Learn more about Copyright and Other Rights Pertaining to U.S. Government Works.

DigitalGov University

See DGU registration and payment information for details on class registration, payment, cancellation policies, transfers, and DGU contacts.

For guidance on using or reproducing material presented in DGU training events, please visit Use of DigitalGov University Materials.

Accessibility

HowTo.gov is committed to providing access to all individuals—disabled or not—seeking information on HowTo.gov. To provide this information, HowTo.gov has been built to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (as amended). Section 508 requires that all individuals with disabilities (whether federal employees or members of the general public) have access to and use of information and data, comparable to that provided to individuals without disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on us.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader, Braille reader, etc.) and have trouble accessing information on HowTo.gov, please contact us with the nature of the problem, the URL (web address) of the information you tried to access, and your contact information. We will contact you as soon as possible, and do what we can to provide you with the information you need.

Documents in Different File Formats

Some documents on HowTo.gov are in Portable Document Format (PDF), so you can view publications in their original format regardless of the type of computer, browser, or operating system you use to access the Internet. In order to view, navigate through, and print PDF documents, you must first download the free Acrobat Reader software. For best results, you should install version 3.0 or later. Visit the Adobe Reader Help and Support page for troubleshooting tips.  

If you use a screenreader, you may want to visit Adobe's Reader accessibility page, which has a user's guide for accessing PDF documents with assistive technology.

Prohibitions

HowTo.gov will not link to any website that exhibits hate, bias, or discrimination. HowTo.gov reserves the right to deny or remove any link that contains misleading information or unsubstantiated claims, or is determined to be in conflict with HowTo.gov's mission or policies.

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding these policies, please contact us.

 

Content Lead: Natalie Davidson
Page Reviewed/Updated: October 22, 2013

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