Frequently Asked Questions About Privacy
Everyone at Ben's Friends work very hard to keep our community safe, enjoyable and relevant. We do that by: keeping your personal information private, watching out for unwanted members, and enforcing discipline within the community.
Keeping your personal information private
Ben's Friends will never share the personal information you provided upon signing up especially your email address and other contact information to anyone including our partner organizations for any purpose without your expressed consent.
Further, you have the option of adjusting your privacy settings to select which of your personal information you wish to keep private. To do this, see the answer to the FAQ "What steps can I take to protect my privacy?" under the subheading "Privacy settings".
From time to time, Ben's Friends keeps you educated by sending out reminders on how you can determine the personal information you wish to share, limit access to, or keep private without curtailing your enjoyment of your membership.
Keeping unwanted members out
Our communities are built using the Ning platform. As such we are able to take advantage of Ning Network's several security settings.
- CAPTCHA -- A person wishing to sign up must encrypt an image containing random words and numbers. This deters signing-up programs or "spam-bots" from making it through to the network.
- Email verification -- New members are asked to verify their email address by clicking a link sent to their inbox. This ensures that only those with legitimate email addresses will make it through.
- Member moderation -- Volunteer moderators are notified by email when new members wish to join the community. These moderators are trusted members from the community and they are entrusted with approving requests for membership before they can sign in and do any sort of activity in the community.
Keeping discipline within the community
Ben's Friends works hard to keep your social network fun, safe and on topic. However, if a member starts to stir up trouble or uses the community to promote a personal agenda inimical to the purpose of this community, we exercise our right to enforce discipline. It could be any of the following: spamming (posting of an item more than once), personal attacks (may merit automatic suspension), offensive content (profanity, sexual references, illegal activity subject matter, pornographic material or photos), specific doctor or hospital names mentioned in a negative context (for legal reasons), or other inappropriate activities including those in the chat room. Such content are immediately stricken out of the site and the following steps are taken:
- Warning -- Members may receive a warning message in their inbox, explaining what they did to merit the warning and why it is considered unacceptable behaviour. This gives the person a chance to clean up his act: it may be that the person is unaware of what was done.
- Suspension -- A member is suspended if he or she continues with an activity for which a warning was already issued, or if the offence is so flagrant that an immediate suspension is required. The member will not be able to log in but is prompted to communicate with the site moderators or administrators, giving him an opportunity to air his side and be educated on how to avoid being suspended again.
- Expulsion -- Unrepentant violators are expelled from the site and banned from membership in any of Ben's Friends sites.
We value your privacy as much as you do, but we can only do so much to protect your privacy. that is why we equip you with the ability to do the following:
Adjust your Privacy Settings
You can control the type and amount of information other members are able to see on your wall. Here is how:
- Click Settings in the box to the right under your name. It will direct you to your account settings.
- Select which settings you would like to adjust: Profile, Privacy, Email, My Page, or Connections.
You can adjust these settings any time you feel like it.
Changing your password is an effective way of keeping your privacy, especially if you're working on a shared computer. Here are some tips.
- Disable Auto-save or Auto-fill options on our browser. This way, you will always be required to fill in the password manually.
- Use a password that is difficult to guess. Using multiple characters, including numbers, is a good practice.
Avoid Divulging Personal Information
Spammers and people with malicious intent may still be able to enter through our defenses. To further protect yourself, we advise you to do the following.
- You have the option to keep your name private. You are allowed to use an alias or just use your first name and the first letter of your last name.
- Do not share your email address to anyone who solicits it through the message inbox. Our inbox works just as well as any other email service. Why not continue communicating through this safe environment?
- Report anyone who may try to sell you sex, solicit for money, or sell you drugs or supplements that supposedly offer miraculous cure.
- Should you EVER encounter them, NEVER CLICK ON THEIR LINK, as it may be the way they can access your private information, or plant a virus, or back door Trojan on to your computer.
Just notify a moderator as soon as you get it. Their names and photos are at the top of the 'Member' page.
Your contribution to the security of this site is highly appreciated. You can do this by reporting incidences of privacy violation by the following.
Report signing up issues using your email.
If you are unable to log in to the site for any reason, send a message to the administrator explaining your experience. It could be that:
- You forgot your profile name or password;
- Your membership was temporarily suspended;
- Your account has been compromised; or,
- The site is having some technical difficulties.
Either way, the site administrators will be in the best position to address the issue and assist you in the best way they could.
Report unwanted activity in this site.
You may report any unwanted activity in this site to the moderators and administrators. If you don't know who they are, go to the Members tab. The moderators are featured on the top of the list, with a tag on their profile picture.
These activities may include:
- Soliciting for sex or persistent and unwanted discussion of sexual topics;
- Asking you to divulge personal information through a personal message, including your email address;
- Selling you a product or inviting you to join a site that promotes a product or service;
- Cyber-bullying and alike; and,
- Other activities that are not consistent with the general spirit of this site or its purpose.