Privacy & Security

1. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides this World Wide Web (WWW) site as a public service.

2.  For site management, we use software programs to collect and create summary statistics on the following information for statistical purposes.

  •  the date and time
  •  the originating Internet Protocol (IP) address
  •  the object requested
  •  the address of the web site from which you linked to our site
  •  the type of browser you use to access our web site, and
  •  the completion status of the request.

3. This government computer system uses these gathered statistics for such purposes as:

  •  assessing what information is of most and least interest, 
  •  determining technical design specifications, and 
  •  identifying system performance or problem areas.

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


5.  Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, this web site makes no other attempts to identify individual users or their usage habits. We use raw data logs for no other purposes and scheduled these logs for regular destruction in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration General Schedule 20.


6.  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.


7.  The information we receive depends upon what you do when visiting our site -

a. If you visit our site to read or download information, such as consumer brochures or press releases:

  • We collect and store only the following information about you: the name of the domain from which you access the Internet (for example,, if you are connecting from an America Online account, or if you are connecting from Pennsylvania State University's domain); the date and time you access our site; and the Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to our site.
  • We use the information we collect to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, and to help us make our site more useful to visitors.

b. If you identify yourself by sending an E-mail:

  • You also may decide to send us personally identifying information, for example, in an electronic mail message containing a complaint or compliment.
  • We use personally identifying information from viewers in various ways to further the usefulness and accuracy of the information contained on our Web site or to add new sections and services. If you include personally-identifying information in your e-mail because you want us to address issues specific to your situation, we may use that information in responding to your request. In other limited circumstances, including requests from Congress or limited other parties, we may be required by law to disclose information that you submit.
  • Be aware that despite anything we do to protect electronic information, e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. If your communication is very sensitive, or includes personal information, you might prefer to send it by regular mail instead.


8.  Information Collected from Interactive Forms

  • On some of our Web pages we may offer interactive forms that let you voluntarily submit personal information (such as your e-mail address, name, or organization). This occurs when you are registering for various conferences, workshops, or training sessions offered by SBA, ordering publications for SBA Pubs, or submitting comments to various web discussion forums. In those cases, all submitted information is used only for the express purposes for which it is intended and is not made available to any third party. However, when you submit a comment to an SBA web discussion forum, if you supply your name, e-mail address, or other personal information, that information is posted along with your comment.

9.  Cookies:

  • Cookies are small files that web servers place on a user's hard drive. They can serve several functions:
  • they allow the web site to identify you as a previous visitor each time you access a site;
  • they track what information you view at a site (important to commercial sites trying to determine your buying preferences);
  • in the more advanced cases they track your movements through many Web sites but not the whole Web;
  • businesses use them for customer convenience to allow them to produce a list of items to buy and pay for them all at one time and to garner information about what individuals are buying at their sites;
  • advertisers use them to determine the effectiveness of their marketing and offer insights into consumer preferences and tastes by collecting data from many Web sites; and
  • they can be used to help a web site tailor screens for each customer's preference.
  • To protect your privacy, be sure to close your browser completely after you have finished conducting business with a web site that does use cookies. If you are concerned about the potential use of the information gathered from your computer by cookies, you can set your browser to prompt you before it accepts a cookie. Most Internet browser have settings that let you identify and/or reject cookies.
  • SBA does not use cookies.

10.  Session Variables:

Session variables are small files that a Web site transfers temporarily to your computer's memory, not to your computer's hard drive.

On some SBA web pages, we use "session variables" to help you use our web sites interactively. Netscape's browser labels our session variables as cookies -- these are not cookies.

The session variables on SBA's Web pages do not collect information about you, but only about your browser "session." The session variable makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of these Web services, without having to provide the same information again as you move from one page to another.

Session variables on SBA's Web pages expire as you exit the service delivering the session variable. That is, they are automatically removed from your computer's memory when you close your browser, reboot, or flush your cache.

Items on SBA's web site that use session variables are the HUBZone Certification Area, Chat and Forum Servers (when live only on special occasions), SUB-Net, and Business Cards.

11.  Links to Other Sites

SBA provides many links to other web sites. When you leave any SBA Web site (, you will be going to sites that are beyond our control. We try to ensure that links that leave our site are clearly labeled, usually with a disclaimer and a "Goodbye Message". These other sites may send their own cookies to users, collect data, or solicit personal information. The privacy policies and procedures described here for SBA do not apply to any external links. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of any site you link to from ours, especially if you share any personal information. Be informed. You are the person best qualified to protect your own privacy.


12.  Subscriptions to SBA Publications

If you subscribe to any of SBA's publications, we collect your email address and name. We use this information for distributing the requested material ONLY - and not for any other purpose.

NOTE: We will not obtain personally identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information to us.

If you have any questions or comments about the information presented here, please forward them to web comments.