We do collect some technical information when you visit to make your visit seamless. The section below explains how we handle and collect technical information when you visit our website.
Information Collected and Stored Automatically
When you browse, read pages or download information on FirstGov, we automatically gather and store certain technical information about your visit. This information never identifies who you are. The information we collect and store about your visit is listed below:
- The Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private Internet access account, or "yourschool.edu" if you connect from a university's domain) and IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our website;
- The type of browser (e.g., Netscape, Internet Explorer) and operating system (Windows, Unix) used to access our site;
- The date and time you access our site;
- The pages you visit; and
- If you linked to the FirstGov.gov website from another website, the address of that website.
This information is only used to help us make the site more useful for you. With this data we learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. We never track or record information about individuals and their visits.
When you visit some websites, their webservers generate pieces of information known as cookies. Some cookies collect personal information to recognize your computer in the future. This is not the case at FirstGov.gov, where we only use non-persistent cookies or "per-session cookies." These cookies do not collect personal information on users and they are erased as soon as you leave our website.
Per-session cookies serve technical purposes like providing seamless navigation through FirstGov.gov. These cookies do not permanently record data and they are not stored on your computer's hard drive. FirstGov.gov cookies are stored in memory and are only available during an active browser session. Again, once you close your browser, the cookie disappears.
If You Send Us Personal Information
If you choose to provide us with personal information – like filling out a Contact Us form with an e-mail address and zip code and submitting it to us through the website – we use that information to respond to your message and to help us get you the information you have requested. We only share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency, or as otherwise required by law. We never create individual profiles or give it to any private organizations. FirstGov.gov never collects information for commercial marketing.
While you must provide an e-mail address and zip code for a localized response to any incoming questions or comments to FirstGov.gov, we recommend that you NOT include any other personal information, especially Social Security numbers. The Social Security Administration offers additional guidance on sharing your Social Security number.
- 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.
FirstGov.gov Linking Policy
FirstGov.gov links to many websites created and maintained by other public and/or private organizations. FirstGov.gov provides these links as a service to our users. When users link to an outside website, they are leaving the FirstGov.gov site and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the outside website(s). Be sure to review the FirstGov.gov Linking Policy.
FirstGov.gov will not link to any website that exhibits hate, bias or discrimination. Furthermore, FirstGov reserves the right to deny or remove any link that contains misleading information or unsubstantiated claims, or is determined to be in conflict with FirstGov.gov's mission or policies.
Disclaimer of Endorsement
The information posted on the FirstGov.gov website includes hypertext links or pointers to information created and maintained by other public and/or private organizations. FirstGov.gov provides these links and pointers solely for our users' information and convenience. When users select a link to an outside website, they are leaving the FirstGov.gov site and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the outside website.
- The General Services Administration (GSA) and FirstGov do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained on a linked website.
- GSA and FirstGov do not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.
- GSA and FirstGov cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked websites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked website.
- GSA and FirstGov are not responsible for transmissions users receive from linked websites.
- GSA and FirstGov do not guarantee that outside websites comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act.