Last update: 2019-01-23
Our official website address is: https://earthquake.co. There is no “www” prefix. For simplicity, if you attempt to visit http://www.earthquake.co, it will automatically resolve at earthquake.co with a visible padlock in the address bar. This indicates a secure connection so you may visit us confidently.
Your privacy is paramount, and our policy has only your best interests in mind.
Joining earthquake.co only requires an email address – which is the only unique and reliable identifier for our users. It is never publicly visible to anyone. For your peace of mind, we would like to ensure that under no circumstances will your email be shared or distributed. ( Naturally, in extreme cases of law enforcement, we will have no choice but to comply. )
Since this website allows user contributions and interactivity, it’s strongly recommended you don’t share your email publicly when posting. Your “display name” can be anything you like and can be changed any time as often as you wish. Any additional name & address fields on your profile are optional. They are visible only to you and site administrators.
In the context of Earthquake.co, you may decide you want your display name to be your real name – or perhaps your first name and last initial. This will allow others to know who you are within the community, and add a certain level of credibility to your posts. Otherwise, you are not required to fill out the “name” fields on your profile.
The address field is totally private, completely optional and visible to nobody – except you and the site administrator. Users may voluntarily enter their address, city, state and zip code on their profile. This is only required if you wish to use the various “maps” features across the website – like in the case of finding “earthquakes near you“ – which is a very advanced and useful feature. We don’t use the actual address. We programmatically convert the address into latitude and longitude world coordinates to make this possible. Your actual address is not publicly visible. To see what is visible, you can always log out and access your profile.
All member levels above “basic new member” have the option to make their profile completely private and viewable by nobody. Alternatively, a “follow” feature permits anyone you “follow” to see your profile if you wish. This gives you full control over your visibility. Even if you allow someone to view your profile, certain fields like “name” and “address” will remain completely hidden and are only visible to the profile owner (you) – and the site administrator. If you “follow” someone, they will only see links to public posts you made (in the forums, for example) and your public community activity “wall” etc. – as you would expect.
Your display name, avatar & profile cover image can be anything – as long as it is not unsavory.
( Common sense tip: Don’t post a photo of your car showing your license plate. )
We can never know your password. It is stored in an encrypted hash. You may reset your password anytime on the password reset page. Once you are logged in, the account/settings page also permits you to change your password. If you require and request assistance, we can also manually regenerate and send you a new temporary password by email, so you may log in and change it yourself. Otherwise, you may confidently know that your password is known by you alone. It is strongly recommended that you always choose a reasonably strong password for your peace of mind. There is currently no restriction as to how many times you may reset your password.
Some basic and general information – such as browser type, device, and IP address etc. – is occasionally logged along with any submissions for visitors & statistic purposes, and these are essential for gaining a general knowledge of our audience. It also assists in debugging , depending on what browser/device you’re using. Your IP address is only visible to the highest level site administrator when you create a forums post, or use the contact page. We generally don’t care about your IP address, but we have security measures in place which may “block” someone (based on IP) if they log in unsuccessfully too many times. Knowing the IP address can help us unblock them. Conversely, malicious internet bots and web crawlers sometimes need to be blocked based on IP. The IP address can help us know the difference between a good human . . . and a malicious non-human.
All pages are HTTPS secure and employ 256-bit verified & encrypted communications so that you may visit us confidently. When posting in the forums, using https:// when linking to ( or referencing ) anything is always strongly recommended. Every page where any kind of “transaction” takes place will always display a padlock icon in the address bar.
Except for general Google Analytics purposes – like determining over all page views, and knowing which pages are popular – we do not know (or care) what pages specific members are visiting.
“Delete my account” is an ability for all member levels and available on your account/settings page (top right menu). Unlike other social media websites, it is also permanent and non-reversible. Deleting your account completely removes your registered email, all user metadata, and any trace of what is on your profile. Account deletion attributes any existing forums posts to “anonymous” making no association to any specific member once your profile is removed. If you have intention to delete your account, it is recommended that you do not post, or make any content submissions.
For purchases, invoice payments for clients, or monthly subscriptions, all credit card transactions are handled by STRIPE® – for industry-standard, exceedingly stringent and secure transactions. For your peace of mind, no part of any credit card transaction is stored here – ever. While the transaction appears to take place here on our website, the communication is encrypted and strictly between the user and STRIPE (the processor). At STRIPE, our transaction record only displays the last 4 digits of your card, card type, your email, the date/time, and what you paid for. We can never know your full credit card number or other personal information. No unauthorized transactions are possible.
We do not collect or keep a separate mailing list of emails, nor do we send any mass newsletters out. We respect our member base and leave it to you to return to find new additions at your leisure. Site-wide announcements are made via little “broadcast notices” which you may discover once you have logged in. They are very unobtrusive and short to keep members informed and/or direct your attention when necessary.
Private messaging between members is possible for upgraded members only. Basic members can read and reply to a private message – up to 3 times per day. Upgraded members can initiate a private message conversation with other members with no daily limit. We recommend that you be very selective about who you engage in private messages with. Treat your personally-identifiable information as sacred.
We will NEVER spam you. Ever.
The only automated email notifications you may receive are membership related “activation” or a “welcome” email when starting your account. You may also receive email notifications if you started a forums topic which received follow-up replies. This is an option that YOU need to request. Likewise, if you choose to subscribe to a forum, you will automatically receive a notification. Your forums subscriptions are manageable by you on your profile page under the “forums” tab, and you may “unsubscribe” any time. You always have the ability to decide what notifications you receive – or don’t receive. It is extremely unlikely that we will ever attempt to contact you first.