Privacy and Security
Information collected and stored automatically
Make the Connection automatically collects certain information about your visit to its webpages. We limit the data collected to meet specific business needs and to protect your privacy. We may know what path(s) you took on our website, but we don’t know who you are.
We automatically collect and store the following information about your visit to the Make the Connection website:
- General log information: Examples of general log information include, but are not limited to, internet domain (for example, “xcompany.com” or “yourschool.edu”); internet protocol (IP) address; operating system; browser used to access our website; date and time you accessed our site; and pages that you visited.
- Referral and statistical information available when we have links to or from the site you visited: Such data may include aggregate data, such as the number of off-site links occurring during a visit to the website. It may also include specific data, such as the identity of the site that you visited immediately before or after visiting our site. We do not use such data to identify you personally.
We use the general log information to help us make the website more useful to visitors. We use it to learn about how webpages on our site are being used, what information is of the most and least interest to visitors, and ways to enhance the site’s ease of use by ensuring that it has a seamless interface with the types of technology our visitors use. We also use statistics to alert us to potential site performance problems.
Make the Connection will never collect, sell, or rent your personal information to outside parties.
When you visit certain websites, they send a small piece of information called a “cookie” to your computer along with the webpage. This is true of MakeTheConnection.net. There are two kinds of cookies.
- A session cookie is a line of text that is stored temporarily in your computer’s random access memory (RAM). This cookie is destroyed as soon as you close your browser. Make the Connection uses session cookies to improve how you navigate through our website. Session cookies are used to maintain your online session as you browse over several pages and to collect referral statistics when you click on a link to or from a Make the Connection webpage.
- A persistent cookie is a line of text that is saved to a file on your hard drive and is called up the next time you visit that website. This allows the website to recall information about your previous visits and use of the website. We use persistent cookies to:
- Gather aggregate metrics on website usage to help us understand how people are using the site and ways to make it better. We use web metrics services to track activity on net. We only receive traffic statistics anonymously and in the aggregate.
- Deliver advertisements to you on third-party websites or social media after you have visited MakeTheConnection.net. We use persistent cookies to inform, optimize, and serve ads based on your website visits and engagement with our service.
- Gather anonymous summary information about our visitors who are age 18 and older, such as their genders, age ranges, and areas of interest. We do this by using Google Demographics and Interests reports. When you visit a website that has partnered with Google, Google stores a number in your browser using a persistent cookie to remember your visits. This number provides a unique identifier for a web browser, not a specific person. Browsers may be associated with a demographic or interest category. This information is used to help us better understand our visitors’ interests and needs so that we may more effectively develop content to serve you.
Analytics: We use Google Analytics to analyze user behavior to improve the site. Please refer to the following policies on Google’s website for more information.
- Cookies and Google Analytics on websites
- Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on
Site Customization and Personalization: We use persistent cookies to maintain user settings and site preferences, helping to customize the site experience based on each user’s needs. When you visit MakeTheConnection.net to read pages or access information, the Episerver content management system (CMS) automatically collects and stores the following non-personally identifiable information to customize your experience:
- The internet protocol (IP) address from which you accessed our website. An IP address is a unique number that is automatically assigned to the computer you are using whenever you are surfing the web. This is used to identify your device’s general geographic location and to customize content that is specific to your region.
- The type of browser, such as Safari, Internet Explorer, or Firefox, and the operating system, such as Windows or Linux, that you used to access our site, so that we may optimize your webpage experience.
- The date and time our website was accessed, for the purpose of monitoring demand and traffic trends.
- The pages visited, to help us improve the usefulness of our website by providing customized helpful links and removing pages that are not read.
- The last website you visited, if that website contains a link to a Make the Connection webpage. This indicates how you found our website and how we may best customize your experience depending on your entry source.
Most internet browsers automatically accept persistent cookies. Although using persistent cookies creates a much better experience for you, MakeTheConnection.net will also work without them. If you don’t want to accept cookies, you can edit your browser’s options to stop accepting persistent cookies or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the websites you visit. Here’s how you can disable cookies and/or Google Demographics and Interests reports.
Links to other sites
MakeTheConnection.net provides access to other websites beyond our control and jurisdiction. Make the Connection is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of external websites. We encourage you to review the privacy policies or terms and conditions of those sites to fully understand what information is collected and how it is used.
Social media sites
Make the Connection manages a presence on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to share resources for Veterans’ mental health and to engage the public. We do not collect any personally identifiable information through those sites, and we do not use personal information made available by the third-party sites.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to making its websites accessible to all visitors and staff in accordance with provisions of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998.