Transaction Security

When you are performing credit card transactions on the Cuesta College Web Site, you are utilizing our secure server, which encrypts all of your personal information, including name, address, and credit card number. Encryption ensures that no one can access or use your personal information. With encryption the information cannot be read as it travels over the Internet. Additionally, credit card numbers are used only for payment processing and are not retained for other purposes. We collect only the information required to process orders. When your credit card information is transmitted to our Merchant Service for validation, it is encrypted and only our Merchant Service has the key that will unencrypt that data. Please keep in mind that e-mail does not use SSL encryption technology and we advise against sending credit card information to us via e-mail. We will not be responsible for the confidentiality of any personal or credit card information transmitted via e-mail.

Our 128-bit encryption is implemented on SSL 3.0 with a certificate from Thawte and IPSCA. SSL encryption is active in all areas where credit card transaction information is requested. You can check to see that you have entered an SSL-active area by looking on the bottom of your screen. If you see an unbroken key or a closed lock (depending on your browser), you will know that SSL technology is in place and ready to encrypt your information. How to check if you are on a secure page? Look up at your address line at the top of your browser page for the (http://). You will notice in the address line, that there is an (https://) rather than an (http://). The (s) indicates that you are on a secure page. Also, you'll see a key or a closed lock icon depending on your browser. These symbols tell you that any information you send to us will be "scrambled" using SSL technology. SSL uses "Public-Key Encryption" to exchange a session key between you and our server. This session key is used to encrypt (or scramble) your transaction twice - when it is sent and when it is received. If you are using a security-enabled browser, your information is secure. Please note that in some systems, such as myCuesta registration and payment screens, the secure window is wrapped in a frame and therefore the security symbols may not necessarily appear. These pages are still using SSL technology, and your protection is top priority.

How we collect information

When you visit our Web pages or utilize transaction features on our site, Cuesta College's web servers automatically collect information about you. Some information is detected electronically, and is collected without your direct input. Other information may be voluntarily provided by you as you place an order, fill out forms (personal information, meeting or course registration, guest book, parking registration, etc.), or send us e-mail.

Information you involuntarily provide

When you visit Cuesta's web site, our server automatically logs information about your visit:

  • Web site address from which you linked to us
  • Type of browser you are using
  • Country from which you are accessing the Internet
  • Time and date of your visit
  • Length of visit
  • Pages viewed
  • Your Internet Provider (IP) address

We use this information to learn about our visitors as a group - not about you as an individual. This information helps us identify overall usage patterns and trends on the site. Additionally, we may use this information for any of the following purposes:

  • Identify how much traffic various areas of the site receive
  • Identify peak and off-usage times and days. (This helps us determine when to schedule site maintenance) Identify which other Web Sites send visitors to our site
  • Determine the number of visitors from various locations
  • Optimize the site for common browsers used to access the site

The above information is used by software programs on our Web Site to create summary statistics which allow us to assess the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, identify what information is of most and least interest, determine technical design specifications, monitor system performance, and help us make our site more useful to visitors.

Information you voluntarily provide via interactive web based forms

There are several transaction sites on the Cuesta College web site that allow users to send money to the college. These transactions involve submission of some kind of electronic form. When you use online (or traditional printed) forms, you voluntarily provide Cuesta College with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Home and/or work postal addresses
  • Home and/or work phone
  • Home and/or work email addresses
  • Your credit card type number and expiration date
  • Additional information may be gathered, depending on the nature of the form. This information may include, but not be limited to, the following:
  • Your age and birth date
  • Comments, suggestions or feedback
  • Documents you would like to obtain from the college
  • Literary resources you wish to view
  • Forum discussion
  • Social Security number
  • Courses you are interested in
  • Vehicle model and license information

Information you provide when you send us e-mail

When you send us e-mail and request a response, we use the e-mail address you have provided to respond to your inquiry. We may periodically log the nature of these e-mail requests to help us analyze visitor interests overall and identify areas for improvement on the site.

You also may decide to send us personally identifying information, (for example your mailing address) in an electronic mail message requesting that information be mailed to you. Information collected in this manner is used solely for responding to requests for information or records. We may forward your E-mail to other Cuesta employees who are better able to respond to you.

If you are using our email system, the privacy policy governing Gmail may be found here.

Use of "cookies"

Cookies are small text files placed in your computer system to track certain pieces of information about your browser and your interaction with a web site. Cuesta College uses cookies for a variety of technology applications on our site to verify your credentials and keep you logged into secure areas, but we do not collect any data from cookies other than what is needed to diagnose or maintain our systems.

Third-party use of information

Cuesta College will not sell, trade, rent or disclose any personal information that you provide to us on-line to third parties unless specifically noted. Student email systems may be exempt from this provision for security purposes. All information will be kept private and confidential.

External Sites

This site contains links to other external sites. Cuesta College is not responsible for the privacy practices, content or availability of any linked, external Web sites.

Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself about the ways in which Cuesta College collects, uses, and stores the information that you provide. Please revisit this site on occasion to make sure that you have viewed the most recent version of the privacy policy and security statement. Cuesta College reserves the right to change any of the information listed on this document and will notify users of any changes by posting the new version of this document to the site at the Security Statement & Privacy Policy link.