Is my personal information kept confidential?

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Yes. Protecting your privacy is very important to us. We use the best available technology to ensure the security of your personal information. You can feel confident that any information you share with us will remain confidential.

Spyware and cookies

Spyware is software that sits on your computer and gathers information about you without your knowledge. People typically get spyware when they download programs from the Internet. Spyware can monitor your activity on the Internet and report that information to someone else. The most harmful forms of spyware can collect personal information such as email addresses. That information can be used to send unsolicited commercial email messages (spam). People may mistakenly conclude that a particular website is responsible for the spam, when in fact the spam results from spyware on the user's computer that is monitoring that user's Internet activity.

Our policy is to carefully guard any personal information you share with us. We do not allow our advertisers or other third parties to collect personally identifiable information from your computer without your permission. For more information, see our Privacy policy.

We do allow our advertisers to place small files called cookies on your computer. Cookie files help our advertisers better understand how their ads are being viewed. They do not collect information that can be linked to you personally.

It's possible that your system identified as spyware a cookie file placed by one of our advertisers. Again, these cookies do not collect personally identifiable information, but if you would rather not have these advertising cookies placed on your computer, you can opt out of cookie placement by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative's opt-out page.

June 11, 2011