Privacy and Data Policy

In the past there were several stories in the news about computer technicians behaving inappropriately in client’s homes and\or stealing the data on their client’s computers. Belmont PC deplores such practices and has implemented the following policy:

Belmont PC staff will treat your home as they would their own: Our technicians pledge to act in the most professional manner possible. They will not track mud through your house, rummage through your medicine cabinet, help themselves to leftovers in the fridge, use your telephone without your consent or do anything else that a “bad guest” would do.

Belmont PC staff will take every effort to protect your data: People store all kinds of priceless data on their computers, from pictures and videos of their children, to their personal tax records, to confidential information about their businesses. Data storage is an imperfect medium, and sometimes hard drives simply fail. In many instances, the data contained on a hard drive is simply lost forever, or may only be retrieved by data recovery specialists costing thousands of dollars. However, Belmont PC will make every effort to protect your data by following industry “best practices”, including wearing anti-static wrist straps whilst working on your computer.

Belmont PC staff will not share any of your personal data: Belmont PC technicians pledge to not share your personal data in any way, shape, or form. This includes, but is not limited to: uploading any data file to a technician’s personal web site, a file sharing website, or FTP server; emailing any data file to any email account; copying any data files to portable storage devices like USB hard drives or flash drives; printing any data file and retaining the hard copy; and\or creating screen shots of your personal data (either using Windows’ built-in capability, third-party software, or a mobile phone or digital camera of any kind).

Belmont PC staff will not retain any of your personal data: Belmont PC technicians, as part of the troubleshooting or repair process, may need to copy your data to a temporary location to ensure its safety. For example, if your computer’s hard drive appears to be failing, your Belmont PC technician might opt to create an “image file” of your hard drive. This file will contain the complete contents of your hard drive and is necessary to save your data before the hard drive dies completely. Belmont PC technicians will not leave your home or business with a copy of your personal data, unless it is absolutely necessary for troubleshooting purposes. The technician will give you a “plain English” reason why this is necessary, and will also obtain your permission to remove data if necessary.

Belmont PC staff will not install any “tracking” or “remote access” software without your permission: Belmont PC technicians will not install any software on your computer – except for any programs that are absolutely necessary for proper troubleshooting of computer problems – without your consent. We do not, for example, allow our technicians to install an “instant messaging” program to pass the time while he or she is repairing your computer. We also do not allow any technician to install any type of keylogging or screen scraping software under any circumstances. We do offer a Remote Help service; this allows a technician at Belmont PC’s offices to connect to, and take control of, your computer for troubleshooting purposes. However, this remote access software only runs on demand (it runs only when executed by the end user and exits completely when the technician disconnects) and can only be initiated by the customer.

Belmont PC staff will report any illegal activities to the proper authorities: Belmont PC technicians are not the “computer police”. We do not and will not search your computer for child pornography, copyright infringements, gambling website cookies, or any other illegal activity. However, if a Belmont PC technician discovers evidence of illegal activity on your computer as part of the troubleshooting process, he or she is compelled by moral right (and, in most jurisdictions, state law) to report said activity to the proper law enforcement agency. Belmont PC backs its technicians in this 100 percent.

Belmont PC staff will not install any unlicensed software: Just as cable installers are often asked to “hook a customer up” with free cable, computer technicians are frequently asked to install software the customer has no license for, or to give a free upgrade to a newer version of a software program. This is software piracy, and Belmont PC does not support it in any way, shape or form. We will happily reinstall any software you might have on your system, but we will require proof that you are licensed for that software program before doing so. “Proof” might include: a certificate of authenticity, a retail package with CD key, or an original invoice or sales receipt. Please note that product installation discs do not count as proof. Also, please note that, as a general rule, software that comes pre-installed on a computer may not be transferred to a different computer. For example, if you buy a computer from Dell that has Windows Vista installed on it, you may not use the installation CD and product key to install Vista on another computer. Belmont PC backs its technicians in this 100 percent; if you have any questions about software licensing, please feel free to call our office or ask your technician!

If you have any questions or concerns about this policy, please do not hesitate to call our office at (704) 266-0408.