GE Privacy

Introduction: protecting your privacy, enhancing your online experience

When it comes to data privacy, protecting your personal information is most important. We feel it’s also important to give you, your colleagues, and your family members a voice in the development of this web site and your overall experience with it. To do this, we need to collect certain types of information to help us evaluate how the HealthAhead web site is being used, so we can continually improve your experience and the content we offer to you. By tracking overall usage patterns, providing an easy channel for your feedback, and allowing you to tell us what content is most useful to you, we can refine our offerings and provide more of the content you personally find valuable.

Overall, we are committed to giving you the option to participate – or not participate – in a manner that’s right for you. Read more for how we do this.

Information we collect and how we use it

Identifiable Information Collecting

All methods of identifying yourself to GE will be optional and opt-in, may be updated by you at any time, and will not be required for all areas of the web site.

We will not collect any identifiable user information from the areas of the HealthAhead web site which do not require SSO (Single Sign On), unique User ID (Identification), and/or Password.

There are areas of the web site that require you to identify yourself to us (authenticate). This allows you to access certain parts of the web site that may otherwise be restricted for privacy and security purposes.

There are also areas that may provide the option to create a personalized profile. The information you provide is optional and what you tell us will determine the level of personalization you will experience.

Access to identifiable information is restricted to internal, administrative personnel and solely for purposes of providing web site support, awarding prizes and other recognition, and customizing the web site content and overall functionality for the user. However, we will also allow you to change your mind and opt-out of sharing personal information with us at any time.

Non-Identifiable Information Collecting

When you visit the HealthAhead web site, we track, collect and report on certain aggregate and non- identifiable information. In other words, the information we collect does not relate to a single identifiable visitor. It tells us things such as how many users visited our web site and what pages they viewed.

This non-identifiable data will be collected and stored in a secure database in the U.S., and may be viewed by GE. We will analyze this information to refine our web site to better reflect user preferences, such as the type of content users are searching for most, and to improve the usability of the web site and the user’s web site experience. The information may also be used for purposes of promoting the web site. The data will not be used for medical analysis or other medical purposes.


Like many web sites, the HealthAhead web site uses browser cookies – bits of text placed on your computer’s hard drive when you visit. We use them to tell us things like whether you’ve visited us before, and to help us identify features in which you may have the greatest interest. We also use cookies to track country and language selection.

In the future, we may use cookies to track additional details, such as city and state.

We keep this information unless you don’t wish GE to capture this and choose to delete your cookie history. If you wish to stop accepting new browser cookies, get notification when you receive a new cookie, or disable existing cookies, the “help” portion of the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how. Keep in mind, without browser cookies, you may not be able to take full advantage of all our web site features or have your preferences saved for future visits.

We also use Flash cookies on the web site to enhance your online experience. These are similar to browser cookies, but they store data more complex than simple text. Flash cookies, by themselves, cannot do anything to or with the data on your computer. In addition, Flash cookies cannot access or remember your email address or other personal information unless you provide the information on this web site.

Web Beacons

Certain pages on our web site contain “web beacons” (also known as Internet tags, pixel tags and clear GIFs). These web beacons obtain information such as the time the page was viewed, the type of browser used to view the page, and the information in cookies. Web beacon data does not include IP address. The web beacon data is stored at Google Analytics, a third party (see ‘Tracking and Reporting’ for more information on this technology).

Tracking and Reporting

Specifically we will track, collect and report on the following data using software from Google Analytics. For more information about Google Analytics, including information about how to opt out of these technologies, go to

Our primary metrics include: Poll response rate, repeat visits, number of times content is shared, and visits by country.

The sub-metrics include:

Most Popular Content Types, Most Popular Content Topics, User Pathing, Exit Links, Bounce Rate, Traffic by Source (region), Time on Web site, Visit Time of Day, Unique Views/Page Views, Thumps Up/Down, Most Shared Content, Number of Times Content is Rated, Most Rated Content by Type, Language Selection.

We will also be tracking how much communicators, web site leaders and other HealthAhead operations teams are leveraging the web site to support and align their business, regional and web site specific efforts. Some of these metrics may be tracked using existing support central tools.

These metrics may include:

Number of Content Submissions by Region, Number of non-corporate Driven Promotions by RCs, Number of Promotional Downloads by Region, Support Central Survey

Feedback Form

Your feedback is important to the web site’s ongoing development, so we’d love to hear your opinions and ideas. To contact us, please use this Feedback form. We will not be able to respond directly, but all feedback will be reviewed, evaluated, and factored into future content decisions. Please note: this form is monitored by IT support staff only. Please do not submit any personal or medical information. And thank you in advance!

Poll and Quiz Responses

On the web site, we will conduct polls and quizzes to better understand user activities, attitudes, interests and knowledge across multiple health topics. These polls may also help us serve you better by asking questions that relate to the usefulness of our web site. We will not capture any personally identifiable information through the collection of poll response data. As part of these polls and quizzes, we will capture responses sorted by country. In the future, we may capture responses sorted by additional anonymous demographics such as language, affiliated GE business, work web site location, gender, etc.

Sharing Content with Family and Friends

We want you to share the web site’s content with important people in your life, so most articles, videos and slideshows can be emailed. To do so, we will ask you to provide your name and the recipient’s email address. We simply use this information to send the content as you request. At this time, we do not capture or store your, or the recipient’s, email address. Please see below to learn how we track and report on email sharing activity.

Please also review GE’s Social Media Guidelines

How we protect information

GE maintains administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect against unauthorized disclosure, use, alteration or destruction of any information you provide on this web site. We use secure socket layer (SSL) technology to help keep the information you provide on this web site secure. See ‘Information We Share’ and ‘Information We Transfer’ for additional details.

Information we share

We do not sell or otherwise disclose personal information about our visitors, except as described here. We may share information provided by visitors with service providers we have retained to perform services on our behalf. These service providers are contractually restricted from using or disclosing the information, except as necessary to perform services on our behalf or comply with legal requirements. In addition, we may disclose information about you if we are required to do so by law or legal process; to law enforcement authorities or other government officials; or when we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to prevent physical harm or financial loss or in connection with an investigation of suspected or actual illegal activity.

Information we transfer

We may transfer the information we collect on this web site to other countries where we do business, but only for the purposes described above. When we transfer your information to other countries, we will protect that information as described here unless otherwise required by applicable laws.

Links to other web sites

We provide links to other web sites for your convenience and information. These web sites may have their own privacy statements in place, which we recommend you review if you visit any linked web sites. We are not responsible for the content of linked web sites or any use of the web sites.

Children’s privacy

This web site is not directed to children under the age of thirteen and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of thirteen on the web site. If we become aware that we have inadvertently received personal information from a visitor under the age of thirteen, we will delete the information from our records.

Some links on this web site may take web site visitors to web sites that are directed to children. These web sites have their own privacy notices that address children’s privacy. We encourage you to read these privacy notices if you visit any linked web sites directed to children.

Updates to our privacy & data policy

This Privacy & Data Policy may be updated periodically and without prior notice to you to reflect changes in our online information practices. We will post a notice on this web site to notify you of any significant changes to our Privacy & Data Policy, and indicate at the top of this policy when it was most recently updated.

How to contact us

If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy & Data Policy, or if you would like us to update information we have about you or your preferences, please contact us by visiting our Feedback Form.

‘Tis the Season for Bug Bites
Kid bit by bug

Ah, summer. There’s nothing like dining al fresco or spending family time around the campfire. But who invited those pesky buggers? Bugs, mosquitoes, and bees can put a damper on summer fun faster than you can say picnic. But with a little preparation, you can enjoy your time outdoors without any residual itching.

What causes skin around a bug bite to swell and itch?
For most bug bites, the answer is saliva. The insect leaves some behind and the swelling and itching is your body’s reaction to it. The itchiness can persist long after the swelling goes away, as your body continues to break down the saliva proteins. Bees do their work a little differently. Instead of saliva, they leave behind venom. When you’re first bitten by a bee, you may have only a slight reaction. The second time around, the immune system becomes sensitized to the venom. If you’re allergic, anaphylaxis could occur within minutes. This life-threatening, severe allergic reaction happens when your body releases an excess of histamines. Symptoms include:

  • Hives, or flushed skin
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weak and rapid pulse

If you or someone you’re with experiences any of these symptoms after a bee sting, inject epinephrine and go to the ER immediately.

Can bug bites spread disease?
Mosquitoes and other insects may carry diseases. In the United States, the West Nile virus (WNV) is on the rise in some states, spread through bites from infected mosquitoes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in 150 people will develop severe illness from an infected mosquito. Look out for the following symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Tremors
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision loss
  • Numbness and paralysis
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rash

These symptoms can last a few weeks, or may be permanent. About 80 percent of those infected with the WNV have no symptoms at all.

How can you prevent being bugged?
Drugstores offer a large array of products that claim to keep these little pests away. You can also use natural repellants and take proactive measures to reduce or avoid the use of synthetic chemicals.

  • Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. Mosquitoes like to breed in damp areas where water collects and stagnates. Get rid of standing water. Dump watering cans and cover outdoor garbage bins.
  • Stay covered and wear light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, while bees are attracted to bright ones. Think like a beekeeper: wear white. Also wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce exposure.
  • Avoid fruity or floral fragrances. Both bees and mosquitoes are attracted to scent and are adept at sensing even the subtlest fragrances,  such as laundry detergent, sunscreen, and hair products. Avoid wearing perfume and opt for scent-free products.
  • Buy a mild repellant. If mixing up your own repellant takes too much of your time, try a milder skin application such as Bug Guard Plus by Avon. When these defenses fail, or if you’re prone to bug bites or in areas where insect-borne diseases are common, use a product containing the pesticide DEET, which is generally considered to be safe for use on adults and older children. Avoid using DEET on children’s hands or anywhere on infants under two months. Products that contain DEET include Off! and Repel.
  • Load up on vitamin C, which is a natural antihistamine. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2 grams of vitamin C per day decreased blood histamine levels by 38 percent.

How do you treat a bite?
Although prevention can go a long way, you may still come away with a few bites. Here are a few tips that can help you deal with the swelling and itching:

  • Wash mosquito bites with mild soap and water and try not to scratch them.
  • Use Calamine lotion or a cortisone cream to soothe irritated areas.
  • For bee stings, pull the stinger out. Those who are not allergic will develop redness, pain, and swelling at the area of the sting, which can be treated with an ice pack.
  • More serious symptoms can be the result of an allergic reaction. Watch for itching, hives, and shortness of breath. If you have a history of being severely allergic, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen). You can carry an EpiPen with you and self-inject if you’re having an anaphylactic episode.