Privacy Policy on laptop | SCRIBACEOUS.COM

The world wide web is no longer the Wild West. Most of the roads are paved now and getting supplies is much easier. But, there are Sheriffs now, so you gotta know the rules. One of the things the Law takes seriously these days is privacy, so this post focuses on the importance of privacy policies for websites.

Why Do Privacy Policies Exist?

Things got pretty crazy in the wilder days and the internet got downright scary.

There are good and bad sides to everything.

The internet brings us many benefits on the daily basis—helpful information, easy access to any product or service we can imagine, constant connection to our friends and family.

But, we pay a price. Even simple actions, such as searching for something on Google, reading an article on a helpful website, or logging into our financial accounts, can lead to an invasion of our privacy at best and identity theft or hacking at worst.

Usually, we didn’t even know when the bad things are happening until it’s too late!

There came a point where the Law saw the need to step in and create rules to help protect the innocent.

Privacy policies for websites was one of their rules.

Not only do they protect users and consumers from hidden privacy breaches, but they also protect your business from potential litigation.

Do they solve the issue of privacy violations on the internet? Nope.

In fact, most people never take the time to read over the privacy policies that website owners are now required to have. And, criminal hackers sure aren’t abiding by them.

But, that doesn’t release us from the legal obligation of having them.

So, now let’s look at the next logical question — what is a privacy policy?

What is a Privacy Policy for a Website?

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes when you land on a website?

Most of them (and apps on your phone as well) collect data and information from users using various tracking technologies and cookie systems. This gives them all sorts of data that they use to more accurately target their marketing.


RELATED | The First Step in Website Security


The law now dictates that a website must have a privacy policy, so it is, in fact, one of the most important and crucial pages on your website.

Privacy policies for websites are legal agreements that allow website visitors to understand all about the personal information that will be gathered from them as they browse the website.

There is a lot of visitor information that is considered personal—names, birthdays, phone numbers, email addresses, mailing and billing addresses, bank details, and social security numbers.

Not only do they communicate what information you are collecting, but also how you use the information, if you share the information with any third party, how will you keep it safe and details about the use of cookies. (Click HERE to learn about cookies.)

The Importance of Privacy Policies for Websites | SCRIBACEOUS.COM

 

What is the Purpose of a Privacy Policy?

Private data from all users is what fuels the entire internet. Privacy laws and policies exist in order to protect our privacy and increase security given this environment.

Do you ever wonder why your YouTube or Instagram recommendations are full of the things you only looked up on the internet once?

That is because websites track your internet usage, and sometimes other personal information, to use for their own benefit or to sell to third parties to make money.

The main purpose of a privacy policy is to show visitors of your website that, despite any use of your data, you take their privacy seriously and are invested in protecting it.

Privacy policies on websites are similar to the locks, passcodes, and vaults we have in our homes in that they provide privacy and security to their owners.

Entering a website without a privacy policy is like walking into a trap—you are vulnerable to malware and possible information theft.

As a website visitor, it’s important to take a moment to scroll down to the footer and see if there is a privacy policy and, if so, if it’s up to date.

As a website owner, it’s crucial to ensure your website has a current privacy policy and that you have a basic understanding of its content!

Am I Required to Have a Privacy Policy on My Website?

I think you already realize the legal importance of policies for websites, but just in case you missed it…

Just as how citizens are required to abide by the laws of their respective country, entrepreneurs who widen their reach through a website must abide by online privacy laws.

Website owners are required to create a customized privacy policy that addresses their visitors and customers.

Aside from a privacy policy being required by law, here are a couple of additional important reasons why you should invest in a good privacy policy for your website:

  • A privacy policy is actually required if you would like to partner with third-party services that may be essential for your website and customers. Most third-party services, such as Google AdWords and Google Analytics, require websites who would wish to partner with them to have a privacy policy that contains certain information about their use of their third-party service.
  • If you want to create a greater reach for your business, it is wise to stay on your customers’ good side. People are becoming more aware of the issue of privacy on the internet and prefer browsing on a website that protects rather than violates their privacy. Although a privacy policy is not the only legal document that communicates your mission in protecting your visitors’ privacy, it is a great way to demonstrate that you are to be trusted and they are safe on your website.

If you’re going to have a solid presence on the internet, it is best to follow protocols and laws to ensure a smooth road as you build your brand.

A privacy policy not only guarantees that you are doing what is ethically right, but helps expand the reach of your business.


RELATED | WordPress Website Security Tips


What is Required to be in a Privacy Policy?

Privacy policies for websites must be effective in order to be legal. Aim for simple, but profound, as well as clear and concise.

Your privacy policy must let your visitors know the following:

  • About your company and website
  • What data you collect
  • How will you use the data
  • Who can access their data (including third party apps and plugins)
  • How will you store and protect their data
  • Contact information

First and foremost, it is a must for a privacy policy to have an introduction that will give your visitors a sneak peek of your business and how your website functions.

Next topic is the information that you will collect from them.

It is the right of the visitors to know exactly what information you will be collecting from them in order to have their consent.

Another thing that is required to be in your privacy policy is the method of collecting this information. What are the ways that you will be collecting your visitors’ information?

Any third party apps that have access to a visitor’s data should be listed and, ideally, a statement releasing your liability for the actions of these third parties and a link to their respective privacy policies.

Next is how will you will store their data. It’s good to include details on all of the places where your visitors’ data will live—such as your website database on your host’s server (see the Resource section below for our secure host of choice), as well as any external physical storage mechanisms (computers, external hard drives, etc.) and/or cloud based backup servers (see the Resource section below for our recommendation for an encrypted website backup service).

It is the visitors’ right to know to what extent you are going to ensure their data and information is safe. (Using a Password Manager is an important step you can take to keeping your accounts safe—see the Resource section below for our recommendation.)

Lastly, it is important to leave contact details of your company to promote transparency and enable your visitors to contact you about a privacy concern. You should include an email address, telephone number, as well as a real-world address to which visitors can send a physical letter.

The Importance of Privacy Policies for Websites | SCRIBACEOUS.COM

 

Do I Need a Regular or GDPR Privacy Policy?

In order to choose what kind of privacy policy you should use, it is important to know the difference between the a regular privacy policy and a GDPR privacy policy.

If done properly, a regular privacy policy meets the needs of your local geographic area.

If you are doing business in the European Union (EU), you are legally required to use the stricter and more comprehensive General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy policy.

The GDPR has higher ethical standards regarding personal data and how it is collected, processed, stored and protected. Hidden agendas are expressly forbidden.

Any company doing business in the EU, and collecting data from citizens of the EU, is responsible for monitoring its own adherence to the regulations of the GDPR and, in the case of larger companies, appointing a Data Protection Officer to perform this duty.


RELATED | Get a Password Manager


How to Get a Privacy Policy?

Now that we’ve established that you absolutely need a regular or GDPR privacy policy on your website, let’s talk about where to get one.

I will offer you two options:

  • Contact me to create a fully customized privacy policy that covers all aspects of your website
  • Pay a third party services, such as PrivacyPolicies.com, to create a mostly customized privacy policy

Now that you are knowledgeable about the legality and importance of proper privacy policies for websites, you probably realize the importance of consulting the right people to do this task.

Scribaceous is the right people! We are a boutique company that aims to help small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the world take their business to another level through professional branding, custom websites, and automated email marketing. You can definitely trust us to create the proper Privacy Policy for your website.

We include a fully customized Privacy Policy with all of our new websites—as well as Terms & Conditions and, if necessary, a Disclaimer and/or Refunds & Return policy. We keep them up-to-date when you have an active maintenance contract.

If you have an existing website without a Privacy Policy, contact us ASAP to purchase one individually so you are legal!

We may receive commissions when you click the links on this page and make a purchase. However, this is not why we include them here. We truly believe these service providers will help you and your business!