Why Your Website Should Have a Privacy Policy

Protect Yourself And Your Visitors

Imagine running your first online shop and you’re seeing the business grow rapidly. Customers are coming in and placing their orders on a steady pace, and your profit is steadily flowing in. Suddenly, one of your customers discovers that their credit card information was used for fraudulent transactions, and accuses you of stealing their financial information. You go through the legal hassles, pay huge sums of fees, and see your business crumble because of the bad feedback that it’s getting.

Clearly, you don’t want to experience this nightmare! One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is by putting up a privacy policy on your website. A privacy policy is, in a nutshell, a document that delineates what kind of information you are collecting from your site visitors and customers, what you are going to do with their information, and which personal data you aren’t going to get from them.

Still unconvinced that a privacy policy will do you good? Here are three reasons why you should start drafting up your own privacy policy and place it on your site ASAP:

It tells clients that you respect their privacy

Being transparent with what’s happening every time your site visitors browse your pages and enter their sensitive information will do wonders to your professional relationships with them. A privacy policy tells them that you want them to feel safe by treating their personal information properly, without malice or fraud. Privacy is a very pricey commodity in this era of social media and e-commerce, so you have to assure your customers that you mean business when it comes to protection of information.

It protects your company from legal liability

Speaking of information, a privacy policy clears your company in case of fraudulent or malicious processing of customer information. When you place a privacy policy clearly on your website, you are essentially telling your clients about the exact information that you will obtain from them, as well as the process by which their data will be used. Any process outside the provisions of your policy are already out of your control, and therefore not traceable to you. In other words, the privacy policy protects your company from legal disputes arising from information theft or maltreatment.

It may be required in some cities, states and countries

California’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 requires a conspicuous privacy policy from websites that collect personal data from California citizens. Meanwhile, other states such as Pennsylvania and Nebraska are strict in terms of privacy policy provisions. In fact, they can sue websites for privacy policies that seem to deliberately mislead site visitors. If you feel that some of your clients live in areas where privacy policy is a must, then you should put one up.

Now that you’ve learned why a privacy policy is important, it’s now time to make one! You may draft a privacy policy from scratch – with legal consultation, of course – or you can use privacy policy templates available online. Check out some of these online tools that can create a privacy policy for your website:

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