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What is a Privacy Policy and Why Do You Need One?

Thu, Apr 22nd 2010 09:25 am

Does your website have a Privacy Policy page? If you answered "No" then it's time to think about adding one. A Privacy Policy page is one of the most important on your website. It builds trust and outlines your company's use and intentions for a user's data. If you ask users to fill out contact forms and submit sensitive information to you, possibly even credit card information, then your users have the right to know your procedures on the information that you collect from them.

What goes into a Privacy Policy?

A Privacy Policy is a legal document that tells how you gather, use, disclose and manage a visitor's data. When creating a privacy policy, don't mince words. Be straightforward to instill trust in your visitors who might actually read your Privacy Policy.

Introduction: Give your users a quick rinse of your business or organization: who you are and what you do.

Information Collected: Tell your users why you are collecting information from them. Are they automatically being signed up for a mailing list? Is their contact information being stored in a database for cold calls? Or maybe they are just providing contact information so you can respond to their inquiry? Your users have a right to know why they are filling out a form.

Method of Collection: How will you collect a user's data? Do your forms collect information like original referrers to find out which site your visitor came from to land on your site? Let your users know the reasons behind collecting data like this, e.g. to enhance their experience on your site in future visits.

Storage of Collected Information: Outline your intentions for collection and usage of a user's data. How is the information stored? Where is it stored? Are your servers located in a different part of the state or a different country? Ensure your users that their data is being stored in a secure location that you have access to when you need to have access it.

Your Contact details: You should always provide contact information for your company or business that includes an email address (or basic web contact form), phone number, and physical address that a visitor can write to.

Of course these are just some of the guidelines that you can follow when creating a Privacy Policy for your website. Make your privacy policy easily accessible on your website and be clear about what you intend to do with a visitor's information. If you don't have the time or resources to create a Privacy Policy, contact 360 PSG today and we can create one for you.