Do Your Users Have Any Privacy?

Cortland Coffey Freebies, Tutorials, Web Design/Development Leave a Comment

In the current climate around the web, “privacy” is a word you’ll hear again and again. Even before the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal people were concerned about their privacy online. Throughout my freelance web development career I’ve noticed a significant trend among many small websites. Most of the time when I’m hired to rebuild a client’s site, their original site does not have any kind of privacy policy.

When I’ve brought this up with clients, many are unaware that they need one. The say things like “I thought those were just for big websites like Facebook or Yahoo.” But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The reality is that if you have any kind of website, you really should have some type of privacy policy available on your site. This is especially true if you are collecting information from your users through contact forms, Google Analytics, Facebook tracking, or selling something through an e-commerce site. Failure to have a privacy policy could put you in violation of the “terms of service” for many of the online products your website might use. You don’t want to risk loosing access to your Google Analytics, or Facebook Marketing accounts; not to mention putting you at risk for consumer complaints or lawsuits.

After learning that they need a privacy policy, many wonder where to start. Well fear not! I have one you can use! Now, there is no 1 size fits all privacy policy and you may need to customize it to fit your needs (especially in the case of an e-commerce site). But if  you’re in the position where you currently have nothing this starter template will be a HUGE improvement.

Simply head over to this shared Google Doc. 

 

Once there, click on “File” and then “Make a Copy” to edit document on your own Drive account or copy and paste into your favorite word processor. The first page will explain how to, “search and replace” the document customizing it to your specific use.

Once you’ve got this loaded onto your site, make sure you place a link to it in a prominent easy to access place, like the footer menu that appears on every page. Then you can spend some time exploring what else you may need to add to it, with a little peace of mind that you’ve got your basics covered.

 

About the Author

Cortland Coffey

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I write code well...bios not so much. My name is Cortland and I am a freelance web designer/developer working out of Denver, Colorado. I do training, coaching, and speaking on social media and digital advertising strategy for small businesses, campaigns, and non-profits.

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