Home News Is Your Website Legal? 4 Things You Need for Website Compliance Today

Is Your Website Legal? 4 Things You Need for Website Compliance Today

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Did you know that there are almost 2 billion websites on the internet today? Perhaps yours is one of these websites or blogs. If so, is your website legal? The truth is, that designing a website or building a blog can be great fun. However, it can also get you into hot water if you aren’t following the rules. With this in mind, here are the top 4 items every website owner needs to ensure compliance when conducting business or having a presence online.

Protect User Data

We’re talking about GDPR here, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation and was enforced by the European Union (EU) in May of 2018.  Essentially, this regulation protects consumers who are purchasing from your website. It also protects any information you might collect from people on your website such as email addresses, phone numbers, names, addresses, etc.  If you think that GDPR is only for European websites, think again. If you offer products, services, collect data or track behavior of EU users on your website, you need GDPR compliance services to keep your website legal.

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Disclaimers

You need a disclaimer on your website or blog to inform visitors that you are not legally responsible for the content on it. Even though you might be the author, and your information is legitimate, you’ve got to protect yourself from lawsuits.  To elaborate, let’s say you published a post about how to make a killing in the stock market using proprietary software. Now let’s say the person who read this post lost their shirt in the stock market according to your software review.

If you don’t have a disclaimer, this seemingly innocent example could turn into a lawsuit.  A disclaimer notifies your website visitors that you are simply giving your opinions, and you cannot be held responsible or liable if your opinions are acted upon and might result in negative consequences.

Terms and Conditions

The main purpose of having a terms and conditions page on your website is to basically lay down your own laws. This page explains to your visitors and website users that your website is yours, and you have the right to do with it as you please. For instance, a terms and conditions page should make it clear that you have the right to terminate users from your site if you so choose. It should also explain that anything on your website may not be copied or reused without consulting with you or your website administrator first.

Essentially, this page presents users with the rules and expectations you have when they visit and use your site. Given this, your terms and conditions page might look different from other sites. This is because it should include your specific terms according to your unique website and your conditions.

Privacy Policy

Regardless of whether you are selling, or blogging – if your website reaches out to the public, you need to have a privacy policy page to ensure your website is legal. This page tells your site users that their personal information is protected, private, and you are not to abuse that information. A privacy policy page should include essential information such as what types of data you collect, how you collect it and why you collect this data from visitors on your site, and how you use it.

If you’re thinking, “I don’t collect any data on my site.” – is that really accurate?  To explain, if you have something as simple as a subscription form for users to get your newsletter, that’s collecting data.  You even collect user data if you use a traffic monitoring tool such as Google Analytics.  Given this, your website’s privacy policy page must disclose all of this information to avoid getting in the crosshairs of potential litigation.

The Last Word on Having a Legal Website

If after reading this information you’re asking yourself, “Is all this really necessary?” The answer is yes. At least, it’s necessary if you want to avoid lawsuits and/or hefty fines from governing institutions such as the Federal Communications Commission or the European Union. Ultimately, having these four legal pages in place will keep you in compliance so you can concentrate on building an amazing website your visitors can use safely and confidently.

 

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