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Guidelines for crafting a website privacy policy

Nowadays, people have become very cautious when it comes to sharing personal information online. This is why a privacy policy is very important for any website or blog.
A privacy policy is basically a document that outlines how information gathered from visitors will be stored and used. Some industries such as the medical profession and banking are required by law to have privacy policies. However, even if you are not within such industries, your business would still benefit greatly from having a privacy policy. Having such a policy will not only help build trust with customers, but could also shield you from any future liability problems.

123RF
123RF

Here are some guidelines for creating a website privacy policy:

1. Make it comprehensive


These are some of the details which your privacy policy should include:
    • Introduction – Briefly describe your business and the role of your website
    • Information gathered – Your visitors will want to know what kind of information you will be collecting. This includes hostnames and IP addresses
    • Methods of collection – Will visitors manually fill out forms or is the process automated?
    • Information storage – Will the information be stored in the cloud or on your own servers? Customers will want assurance that their details are being stored in a safe environment
    • Sharing of information – If you plan to send information to third parties, be sure to mention it in the privacy policy. Explain your reasons clearly and give customers the choice of opting out
    • Contact details – Share an email address which visitors can use to contact get in touch if they have any questions about the privacy policy
The good news is that there are several free privacy policy generators that can make your work much easier.

2. Keep it simple and brief


Though the privacy policy is a legal document, be sure to keep it as simple as possible. Avoid legal jargon which will only leave your readers confused and use language that is easy to understand. In addition, make sure your privacy policy is as short as possible. This will enhance the chances of visitors reading it until the end.

3. Make it visible


Use a large and visible font for your privacy policy, and make sure people can find it easily on your site. If the policy is written in small print and hidden, visitors are likely to get suspicious. One of the best ways of making it accessible is by having a tab on your homepage that links to the policy. In addition, the tab should also appear whenever the customer is required to submit some information. You could use wordings such as ‘How we keep your information safe’, ‘Privacy and security’ or ‘Our privacy policy’.

4. Get ideas from other websites


It would be advisable to visit no less than three other websites to see how they manage their privacy policies. This will give you an idea of what would work best on your own website. Take note of where the privacy policy is located on each site and how long it took you to find it. How many clicks did it take to access it? Is it written in simple and clear language? Does it elicit trust from the reader?

About Charles Mburugu

HubSpot-certified content writer/marketer for B2B, B2C and SaaS companies. He has worked with brands such as GetResponse, Neil Patel, Shopify, 99 Designs, Norton, Salesforce and Condor. Portfolio: https://charlesmburugu.contently.com/ LinkedIn: https://ke.linkedin.com/in/charlesmburugu

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