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How To Write A Privacy Policy Page And Why You Need One

 It always amuses me that whenever I include a Privacy Policy or Privacy Statement page on a website strategy report,  most of my clients usually wonder why on earth they would need one; and that’s why on this post, I will address exactly how to write a privacy policy page and why you need one, so you can be empowered to make up your own or know if it has been done right when you hire someone to do so.

What Is A Privacy Policy Page?

What is a privacy policy, how do you write a privacy policy, and why do you need a privacy policy?A Privacy Policy page is a web page on your site that contains a written privacy statement informing your visitors or users what kind of information you will collect from them and how it will be used, allowing them to judge for themselves whether they wish to participate, engage, or do business with you in the manner you expressed.

Whenever I strategize a website, I always locate a link to the privacy policy page at the footer of each web page within the site because it is a web designer best policy to locate it in a visible place, within one click, with no search required. The design must look like the rest of your web pages for consistency.

When your users are concerned about their privacy, it provides them peace of mind to know you disclose your privacy practices with transparency, eliminates stress and concern, and creates an environment of trust and respect, allowing you to deepen your relationship with them and make them more confident. Hey… marketing is all about relationships, so a privacy policy page  is a great marketing tool, if you ask me!  Plus, some country legislations may affect your website depending on the information you collect!

How To Write A Privacy Policy Page

I believe the best advice I can give you in writing your privacy policy agreement is to make sure it is written in a plain, clear, direct manner which is easy to understand by your users (really knowing your target market is key to speak their language). Keep techy jargon and legal mumbo jumbo to a minimum, please. (Serious pet peeve of mine!)
Remember they will trust it only to the extent that they can understand it, so make it short, friendly, and custom to your business needs.

Here are 7 more ways to make sure your privacy policy is efficient and effective:

  1. SPECIFY what types of information you collect from your website visitors and if the information is personally identifiable (names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, credit card numbers, IP addresses, access dates and times, etc.)
  2. EXPLAIN how the information is being collected and how long it will be stored for.  (web forms, cookies, surveys, newsletter sign-up or opt-in, order placement, event registrations, and other).
  3. FOCUS on why collecting this information is beneficial to the reader.  At times, collecting information is related to record keeping for further user activity or transactions. When they understand why collecting data is necessary, they will be more likely to share 🙂
  4. DISCLOSE exactly what the information will be used for, and who specifically will have access to it when they give you consent on its use.  Do you share or sell their information with anyone? I personally think a customer’s information is sacred!
  5. UPDATE your users each time your privacy policy changes. It is standard to write the last date the privacy policy changed on the privacy policy document itself.
  6. INCLUDE contact information so the visitors can reach out to the appropriate person for questions, comments, or concern.
  7. ASSURE that confidential information is stored, protected or safeguarded and how, if that is the case (secured files, access controls, SSL?).

I’d like to add that  your privacy policy statement must comply with local and national laws and that it is a document that carries liability. Seeking legal guidance before writing your privacy statement is optional, yet a great idea if you have the resources.

As you can see, you must definitely have a privacy policy statement added as a page on your website.  It will be well worth it! 🙂

[ela]

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