The Importance of having a Privacy Policy on your website

Anyone who has ever browsed the internet knows that many websites contain Privacy Policies. Although there currently is no law mandating the inclusion of Privacy Policies for internet sites, they are very important. Just as important in fact as your Terms and Conditions, Site Map and About Us pages.

Over the past few years, internet spam has become an annoying and progressive problem for many consumers. Because internet users are now concerned about having their personal information scattered about, the inclusion of a Privacy Policy on your website has become a very important factor. Internet users are now, more than ever, concerned about who sees their information and how their personal information may be used when they visit your site. They want to ensure that their identifying information will not be sold or used in any marketing efforts that they have not solicited personally.

While the number of web sites using Privacy Policies has definitely increased over the past few years, the problem is that many of these sites simply copy policies found on other websites. In order to reassure your website visitors, you should ensure that your Privacy Policy page is completely unique. You cannot simply borrow words from another site and reassure your visitors. The policies that your website and/or company adhere to are the ones that you want to have listed for your website visitors to see. When you simply copy what another site has posted you may not be accurately depicting the actual policies of your own company.

Technically speaking, your Privacy Policy is your disclosure statement. It is used to inform your website visitors of just how protected their personal information is when they visit your site. On a more legal stancethe FTCCOPPA and other legislators can actually bring legal cases against any website whose Privacy Policies are not correct. In fact, many sites have been taken down completely due to misinforming consumers about how that site uses their personal information. Although you may mean well by posting the policy, you need to ensure that it completely represents your company in order to keep yourself from facing legal problems in the future.

It is also important to keep in mind that your company policies may change over time. If this is the case, it is very important that you change your Website Privacy Policy periodically in order to keep it up to date and accurate. If your company practices change, then you should instantly change your policy page to ensure that your visitors are being given the most accurate information about how their personal information is being used.

Having an accurate Privacy Policy on your website is important, not only to your company but to your visitors as well. This statement may be the most important page on your website. Information your customers of how you use their information, although not yet enforced by law, can help you to put your visitors’ minds at ease and help to ensure that your website sees more traffic and more repeat business.

On a final note: if you’re thinking of using Google Adsense as a Pay-Per-Click advertiser on your web site – you *need* a privacy policy; it’s in their TOS!

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