The primary goal of most business websites is to generate more quality leads. Other goals can include improving website performance through analytics or encouraging users to register for newsletters. Whether it be because of contact forms, website analytics tools, or newsletter integration, websites are constantly collecting the personal information (or PII) of its users.
Over the past few years, privacy laws have been implemented by certain US states and countries to protect the personal information of its citizens. Over the coming years, more privacy laws will be introduced. Privacy fines can range from $2,500 up to $7,500 per infringement (which could mean per website visitor). Check the state privacy law tracker for more information about the laws applicable to your website.
In this post, we will cover what website policies are, how they help you comply with laws and protect you by limiting your liability, and lastly how to obtain policies.
- The 3 Most Common Website Policies
- How to Obtain Website Policies
- What if I don’t want Policies?
Website policies help you:
- Avoid massive fines and lawsuits
- Limit your liability
- Keep control of your website
- Protect your intellectual-property
- Ensure legitimacy to your website visitors
Want to skip the details and just want to know how to obtain website policies right now? Go to Obtain Website Policies now.
The 3 Most Common Website Policies
- May be required under multiple privacy laws
- Required to utilize several third-party tools
- Can apply to businesses of any size and location
- Limits your liability for potential copyright infringements and third-party links
- Answers commonly asked customer questions
- Sets the rules for using your website
- Limits your liability (if applicable)
Today’s modern websites are built to provide a great user experience and motivate prospective customers to reach out and inquire about what you have to offer. This is done through the use of tools such as contact forms, website analytics, and more.
Contact forms ask users to submit their ‘name’ and ‘email’, which are examples of personally identifiable information. When a website uses analytics, it collects each visitor’s IP address and shares that personally identifiable information with third-party data analytics providers. These are just a few examples of the many ways websites collect and share personally identifiable information.
Penalties for non-compliance.
2. What is a Terms of Service Agreement?
A Terms of Service Agreement limits the liability of businesses by stating the rules to using the website. Example disclosures might be:
When a website offers links to third-party websites, a Terms of Service can help explain to users that the business is not responsible if a user clicks those links. So, if a third-party link brings a user to a hacked website, the Terms of Service disclosure can help prevent you from being sued.
A Terms of Service agreement can also provide what’s called a DMCA notice, which helps prevent a business from being sued by providing contact information in case the website is accidentally using copyrighted material (like images or content).
There are many additional disclosures that a Terms of Service can make, but these two are the most popular and are easy ways to protect your website and your business.
3. What is a Disclaimer?
A Disclaimer is a document that helps limit your responsibilities and liabilities for your website in certain circumstances.
Does your Website …
Advertise third-party products or services?
A Disclaimer will help you protect yourself if a user clicks on the third-party advertisement and gets a virus, is somehow injured by the product or service, or is not happy with the third-party product or service
Sell or display health products?
A Disclaimer will help you protect yourself in this case if the health products do not work as they should, do not deliver the results that were expected, or if the user gets injured by the health products.
Participate in an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is a program whereby you list a particular link on your website and if the user clicks on that link or purchases the products that the link displays, you receive money from the manufacturer of that product. A Disclaimer will help you comply with the affiliate program’s Terms of Service as most affiliate programs require you to provide a Disclaimer and will help you keep your user’s trust.
Provide health and fitness advice?
A Disclaimer will protect you in case the user gets injured after following your health and fitness advice, much like the beginning of those exercise videos that you will watch in January of next year.
Provide information that could be seen by others as legal advice?
A Disclaimer will protect you hereby stating that there is no attorney-client relationship here and that this advice is not legal advice, thus protecting you in case something goes wrong.
How to Obtain Website Policies
If you have the budget, we recommend hiring a lawyer that focuses on privacy law to write your website policies, monitor privacy laws, and update your policies when the laws change or when new laws go into effect.
If you do not have the budget to hire a privacy lawyer for your website policies, being that we are not lawyers, we do not provide Privacy Policies as a service, and we are not responsible for your business complying with any applicable privacy laws.
Termageddon is a comprehensive website policies generator and will update your policies when privacy laws change or new privacy laws go into effect, helping you stay compliant and avoid privacy-related fines and lawsuits, and they do it at a fraction of the cost of a lawyer. Although Termageddon is a technology company (not a legal services provider), it was founded by a privacy and contracts lawyer and the tool has been recognized as a trusted tech vendor by the largest international privacy organization in the world (iapp.org).
If Termageddon sounds like a good solution for your business, we will arrange a licence for you. The license costs $10/month, and we charge a one-time setup fee of $125 to create the policy webpages, insert/test the code and ensure your policies stay up to date with changes to the law. You will have full access to your policies with your own Termageddon account, and you will be notified when new laws go into effect and when your policies are being updated, or when new disclosures require additional questions that need to be answered. We also offer a Termageddon licence as part of our monthly Website Care Plans. Just ask us about them!
If you would like to move forward with Termageddon, let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I don’t want Policies?
Adding policies to your website is a decision you will have to make.
If you decide not to add policies to your website and we are designing and/or maintaining your website, we will ask you to sign a waiver stating that we have informed you of the need for website policies and understand the risks of not having policies.