By: Michael Benninger
As the owner of an online business, are you protecting your customers' privacy? As the Internet continues to become more and more entwined with our individual identities, privacy is a bigger concern now than it’s ever been. And if you run an Internet-based business of any kind, it’s your duty to help protect the privacy of your customers.
Privacy Policies and Why You Need One
In general, most privacy policies adhere to a structure similar to the following:
- Introduction: This is where you'll give your visitors general information about your business, including the role of your website in your operations. If your business has special rules about how it does or does not collect information from minors, those should be explicitly mentioned here.
- Information Collected: Your website visitors are entitled to know what data about them you are collecting, and that should be clearly defined in this section. If you also collect technical information from your visitors, such as their IP addresses and hostnames, be sure to include that information here as well.
- Method of Collection: This section should mention the ways in which your website collects information. If you collect data from user-submitted forms, state that here. If your website automatically collects info from everyone who visits the site, that must be included as well.
- Storage of Information: This is where to include details about how and where your company stores the information that it gathers, including the length of time that data will be stored. Reassure your visitors that their information is stored safely and securely.
- Contact details: Provide your company's contact information in this section. This should include either an email address or a link to a contact form, as well as a physical address where visitors can find your business.