Hitting publish on your business’s website is such an exhilarating, fun moment. For many entrepreneurs, it signals a whole new level of seriousness and growth. You are finally putting yourself and your products or services out there for the whole world to see! 

You’ve meticulously scanned each page for typos. You’ve squinted at each image, making sure nothing is off-center or blurry. You’ve checked all the views to make sure it’s mobile and tablet friendly. 

Everything looks perfect! Time to share the link far and wide, and watch those leads come rolling in. 

But wait, not so fast, says your favorite friendly lawyer! 

Do you have a privacy policy on your website?

If not… you’re leaving yourself exposed to potential fines for legal non-compliance, and you risk an eagle-eyed potential customer being less-than-impressed with your professionalism. 

So what is a privacy policy, and why do you need one? 

In a nutshell, a privacy policy tells people how you collect, use, share, store and protect your visitors' information on your website. It’s a written promise from you to them, ensuring site visitors that you’re not going to misuse, sell or otherwise mishandle their private information like email addresses, mailing addresses, credit card info, etc. It also spells out their rights to opt-out or “be forgotten” which is an essential component of the law. 

Having a solid privacy policy in place not only gives your customers the confidence that you’re running a legit business and that you care about their privacy, it’s required by an increasing number of international and domestic laws, including the infamous GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation). That one can earn you some very hefty fines if you’re caught in violation of the law. 

On top of the legal requirements, some very important business-building tools require your website to have a privacy policy, including Google Analytics and Facebook Lead Ads. 

You may think you can swipe a generic privacy policy from the internet, but I have to caution you very strongly against doing that. 

The simple reason why is this: Your privacy policy MUST be tailored to the SPECIFIC ways you collect, use, and store users’ data. The way I collect and use data on my website is different from the way Oprah collects and uses data on her site, for example. Swiping a generic policy is not only likely to be inaccurate and incomplete for your situation, it’s also pretty disingenuous. 

Here are some tips for adding a solid privacy policy to your site: 

☔1️⃣➡️Use a lawyer-drafted, customizable template! Mine walks you through all the ways you need to personalize your policy. 

☔2️⃣➡️Use plain English! No need for $10,000 words when nickel words will do just fine. (My templates are always in plain English, obvs!)

☔3️⃣➡️Make it easy to read and scan. Use bullet points and clear headings.

☔4️⃣➡️Put it on a standalone page, and make sure the link is visible from each page of your website as well as anywhere you collect your website visitors' info (opt-ins, contact me pages, etc).

☔5️⃣➡️Review it periodically for any necessary updates

In addition to your privacy policy, your website terms and conditions and your disclaimer are also super important to ensure your website is as safe, protected and as legally compliant as possible. You can save some dollars by grabbing all three together: Get the Website Bundle Now.

Just need the privacy policy for now? Get your template here

Got questions? Shoot an email to team@laynlyons.com and we will be happy to help! 

Have a wonderful, privacy-protected day :)

July 08, 2024 — Layne Lyons Pecoff