Before we go too far, this is not legal advice and you should seek advice from an appropriate legal professional. But the short answer is yes!
Nowadays there are more expectations around what you publish, the implications of publishing that information, and the protections that need to be in place for both yourself and your customers.
More so than ever people care about their privacy and the use of their data. Even if you’re not intending to capture any data from your website visitors you may find that your website can’t function properly without capturing some metrics. For example, these can be simple things like what type of device the visitor is using. Your website should look different to mobile users than web users and for your website to ‘adapt’ it needs to work out what kind of device they’re using. And your website will store that data.
If you’re not following the laws and regulations for the country that you operate in, and potentially, all of the countries that your customers come from then you may be exposing you and your business to risks and liability. This is where the legal advice comes in.
Now you’re probably thinking, just like I did:
Oh no! This is going to be expensive!
But you’d be wrong (also like me), as it’s possible to achieve compliance and protection without breaking the bank. There are many online sites now that have semi-customized, attorney drafted legal policies. The reality is that most of what you need is reasonably straight forward. So you don’t need to pay for a lawyer to draft a document from scratch. Just answer some questions, add some details and choose the policies that you need.
For an example check out this site called Web Site Policies, who are very reasonably priced, have an awesome (and simple) interface, plus they cover more than 100 countries!
What are the other typical legal policies?
- Acceptable use policy – Prevent abuse and overuse of the resources of your website or service.
- Disclaimer – Limit liability and protect yourself and your business from lawsuits.
- Refund policy – Boost user confidence and increase your sales with a stellar refund policy.
- Terms and conditions – Set guidelines and rules your users must abide by to use your website or product.
Don’t be left unprotected.