Why Privacy Policies are Essential for Online Businesses

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shredded-33009-mIt’s a huge world wide web out there. Anyone can set up a website and present themselves as a reputable business. This can be a scary proposition for online shoppers. In a world where identity theft is prevalent, Internet users are understandably wary of websites and shopping online.

Web savvy shoppers often look over a website for some visual clues to determine whether or not it is trustworthy. To start off with, your website needs to have a professional web design with your contact information. However, this is not enough. Online businesses need to include a privacy policy. A privacy policy will demonstrate to visitors that you are a reputable business that has taken measures to protect their privacy.

What is a privacy policy? A privacy policy is an essential element of any business website. It clearly states your views and procedures on the collection of visitor information. While a privacy policy is a legal document, it needs to be easily understood by visitors to your site.

The key components of an effective privacy policy include:

Introduction
Tell your visitors about your organization in this section of your privacy policy. You also need to inform visitors of any unique information or functions of your website in the introduction.

Collected Information
Inform your visitors about the types of information you are collecting in this section. Clearly lay out any information you are collecting. Include information collected in forms as well as information logged by servers like IP addresses and hostnames.

Collection Method
Detail the methods used to collect information on your website. Provide visitors to your website with a detailed description of how information is collected on your website.

Information Storage
How is the information collected on your website stored? Is it securely stored? What measures have you taken to protect stored information? Visitors to your website want to know that their information is safe and secure.

Contact Information
Provide your contact information. Offer a range of options including phone number, email, online form and a physical address for written inquiries.

By taking the time to put together a comprehensive privacy policy, visitors to your website who may be wary can read through it and be confident that their privacy is safe and secure. Transparency on your part will establish trust and build confidence with visitors to your website. In turn, this will result in an increase in user engagement and conversions.