Lock and key next to website on browser, concept for privacy policy

Yes, Even Your Small Business Website Needs a Privacy Policy

Over the course of this month, we are going to explore a number of website risks that have the potential to damage your business. Some of our small business clients know first hand the damage these vulnerabilities can cause and we’d like you to avoid the same problems. 

So far in this series we have covered website accessibility and website maintenance. We are continuing the theme of website risks with an exploration of how your business can be at risk due to your website’s Privacy Policy.

What is a Website Privacy Policy?

A Privacy Policy is put into place as a means to protect personal data your website collects from people while visiting your site. The Privacy Policy is a statement of sorts that tells visitors what information is being collected, what you are doing with that information, and how the data is going to be protected. 

The exact items that need to be explained in your website’s Privacy Policy will vary based on state regulations. In general, though, a website Privacy Policy includes:

  • The length of time your website will store user data
  • How that data will be secured and protected
  • In some cases, the physical location of where the data will be stored (check your state regulations to be sure!)
  • Who will gain access to the user data 
  • A process for users to request data 
  • An opt-out for users that do not agree with the privacy policy

Does My Small Business Website Really Need a Privacy Policy?

The short answer is, “Yes. It really does.” Here’s why. First of all, data privacy is a growing area of concern among consumers. When people visit your site, they rightfully expect a certain level of security and privacy. When they give you personal data, your website is assuming the risk of protecting that information. 

If you want your customers to trust you, have a good impression of your business, and to have a positive experience interacting with your website and business, then you must take basic precautions to ensure that happens. 

That’s a pretty great reason, right? But there’s more. There are tons of regulations around Privacy Policies at the state, federal, and international level. And yes, they are enforced. 

The Federal Trade Commission enforces Privacy Policies to protect consumers and, according to the FTC website, “When companies tell consumers they will safeguard their personal information, the FTC can and does take law enforcement action to make sure that companies live up to these promises.”

Avoid costly and harmful consequences to your business’s reputation and bottom line by doing whatever is necessary to protect the privacy of your website visitors. Not only are you legally bound to do so, it’s just the right thing to do! 

We take your privacy very seriously at Spring Insight. Check out our Privacy Policy and you’ll see that when it comes to privacy, we mean business. 

What Features Require a Privacy Policy

Everyone is familiar with the requirement for websites to inform visitors and gain consent to collect cookies. That is part of your responsibility to protect your user’s privacy. There are other website features that fall under this Privacy Policy umbrella that you may not be aware of. One way to think about it is that any tool on your site, up front or on the back end, that collects information must have a Privacy Policy to go along with it. Examples include:

  • Chat box widgets
  • Online forms
  • Analytics programs, including Google Analytics
  • Online advertising campaigns including Facebook and Google Ads

How to Keep Your Privacy Policy Updated and in Compliance

With an ever-evolving landscape that is so typical of the online world, you may be wondering how you are supposed to keep up with the changing regulations and requirements. After all, you are running a business, right? You do not have time to dedicate to Privacy Policy updates. 

We can help with that! Spring Insight works with small businesses just like yours to develop, optimize, and maintain a website that works for your business. Our clients have three website care packages to choose from based on their needs and keeping a current Privacy Policy is part of two of those care plans. 

We partner with a lawyer-founded Privacy Policy firm that automates Privacy Policy updates based on changing legal requirements. Let’s face it, you don’t have time to keep on top of changing privacy laws and make changes accordingly. We don’t either, that is why we work with a firm that does just that. Small businesses that work with Spring Insight can rest assured knowing their website will always be in compliance and create the best experience for their website visitors. 

Need help with your website? Get in touch with us today!