Privacy Policies are an essential part of running an online business. But how can you know how to write one? You're a business owner, not a lawyer! Luckily, you can have one written for you.
The total cost of having this done can vary drastically, so read on to better judge how much you might be paying.
Urgency may also affect your costs. If you require a policy to be drafted immediately you may have to pay more versus if you can wait a few weeks.
If you have a relatively straightforward website like a recipe blog or brand site, the total cost might be lower than it will be for a complex business.
For example, if you have unique intellectual property needs or there are restrictive laws in place that affect your provided services, your legal documents will have to be much more detailed than a simple blogging website.
Also known as user created content (UCC), it refers to any content that is made and published by users of a social media platform. It's a relatively new and highly effective method of marketing, as it uses a company or platform's own customers as their brand advertisers.
UGC can be used for a number of different purposes, from product review websites, blogs and wikis, to social networking sites and multimedia content platforms. It can take a variety of different forms, like videos, texts, tweets photos, blog posts and much more.
If this is the case, it's very likely your legal needs will be much more complex, and therefore, much more costly.
- The scope of personal information you collect and manage from your website visitors
- Whether you process online payments
- Whether you integrate with third parties, such as Google Analytics, AdSense, social media platforms, etc.
- Where your website visitors live
- Whether you attract minors to your site
What's more, if your company runs both a website and a mobile app, you're required to write a legal agreement that refers to each of them. Enlisting the help of a lawyer can help you do so.
As with anything, the cheapest route isn't always the best. When it comes to privacy laws and the potential costs of non-compliance, cutting corners is not recommended.
If you operate a very simple website or mobile app, it might be tempting to find policies from similar websites and simply copy them, changing any necessary details and doing your best to ensure legal compliance. However, this is ill-advised, as you can imagine.
First, you might be putting your business at risk of non-compliance with applicable privacy laws or opening yourself up to civil litigation.
Second, in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if a legal document belonging to your company is found to include any inaccurate information or statements, it can be considered "deception," and action could be taken against you.
Privacy Policies are not one-size-fits-all, and it's important for you to be fully aware of how your customer data is dealt with regarding how it's collected, stored, used and shared.
Online data and security breaches can include things like:
- Unintended disclosure, whereby customer information is accidentally revealed online or sent to the wrong recipient.
- Malware and/or hacking, which is when a malicious outside influence is able to penetrate your system and create havoc within.
- Denial of service attacks, where customers are prevented from accessing their personal online services.
- Password phishing, which is where fake company emails are sent out to your customers in an attempt to get them to divulge their personal credentials for your site.
- Ransomware, a new type of security data breach that involves someone gaining access to your system and customer data, locking you out and holding the information for ransom.
With so many ways in which someone could potentially steal and use your customers' data for unscrupulous activity, protection is paramount.
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