What Legal Protection do I Need on my Website?

SIL - Blog Graphics (1) What Legal Protection do I Need on my Website?

Most online (and offline) business owners have a website. If the business were bricks and mortar, it would be the shopfront. Because it is our storefront, we have to set down the special rules that relate to that space. Just like a store says, “No Smoking,” “No Food or Beverages Allowed,” or “No Photographs.” We can do this by creating a document called “Website Terms and conditions.” It is a contract between you and your website visitors, so they are put on notice about the rules of the website.  

Website documents cover things like:    1. Your content - there is a clause in there about copyright and ownership.    2. Disclaimers - because people have selective memories, or poor memories, or read something else into what you are saying and you want to say it  perfectly clear for them.    3. Other legal stuff - like age of visitor (over 18 years). The other thing websites do is collect information. Information like cookies and tracking info (remembers who you are + any settings), User Agent (tells the website what browser + operating system you are using), Browser Fingerprinting (similar to user agent but goes more in-depth such as fonts you use and etc, things that make your browser unique) email addresses, names (and other personal information) just to name a few.

Woah. Who would have thought that?

Personal information is strongly protected in many countries, particularly countries like Australia, United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. So, when we have a website, we are required to have a privacy policy on the website, again so we are informing our visitors on the website what we are doing so they can choose to stay or go. You know the way we do on iTunes® etc. This isn’t actually negotiable. Most governments are pretty strict about it, but if you don’t have these protections and someone reports you to your host, your website could be taken down until you sort out all the formalities. Even if that didn’t happen, don’t you want to build a reputation as a business owner with integrity?

These two documents don’t have to be bold and threatening on your website, they can be subtly placed (not hidden) so that the user can inform themselves about the terms and conditions AND privacy policy of your website. 

If you need to see how they are placed on my sites just check out drcatecole.com or sisterinlaw.com.au and scroll down the bottom and check it out. If you would like to purchase both documents - click here.