*I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Also, I’m an affiliate for my favorite source. I get a commission if you purchase using my affiliate link. I use this source for my policies.
It’s a legal document that describes what information you collect about people who use your website and what you do with that information. How do you use it? Do you sell it?
Do third parties have access to it (short answer, probably yes. If you use Google Analytics, Google sees the user data for people who come to your site.)
How long do you keep the data? How do you make sure it is secure? What options do people have for asking you to remove or change their data?
These are the broad-brush questions answered in this legal document.
Will I have to provide information?
This is one of the trickiest parts of website policies. You have to either work with someone to set the policy up for you - who knows the right questions to ask - or you have to figure out how to answer the questions to get the right terms in your policies.
Legal counsel will always have the most specific and personalized advice for you. Also the most expensive, but those fees get a lot more reasonable looking when you look at the possible fines for legal infractions.
Most website platforms have templates for privacy and other policies. Are they good enough? I can’t answer that question - check with your legal counsel to be sure.
A lot of people use them - I have no idea what their actual legal standing is. There are other websites out there that offer policy templates - if you search, you can find them.
Again, I have zero ability to tell you what the legal status would be, but they are out there. Also, it’s tricky to figure out how to get them set up properly.
Some of these come from lawyers, some come from website services. Some of them cost around $100 per year depending on the terms you need, some will cost more (different websites will have different needs for their policy.
For example - courses or memberships or e-commerce might be different than a basic website.)
Paid templates that update
These sources charge you a monthly or yearly fee and keep an eye on the new laws for you. They update their policies according to the latest regulations so that you are always up to date.
Also, they will show you when you need to update the information that you include in your policy.
My favorite source and the one I use is Termageddon. I’ll include a plug and affiliate link below.
Other policies you might need
Terms and conditions
My non-lawyer take on this is it is the limits you place on the use of your website and content. This document may protect you in cases where you have set up the expectations for using your site.
Cookies are small pieces of code that marketers use to track users around the interwebs.
I’ve said about 6 times that I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice - that’s a disclaimer because I take no responsibility for the legal status of policies you place on your website.
You may need those kinds of disclaimers on your site, depending on your content or business model.
You see a lot of disclaimers on things like health supplements and exercise equipment - anything that might involve risk or responsibility that you don’t want to take on.
Disclosures let people know that you have what could be seen as an ulterior motive for posting your content.
Again, for example, I included my affiliate link for Termageddon at the end of this blog post.
I have a disclosure statement on my website that I do have affiliate links on the site. I’m also careful to note those links in the content so that no one is surprised by them if they click them.
There are clear laws about this and once again, make sure you get the appropriate legal advice to follow everything that’s necessary for your business.
One more time - in the matter of website policies, do your due diligence and consult legal counsel to determine your needs.
The source I use is called Termageddon. They are my favorite for three reasons.
First - they update their policies based on new laws, so you always have your policy updated to the current standards.
Second, they will walk you through purchasing and setting up your policies with complimentary onboarding.
If you are interested in the onboarding session, the way it works is that I send you an email recommending them, and I copy them on that email. Then they reach out to you to help you purchase and set up your policies. (I will get affiliate credit for your policy.)
I’ve talked to Hans on the phone and I get great customer service every time I email them with a question.
I love supporting an awesome small business.
If you'd like to use Termageddon and want the complimentary onboarding and are ready to start the process, just let me know. I’ll email you and copy them on that email to introduce you. Then they’ll help you get your policy and get it set up.
Alternatively, you can sign up with my affiliate link:
and then use this video :
to set up your policy if you'd rather DIY it. This is a new setup video as of March 2023.