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Blog Privacy Policy: Why Everyone Needs It

Steven 2 responses Blogging

You and I feel perfectly comfortable surfing the Web but there are still plenty of people out there who don’t trust the Internet. Just the mention of the word “cookies” sends them into a panic and they’ll run screaming from your blog if you ask for their email address. Having a privacy policy prominently posted on your blog makes these people feel a little more comfortable and goes a long way toward establishing trust.

privacy policy

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If you’re using WordPress, one of the easiest ways to set up a Privacy Policy page is just to download the Google Privacy Policy plug in. (Whew! That’s a mouthful!) All you have to do then is set up a page with the title Privacy Policy and copy and paste a single line of code. The plug in does the rest.

What do you need on a Privacy Policy page?

This privacy page may have more information than you need, and sometimes it can be a little intimidating for your readers. In fact, depending on your audience, you might prefer to set up something a little more personal and less scary. If that’s the case, here’s the basic information you’ll want to include:

  • Guarantee your readers that you won’t be selling or sharing their email addresses. This is the biggest concern most people have, so put that at the beginning of the page.
  • Next, let your readers know if you’re using any software or programs to collect information on their browsing habits. For example, does your blog collect or place cookies. Explain to your readers what this information is used for and again, make sure they understand their privacy is protected.
  • Let readers know that to the best of your ability you’ve checked the sites you link to but you are not responsible for their privacy policies, viruses, cookies, etc.

You should always have a contact page on your blog, too, which includes your name, address, phone number and email address, along with an embedded contact form. It’s a good idea to include a link to this page, or at least a contact form, on your Privacy Policy Page, too, so readers can easily contact you if they have questions.

Make sure your page is easy to read and understand. Remember, most of your visitors are going to have no idea what any of that industry jargon means so explain everything in simple terms.

If your blog addresses a mature audience you might want to add a disclaimer to your privacy page warning that your site isn’t intended for people under the age of 18. This warning also covers you in case someone complains about your site.

If you plan to contact your readers for any reason you should let them know about it on your privacy page. For example, some bloggers send an email to everyone who leaves a comment. If you plan to do that on your blog, it’s also wise to have some type of notice right next to the comment box for those who don’t read your Privacy Page.

Setting up a Privacy Policy page helps alleviate some of that distrust that some users have but it also protects you from liability so make sure the link to your page is visible, not tucked away in your footer.

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  1. I think this is a good idea, but I feel it has to be done discreetly so as not to cause any unnecessary alarm.

    By having the Privacy Policy, people may think that you ARE planning to commercialise their details, and how many people actually bother to read these policies anyway?

    Thanks though for raising the topic for debate.

    1. Nick, having a privacy policy on your website is a legal obligation whenever you are going to monetize this website. I think it’s better to have it as soon as you launch your website so people just know your intentions. It’s all about being honest and straight-forward, don’t you think?