3 Common Website Policies you need:
- May be required under multiple privacy laws
- Required to utilize several third-party tools
- Can apply to businesses of any size and location
- Terms of Service
- Limits your liability for potential copyright infringements and third-party links
- Answers commonly asked customer questions
- Sets the rules for using your website
- Limits your liability (if applicable)
Now with that said, we are not lawyers and this is not legal advice. But as your website designer it is our responsibility to make sure that you know the importance of a website policy and what you are risking by not having one. So read on, learn and protect yourself and your business!
Now let’s talk about NEW laws. Ever since the European Union introduced the GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation (which they claim is the TOUGHEST privacy and security law in the world) countries all over the world have been following suit. And that includes the US. States all over the US are adopting their own privacy acts and there are several dozen on the table waiting to be passed right now that have their own penalties. This means that you are required to comply with them ALL. And yes, even the GDPR IF your website collects their information. So if someone from Switzerland comes to your site and inquires on a house, you are liable per the GDPR laws. And the law changes ALL THE TIME. That is why it is important to either make sure your lawyer is ON TOP of the latest laws and updates your policy as needed or you use a service like Termageddon that does all the work for you (at a fraction of the cost….like only $99!)
2. What is a Terms of Service Agreement?
A Terms of Service Agreement basically tells your clients the rules to using your website therefor limiting your liability.
Examples of things you would find in a Terms of Service Agreement
Third-party links: If you link to other businesses on your site then you would explain to your visitors that you are not liable if they click through to those links. So, if a third-party link brings a user to a hacked website, the Terms of Service disclosure can help prevent you from being sued.
DMCA Notice: This one is one of the most important parts of a Terms of Service in our opinion and is way to often overlooked. A DMCA notice helps prevent you from being sued by giving visitors a way to contact you in case you have any copyrighted information on your site like images or content. This is quite common for people who have had websites for a LONG time and back in the day got their images off of Google Images or copied a blog post from another website and used it as their own work.
There are many additional disclosures that a Terms of Service can make, but these two are the most popular and are easy ways to protect your website and your business.
3. What is a Disclaimer?
A Disclaimer is a statement that limits what you are responsible for and what you can be liable for under certain circumstances.
You need a Disclaimer if:
You Advertise third-party products or services: This helps protect you if a visitor clicks on a third-party link or ad and gets a virus or is somehow injured by a product or service OR if they are not happy with the service.
You Sell or display health products: This will protect you if the user buys something and it doesn’t work as advertised or they are injured by it.
You are an Affiliate and have Affiliate links on your site: If you have signed up for an affiliate programs through third-parties and you link to their products or advertise them in anyway on your website, email, etc and you are compensated for the revenue they generate then to be compliant you are most likely required to have a Disclaimer from the affiliate themselves (see their Terms of Service).
You give health & fitness advice: If you provide your users with any health or fitness advice and they are injured then a Disclaimer will protect you.
You Provide information that could be seen by others as legal advice: Did we mention we aren’t Lawyers? Our Disclaimer protects us by stating that there is no attorney client relationship here and that this advice is not legal advice, thus protecting us in case something goes wrong. It will protect you in the same capacity.
What other website policies do I need?
We touched upon some of the most common types of website policies above but there are a few more that you should be aware of. Some of these are fairly recent and have sprung up because of the privacy laws and we fully expect more to come about in the future so it is important to keep yourself educated about website policies so that you can stay compliant and protect yourself. Here are a few of the newer policies you need and a brief description of each:
- EULA (End User License Agreement): This is the agreement between the owner of a product and the end-user.
Termageddon includes all of these policies in addition to the 3 main ones we talked about above.
How do you get a Website Policy?
Well, if you can afford it you would hire a Lawyer who is an expert in Privacy Law AND is proficient in Terms of Service, Disclaimer, Cookie Policies, Accessibility and anything else new that is coming. At the average lawyers hourly rate, that can get expensive. And it HAS to be constantly updated for you to remain compliant.
If there are any changes to the laws, Termageddon will send you an email to let you know if you need to log into your dashboard to answer any additional questions on any of your policies. Additionally you can log into your dashboard anytime and it will notify you if you need to do anything. You will also be notified about any new laws you need to know about and when Termageddon has automatically updated your policies for you. DONE for you!
Adding policies to your website is a decision you will have to make. Don’t wait until it is too late.