Generating trust through privacy statement
The Internet is a now a virtual jungle. There are many dark
alleys and dangerous places. The average surfer is becoming more and more
aware of "little nasties" such as web bugs, email taps, invasive web site
monitoring -the list goes on.
It is getting more difficult to convince our visitors that we are not
there to fleece them, rip them off or con them. I guess you can't blame
people, there are many among us that will. We've found this out the hard
way in recent times through dealings with some of our merchant advertisers.
It doesn't seem to matter the size or stature of the dotcom, corruption
is rife throughout the online world - just as it is in the physical world.
How can you reassure your visitors that you have good intentions?
A great way to gain the trust of web visitors is with the
introduction of a Privacy Statement. It is a declaration to your visitors
about what your site contains. The privacy statement also declares what
type of information you gather from your visitors and how you use it.
If you have read a Privacy Statement, you may feel that you need a team
of lawyers and a huge bank balance to draft one! Actually, you can make
them up free of charge using a number of generators available on the web.
The generators take you through the process, step by step, with explanations
of the various sections that you should complete.
You will be asked to supply the following details:
Type of data collected from hit counters and server
logs (and why)
How you secure the information that you gather (is it
stored on the server etc.)
Public forums and discussion boards (warn visitors about
revealing personal information)
with their banners?)
Whether you have external linkages from your site (many
visitors don't realise that they are clicking on an external link
until they have been redirected)
Options for visitors to unsubscribe from lists.
How visitors can contact you
If you are able to collect the above information before
beginning the statement generation, it will make the whole process a great
deal more efficient.
It will take approximately 30 minutes to an hour to complete.
A privacy statement not only puts your visitors mind at ease, but also
adds professionalism to your site. A reassured visitor is more likely
to purchase something from you.
Please note, a privacy statement is a legal document - think carefully
before implementing one.
The following are a couple of reputable sites where you can generate your
own Privacy Statement, free of charge: