Online Privacy And Security

The right to privacy is a serious issue for all online. No formal law exists within cyberspace, and Internet users can find recourse only through the applicable laws of their own government. It is your responsibility to ensure the privacy of your web site visitors. You have to create a transactional or interactive environment that protects the privacy of your customers.

Many people fail to become online consumers because they fear their personal information could be misused or compromised. Identity theft, credit card fraud, breach of personal information are among the more common consumer concerns. According to Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, DC, “The absence of consumer privacy protection may in fact be the number one obstacle to the growth of e-commerce.”

Privacy is one of the leading issues facing the future success of e-commerce. One of your most important tasks as an online business is to establish trusting relationships with your web site visitors. Be sure to prominently display a privacy policy on your site that details how customer information is collected, used, and protected.

Learn from the pros, if you are unsure about what your privacy statement should look like. There are many highly successful online businesses you can learn from. Don’t copy their privacy statements, but use them as learning tools. If there is an industry leader in your field, study their web site. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of competitive intelligence.

As you study privacy policies look for common trends. Take notes, and make an outline. Ask questions as you are writing your outline. What does their privacy statement include? Where is the privacy statement located? Is it easy to find? Using the intelligence you have gathered during your research process, write your own privacy statement.

The body of your privacy policy should have several components such as, how common the collected user information is protected, the security measures you take to protect the information, if you share that information with a third party. Also include privacy information specific to your field. For example, if you’re collecting customer e-mail addresses be specific about how you plan to use them.

Always include the company contact information in your privacy policy so that customers can contact you in case they have any questions. Make sure that a link to your privacy policy is clearly visible on your website. At the very least, you should have a link to the privacy policy from your homepage but it doesn’t hurt to have a link to it from all web pages.

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