If you’re building a website you must have a Privacy Policy. This post explains why you need one and the free and easy way to make one!

Creating a Privacy Policy is one of those things that is so easy to ignore.

It’s hidden away, most people don’t really care about it, and whose going to check up on you anyway when you’re just starting off. And more importantly, you don’t have any idea of how to create one, other than paying a lawyer (no thanks!) or copy-pasting someone else’s (hmmm… doesn’t seem like a good idea).

So the default action is – “let’s leave that till later”. I know that’s true, because that’s what I’ve done in the past (shock!) but I did it properly for this site.

And since you are now reading this article, the excuse of not knowing how to do it is about to disappear. Looks like you’re going to have to bite the bullet and NOT put it off.

But first…

Why is a Privacy Policy nearly always essential?

The first reason is simply that you’re required to have one by law if you collect data.

For example, you need one if you collect, store or share personal data such as email and name information. Your Privacy Policy must explain what you do with that information.

There may be a few countries or states where this isn’t a legal requirement, but you may as well as assume that it is a requirement, wherever you reside.

But what if you’re not collecting personal data?

Then ask yourself this:

Do you currently, or might you in future, make use of services offered by third parties such – as Google Adsense? If so their terms and conditions will almost certainly require you to have a Privacy Policy. In the case of Google Adsense – it’s a must!

What are the EXACT conditions when a Privacy Policy IS essential?

I have no idea!

Maybe there are a few special cases where you can ignore it, but I haven’t bothered to figure out the exact conditions under which you must have a Privacy Policy because that would take more work than actually implementing one.

And in any case, there are many marketing benefits to having one – such as increasing the trust of your visitors and giving them additional peace of mind.

So my advice would be to regard a Privacy Policy as a must have for any website.

How to create a Privacy Policy – freely and easily!

To create the Privacy Policy for YourDigitalAlly.com I used this website:

https://www.freeprivacypolicy.com

You can see the result here.

You’ll need to create a free account on the Free Privacy Policy website, and then go through a series of questions under the following headings:

Getting Started
Information Collection
When Information is Collected
Information Usage
Information Protection
Cookies
Third-Party Disclosure
Third-party Links
Google
CalOPPA
COPPA
Fair Information Practices
Contact Information
CANSPAM
Additional Clause

And when you hit the Create button you get an HTML file of your tailored Privacy Policy. If ever you want to make an adjustment, you go back to your account on that website, change the answers to any questions and create a new HTML file.

Depending on the level of your technical expertise, you can either upload that file to your website and link to it, or you can copy the HTML into an appropriate page on your site.

But either way, you don’t need any knowledge of HTML to either create or amend your Privacy Policy.

I wouldn’t say it’s a trivial exercise because there are quite a loft questions to answer and in many cases you do need to think about the questions, but half an hour should be ample time.

What about Terms of Service?

That’s the question I asked after creating my Privacy Policy.

And the answer was – go to the same website and create a tailored Terms of Service document in a very similar way.

In this case, there was a $7 charge – which I felt was reasonable. I effectively paid $3.50 for each document.

Given the time and uncertainty that would be involved in taking any other route, this seemed like a great deal.

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I hope that’s been helpful.

Let me know what you think in the comments – especially if you use their services.

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