Types of Website Compliances and Why They Are Important

Whether you are selling computer components online, developing a gaming website, or you are a professional website developer, the rules of constructing a solid site are continuously in flux.

With the growing number of sites online, and growing concerns about user security, more restrictions and criteria are being forced upon websites that ensure safe and structured user experiences. That’s why website developers and owners alike should be privy to compliance issues. Here are some key points about keeping your website compliant and why it’s crucial to do so.

Disclosing a Privacy Policy

A privacy policy should clearly inform site visitors about your website’s security as well as what it does with information collected from site visitors. Failure to provide users with a privacy policy could lead to liabilities such as lawsuits, financial setbacks and a steep downslide in public relations.

Therefore, keep a visible “privacy policy” link on your website that leads people to details about how you collect data such as cookies, names, IP addresses, etc. Also define how this collected information is used.

Data Protection Compliance

In addition to disclosing a privacy policy stating how and why you collect data for your users, website owners should also implement data disclosures required by regulating institutions. We’re referring to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was passed in 2016 and enforced in 2018 by the European Union. The Regulation was created as a way to protect EU user’s data, and do away with forced consent on websites.

Even if you don’t have a European site, you may have overseas visitors, which makes you responsible for complying with GDPR requirements. And even if you think you’re immune from international data protection regulations, more recently the US has implemented similar regulations with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). You can streamline your compliance by utilizing data mapping for ccpa and GDPR, which helps ensure personal data is not compromised on your site.

Failure to stay compliant with these regulations could lead to millions of dollars in fines as it did with the 50 million fine slapped on Google in 2018 for insufficient transparency and over usage of personal data on their site.

Intellectual Property

When building your website, you might be using images, videos or content from a third party source. If that’s the case, you must have an account of licenses for use, and proof of purchase of such content.

Furthermore, you should, at all cost, avoid using intellectual property from other sources without purchase or permissions. Failure to comply with copyrights or misuse of intellectual property on your website without permission or purchase could lead to injunctions that can be extremely costly.

Security Compliance

While this might not be mandated by a governmental institution, it’s critical to make sure your website is safe and secure for users. Lapses in security could mean irreparable damages to your online endeavors. It could also lead to costly lawsuits if a user’s identity or privacy is compromised through a security breach on your website.

In fact, over $10 trillion in damages is associated with cyberattacks, hackers and fraud on websites each year. To avoid expensive setbacks as well as protect your site and its visitors, invest in the highest security strategies possible. This includes secure hosting, secure data storage and a backup plan in the event a breach occurs.

Make Disclaimers Known

If you use third party advertisements such as Google Adsense, or if you sponsor products from online merchants like Amazon, you need to make this known to your users. To explain, ads or sponsored links may lead visitors to websites that could cause problems or even be fraudulent.

When a user believes he or she is following a link associated with your website, yet it turns out to be buggy or fraudulent, you could be held liable. This is a form of deception that you might never intend for your users. Nonetheless, it does happen, and that’s why a disclaimer could save you from costly misunderstandings.

Include fine print on your website explaining that your site uses advertisements and sponsored links. This disclaimer should also go on to say that you are held harmless in the event an ad or link results in less than ideal consequences when clicked.

In closing, it’s vital to keep your website current and compliant – especially if you are conducting business online. Why? Because failure to do so can result in costly setbacks, or even a total website shutdown. Protect your investment and hard work by ensuring your site is completely compliant today.