The internet belongs to nobody, therefore no law applies. Right?

Wrong! There’s a reason the arm of the law is referred to as  “the long arm of law”. It will get to you.

In as much as running your company website is very key, there are two things you want to do.

  • You want to make sure your website is legitimate (legal)
  • You want to make it look good

Let’s make your website look good and legit!

1. You need a privacy policy

Although there are no laws mandating privacy policies on websites, there are laws relating to maintaining the privacy of your customer information which makes having a privacy policy very important. As a matter of fact, they are as important as your terms & conditions, sitemap, about us and product pages.

Agreed, privacy policies are a dime-a-dozen these days, available on almost every website. The truth is a majority of them are probably copied off other websites. The policies that your business adheres to are the ones you want to have listed on your website. Copying policies from another site may not accurately depict the policies of your company.

To assure your web visitors, you need to ensure your privacy policy is totally unique and crafted for your business.

You also need to recognize that your company policies may change over time. If that’s the case, update your privacy policy as soon as those changes occur in order to keep things accurate. If your practices change, make sure you inform your visitors so they are aware of how their personal information is being used. Be sure to always include the date of your most recent update whenever you update your privacy policy.

You don’t have to be worried about working on your own customized privacy policy, we can help you with that.

2. Work on your terms and conditions

If your business operates a website, it’s in your interest that you have your terms and conditions written clearly. Usually, your terms and conditions should be hyperlinked in the footer of your website. The purpose of this is simple. The user must accept your terms and conditions in the agreement in order to use the website. These agreements are especially useful to businesses that sell products, distribute content or permit users to post messages that could lead to a third-party liability on their websites. User acceptance may either be by checking an “I agree” box or just by using the site. The terms of agreement contain information such as:

  • Who owns and operates the site
  • Is there  Limited Liability for content made by both you and your visitors?
  • Copyright notice and trademark
  • What a site will provide customers, such as products and services.
  • What do you expect from customers regarding use of your site
  • Are there consequences for misuse of the website?
  • Do you  use cookies?
  • Use of third party information
  • Set governing law, which are laws in your companies operating state/province and country

As explained above for privacy policy, it won’t do to lift the terms and conditions from another website.

3. Protect your intellectual property

Avoid infringing on the property of other businesses. There are two words you do not want to hear “Copyright Infringement”

And avoid infringing on the property of other businesses. There are two words you do not want to hear “Copyright Infringement”

Copyright is infringed if a material previously owned by a party is reproduced in any material form.

As an example:

Bobby has a website for his food business. He puts up an article about ordering for food. He names the blogpost “Eat well – Food for living”.Olanna is a script writer and has a website exclusively for food. She sees Bobby’s article as relevant so she puts it up on her website. Olanna did not take permission from Bobby before using his article, neither did she give him credit. She is liable of copyright infringement and Bobby has the right to sue her. 

The point is you risk infringing copyright if you reproduce or distribute someone else’s material without permission.
As a business, IP is simply not something you can ignore. Even if you feel you have no assets worthy of IP protection, entrepreneurs and business owners might do things that can get them into trouble with intellectual property infringement. If you need to protect yourself, we can help you.

4. Make your company information visible

The “About us” page of your website isn’t just about what your website is about. It should also include important information such as:

  • Your registered or incorporated business name
  • Official Logo
  • Your registered office address
  • If your company is in the process of being liquidated, you need to state that too.

If you don’t have a registered business name or are yet to incorporate a company, you can get one here.

Running your website can be so much fun especially if you are able to generate conversation with your target audience and convert some of them into loyal customers but by all means avoid being sued and protect yourself.