November 12, 2021

Essential Steps To Meet Website Compliance Requirements

Thanks to intuitive website builders, building a website for your business doesn’t take much effort these days. You don’t even need to learn a single thing about code to create a great site. However, there are rules and regulations you must comply with when setting up your website, and that includes meeting website compliance requirements. This has become a priority among the majority of entrepreneurs, and the total compliance expenditure per 1,000 employees between 2017-2019 was $114,000 to $116,000, marking an increase of 42%, according to a recent study by Gartner.

Note that copyright laws and privacy policies make a tiny portion of the many legal regulations a website must comply with. As a website owner, you must also use accessible web design for people with disabilities to enhance accessibility. Not to mention, you have a legal duty to prevent plagiarism on your site. So, if you’re looking to make your website legally compliant, read on to understand the essential steps to meet website compliance requirements.

Provide Information About Your Business

Whether you’re running a small or large enterprise, your ultimate goal should be building trustworthy relationships with clients. One way to accomplish this goal is through a website that meets all legal requirements, including putting company details on the website. As a rule of thumb, you should provide your company name, contact information (phone or email), office address, registration number, and location. To be on the safe side, consider adding these details in the terms and conditions section, contact us page, or footer.

Check If Your Site Supports HTTPS

When creating a website, it’s crucial to follow all the regulations of transporting information over the network. So, check your website to be sure it supports HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) extension. This extension encrypts information as per the SSL (secure sockets layer) standards to enhance data security. Having such protection is vital for any online business because it secures client information from hackers. Furthermore, using SSL increases the chances for your website to rank high on search engines. To enjoy this benefit, consider purchasing an SSL certificate, creating your site, and redirecting from HTTP to HTTPS.

Create A Privacy Policy

Before launching your website, invest a considerable amount of time creating a data privacy policy. In simple terms, a data privacy policy describes how you’ll be using information collected from visitors and existing clients. Note that establishing privacy policies is not only a legal obligation but also an excellent way of building trust with customers.

To protect your customer’s data, integrate your privacy policies into your services or products. That way, your clients will know what information to share and how you use it. It is also wise to collect and erase customer information once you have completed transactions. However, if you must keep customer data for future reference, be sure to encrypt the information or set strong passwords on your database. Another great alternative is to hire an experienced data manager who will keep track of the customer data you’re storing and ensure your storage systems are secure.

Think About Cookie Policy And Consent Notice

As a website owner, you want to stay on the right side of the Electronic & Privacy Communications Regulations. And the best way to stay compliant is by informing your site visitors of the type of cookies on your website. Remember, failure to specify the cookies your website is tracking can result in a hefty fine. Therefore, ensure your site visitors are aware of cookies and agree on collecting and assessing information. Typically, you should track how your visitors interact with your website based on the web pages they browse and how they engage with different content, including newsletters. Also, monitor their preferences and provide a secure gateway for transactions.

Pay Attention To Transaction Rules

Complying with online data security regulations should be at the top of your priority list if you accept payments on your website. That’s because e-commerce sites, especially small-sized ones, are at high risk of data breaches. This means hackers might access customer data and misuse it. Web compliance experts suggest encrypting any information passing through your networks with HTTPS and using reliable payment gateways. The suitable payment systems help you prevent cyberattacks and transaction disputes between you and your clients. Also, make sure you’re up to date with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards.

Ensure That Your Content Is Compliant

Publishing plagiarism-free content is another necessary legal requirement to make your web content compliant. This step entails displaying articles, images, and videos that don’t belong to other website owners. But if you must use content created by another individual, consider obtaining licenses from the owner. This regulation ensures website owners appreciate other people’s talent and, in the process, minimize the risk of copyright infringement. Ideally, getting licenses for content prevents plagiarism on your website, hence boosting your online credibility.

Similarly, you must protect your content from individuals who might try to copy and publish it on their website. To keep your web content secure while meeting compliance standards, perform regular audits. This move is key to ensuring you’re sending out marketing messages to individuals who have consented to receive your email newsletters. In addition to content auditing, archive your website. Website archiving supports your regulatory, preservation, and compliance obligation. Typically, when you archive your website with the help of digital archiving experts, they capture, index, store, and replay your web content in an easy-to-navigate SaaS system.

Make Your Website Accessible To All

Accessibility is something you don’t want to overlook when creating a website. This legal requirement is essential if you want to treat everyone online equally. Therefore, take the time to go through all the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations and follow the best practices for making your website accessible for everyone. Doing so ensures individuals living with disabilities like visual or hearing impairment can use your site without much difficulty.

Staying compliant with website laws is vital if you want to manage a successful online business because you’ll be able to mitigate risks linked to data breaches. You’ll also prevent plagiarism and copyright issues that often result in hefty fines. So whether you’re setting up a website for a new business or an established organization, make sure your site is accessible. Also, keep your content compliant, provide information about cookies, and create privacy policies to protect consumer data.

About the author 

Peter Hatch


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