How to Write a Privacy Policy for a Website

With privacy laws and regulations constantly emerging around the world, it’s crucial for every website to have a privacy policy. However, writing a privacy policy on your own when you don’t have legal expertise is challenging. In this guide, we’ll show you how to write a privacy policy for a website that will cover your bases with the following steps:

  1. Describe Your Website
  2. Understand Data and Privacy Protection Laws
  3. Finalize and Upload Your Privacy Policy

What is a Privacy Policy?

A privacy policy is a document that lets your website visitors know how and why you collect data about them for your website. For instance, a third-party website traffic tracker collects data about your website’s traffic, like where users visit from and what they do on your site. A privacy policy explains why that data gets collected and how your website uses the information. 

Privacy policies can also protect your business from legal troubles, as many countries have data privacy laws that require them to be in place. 

Do I Need a Privacy Policy for a Website?

Anonymous silhouettes in front of a handprint and map graphic (data privacy concept)

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

In most cases, yes, your website needs a privacy policy — even small businesses. This is especially true if you live in a country where it’s required to have one if your website collects or uses personal data, like names, email addresses, or phone numbers. 

For example, you’ll need a privacy policy if you have a registration page for visitors to sign up for an account on your website. You may also need a privacy policy if your site allows people to comment on blog posts, collects payment information for orders, or tracks visitor behavior.

What to Include in a Privacy Policy for a Website

A privacy policy must include information about any type of personal data collecting your site does. More importantly, the policy must accurately state what data your site collects, why it collects it, and what it does with that information once it collects it. In your privacy policy, you should include the following as it applies:

  • Types of data collected, like names, phone numbers, or website behavior
  • Methods to collect data, such as collection through cookies or voluntary information given by the user (like furnishing their information to register or leave a comment)
  • A section on child privacy explaining whether or not your site serves children and how your site abides by child data protection laws
  • Ways in which website visitors can get in touch with you to opt out of data collection or change the information your website stores on them
  • A section explaining your process for updating your privacy policy, such as posting a notice to your website or letting visitors sign up for update notifications

How to Write a Privacy Policy for a Website

ShareThis Privacy Policy Generator screenshot

Did you know that you can use a privacy policy generator to create a privacy policy that’s customized for your business and your website? Get started with ShareThis’ free Privacy Policy Generator. Here, we’ll walk you through using the tool.

Step 1: Describe Your Website

Click the Start button to begin working on your website privacy policy. Be sure to highlight Privacy Policy Generator at the top of the page. 

The first questions ask basic questions about your company, website, and the information you collect, such as names, profile photos, or phone numbers. You’ll also need to think about other tools you use or actions you take on your site that collect data and answer those questions accordingly. For example, allowing visitors to create an account or using remarketing tools require data collection. Answer yes or no to these questions for ShareThis to generate sections in your policy about data usage for these practices. 

Step 2: Understand Data and Privacy Protection Laws

ShareThis Privacy Policy Generator screenshot CCPA and GDPR questions

The next section asks questions about data and privacy protection laws, such as COPPA, GDPR, and CCPA. If you are unfamiliar with these laws, do some research on them or consult your attorney before answering each question. Each of them governs specific regulations regarding data collection and usage.

You can also use our consent management platform to comply with GDPR regulations

Step 3: Finalize and Upload Your Privacy Policy

At the end of the second section, input your company’s current contact information. This is the information users can use if they have questions or concerns about your privacy policy. An email address is required, but you can also add a link to a website page with more information, a phone number, or a mailing address.

When you’re finished, click Next to create your privacy policy. You may need to register an account first, which allows you to save your policy for future downloads. Or, print your policy to have a hard copy on hand. 

Write a Privacy Policy for Your Website Today

We’ve covered how to write a privacy policy for a website quickly and easily using ShareThis’ free Privacy Policy Generator. This tool creates a basic privacy policy covering the most common reasons for websites to collect data. If your business or website needs a privacy policy but you’re unsure how to get started, the steps above will walk you through the process so you can write a privacy policy that’s customized for your business.

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ShareThis

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.

About Us

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.