Website design

What legals do I need for my website? [Infographic]

- August 6, 2018 4 MIN READ
‘What Legals Do I Need For My Website’ infographic

One of the most frequent questions we get here at Legal123 is: “What legals do I need for my website?” So to help website owners, we designed this simple Infographic to explain what you need and why. All you have to do is follow the arrows and answer 6 easy questions. So let’s get started.

What Legals Do I Need for My Website?

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Question 1: Do you have a contact form on your website where you ask website visitors to enter their email address or telephone number?

If you do, you’re collecting personal information from your visitors and you need a Privacy Policy.

A Privacy Policy states how you will keep all personal information safe and secure and that you will not sell it without their permission. Since almost all websites have contact forms, most websites should have a Privacy Policy. So that should be your first priority.

Question 2: Do you publish information, suggestions, recommendations or advice on your website?

Or do you link to other websites that make recommendations, offer advice or similar? If you do, then you should consider protecting yourself from visitors to your website who rely on your information and then try and sue you. You can do this with a Website Disclaimer.

You never know, the information you publish could be out of date; any advice you offer may be misused or misinterpreted by your visitors; and so on. Again, most websites are providing information, so you should probably have, at least, a general Website Disclaimer to protect yourself and your business.

Question 3: Do you sell goods and services through your website?

If you do, you need to comply with the Australian Consumer Law. This legislation is quite specific and stipulates that you have to post clear Terms and Conditions on your website. These should include your refund policy, shipping information, details of the warranty you offer and so on.

In addition you also need to include a statement that you comply with the Australian Consumer Law. Not all websites sell goods and services, so you might not need to post Terms and Conditions. But the ACCC is cracking down on e-commerce sites in Australia and starting to issue penalties to non-complying websites. So don’t get caught out if you sell goods and services online.

OK, that’s the first 3 questions. Most websites are covered by these questions and should have a Privacy Policy, Website Disclaimer and possibly Terms and Conditions if they are selling anything online. The next 3 questions cover more specific, specialist website types – such as classified advertising sites and sites that post user generated content. So let’s cover those briefly.

Question 4: Do you allow people to advertise on your website where your visitors deal directly with them?

For example, if you’re a classified ads website, you should post a Terms of Use for Advertisers statement. This is designed to cover you from misleading ads posted by your advertisers. You don’t want to be responsible for their faulty goods or services, do you?

These additional terms will make the advertisers agree to take responsibility for any claim lodged against you for their advert, products and services. As an aside, if you have ads on your website that you don’t actively manage, have any contact or anything to do with, for example Google ads, on your site, then you don’t need any additional Terms for Advertisers.

Question 5: Do you allow others to post content on your website, other than just simple comments?

If you do, you’ll need to post a Terms of Use for Contributors. Remember, you are responsible for ALL content posted on your website. If one of your contributors has posted copyrighted material, made defamatory comments or taken part in any offensive conduct, you could be liable for ‘enabling’ this to happen.

So protect yourself and your site by having Terms of Use that contributors to your website agree to. These will make them aware that they can’t post copyrighted material, act inappropriately – and if they do, you have a right to remove the content, make them responsible for any claim and/or ban them from your site. Lastly.

Question 6: Do you allow third parties to market to your subscribers, visitors or customers?

For example, do you share, exchange or sell your customer database of emails or telephone numbers? If you do, you’ll need the specific permission from your subscribers, visitors and customers.

The usual way to do this is to get them to tick a box when they’re submitting their contact information, making it clear how you may use their information and making them aware that someone other than you might email or call them. This is called an Active Release and you may have seen them or be asked to agree before when surfing the Internet.

There we go, we’re all done.

As you can see most websites are covered by the first 3 questions and to summarize, most websites should have at minimum, a Privacy Policy and probably a Website Disclaimer. Then if you’re selling online you’ll also need Terms and Conditions. Lastly, if you’re one of these niche type of websites where you post user generated content or are running a classified ads-type site, then you’ll need additional Terms for Contributors and Advertisers.

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