Designing a great website involves much more than great graphics, you also need to make sure that it is GDPR proof. In this article, we’ll share our eight tips for doing just that.
Whether you’re a business or an individual, your website is not just your shop window but a portal which displays your professionalism and trustworthiness.
While a killer design and great content is extremely important, so too is making sure that your site is GDPR proof and not a risk of data breach claims. In this article, we’ll take you through our 10 top tips for staying within the GDPR laws.
What is GDPR?
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in 2018 in order to regulate data privacy across Europe. This new law regulates the way in which we handle data, including collecting, storing and using it.
The aim of GDPR is to make sure that businesses and individuals can no longer go trawling the internet and helping themselves to people’s private data such as addresses and financial information. Anybody doing so may find themselves facing some pretty big penalties, such as the €746 fine levied on shopping giant Amazon back in 2021.
Tips for Designing a GDPR Proof Website
There are lots of things you can do to make sure your site is GDPR proof. Some ways include:
Cookies are mini files which are placed on your website in order to capture data from your visitors. When using cookies on your website you must, by law, give your visitors the choice of accepting or rejecting them.
If rejecting your cookies means that the visitor may then have limited access to features on your site, you must also make this clear to them. You have, no doubt, come across cookies on websites and while they can be a little annoying, they are valuable tools as long as they’re used properly.
An SSL (Single Socket Layer) certificate is a file which activates the padlock symbol that you may have seen in some browsers. This is important for visitor and user trust as it adds a level of security. As a bonus, it’ll also get you into Google’s good books too, thereby enhancing your ranking.
These forms are a great way of collecting data, as long as you follow a few simple rules. When using these forms, you must not use pre-ticked boxes which imply consent but must allow users to decide whether or not they wish to consent.
An example of this might be asking your user how they wish to be contacted (for example, email or SMS) the user must be able to make this decision for themselves.
If your user has given their permission to get emails from you or receive your newsletter then great but, you must also provide a means of opting out. This can be done quite simply through a message and link at the end of your emails.
Similarly, if you’re taking payment by debit or credit card, the terms of this need to be stated clearly including how long the payment details will be stored by your system.
In many cases, a website will be linked to a company or individual’s social media platforms in order to facilitate social media advertising. If you are collecting personal data for your website with a view to also use this for your social media advertising, you must make this clear and give the user option to opt in or out of this.
You should never work on the assumption that, just because a visitor has agreed to one thing, they will automatically be agreeing to everything in terms of how their personal data will be used.
Safe, Secure and Legal Websites
In 2022, building and running a website is a big responsibility and involves a lot of checks and safety measures to ensure that you stay within the law. As well as the legal aspect of GDPR, making sure that data is collated, stored and used responsibly will help you gain the trust and confidence of your customers as well as helping your brand’s reputation.
Making sure that your site is GDPR proof is an essential part of your housekeeping and one which may just well save you a huge amount of money in data-breach fines.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on the GDPR law. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.