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Facts on the Legal Side of Running a Website

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One of the best ways to market a business is through the development of your own website. The process of creating your own website is usually a simple process, which entails a few steps and anyone should be able to achieve this with some practice. However, what many people fail to consider is the legalities of having a website.

There are a few legal terms, rules and regulations, that we must abide by when devising and running a website – evidently, failure to do this can incur serious issues for yourself as the owner of the website. It is important that you are aware of any legal responsibilities you have when managing a website so that you can comply with these.

In this article, we will advise you of the facts on the legal side of running a website, so that you can safely and legally achieve this.

One of the best ways to market a business is through the development of your own website. The process of creating your own website is usually a simple process, which entails a few steps and anyone should be able to achieve this with some practice.Click To Tweet

Have Your Information Clearly Displayed

One of the main legal requirements for businesses is to have their information visibly and clearly displayed on their website so that it is easily accessible to your customers. This is something very simple to do and failure to comply can result in fines to you as the owner. The details to display as per below:

  • The name of the company
  • Registered number
  • The Place of Registration
  • Registered Office Address
  • Contact details, such as email address and phone number
  • Information on how to communicate with a business via non-electronic means
  • The VAT number of the company, if you have one
  • Information of any trade body or regulator registration your business may be registered with

Additional to the information detailed above, you will also need to provide any information that is associated with privacy and clearly informs visitors of this. This information includes:

  • A privacy notice – to inform visitors of what personal data you wish to collect and how you intend to use it
  • A cookie disclosure – to advise people of how you use cookies on your page
  • A disclaimer – to summarize your legal responsibility for the use of your website and its information.
  • A terms and conditions policy – so that people know the rules and expectations in which to abide by.

Minimize the Risk of User-Generated Content

Nowadays, many websites choose to post user-generated content. Although this can have many different benefits to the authority levels of your website, it can also present numerous risks, such as being sure of who the owner of the content is and the high levels of plagiarism. Even though this may not always be possible to eliminate completely, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risks, including the development of Website Policies  and a clear Terms and Conditions statement. This is put in place so that you can cover your bases, and provide visitors with a summary of your website’s legal requirements upfront. You can, for example, ensure that the terms visibly prohibit the use of any defamatory language in the content shared.

Obtain the Necessary Licenses for Content

This will depend on the kind of content that you wish to share on your website – you may be required by law to acquire certain licenses in order to be able to share specific content. This is a crucial step in order to avoid content being plagiarised as well as acknowledging others for their work. For example, if you use photos on your website, you will need to need to license that image from its supplier. This essentially means that you will need their permission in order to share the picture. Bear in mind that having a license does not give you full permission to do whatever you want with the content and that there may be strict terms and conditions on how you can use it.

Prepare Yourself if You Get Hacked

Cybercrime is on the rise and it can have serious negative impacts on a business. It is crucial that you prepare yourself in order to prevent this from happening to you. All types of businesses are vulnerable to being attacked, no matter how small or big they are. Cybercriminals can get hold of very sensitive and confidential information about your company or customers, therefore it is imperative that you make this a priority so that the chances of happening are well reduced.

Make Sure Your Website Has a Privacy Policy

Every online business should have a privacy policy, which clearly informs those visiting your website of how you intend to use any data that you may collect. You should aim to do this not only because it is a legal requirement, but also because it will help build your customer’s trust in you and your business, and they can be reassured that whatever data they may share, including names or email addresses, will remain private and secure at all times.

Whenever you have visited a website, you may have seen a warning pop up letting you know that the website uses cookies and asking you whether you accept this. This is because providing your visitors with this information is a legal requirement. If you have a website, you must do this too. Make sure that you advise any individuals visiting your website that it uses cookies, explain what this entails, and ask for their consent on this.

Selling to Customers

If your website consists of selling products, you must ensure that you provide them with the terms and conditions as well as a policy on delivery and returns, as discussed previously. This will provide customers with an overview of the service and prevent them from seeking to legally sue you should anything go wrong.

Copyrighted Content

The content you create will need to be safe from copyright infringement through the use of symbols and notices of terms of any imitation of content. In order to effectively do this, you should look into harbour laws to ensure that you take adequate steps to protect you from others stealing your content. This is also important so that you do not make these mistakes yourself, as if you have plagiarized content shared on your page, it can result in damaged SEO and penalties.

When you run your own website, it is imperative that you are aware of any legalities associated with this so that you can protect your website and your business from legal action being taken against you. The information discussed above should provide you with a clear perspective on some facts on the legal side of running a website so that you ensure you do this in a secure manner.

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