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What You Need to Know About Website Cookies and Privacy Policies

There has been a lot of discussion about website cookies recently, and you need to know what they are, how they impact your privacy policy, and how a website might use cookies. This is a general run down about what you need to know about cookies, and how might they impact your privacy policy.

What Are Cookies?
Cookies are small data files that are placed on mobile devices, computers, and laptops to track someone’s progress across a website. These cookies are important for remembering information about someone that might make the website easier to meet their needs. For example, cookies might be used to remember someone’s language preferences. Or, they might be used to remember certain display preferences. They can even remember what someone looked at last time to make it easier for someone to find what they are looking for next time.
There are multiple types of cookies. For example, first-party cookies are set by the website owner, while third-party cookies are set by other organizations that might be offering something on the website.

There are several key reasons why websites use cookies. These include:

•    They make it easier for the website to recognize the device and display content.
•    Cookies make it easier for someone to navigate the website.
•    Website cookies allow for a personalized browsing experience.
•    They make it easier for someone to register for events.
•    Cookies provide information that allows the owner of the website to make improvements.

These are just a few of the many ways that website cookies may be used.

Why Do You Need a Privacy Policy?
Privacy laws around the world dictate that if you collect personal information from your website visitors, then you need to have a Privacy Policy posted to your site and available with your mobile app (if applicable).

There are several reasons why websites need to have a privacy policy. These include:

•    Everyone using the website has the right to know what information is being collected and how that information is being used.
•    Government laws and regulations require websites to have a comprehensive privacy policy that details what information is being protected.
•    A privacy policy is important for consumer confidence because you want your visitors to have faith in your ability to protect their personal information.
•    Privacy policies are also important for websites to protect themselves, disclosing what they are and are not responsible for.
These are just a few of the most important reasons why privacy policies and cookies are important.

How To Update Your Cookies and Privacy Policy

It is relatively easy for websites and users to update their cookies and privacy policies. The various types of cookies include:

•    Strictly Necessary Cookies: These cookies are always active because they are necessary for the website to function properly
•    Performance Cookies: These allow the websites to track their numbers of users and where they go on the website.
•    Functional Cookies: These are important for website functionalization and personalization.
•    Targeting Cookies: These are commonly used to tailor advertisers to meet the demographics of the user.

Websites need to prompt users to set their cookie preferences when they visit the site. Furthermore, websites need to reserve the right to update their privacy policies at any time. If the privacy policy has been updated, it might be beneficial to update users that the privacy policy has changed. Be open about the changes and why they were necessary. This will help websites get the most out of their cookies and data privacy policies.

If you need privacy policies and cookie information added to your website we can consult on how to do that. Feel free to contact us (hyper link to contact form) for more information.

Shanna Mueller

by Shanna Mueller, Marketing & Brand Strategist

Shanna Mueller, Marketing and Brand Strategist, manages social media and digital marketing strategy and is the gatekeeper to all things related to brand integrity and development. A former creative brand strategist and news producer, she is a seasoned storyteller. She has a fine arts degree and brings over 15 years of managing and developing brands from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. She finds inspiration in art, music, and human psychology to help wield the power of authentic storytelling and genuine content creation. When she is not researching and nerd-ing out on the latest marketing, pop culture, and social trends, she spends her time moonlighting as a local philanthropist, amateur coffee critique, and photographer.

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