Note: our advice herein is just a suggestion, we are NOT legal professionals, and you should always consult a lawyer for matters related to the legal aspects of your blog/business.
What are they?
- Stipulations for any age minimums required to access your site
- Use restrictions
- Conduct expectations (in other words, how people should behave when using the site, as well as when posting content to it, like in comments).
- Language pertaining to your intellectual property rights, and what people can and can’t do with the content you create and publish to your site.
- What information you collect from users, as well as what you do with that information (i.e., how you use it).
- In most cases for website owners, this includes email addresses or IP address information (which in WordPress, is captured by users when they leave a comment).
- For e-commerce sites, this can include billing address and payment info as well.
- Whether your site is using cookies. If you are using affiliate links of any kind, then your site is embedding cookies into users’ browsers, which tracks their browsing and purchasing data.
- Whether you share users' information with third parties. If you do, listing those third parties (and linking to their privacy policies) is a good idea.
- Take care here: you'd be surprised how much data your site shares with third parties without you knowing! For example, if you are using Google Analytics, some site visitor information is transmitted to Google.
- Your policy on site users contacting you to request removal of their data from your records, and where they can contact you to do so.
Implementing your legal language
In both cases, you can have a lawyer draft the language for you, but this can be pricey. However, it’s the most surefire, airtight option to protect your business, and make sure you're abiding by all local, state, and federal laws. Most attorneys who specialize in working with small businesses can easily draft this language for you, as it’s a standard service.
A lower cost option is to download a paid template that's been written by an attorney. One resource to check out are purchasable Terms and Privacy templates from Ashlee Hightower ( find them here).
Using Free Resources
One service we particularly like is UpCounsel, as the terms there have been reviewed by legit lawyers and are well done. You can find their templates here:
Be sure to add in your own information into the fields as prompted. And, please note that using free language found off any website is done at your own risk/discretion. Your best bet is always to hire a professional who can generate custom solutions for your business and protect your interests.
Legal language is subject to copyright, so don’t take it from another site!
You should NOT copy and paste legal language from another blog or website. Legal language can be subject to copyright, so pulling legal language from another person's blog is akin to taking their content and passing it off as your own. Besides, if you take language from another blog, you never know if that person crossed their T’s and dotted their I’s when the language was written. Do not risk infringing on another’s copyright (and perhaps not even covering your bases) by taking language from their site!