Online security has always been of interest, but it became a hot topic after the scandal with Facebook sharing their user’s data. Additionally, with new regulations about to become effective, many online companies are posting notifications about their new compliance status, raising awareness of online privacy and security even more.

As business website owners, these regulations affect our businesses in one way or another. For this reason, I decided to share our findings on how it does affect your promo distributor business and what to do to cover yourself.

Good news: it’s much simpler than you think.

There are two important issues you must address at this time.  First, data collection disclosures on your website, and second, encryption requirements. Let’s look at each of these, how they’ll affect your website, and what to do.

Before we start, let’s make one thing clear:  this is not legal advice. This blog post is based on our views and interpretation and is made for educational purposes only, to make sure you’re informed about what you need to do to be GDPR-compliant.

With that said, let’s get right to it.

You Need a Privacy Policy

The FTC and the State of California have had regulations in place for several years. They require websites to disclose the data they collect from visitors and how it’s handled. 

What this means is, if your website has sign up forms, contact forms, tracking tools installed, and/or are able to take orders online, you need to disclose it. The place to disclose this information is in your privacy policy, and it has become standard to place a link to it on the footer websites.

The new GDPR applies to companies that collect personal data on their websites, from people in the EU, regardless of where the company is located. So if you have clients in the EU, you must comply with the new law. If you don’t market to clients in the EU, you want to state it on your website as you might have website visitors from the EU.

The point is, you need a privacy policy on your website.

You can find more information about these laws and how you might be affected in this article, it explains what to include in a privacy policy. To make it even easier, you can find templates here, specific for a promo website, to easily create your own.

Encryption Requirements: Is Time For HTTPS And SSL Certificates

If you have not implemented encryption on your website yet, the time is now.

According to Google, encryption requirement will be fully enforced when they release the next version of Chrome.

What this means is, if you don’t have encryption, Google might block your visitors from entering your site, showing them a warning like this:

The thing to know is that not all SSL certificates provide the same level of security. It’s important you have the correct one installed, depending on your website functionality.

To help you make an informed decision, this article explains the different types of encryption and their costs.


The Point

As a distributor business, your clients and prospects are educated people, who look for a trustworthy partner when choosing their vendors. You must show compliance with these basic online privacy and security standards. It’s easy enough to take care of and you really can’t afford not to, your business credibility is at risk.