How to Write a Privacy Policy for Your Online Course

online course privacy policy

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Disclaimer: This post is written for informational purposes only. It is intended to help you to start the process of writing a Privacy Policy for your online course/website and should not be considered legal advice.

An introduction to Privacy Policies

Privacy policies. So many people hear those two words and freak out. People get into blogging because they want to build something beautiful and share their hobbies or passion with the world. But, forget about writing a Privacy Policy and you could quickly land yourself in hot water.

First off, you need to create a Privacy Policy page or use the template which WordPress usually provides with new website installations.

Whilst the template which WordPress is good enough to cover the absolute basics, I would highly recommend you not just leaving it with the bare minimum. You need to consider how you are exposing your reader’s privacy and ensure they are able to access this information.

And at this point, I know what you’re thinking. No one reads Privacy Policies!

And the answer? It doesn’t matter. Even if you think that no one will ever read your Privacy Policy, if you collect any data whatsoever about someone, you are required to have this policy.

But I’m not collecting data!

I promise you, you are.

If you have an online course that people are enrolling to, then you’re collecting their data.

Also, think about the Plugins which you’ve either already installed, or came automatically installed with your host. If you have anything like JetPack, Google AdSense, Google Analytics etc, you’re collecting data. Even if it’s just information about the location of the individual, it’s data collection, which means that your visitors have the right to know where and what their data is being used for.

Got a mailing list?

You shouldn’t start your mailing list without a Privacy Policy. You’re collecting data that relates to an individual, even if it’s just their email address.

Some mailing providers have templates of clauses that you can add to your Privacy Policy. However, you shouldn’t just copy and paste these clauses and hope that you’re done. Read them through and make sure that they are relevant to your website and readers.

Creating your Privacy Policy in WordPress

On your WordPress Dashboard, click ‘Settings’ in the left-hand menu, followed by ‘Privacy.’ The following notice will appear. WordPress provides you with a very direct and straightforward message informing you that the Privacy Policy on your website is your legal responsibility. Using this notice, you can either click ‘Create’ to create a Privacy Policy page, or select a pre-written Privacy Policy page from the drop-down menu (assuming you have drafted one) and click ‘Use This Page.’

For the content of your Privacy Policy, I’d highly recommend clicking the link on the WordPress page called ‘Check out our Privacy Policy guide.’

Can I just copy and paste a Privacy Policy from another website? Can I copy yours?

No! Copying and pasting from another site is plagiarism!

It’s one thing to take suggested text from a professional website such as WordPress, but it’s quite another to go to someone else’s website and just copy and paste their Privacy Policy.

Sure, look at other people’s Policies for ideas, but remember that their Policies have been specifically written for their website and might not be relevant to yours, or your readers.

Should I buy a pre-written Privacy Policy/template?

This is completely up to you.

If you look on Google, the search results are awash with people stating that they are professional lawyers and that they will provide you with all of the policies you need for a certain price.

Before you purchase anything, I would recommend researching the individual’s credentials. Are they a professional lawyer? Or did they take an online course and now think they know everything there is to know about Data Protection?

Also, check out reviews of others who have purchased their templates. Again, I would go through Google rather than the individual’s website where reviews may be biased.

Personally, I’m not a fan of pre-made templates. I personally find that, regardless of who writes the templates, the information which you need to include is all available on the internet for free, if you’re willing to invest the time. And if you do invest the time, then you’ll have learned new skills and knowledge, plus actually know what is in your website’s Policies!

If you do choose to purchase templates, I can say that I have personally used the courses and templates from Blogging for New Bloggers. They have a range of courses and templates available. Select one of the icons below to be taken to their website and see what is available!

Where should I place my Privacy Policy?

I’m glad you asked that question!

Privacy Policies need to be placed somewhere obvious. You can’t hide them away in a site map and hope that someone will find them when needed.

You also can’t bury the link away in your home page because you think it messes up the layout of your blog. Wherever you do decide to place your Privacy Policy needs to be right for you and your blog, but do make sure that the link is obvious.

On that note, don’t try and call your Privacy Policy something clever. It is what it is, and needs to do what it says on the tin. Therefore, to avoid any confusion further down the line, just call your Privacy Policy a Privacy Policy!

Conclusion

A Privacy Policy is something that you 100% need for your online course.

If you already have a website then you should have a Privacy Policy on it already. But once you start providing your online course, make sure that this activity is covered in your Privacy Policy as well.

Some online course platforms have a separate Privacy Policy which they encourage you to use as part of your online course provision. If so, use what is provided, but make sure that it is amended to your site and is specific for the type of data you are collecting.

Disclaimer: This post is written for informational purposes only. It is intended to help you to start the process of writing a Privacy Policy for your online course/website and should not be considered legal advice.

This post was proofread using Grammarly.

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