The Essential Privacy Policy

Let your visitors know what you plan to do with their personal information.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Read my lips: Don't even think of asking your Web sitevisitors for any personal information until you have your privacypolicy posted online and easily accessible from your homepage. Aprivacy policy is a legal document that states what you intend todo with the information you gather from your visitors.

If your policy is that you won't sell or reveal theirpersonal data to any other company, then shout it from the digitalrooftops! You'll put your visitors' minds at ease, andthey'll be more likely to provide you with their data. Justtell your visitors why you want their data. Will you be improvingyour site to better serve them? Will you be customizingadvertisements so they see only ads on your site that arecompatible with their interests? Be honest with your visitors, andthey'll be more likely to be honest with you.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl:A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books).She is currently working on her next book and new company.

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