GDPR: What Is It, And How Does It Affect My Website?

This article will help you understand GDPR, the importance of making your website GDPR compliant, and ways to make your website GDPR-friendly.

As times are changing, the “internet era” is advancing at a faster rate than imagined. Though it has its benefits, there are several concerns expressed regarding privacy on the internet. As these feelings grew over time, the issue got the consideration it deserved.

The European Union passed a new regulation that affects almost every website on the internet that collects data. One might think, “Oh! I’m not from the EU; this doesn’t concern me.” You’ll know how wrong you are in a while. This article has GDPR explained in a way that helps you understand how your websites are affected by this new regulation.

What is GDPR and how does it affect your website

What Is GDPR?

As I’ve mentioned earlier, GDPR is a privacy policy regulation passed by the European Union(EU) that ensures that personal data shared on the internet is protected and not misused. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation.

If your website data collects data from the users who visit your website, which includes the citizens of the EU, or if your website does business with the EU, then your website must comply with the GDPR rules. The GDPR required the websites to be updated by May 25, 2018, but various websites still aren’t in compliance with the new privacy policy.

What If I Do Not Update My Website According To GDPR?

The EU is taking GDPR very seriously, and all the websites that do not comply with the GDPR terms will face extreme fines and penalties worth millions of euros. 

Your quick mind might come up with a brilliant idea like blocking the visitors from the EU. As great as it seems, do you think it’s the best solution? I don’t think so because it is not considered a good practice.

Even so, there is another issue with this concept. The VPN usage is extensive now, and anyone with a VPN can visit your website with a non-EU-based IP address. So, you might as well consider updating your website per GDPR.

The 8 User Rights Of GDPR

The GDPR provides the following rights to the EU citizens:

The Right To Data Access: This right allows users to access their data, and they can request you to give them a copy of the data you store on your website.

The Right To Get Forgotten: If a user no longer wants you to store their data and would like to withdraw their consent, they have the right to request you delete their data from your website.

The Right To Data Transfer: If a user requests you to transfer your data from one service provider to another, you must effectively act on it and start the transfer process.

The Right To Notification: If there are any data breaches on your website, the users must immediately get the information within 72 hours of the data breach.

The Right To Information Correction: The users can request to modify the data and make corrections if they want to.

The Right To Restrict Data Processing: This right allows users to restrict the processing of their data. However, this does not mean that you must delete their data.

The Right To Objection: Users can object you their data processing for any direct marketing. As soon as you receive the request, you should be able to act on it immediately.

The Right To Information: The users must be informed before the data is collected. You should not gather the user data unless they give consent, and the opt-in boxes must not come pre-checked.

What Does Personal Data Mean According To GDPR?

Any data that we can trace back to users’ information identifying them can be considered personal data. A visitor’s data to your website includes name, age, sex, address, contact information, email, birth date, IP address, or factors that identify their physical, mental, economical, or cultural aspects.

How Can You Make Your Website GDPR Friendly?

Now that you have learned about GDPR, you might have grasped the importance of having your websites/ WordPress websites comply with the GDPR guidelines. But how can you make your website GDPR friendly? The following will make it clear to you:

Understand Your Website’s Data

Where does the data come from, and what do you do with the data? It is crucial to have answers to these questions. You should also know where you store the data and the risks involved with that data.

Determine Which Data You Require

Are you one of those hoarders and can not seem to throw away things you don’t need? Haha, high chance that your data stored on your website is no different, eh? However, now is the time for you to determine how much of the data stored you require.

All the data that can not help you in any way must get erased immediately. During the data cleaning process, ask yourself these questions: Will this data benefit the company? Why am I storing the data instead of erasing it? Is encrypting this data worth it?

Security Measures Against Data Breaches

It is known to everyone that many WordPress websites get hacked all the time with the sole purpose of collecting and exploiting the website’s data. However, we cannot let that happen at all costs. Data breaches can cost you high, and you can not afford it.

Security measures like using WordPress security plugins like the Hide My Wp will protect your website from attackers and prevent data breaches. However, you should be well-prepared for worst-case scenarios and have a method of action you’ll take to inform the users if a data breach occurs.

Study And Modify Your Documentation

According to GDPR, your website visitors have the right to consent to storing and accessing their data. So, the pre-checked opt-in boxes that agree to the privacy policy are banned and are no longer acceptable.

You should also review and re-check your website privacy policy statements and modify them according to the GDPR.

How Do You Handle The Data?

You must put on the table the methods for handling all the data you collect from your users. Asking yourself these questions might help:

  1. How can I legally ensure to get consent for collecting the data from the users?
  2. How do I transfer the data if a user requests it?
  3. What is the data-erase process?
  4. How do you ensure that the user data got deleted on all platforms?
  5. How do you confirm the user authentication requesting his data to be erased?
  6. How will you communicate with your users during a data breach?

Conclusion

The GDPR ensures that the users’ privacy is protected, and they have the rights to the data they share online. The websites that are not in compliance with the GDPR guidelines will face huge penalties and fines. By making your website GDPR friendly, you will also improve your relationship with your website visitors. Is your website GDPR compliant? If not, take steps to modify your website immediately.

Also Read: 9 Common WordPress Myths Debunked & Explained

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