We live in a world where we claim to value our privacy above a lot of other things, but many of us are careless to a large degree. We blithely type in our information at the slightest prompting – heck, we use auto-fill to make it even easier on ourselves.
What happened to at least a question as to what all that information is used for? I for one want to know. I don’t sign up for a lot of stuff, obviously! Yes, I’m one of THOSE people.
I don’t have my phone number and drivers license number preprinted on my checks. I don’t use my social security card as a second form of ID. I hide the ATM keypad with my hand while I punch in my code.
Paranoid? Maybe. I always read the ‘click here to learn more’ or ‘why we need this’ link if I am offered one when I am asked to give information on line. I want to know :
A) Why do you need this information?
B) What do you intend to do with it?
C) Who do you plan to share it with?
D) Where will my information be stored?
E) When will my information be deleted?
Yeah, one of THOSE people. Even if you convince me to fill out some personal info, I only fill out the absolute minimum required – and I use a different middle initial each time. You better believe when I get spam or junk mail, I know where it comes from!!!
There are a lot of people like me out there, and if you want your site to flourish, you need to make sure they feel safe. Personal and financial information needs to be encrypted, and you need to let people know when they register, login or buy from you, they aren’t being compromised.
Don’t be afraid to put your security information above the fold on your home page. This will forestall any insecurities people might have when it comes time to fill in their info – they will have consciously or subconsciously seen the logos and assurances when they landed on your site, and will already be feeling safe and secure.
If you are going to use PayPal, make sure you get it set up right. If you are going to accept credit cards, be even more careful. The surest way to kill your site is to get hacked and then blamed for the loss of consumer information – your reputation will not be worth a dime.
Assure consumers in big letters that you will NEVER sell share or otherwise compromise their information if you have a registration process, and only ask for what you really need. Write up a page detailing the information usage process, and have it pop up in a separate window from your registration page. Oh, and tell them it opens in a separate window.
The aim is for you to set suspicious minds (like mine) at rest. And again, this is something you can plug in the meta descriptions we talked about yesterday – “safe, secure shopping” etc, etc.
Yep, it all goes hand in hand….