GDPR: A blogger’s guide to new EU data protection rulings

For anyone running a blog today, you will be fully aware of how powerful the platform is. When used correctly, a blog gives you immense status, profile and opportunity to grow. When used correctly, it can be one of the single most powerful earning platforms that you can have at your disposal. However, blogging needs to be done right, especially when in relation to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changes. If you are not sure about what GDPR is, it’s a May 2018 data protection rule change that covers the whole of the European Union (EU).

GDPR

Even if you are based outside the EU, if you do any dealings with EU nations/residents then you must adhere to the new rulings. At first though, GDPR can sound quite confusing. Read the wrong information, and you might fear that GDPR is going to see you thrown away into a maximum security EU prison, with no key!

That’s not the case at all. With some very small adjustments, you can get around this problem in a matter of moments. So what does GDPR mean for bloggers? Let’s take a look at the issue at hand.

What you need to do to meet GDPR compliance as a blogger

First off you need to fully understand that GDPR is not primarily targeted at bloggers. This means that you might feel scared about the new changes, but in reality there is no strict need to be so. It’s going to help only improve your website and the user experience, and the changes you need to adhere to should not be beyond you. Typically, you will need to do the following:

  • Tell any user of your website who you are & the reasons you are collecting data.
  • Inform the user of the length of time that you intend to store said data as time goes on.
  • Provide clear access to consensual use of the data, with the right to refuse.
  • Allow full access to any and all data held about a user without any failure.
  • Inform all users of data breaches, should any occur, and the results of said breach.
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This is going to play a big role in helping you to better manage the challenge of being a blogger. By being open and honest with every reader, you make it much easier for them to trust your blog.

If you fail to comply with the above, then you run the risk of seeing a whopping 4% of your annual earnings taken in the form of a fine. However, you’ll first be warned, the reprimanded, then suspended and then funded. While a blogger being caught-up in this is unlikely, it’s better to be fully prepared.

How to ensure that your blog meets GDPR standards

  1. First off, try and build a Privacy Policy that clearly sets out what your use of data will be. Let them know what kind of data you will be taking, and what the data shall be used for. If you feel nervous about writing said policy yourself, many expert services exist that you can use to help get a bespoke Privacy Policy written up for your business.
  2. You should also look to learn more about third party services. By doing this, you can make it easier to start using or offering out any kind of third party service that is essential to your blog. You need to make sure that they are GDPR compliant, too, or you run the risk of having some pretty big problems in the near future.
  3. Make sure that any and all subscription services have an opt-out function. This is essential to good GDPR compliance. If you run any kind of newsletter or subscription plan, ensuring that opting out is easy – and free – is vital to GDPR compliance. Make sure that you use a GDPR-compliant mail service, too as mentioned above.
  4. Get your website secured – invest in a Secure Socket Layer for your website to ensure it has the correct SSL certification. This means that your website will be an https website, rather than standard HTTP. This is so important to making sure your blog meets GDPR needs.
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Keep your website and all of its associated tools, plug-ins, and software fully up-to-date.

If you follow the ideas above, then you should find it much easier to keep your blog compliant with GDPR. It might all sound rather tough, but it’s a lot easier than it might first appear!

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