- 1. What Is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
- 2. Why Is GDPR Important?
- 3. Who Does GDPR Impact?
- 4. How to Become GDPR Compliant with Your WordPress Site?
- 5. What Are The Best WordPress GDPR Plugins?
- 6. What Steps Should You Take to Secure WordPress?
What Is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
Websites and companies collect a wide range of personal information from their users, this information is given by the user but it is not available for websites to do what they please. It is important that the personal information of those who give their data to companies is strictly protected and that the person who has supplied the information is fully protected by the law. The general data protection regulation (GDPR) is a law that has been set in place to determine guidelines around how the processing and collection of information online can be done. This law has been set in place to protect individuals and provide them with more control over how a company is allowed to use the information that they supply.
An example of this is a person’s email address. Very often, when you make a purchase online, you will have to supply your email and contact information. Companies that receive this information have to abide by the general data protection regulation law, which protects a person from the company being able to do what they want with this data. They would have to ask your permission to join things like email lists! While WordPress SEO is extremely important, being compliant with the law is just as important!
This act was developed in 2016 but it was only officially put in place in May 2018. Though it was approved for use in the EU, it is a guideline that is set out to protect both individuals who live in and out of this area, so no matter where they may live, a person is always protected! This is due to the fact that an EU citizen could be working or browsing on a website anywhere in the world, so this law has really forced all websites from across the globe to buckle down on data safety. The general data protection regulation law has looked to help individuals better protect the data that they give to companies and ensures that they are fully aware of how the information is going to be used and whether it can actually be used!
Why Is GDPR Important?
The general data protection regulation law has been put in place to protect consumers who provide businesses with personal information. This law does this by regulating the permissions that need to be given by the consumer themselves over what a business can and cannot use their data for. The permissions that need to be given ensure that if a consumer does not want their information stored, it will not be! This law also requires that a business be open and honest about where the information they have is stored, offering the consumer the chance to better understand if their information is being protected properly. This gives customers control over whether the data is stored and how it can be stored if they do consent to it being used! The general data protection regulation law has changed the way that marketing teams in businesses have had to set up their data management and storage systems, but it is definitely for the better!
Along with providing protection for the user, the general data protection regulation law is also put in place to protect a business. If a consumer consents to allow a business to use and store the information that they have provided, along with understanding how it is stored, if a business follows these rules and regulations it limits their culpability. If data is, for some reason, accessed illegally through their system of storage, a business is not held accountable because the customer would have signed off on the storing of the information. This protects businesses from issues that could be quite disastrous!
Who Does GDPR Impact?
While you may initially think that the general data protection regulation law is just there to protect consumers, it is much more than that! This law has been set out also to help protect businesses and ensure that they are reputable and that consumers can trust them. If a consumer is concerned about providing a company with personal information, it could impact sales and the quality of the company itself. It is extremely important that a business is able to interact with consumers well and that the consumer has a degree of trust in the business. With this law, this sense of trust is heightened as a business is not allowed to unknowingly use the information that it gathers.This law also protects a business in terms of liability if the information is corrupted.
Those who receive the most benefits from this law being in place are definitely consumers. As a consumer, you often place your personal information on websites and without protection laws in place, you may not be aware of what is done with it and how it is stored. The general data protection regulation law puts policies in place that will protect the consumer from having their information stored or used if they do not want it to be!
How to Become GDPR Compliant with Your WordPress Site?
Now that you are aware of just how important GDPR compliance is, we are sure that you are probably wondering how to ensure that you are following the rules. Following general data protection regulation principles properly and applying the necessary features to ensure your clients are being protected and aware of the protection policies you have in place is incredibly important. The following is a look at how to become compliant with the general data protection regulation law with WordPress security features!
Review of Data Collection and Processing Workflow
Understanding the methods of data collection that your WordPress site is using can help you to better understand how you can be compliant with the general data protection regulation law. Going through your WordPress site and noting the different places where data collection and processing occur will help to ensure that you are in compliance with the privacy requirements set out. There may be a few instances of data collection that you are not even aware of and may not know where the information collected is stored after use. Having a better understanding of your WordPress website and where information is stored can be a crucial way for you to ensure that you are being compliant. The following are just a few examples of where your WordPress website may be collecting data.
- Collection of information for eCommerce pages: When a customer completes an order, they will more than likely have to fill out their personal information. Ensuring that you are aware of where this information is being used after the transaction with the customer has been completed is very important as it impacts whether you are following the rules set out by the general data protection regulation law.
- GPS and cookies: Websites are often built to store information automatically when GPS and cookie settings are not set up in accordance with the general data protection regulation. Having the right tools can help a business to prevent this breach of data from occurring and ensure that their customers are protected and aware of when their personal information is being stored or used.
- Google Analytics data collection: In order to ensure that your website is functioning optimally, you may be using a tool like Google Analytics. Google Analytics uses information from your customers to provide you with vital information about your website, but be sure that the information collection is compliant with general data protection regulations.
GDPR Project has Been Combined with WordPress Core for Developers
You may not have a good understanding of the general data protection regulation laws, which is why WordPress has made it part of the core features on websites. They were initially going to add it as a plugin that could be installed but after reviewing the importance of this feature, they have made it a core feature for WordPress developers. This feature is extremely important for both developers and users, and features like checkboxes to offer users the option of whether they want their information stored is now a vital part of WordPress!
Updating Legal Documents
Legal documentation can protect a business from any liability it may face when it comes to the use and storage of information. You may have noticed that on most websites, in order for you to complete an action, you need to accept certain terms and conditions. Legal documentation, like the terms and conditions, should be updated based on the privacy laws set out by the general data protection regulation law. Legal documentation is the core of the protection that a company has and it ensures that if anything should happen to the data you have stored, you have a document stating that a person has agreed to the terms you laid out.
Delivering Data Portability
In order to ensure that users and customers are aware of the terms and conditions they have agreed to, it is important that you ensure that you are able to send them documentation with all of their data. Having individual documentation files of all the data that you have on hand about a customer ensures that if they enquire about this, you can easily and quickly send them the file of the information that you have. This is extremely important and if you currently do not have these kinds of documents, we do recommend that you hire a WordPress developer to create this sort of feature!
Encrypting Your Data
Encrypting the data that you have stored can ensure that should there be a breach, your client’s information is protected. There are two main ways that you should encrypt your information; using HTTPS which encrypts the traffic from your website and encrypts the information you collect once it is stored. Now, you may be wondering, is this necessary to be in compliance with the general data protection regulation law? No, it is not required that your data be encrypted but it is definitely recommended as it can better protect the information that consumers provide you with!
Checking Your WordPress Themes, Plugins, Services, APIs
Themes, plugins, services and APIs could be unknowingly collecting data from those who visit your site and to ensure that you are being compliant with the general data protection regulation law, you should be sure to check on what information these different features could be storing. Consent checkboxes are one of the easiest ways to ensure that the data that is being collected on your website remains within the boundaries of the general data protection regulation law. These check boxes ensure that a customer is giving their consent for their information to be collected while on your website.
What Are The Best WordPress GDPR Plugins?
As WordPress is an extremely popular platform, they have developed many ways for people to better protect their content and be more in line with the general data protection regulation law. The following are just a few examples of some of the GDPR privacy plugins that a business could use.
MonsterInsights is a tool that is used to connect WordPress websites to Google Analytics. While this type of WordPress GDPR plugin is mostly used to monitor interactions and determine where most traffic is coming from, it is also equipped with security features that can help you in terms of the general data protection regulation law.
Instagram Feed Pro
Instagram Feed Pro is a plugin that is designed to enable features in your feeds that are related to the general data protection regulation law. This plugin automatically loads general data protection regulation compliance features to websites when certain plugins are loaded, ensuring that you are not collecting data from clients who have not consented.
Shared Counts is a plugin tool that can be used by businesses to increase their interaction on social media accounts without infringing on the privacy of consumers. Social media helps to increase traffic on web pages and it is a vital part of any business’s marketing plan! Shared Counts allows users to share and interact with brands on social media without their location being used or with any cookies, ensuring that they feel comfortable in sharing your posts and interacting with your brand across social platforms! As no tracking scripts are used to follow the interactions of those who may be liking, commenting or sharing posts, it is an incredibly beneficial general data protection regulation plugin!
Cookiebot is a WordPress plugin that has been designed for specific use with cookies. Cookies help to make a user’s experience with your website better as it allows for the web page to collect information and save browsing information. The Cookiebot plugin is designed with a feature that lets the user decide whether or not they want to activate the cookies for your website. If they answer no to the Cookiebot requesting access, all cookies for the website will be disabled. This ensures that users have the option to choose whether or not they want cookies to be enabled on the different websites that they may visit. WordPress GDPR cookie consent is extremely important to monitor and you should be sure to check whether your website is getting permission before automatically using cookies.
What Steps Should You Take to Secure WordPress?
The following is a look at the different steps that can be taken to secure a WordPress website if you are concerned with privacy and the general data protection regulation law. Many of these features also work to ensure the safety and security of visitors to your website, so be sure to look into including them if you have not already!
Choosing a reputable host for your website is an important part of making sure that your WordPress website will be secure. You are ultimately trusting your website host with all of the information and data that you have available, so be sure to keep this in mind when looking for your website host! Your domain name and content management system are also extremely important to consider when thinking about who you choose as your host.
Use Strong Passwords
One of the first ways that any hacker will try to get into your website is through your passwords. By ensuring that your passwords are all strong and not automatically inserted when using your email address to log in, you can help create a more secure WordPress website! It is also important that you not use the same password across multiple accounts as this can make it easier for hackers to access your information!
Keeping your plugins and themes up to date on your WordPress website is extremely beneficial as these updates are often more compliant with the general data protection regulation law. Specific updates have security features built in that can help a business better ensure that they are not going against any of the general data protection regulation rules that are set out. If you let older versions remain on a WordPress website, you do run the risk of not being compliant with these rules. Most new versions of plugins and themes have been updated to include security and privacy features.
SSL / HTTPS
Having an SSL certificate loaded onto your website allows you to send pages that are encrypted, ensuring that if any documents get into the wrong hands, they will not be able to read them. SSL certificates are commonly used when people have to fill out banking information over a website as it secures the data.
Examining where you may be vulnerable to attack can be a good way to beef up your security on your website. Your Attack surface refers to any region where a hacker may have access to gain entry into your system, and ensuring that these different hardware and software components are properly protected is incredibly important.
Back-Ups & Disaster Recovery
If your website has been compromised, you may want to have access to a backup! While you are always going to hope that you would never find yourself in a situation where your data and the data of your customers are compromised, planning for emergencies can save you from stress later! Having weekly, or even daily, backups and disaster recovery actions set in place can ensure that even if data is corrupted, you will still have access to an older version of it!
Having a good firewall plugin is a must when it comes to protecting the data of your users. Firewalls can be downloaded and added as plugins on WordPress websites to monitor the actions of incoming and outgoing traffic, helping to make a website more secure.
What Are the Consequences of Not Complying with GDPR?
The penalties for not complying with the general data protection regulation law can be dire, especially if a business is reprimanded and then does not change the way they are working. The first thing that will happen if you are not abiding by the regulations set out is that you will receive a warning, this warning is only if you are a first-time offender. If the issues with your website are not resolved, the next thing that will happen is your business will receive a reprimand.
If problems are not handled after you have been reprimanded about the issues, all the activities that involve the processing of data will be suspended and along with this, exorbitant fines are given out. The general data protection regulation fines can be up to four percent of the business’s annual global budget or you will be given a 20 million euro fine for the activities. The type of fine that you receive depends on how much revenue your company has made globally, and if the four percent is higher than 20 million, you will have to pay that. To avoid consequences of not following GDPR, be sure that you are in compliance with the rules determined by this law!