The Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 is the UK’s updated data protection law which became effective on 25th May 2018 and was recently amended on the 1st January 2021 to reflect the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU. It sits alongside the UK GDPR and replaces the Data Protection Act 1998. The United Kingdom is […]
Website Disclaimer (what you need to know about disclaimers)
A website disclaimer is a statement that reduces legal liability for your company. It helps to protect the services you are providing and the information you are sharing on your site. It identifies areas of your business that may be misunderstood by your users and lets them know you will not be liable for any misunderstandings. You are also informing users that you will not be help responsible for any damages incurred by the use of your information or services.
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What Should You Include in Your Disclaimer?
The answer to this question is definitely not a one size fits all. It depends what type of website or business you are running as to what clauses need to be included in your website disclaimer. If for instance you are a health blog, your disclaimer will not be that same as an e-commerce website selling multiple products. So let’s take a look at what types of clauses might be included in your website disclaimer:
- Consent: A statement informing users that in order to continuing using your website they need to agree with the disclaimer statement.
- Educational and information clause: the clause states that the content on your site is for educational or information purposes only.
- Not legal or financial advice: this is important to add to your site if you are giving any kind of information relating to finances or legal topics. The information on your website does not constitute professional advice and should not be used in place of it.
- Personal responsibility: Let your users know that you are in no way responsible for how the information on your website is used. You are no way liable for how they action made as a result of using your website.
- Third parties: Most websites contain outbound links to other sites. You do not want to be held responsible for information that is on these other sites or the legitimacy of those sites.
- Children’s products: If you are selling any children’s products make sure you include in your disclaimer what age the products are suitable for. Also let your customers know if there are any small pieces included in the products.
- Medical disclaimer: If your website contains medical information ensure you have a disclaimer that informs readers that the information contained on your site is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.
- Fitness disclaimer: Much the same as the medical disclaimer, if you are running a fitness blog or website you will want to include a clause in your disclaimer that warns your readers that they use the information on your site at their own risk. Also you will want to add that the information on your site does not replace professional advice.
- Legal disclaimer: If you are offering any type of legal information or advice on your website then you want to ensure that there is a clause in your disclaimer that makes it clear that there is no attorney-client relationship. Let your readers know that the contents on your website is to be used for information purposes only.
Why You Need a Disclaimer for your website
A website disclaimer greatly limits your risk of liability. You have done your best to provide accurate, up to date content, but no matter how careful you have been there is always the chance of errors in your information. A website disclaimer informs the user that there may in fact be errors on your site.
By stating that the information found on your website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice, then any person who may act on it are doing so at their own risk.
A website disclaimer that warns your reader that the information provided is not intended to be or replace legal or financial advice is mitigating your risk and potential liability.
Basically any website that doesn’t have a disclaimer is leaving themselves vulnerable to legal issues and possible lawsuits. While having a disclaimer won’t stop you having legal action taken against you, it will certainly help mitigate the risks.
Where to Display your Disclaimer
There are a few ways in which you can display your disclaimer. The most popular way is to have a hyperlink in the footer of your homepage, which then takes your users to another page which displays your disclaimer. You can also incorporate it into your Terms and Conditions, which your users need to agree to before using your website or service. Whichever way you choose to display your disclaimer just ensure that it is easily visible to your users.
Where to Get a Disclaimer
So now you understand the importance of having a website disclaimer, you are probably wondering where to get one from. There are a few options, you can research and write one yourself, which is both time consuming and may leave you feeling as if you are not covered sufficiently. You can pay to have a lawyer draft a disclaimer for you, which is costly. Lastly you can use a disclaimer generator, which is both cost effective and time efficient. Just click this link to use our free and easy to use website disclaimer generator.
Although a disclaimer is not a legal requirement, it makes good sense to limit your liability by including one on your website. Make sure your disclaimer is visible, that it includes clauses that cover the type of website or business you are running and that it is fair. Not having a disclaimer is leaving your business and website vulnerable to legal action and you want to do everything you can to safeguard your investment.