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The Internet may be a virtual environment but it poses as many dangers as any public one. With viruses, worms, identity theft and spam prevalent on the net, surfers and site owners alike have a lot to fear from unscrupulous types.

Not only should you protect others from hacking into your Gambling site or servers; you need to protect yourself from complaints and litigation by your surfers. Whether you know it or not, you are probably downloading things to your visitor's computers. If you use a site counter service or forum registration on your site, you are in fact assisting in putting cookies on a viewer's machine. If you have a newsletter that you send to subscribers, you are entrusted to inform them of what you're going to do with that database of addresses. If you plan to share those email addresses with another website for the purposes of traffic trading, you need to know what they will do with the information you give or sell to them. Your surfers should be informed of your privacy policies not because it's a good idea but because informing them protects you.

When a person buys a product, that product comes with certain disclaimers. For instance, you've probably seen the warnings on blow dryers that tell the user not to use the unit while sleeping. As ridiculous as it sounds, somebody in the past did just this with the dryer and were probably injured. The blow dryer manufacturer includes this usage disclaimer so that when somebody (who injured themselves or property by trying to use the unit as a room heater) attempts to sue them, they will not be held responsible for that person's misuse. Your Gambling website needs disclaimers like this because you are collecting information from you visitors. Such a disclaimer for Internet sites is known as a privacy policy.

A privacy policy is basically a text document that tells your site visitors what you will do with the information you collect from them. Most sites post a link to their privacy policy on their front page. They do this as a service for their surfers and because it's a web standard to do so. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has set standards for privacy policies and legitimate sites comply with those standards. Sites that do not have compliant privacy policies can even be blocked out by the newer browser's default security settings.

Even if you don't plan on collecting email addresses or selling by credit card on your site, you need a privacy policy. If you so much as set one cookie, you need a privacy policy. If you want to present your Gambling website as a professional Internet location, you need a privacy policy. Privacy policies inform the user and protect the website.

If you wish to learn more about web standards and policies, visit the website of the World Wide Web Consortium located at: http://www.w3.org


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