The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also looks after the transfer of personal data outside of these areas.
The GDPR standardizes protection laws across all of the member countries and imposes strict new rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information (PII).
This set of instructions for companies that collect and process such data on the internet is aimed at improving the levels of protection for internet users and giving them more control over how their personal data is used.
Any businesses that operate online and within the areas of the European Union or European Economic Area need to both be aware of these rules and comply with them or face severe penalties.
Several plugins have been designed with the intention of implementing the rules as outlined by the GDPR to business websites in quick, easy, and manageable ways.
GDPR Compliance and Cookie Consent is a plugin created by StylemixThemes. The key features are clear privacy policies and cookie information, GDPR consent checkboxes, a cookie blocker, consumer data access, and the right of website users to be forgotten. All of these help to protect your customers and any of the personal data that they may need to disclose on your website.
This versatile and useful plugin is free to download and is suitable for use with WordPress 4.6 and above. Further to this, there is an optional upgrade for this plugin that includes premium-level features. More details on this paid pro version will be covered here a little later on.
From May 25, 2018, all companies with EU citizens as customers who are visiting their website, regardless of the location of the company itself, need to abide by the GDPR rules when handling their personal data.
Information covered by GDPR includes names, user IDs, emails, addresses, contact details, web analytics, IP address, cookies, and other special categories of data (e.g., sensitive, genetic, health, gender, biometric).
This handy GDPR plugin is straightforward to use and makes an excellent addition to any business WordPress website. It allows for any site to be GDPR compliant, and it is compatible with both the regulations and industry best practices. It is a WordPress business user’s best friend.
The installation process is extremely clear cut. Simply search for the plugin in the WordPress plugin menu section, and then click on the button to download the necessary files. Once the files have been downloaded, you will need to upload them to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory or install the plugin through the WordPress plugins screen directly. Finally, you will need to activate the plugin through the ‘plugins’ screen in WordPress. You will then be able to see the service on the admin bar of your WordPress site.
Under the general tab, you can control all the privacy and cookie consent popups. Here you can opt to enable the popups, choose the cookie consent expiry time (the default being six months), write the messages included in the popups, and manage the colors of the box and the text. Finally, you can designate where the popups will appear on the page at the front end of the website.
The integrated plugin section enables you to integrate the GDPR plugin with a range of other popular plugins that can be used to increase the functionality of your website further. The ones that are supported at present include:
* Contact Form 7, which allows you to manage multiple contact forms.
* Gravity Forms which offers the tools necessary for creating powerful contact forms.
* Woocommerce which is designed to allow for e-commerce and online payment.
* BuddyPress which enables the website to be transformed into a social network platform.
* MailChimp, which lets you add signup forms to your website and allow customers to sign up for services.
* WordPress Comments which facilitates interactions by enabling visitors to post comments.
Data access & to be forgotten, the final tab, is a vital section of the plugin. This page is where users are provided with a form to access their data as well as the right to be forgotten. In this case, all collected data will be deleted.
Again this section is fully customizable, you can create your own description, and you can enter your own messages. To enable users to access or delete their own personal data, you can insert a short code to a page or use a special widget.
With each section of the plugin, you will need to click on ‘save changes’ to validate your changes and to ensure that your customizations are applied to your website.
The GDPR Compliance & Cookie Consent plugin has been carefully designed with the specific goal of protecting the personal data of your customers and other visitors to your website.
While some businesses may need to collect personal or sensitive information due to the nature of the service being provided, ultimately, how this data is handled needs to be at the discretion of the customer. The goal of such GDPR compliance plugins is to give the consumers absolute control of their information.
As previously outlined, from May 25, 2018, every website collecting data from EU residents or citizens need to address GDPR rules. This is a legal requirement for all online businesses, and the penalties for not abiding by such regulations are extremely harsh.
Fines of up to €20 million or up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year in case of an enterprise, whichever is greater, can be applied for not following such rules.
The GDPR Compliance & Cookie Consent WordPress Plugin makes your website compatible with general GDPR regulations. This ensures that both you, the business owner, and your customers who are visiting your site and possibly providing sensitive data are protected under the laws.
The user-friendly interface and clear instructions make it easy to navigate around this business-essential plugin. You can it all up and running in no time at all and feel confident that you are operating firmly within the requirements.
In addition to the range of features available on the completely free core GDPR Compliance & Cookie Consent plugin, the pro addon provides several additional and more advanced features. A few of these are:
* Iframe video blocker. This can be used to block any videos to your website, which could be included in various comment sections.
* Geolocation cookie blocker. This allows the addon to block cookies only to the users in Europe while enabling them for citizens of other countries with different rules.
* Cookie scanner. This enables for checking of all the sources of cookies that are currently stored on your website. It allows for the seeking out of any trackers which can be used to invade people’s privacy.
* Header and footer scripts. This provides you with the option to add your own scripts to the website for a higher level of customization.
* Export/import settings. This lets you save your settings and use them on your next website to save you the time and effort of working through all the information again.
This purchasable upgrade is available from $19 when used on a single site. It can additionally be acquired for use on five sites or twenty-five sites. It’s important to note that you will have to install the basic version before adding on the pro one.
Overall, the GDPR Compliance and Cookie Consent WordPress plugin is a useful way to ensure that your WordPress business website is adhering to data protection laws specific to citizens of the European Union. It provides flexible and customizable ways of doing this to match the tone, style, and requirements of your particular website. So, make sure that you are protecting both yourself and your client by installing this simple to use, free plugin today.
This section describes how to install the plugin and get it working.
/wp-content/plugins/directory, or install the plugin through the WordPress plugins screen directly.
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