4 Best Practices for Survey Privacy

As we have mentioned in previous posts, SurveyMonkey takes privacy seriously, and we would like to help our customers to do the same. Survey participants want to know what will happen to their survey responses after they submit them. Informing participants how you will handle their answers puts them more at ease and can lead to higher response rates and more accurate feedback. So, with surveys, good privacy practices are all about being transparent about how you handle respondents’ personal information, and letting respondents know how they can access or control the information you’ve collected about them.

Here are some tips on how you can reassure survey participants that their responses will be treated appropriately.

1. Collect results anonymously, if possible

If you don’t need to identify your respondents, then make sure you turn off IP address collection on your survey. If you’re using an email collector, turn off the feature which saves email addresses along with responses. For instructions on how to make your survey anonymous, click here.

2. Disclose your privacy policy

If you already have a privacy policy that is applicable to your survey (which may be the case if you’re running a survey for your employer), you should link to it at the start of the survey. If you don’t have one, consider describing what you are going to do with your survey results: what personal information you will collect, how you will use it, whether you’re going to share it with anyone. If you’re collecting responses on an anonymous basis, great! You can just say that instead. For instructions on how to insert your own privacy policy into your survey, click here.

3. Tell people who you are

If you use a web collector, sometimes your survey link gets spread far and wide. People who arrive at your survey might have no idea who is conducting the survey unless you tell them. Telling respondents who you are and providing your contact details helps to put people at ease that you’re not some shady character looking to steal and sell their personal information. In SurveyMonkey, you can place that information in the description section of the first page of your survey.

4. Show off your results

Respondents are often just as interested in the results of the survey as you are. If you’re running that kind of survey, let your respondents know where they can check out the results of the survey afterwards! One way you can do this is including this information on a Thank You page. For information on how to publicize your survey results, click here.

Please share any privacy tips or best practices from your own experience in the comments below.

This is the third article in a series on privacy and policies, written by Stuart Loh, SurveyMonkey in-house counsel in charge of privacy and policies.

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