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Smart Survey Design

V: COLLECTING DATA AND PRIVACY BEST PRACTICES

1. Inform your respondents about how their responses will be handled.

It is always good to disclose your privacy practices to your respondents. Doing this helps to increase response rates by putting potential respondents more at ease. You can disclose your privacy practices on the introduction page of your survey, or in the body of any email message containing the link inviting recipients to take your survey. If you are conducting a survey for an organization which already has its own privacy policy, you may wish to link to it if it is relevant. Alternatively, you can just describe your privacy practices in full on the introduction page of the survey itself.

Privacy statements should detail at least the following things:

  • What personal information you are collecting: Identify whether you are collecting the responses anonymously [link to FAQ above] or tracking by email address, by ticket number, etc.). Outline the types of personal information the survey asks for.

  • How you plan to use the responses: Why are you conducting your survey? What are you going to do with the survey results?

  • Whether responses will be disclosed to anyone else: If you don’t want anyone to have access to your data, do not share your SurveyMonkey account with others and ensure that your survey is configured such that survey results are not public.

  • How respondents can access their responses: Can respondents access their responses to correct their responses, or request that any personal information collected about them be deleted?

  • How respondents can contact you

You may also wish to link to SurveyMonkey’s Privacy Policy and Security Statement to disclose how we handle respondent data on your behalf.

2. Streamline the amount of personal information you collector.

Collect only the minimum amount of personal information necessary to achieve your purposes. Try to avoid asking for sensitive information in your surveys.

3. Use an encrypted survey link to distribute your survey.

We offer SSL encryption. This feature ensures that responses are communicated securely to SurveyMonkey’s servers.

4. Be aware of your own privacy requirements.

Many organizations are themselves regulated by data privacy laws and regulations, as well as internal policies. You should ensure that you are familiar with these, as you will be responsible for ensuring that your survey complies with these requirements.

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