Is Your Website Putting Your Business At Risk?

 

You know your website is often your first & only chance to make a first impression, right? Did you know a few missing policies could put your business at risk?

Many local marketers and more than a few online marketers spend a considerable amount of time trying to get the look and feel of their website just right without giving a thought to the legalities of some of what they are doing.

Images

Some of these marketers will go to a website that they like the looks of and copy the images that they like and wish to use without getting permission from that webmaster while others may grab an image off of a photo sharing site or buy stock photographs without reading the terms of use for the photographs that they are buying.

If the copyright holder for the images that you are using comes after you for violating their copyright, it could cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per image.

Every webmaster that uses media developed by somebody else needs to display the Digital Media Copyright Act notice on their website. This DMCA notice gives the copyright holder the information they need to contact you and it tells them the proof that they need to provide to show that they are the copyright holder. It also announces that you acknowledge the value of copyrights and that you wish to comply with the law.

Emails

If you have an email address on your website so people can contact you, you have a contact form on your website that serves the same purpose or you use an email address associated with your domain, you need to have a privacy policy that clearly states how you will be using the information that is given to you and you also need to have a spam policy.

Worst-case scenario: A hacker gains access to your Web server and uses it to send out a bunch of spam emails. If the people that are spammed want to complain to you, most of them will look for your spam policy and if they cannot find it, they may complain to your host or your registrar. Some hosts and some registrars have a zero-tolerance spam policy and they will suspend your hosting account or your domain until you can prove that you were not the spammer.

Privacy Policy

Most countries require a privacy policy for anyone that collects any kind of consumer data and the data handling requirements vary from country to country. The privacy policy laws in the United States vary quite a bit from those in Canada so you need to be aware of the laws that are appropriate within the country that you will be sending emails.

Depending upon your business, you may need several other policies to protect yourself against lawsuits. The search engines, especially Google, look for certain policies and email addresses to be on a site before they consider it a professional grade site.

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to the law and it is a good idea to think of these policies in the same manner that you would an insurance policy.

It is much cheaper to have the necessary policies in place and not need them than to need them and not have them in place.

Failure to protect yourself and your business could cost you your business and much, much more. Are you willing to put your business at risk?

 
Is Your Website Putting Your Business At Risk?
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