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Top 5 Cyber Traps

With the ever-expanding Internet, there are important issues a company must deal with. While the Internet can bring many great opportunities and growth to a business, it does not come without its faults. Below is what we refer to as the “Top 5 Cyber Traps.”

1. Inappropriate Emails.

Email is a great business asset and tool. It is a quick and inexpensive means of communication. However, it can also be a potential problem for employers. Exchange of emails may cause legal liability problems, loss of productivity in the work place, or even damage to a company’s reputation. One method to curing these potential threats is to enforce an email usage policy. This can be done by conducting regular trainings and by monitoring employees' email. It is likely that the employer will be held responsible for all the information transmitted through emails at its company. Thus, if there are inappropriate emails exchanged, the employer will likely take the heat for any wrongdoing occurred. In turn, this could cost the employer a lot of money, such as to pay off penalties incurred, or loss of business. For example, a company may be liable if one of its employees sends a virus through one of his or her emails. As a result, an employer should train its employees on what is considered appropriate emails and/or notify the employees that the company is placing a monitoring system in place to check for potential inappropriate email exchanges.

2. Do you know who owns your website?

This may be a surprise to some companies, but if an independent development company created your website, you may not own the website at all. In the legal sense, the developer may own the website. Thus, the developer may retain the right to assert the copyrights to the work done for the site, unless your contract specifies otherwise. You may have the developer assign the copyright to you so that the developer cannot assert the copyrights in its benefit. Other solutions may be to have the developer assign you a license to use the site or enter into a “work for hire” agreement with the developer. However, take careful precautions. Before entering into any agreement with a developer it is important to have a lawyer familiar with the terminology and the law review it on your behalf.

3. Employees’ Use Of The Internet At Work.

The Internet is ubiquitous in the workplace. In fact, most employers recognize the importance of the Internet as a powerful business tool, but few consider the costs, risks and responsibilities it may bring with it. Unfortunately, employees sometimes misuse the Internet which can result in loss of productivity for a company. In one Ohio case, an employee sued her employer after a coworker showed other coworkers a picture he found on the Internet of a nude woman who looked like the female employee. She alleged that her coworker’s actions caused her to work in a hostile environment. This type of behavior is a risk the company faces when its employees have access to the Internet. You must take steps to prevent unexpected and unwanted liability.

4. “What is in a Name?”

Some may believe that the content of a website is the most important part of its webpage. However, the internet address/name, or otherwise known as the “domain name”, is a significant part of a webpage. It is required that the domain name not infringe upon or violate the rights of any third party and that it not be registered for an unlawful purpose. In 1999, ICANN adopted a uniform domain name resolution policy. ICANN is a company that assigns domain names. Its policy applies to all registrants under their Registration Agreements with separate registrars. Under this policy, if a complaint is filed a registrant must submit to a mandatory proceeding if: (1) its domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark; (2) the registrant has no rights or legitimate interest in the domain name; (3) domain name is registered and used in bad faith.

5. Unsecured Data

Companies are increasingly becoming more dependent on their computers and the data within their systems. As a result, it is crucial to keep your data secured in order to prevent someone from hacking into your system and also to have some type of back-up routine in place to avoid dangers of data loss. There are companies that offer these types of protections.

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