10 Legal Blunders That Could Kill Your Website


Photo: jophiel smiles via Flickr

At this point it’s a no brainer that every business, no matter how big or small, should have a website. It’s a great way to reach new customers and build your brand. But there are also big legal risks associated with running a site.Patent lawyer Brett Trout just published a great breakdown at Business Know How on the common mistakes that could cost your company dearly.

“Many companies float along without any specific written policies regarding website use and appropriate procedures for intellectual property protection,” writes Trout. “They prefer to keep their heads in the sand until a problem arises. Unfortunately, once a problem does arise, it is often too late to correct it.”

Here are a few of Trout’s simple tips:

  • Disclaimer: This is the first thing every website should work on. Without it you could even be liable for bad behaviour on the part of third party sites.
  • Privacy: If your website doesn’t inform users of how their data is being used you could be liable financially. But bad PR is an even bigger worry from privacy snafus.
  • Intellectual Property: A lot of blogs play fast and loose with content from other sites. But using copyrighted material can land your business in hot water.
  • Security: Cybercrime costs U.S. companies more than $1 trillion dollars a year. If you’re dealing with sensitive customer data this is an area you should focus on. Trout’s reminder, most cybercrime comes not from strangers, but from disgruntled employees.

Check out the rest of Trout’s legal landmines at Business Know How >

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