Since businesses like Amazon and eBay first burst upon the scene in the mid-1990s, shopping via the Internet has grown from a quirky way to find a few items to a convenient way to purchase just about anything. As we approach the first major holiday season with people wary of exposure, travel difficulties and social distancing within families, shopping on the Internet is the preferred option for many people, including many who are not experienced online shoppers.

While shopping online instead of at the mall can certainly lower the risk of exposure to COVID, it does, however, increase the risk of exposure to other dangers, such as hackers looking for personal information, malware, and identity theft.

Safe Online Shopping Tips

Continue Reading Put personal info protection on your holiday shopping list

Growing companies face all kinds of challenges. From financing to staffing, growth takes effort and attention. Among the many things that both drive growth and need this attention is the company’s intellectual property (“IP”). What follows are a few thoughts about some IP-related issues expanding businesses should keep in mind.

Button Up Protection

As businesses grow they must review their IP assets to ensure they are protected, especially the ones that are driving growth. These assets might include trademarks for new product names or brand extensions, taglines and logos, as well as patents for new technologies. Sometimes growth happens quickly and a business does not want to leave important assets unprotected.

Continue Reading Growing Pains: Intellectual Property Challenges for Expanding Businesses

Hacking, security breaches and data theft are not laughing matters. However, people in the IT security industry often joke there are two types of computer systems—those that have been breached and those that will be breached. As hackers get more sophisticated and data theft becomes more lucrative, more systems are breached every day. It very likely is a case of not IF, but WHEN a data breach will occur. Therefore, you should consider your response to a data breach now so that you can plan to react coolly and calmly if something does occur.

Types of breaches

For purposes of this post, we are focusing on two types of breaches. First is the unauthorized intrusion by a third-party into your own computer systems resulting in the loss or theft of data. This type of incident might include actual, physical access to your systems, hacking from the outside or even theft from the inside, such as an employee copying files onto a memory stick and taking them home. The second involves unauthorized access into the systems of a third-party wherein your data stored with that third party was compromised. This might include the situation where your credit card payment processor gets hacked and the hackers obtain information about your customers’ credit cards and other personal information.

Stop the bleeding

Continue Reading Data Breach! Are you ready?

ecommerce via maria elena on flickr creative commonsTerms of Use Agreements (TOU) are important to any entity that conducts business via the Internet. TOU provisions contain, usually, items like limitations on acceptable use of a website or app, site participant conduct and in e-commerce applications, important limitations of liability, warranty exclusions, and dispute resolution terms. Generically speaking, TOU documents usually contain the “fine print.” As such, TOU are intended to be contractual terms detailing the rights and responsibilities of the parties. However, contract terms are only binding if they are agreed-to and a recent decision in California has cast doubt on the enforceability of one widely used form of TOU on e-commerce sites.

Types of TOU Agreements

Continue Reading Why E-Commerce Sites Should Review Their Terms of Use Now