Technical Liabilities

Balancing ActHave you been called by the IRS stating that you owe money and that failure to pay immediately will result in agent coming to arrest you? What about the e-mail from a trusted financial organization telling you there is a problem with your account at that you need to sign in immediately to confirm your information? I personally receive one or more of these calls and e-mails a couple of time a week.  So far I have been able to prevent falling for these schemes although I have to admit that a couple of months ago they almost got me.  Worst of all, most of us are a little more wary now as it relates to our computer systems but don’t take into account that our “communication devices” are also computers shape in a different way. Another important piece of information we fail to account for is our websites and Internet portals. For example; how many of you provide access to guests out of your offices? How many of you include a disclaimer regarding liability to these guests? What about your website? Do you have a Website Privacy Policy? Is that Policy available in your website? Yesterday I spent five hours writing a Website Privacy Policy. As I worked in this document my head was spinning as I thought about the potential issues that could result out of the lack of this particular document.  Then, as I was creating the Internet Privacy Policy, other issues came to me and with these the need to brainstorm how to respond to the same. My basic point is the following, using technology is great but as we do this we must be cautious of those who unlike us are trying to take advantage of others. Also, as we try to be nice and helpful we need to consider the need to warn our customers and limit the potential liability to us and our business. Based on that I came up with the following rules:

  • Don’t trust anyone reaching out to you.
  • Verify the identity and recipient prior to releasing any information.
  • Do not send any information via electronic means unless the same is secured and/or encrypted.
  • If you provide free Internet access make sure Users read your disclaimer prior to giving them access.
  • Have a Website Privacy Policy posted in your website.

Everything changes including the schemes to get your information so please be wary and as my mother used to say: “don’t talk to strangers”.