Protecting Your Website
Not that long ago websites for businesses were the exception to the rule. In 2016, having a website for your company is almost a mandatory requirement when launching a business or growing your customer base. A website is the hub of your business. It contains not only your content, but your logo, tagline, color palette, and access to information about your customers. How do small businesses protect this information? Let’s take a look at steps you can take to protect your company and website.
- Trademark – All business owners and leaders should file for trademarks for their brands and services. It is quick and relatively cheap to do. In most cases, you do not need the expense of a lawyer or any other service. Trademarkia is one of many sites that owners can use to search over 7 million trademarked logos, slogans and names. Most of these sites will offer free searches and alerts if someone is using your logo or slogan. There are also trademark and statutory protections against people registering domain names identical to or similar to your brand for the purpose of confusing people or diverting traffic from your site. Protect your online products, photos and images using a Creative Commons license. You can get one set up in seconds for free to protect ebooks, images and other materials for that extra bit of security.
- Protect your Content – If you have a blog, social media channel, podcast or video associated with your website, you will want to protect the content as well. Talk to your business lawyer about copyright infringement and intellectual property to protect your content. If you have a WordPress site, try a plugin called WP-Copyprotect. This ‘locks’ your blog so text and images can’t be highlighted, copy and pasted. This works on the assumption that anyone wanting to steal your blog post or text from your website will be too lazy to re-type it out for themselves.
- Monitor others in your Field – Set up an alert system online to monitor via Google or other search engines when competitors are using ideas or brand information. TrackMaven and Rival IQ are two of the more advanced tools for tracking your brand online, but simple tools such as Google Alerts and Twitter searches can help, too.
- Use IP Protection – According to Arthur Ebeling of Koi Creative, Inc. “if you are seeking to establish a brand, it is critical to secure the proper intellectual property safeguards. These IP protections can include trademarks, copyrights and patents. It is important to determine which protections are relevant to your brand/company. Invariably, if you are trying to establish a brand name, it is wise to trademark that name. It pays to consult an IP attorney.”