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FL cyber attorneyWith a rapidly changing economic landscape comes new opportunities. Unfortunately, new challenges and conflicts are also inevitable. Cyber law is defined as any law that relates to the internet and internet-related technologies. With the increase in internet use for both businesses and everyday citizens, conflicts involving the internet have risen astronomically over the past few decades. Whether you are a business owner that is either just starting their business or just transitioning into the world of cyber marketing, or a civilian being harassed on the Internet, a cyber law attorney can help resolve any conflict you may be facing. Below we will examine just a few of the ways in which a cyber law attorney can assist you.

Assisting Your Business

In the world of business, the rise in internet use has drastically changed the way in which corporations operate. Today many consumers shop primarily via the web, making the need for a strong cyber presence essentially paramount to the company’s success. Unfortunately with the rise in internet technology, there has come a rise in conflicts. Domain and copyright disputes are incredibly common for companies looking to move into internet sales. Due to the newer nature of most cyber-related agreements, some companies will look to use unclear language to get other parties to agree to unfair or unlawful online contracts. The rise in technology has also changed the way in which information is stored and lead to new ways in which corporations can steal information from other businesses, leading to a rise in intellectual property disputes. If a conflict with your business arises, you need to speak with a skilled attorney immediately.

Personal Conflicts

Unfortunately, people in the world of cyber marketing are not the only ones that face internet-related conflicts. Many everyday civilizations are harassed on the internet and have no idea where to turn after the altercation. Both cyberstalking and cyberbullying can impact a person’s emotional and psychological health. Cyberstalking is simply when one uses the internet to stalk or harass another party. This harassment could come in the forms of identity theft, sexual solicitations, or threats. Cyberbullying is incredibly common among the youth of America, and the emotional ramifications of cyberbullying are well documented. If you or a family member are being harassed on the internet, it is time to seek out professional help.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_attorney.jpgCyber law cases are unique, from the proceedings to the violations. Due to the nuanced nature of many cyber law cases, even the most minor violations can represent the difference between a case being lost or won. This is especially true as it pertains to electronic discovery. Electronic discovery simply refers to discoveries made in a legal proceeding (such as a government investigation or simple litigation), in which the information is in digital form. Because of the intangible nature of electronic discovery, it is treated much differently than paper evidence. The most common forms of electronic discovery include emails, various file types, and other types of electronic documents. Below we will discuss the way in which a skilled attorney can assist you during the electronic discovery process.

How a Cyber Law Expert Can Help

In cases involving electronic discovery, the presence of a quality legal professional can make or break your case. First and foremost, a skilled attorney will go through an extensive research process, examining documents, emails, and any form of electronic discovery that could benefit or harm your case. A knowledgeable attorney will also be cognizant of the role that megadata can play in the electronic discovery process. For instance, the dates and times at which a document was filed can be critically important in a trademark, copyright, or domain name case.

A competent attorney will also ensure that all relevant electronic discovery has been properly collected and preserved. Proving that an opposing side has destroyed relevant information can be a direct violation of the preservation process in all electronic discovery processes. A party could also be in violation if they do not transfer the information to their legal counsel as the information was found. Failure to recognize and identify these violations could result in a lost case.

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US cyber law attorneyA master services agreement is necessary when two or more organizations enter into an on-going business relationship. A master services agreement can generally define the conditions of the working relationship, and save all parties involved time down the line. While a master services agreement is designed to save you time, and avoid the need for further negotiations, failure to properly craft an agreement could be detrimental to the success of your company. If you are looking to draft or negotiate a master services agreement, seek out competent legal assistance.

The Importance of a Master Services Agreement

In the world of online business, a master services agreement will essentially outline the parameters of a collaborative business relationship. A properly crafted master services agreement will address key components of any business relationship, ranging from terms of payment to confidentiality agreements. Additional components likely to be discussed in the agreement include product warranties, work standards, and delivery requirements. Recognizing the importance of these issues (for instance violation of a confidentiality agreement can be detrimental to an up and coming business’s success), violation of a master services agreement can lead to a long legal battle.

If a legal battle ultimately arises, the dispute resolution method should already be established within the master services agreement. If you are an inexperienced company dealing with a more seasoned party, it is not uncommon to be taken advantage of in negotiations over a master services agreement. If an attorney is not utilized in drafting the agreement, it may be difficult to win any meaningful legal battles down the road. For digital product companies dealing with other parties, the importance of an attorney’s assistant during these negotiations cannot be understated.

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FL cyber law attorneyWith the rapid rise in technological innovation, the world has become a significantly more convenient place. Food and transportation can be ordered without making a phone call, and consumer goods can be delivered without the customer even leaving their house. Yet with the positive innovations, there are always a minority of people that will utilize technology to perform criminal acts. Below, we will discuss the relatively new phenomenon that is cyberstalking, and how to react if you are being stalked through online mediums.

What Is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is defined as the act of utilizing the internet, email, or other form of communication to stalk or harass another party. These instances are not simply annoying, but can be dangerous extensions of physical stalking. If the person is not aware of your physical address, cyberstalking may be a means for them to access that information, and they may begin to physically stalk. The most common forms of cyberstalking include unsolicited obscene emails, harassment via online chat rooms, or the spreading of false or private information about a party through the use of online mediums. Fortunately, if a person is cyberstalking you, there are a few steps you can take.

Reacting to Cyberstalking

Once you have determined that you are being cyberstalked, it is important to act quickly. The first step you can take is seeking out the help of a skilled professional. Once you have contacted a party that you can trust, they can assist you through the next steps, which may include creating a new email account and resetting previous online passwords. If you are planning to pursue legal action against the stalker, it is important to speak with a qualified legal professional. The other party’s legal team may argue that the person was simply exercising their first amendment right to free speech, or that the harassment the victim faced was simply an unintended consequence related to the perpetrator’s actions. Regardless of how you are hoping to move forward, you need to speak with an adept cyber law professional.

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Posted on in Domain Disputes

FL domain name attorneyDomains cannot be copyrighted, but they can be trademarked. And, like any other trademark, you apply for the domain trademark in order to protect your property -- in this case, your domain name is probably named after yourself or your brand. In fact, your domain name will only qualify for trademark if it has a name associated with your particular business or service.

If you feel it would be best to also protect domain names that people may confuse for yours, however, then you may also register sites that could be reached through misspelling your company name, or by typing in “.com,” when your real site is “.org.” This will keep other companies from trying to cash in on your name and/or giving you a bad name if they do not provide the same level of product or service as you.

How to Trademark Your Domain Name

Trademarking your internet domain name can be done without much effort. Here are the steps:

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Florida cybersecurity attorneyTo understand why you might need a cyber law attorney now or in the future, take a quick look back. Twenty years ago, were you worried about losing control of your intellectual property because of Etsy or Amazon, or of losing control of your website domain name to a web jacker?

Shift in Transactions From People to Web Impacts Cyberlaw

Have you noticed how many business transactions have shifted from being personal-relationship-driven to being mostly or entirely web-driven? Consider all of these situations where, 20 years ago, you would have insisted on doing business one-on-one, face-to-face, but today you can - and often prefer to - conduct most of this business over the internet:

  • Making a big-ticket purchase like a computer, car, or house;
  • Working with a tax accountant, financial advisor, lender, or lawyer; and
  • Working with a writer, graphic designer, or another provider of marketing or creative services.

Shift in Documentation from Paper to Digital Requires Cyberlaw

Years back, most businesses relied on an exchange of paper documents. While paper documents could be photocopied, they could not be widely disseminated without significant cost and typically did not travel far. Today, we rely much more heavily on electronic document exchanges, and it is far too easy for such documents to be intercepted by hackers, copied, slightly altered, and widely disseminated around the globe very quickly.

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Florida cyber law lawyerRansomware and cryptominers are two of the newest cyber-threats. Ransomware attacks rose significantly in 2016 and 2017, but have declined in 2018, while attacks by cryptomining malware have risen dramatically in 2018.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that can infect a computer when a user clicks on a link received in an email or a link that appears on an otherwise legitimate website. The malware proceeds to encrypt all of the files on that computer and any other computers and networks connected to it. Soon thereafter, the victim receives an email demanding payment (typically in Bitcoin or another e-currency) in exchange for the encryption key necessary to unlock their files.

A ransomware attack can cost a business thousands or even millions of dollars, as their daily operations are disrupted, they have to restore their entire system from backups, and they may even lose some data entirely.

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Why You Need to Customize and Update Your Website’s Terms of Service

St. Petersburg online contracts attorneyIf you are refreshing your business’s existing website or building a new one, where will you spend most of your time? Optimizing your home page? Making sure all of your product and service offerings are described to best advantage? Streamlining your check-out process to maximize e-commerce sales? 

In the process of perfecting your website, there is one page you might easily overlook: your Terms of Service, or TOS, agreement (sometimes called the website’s Terms of Use or User Agreement). You should know that a well-written Terms of Service agreement could actually prove as important to your business as any other page of your website.

What Is the Purpose of a Terms of Service Agreement?

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Do You Need to Update Your Website’s Privacy Policy?

Tampa online privacy policy attorneyAs a business owner, you know how important your website is for attracting new customers and generating sales. But are you confident that your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy pages are up-to-date with current laws and fully protecting you from potential lawsuits?

A Privacy Policy is required by law when your website collects customer emails, phone numbers, shipping addresses, or other personally identifiable information (PII). The Terms of Service can be equally important to protect your business from legal liability. This article will focus strictly on Privacy Policy, with a future article addressing Terms of Service.

Consumer Privacy Laws Are Becoming More Strict

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Tips for Developing the Ideal Master Services Agreement

Tampa master services agreement attorneyWhenever two businesses expect to have an ongoing relationship, with one providing services to the other on a project-by-project basis, a master services agreement can simplify their repeated transactions.

Many types of businesses can benefit from using a master services agreement, including those who sell website creation and maintenance services, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and cloud computing services. 

But what exactly should be included in your MSA? Here are some tips for creating a strong MSA for your business:

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Three Reasons Your Business Needs a Master Services Agreement

Florida cyber law attorney master services agreementAre you tired of jumping through legal approval hoops every time you start a new project with an existing client? Then your business probably needs a master services agreement (MSA). 

A master services agreement is a contract that spells out the general terms and conditions that will govern the relationship between two parties (supplier and buyer). Then, for each new project, the parties need only sign off on a statement of work (SOW), which defines the specific work to be done, the price to be paid, and the timeline of the project. 

The Benefits of Having a Master Services Agreement

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Posted on in Cyber Crime

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_356278754.jpgComputer hacking continues to attract a great deal of attention from those charged with keeping company networks safe. However, in May of last year, a computer virus began infecting networks around the world. The never-before-seen malware was disrupting service in the healthcare, automobile manufacturing, telecom and worldwide shipping industries, among others, around the world. While the virus wreaked havoc across the globe, it took but a single computer expert to shut down the spread and potentially save companies billions of dollars.

Anonymous Hacker Hero

In May of 2018, a young man known only by his Twitter handle, “Malware Tech,” was able to do what IT professionals at some of the world’s largest businesses were unable to accomplish. With a few simple keystrokes, he was able to shut down one of the world’s largest cyber-attacks to ever occur.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_319177193.jpgMany businesses rely on relationships with outside agencies or individuals to ensure ongoing productivity and profitability. Creating and implementing third party reseller agreements ensure distribution of your products or services are done in manner that upholds your company’s brand image and reputation. However, while researching and drafting these agreements, it is important to consider variables that might create confusion or poor results.

Consider These Relevant Issues

  • Start small and grow gradually: When opening a new agreement allow a distributor to prove themselves on a small scale. Once doing so you can reward that distributor with a larger piece of territory. Do not assign too much, too soon.
  • Reasons for Termination: If an agreement allows only for Termination for Cause, it can delay action while partners argue the definition of “cause.” Termination for Convenience and for Cause enables a company to take steps to nullify a relationship while following defined and prescribed steps.
  • Writing semi-automatic renewal and annual termination terms into an agreement allows either party to exit an agreement once a year. This bases a partnership on performance, and the most experienced partners desire an ongoing relationship that is based on performance.
  • Exclusive vs Non Exclusive agreements: There are pros and cons to both, but find a way to maintain an advantage while allowing for some flexibility that appeals to the distributor.
  • Address issues of price changes: An agreement that permits price changes based on market demand, and only a period of advance notice can help resolve conflicts over this issue.
  • Termination of the agreement by one or both parties: The best distributor agreements allow for either partner to end the relationship.
  • Allow the nature of the relationship to change: Variables in the marketplace can impact how both a manufacturer and a distributor do business. Write an agreement that permits both parties to recommend change on an ongoing basis allows the partnership to evolve with the market without undue pressure.
  • Stay involved in the process: Attorneys are important to writing fair and legal agreements, but the input of those with practical experience can help keep matters relevant and on point.

Retain an Experienced Florida Online Contracts Attorney to Install Sound Reseller Agreements

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Posted on in Cyber Crime

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_302508602.jpgBusinesses of all sizes dedicate considerable resources every year to develop, secure and defend their computer network. Software companies constantly introduce new firewalls and other anti-virus programs to fight off illegal breaches. Despite best efforts, network hacking continues making headlines and compromising sensitive information.

Giving In To Hackers’ Demands

In what has become a widely publicized case of hacking, that seems to feature the release of new details on what feels like a weekly basis, ride-sharing giant Uber acknowledged that it paid hackers $100,000 to delete the data they stole in 2016. The personal information of nearly 57 million Uber drivers and riders was accessed illegally by two, yet-to-be-identified electronic thieves.

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Posted on in Cyber Crime
Hacking - A New Business Tool

Florida cyber crime and hacking attorneyThe term “hacking” conjures images of illegal activities by highly-motivated cyber criminals looking to steal and exploit vast amounts of business and personal information. However, as the internet changes and laws evolve to keep pace with the rapid growth of cyber activity, the federal government has begun considering ways by which companies might use hacking to their advantage.

Hacking to Combat Hacking

Until recently, a business’s only defense against a cyber attack or hacking might be the installation of updated firewalls or software to combat electronic intrusions. However, it seemed that as soon as new defensive software was created, hackers were finding and exploiting inherent weaknesses or developing techniques to subvert network protection.

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Updates to Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Under Consideration

St. Petersburg cyber law attorney cyber crime legislationWhen the digital age took hold in America, and an increasing number of businesses began conducting trade online, it became necessary to protect commerce, transactions, and other online activity from illegal access and fraud. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is a federal anti-hacking law that was passed in 1986, and is now the subject of updates in order to keep up with the constantly evolving digital world.

Why the CFAA Needs Updating

In its current form, the CFAA does not allow a business to go beyond its own network to fight or protect against cyber attacks, such as the installation of malware. While the CFAA was expanded upon in 1996, proponents of this newest legislation do not believe the existing language goes far enough in allowing businesses to protect their digital property.

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Protecting Yourself and Your Customers With Clear Privacy Policies

Florida privacy policy lawyerDue in large part to the hacking of websites and subsequent theft of the personal information belonging to millions of consumers, company and website privacy policies are facing renewed scrutiny. When storing huge amounts of data and concern for personal privacy both demand attention, it is critical for companies to establish clear guidelines for gathering and retaining information at the onset.

Protecting Privacy While Doing Business

Privacy is a cherished right, yet it is one most web users surrender every time they visit a website. As businesses strive to know more about their target audience and build stores of information as a way to grow their customer base, the use of technology to gather information is more prevalent than ever. However, building trust between a business and a customer (or potential customer) is an important part of doing business, and that is where strong privacy policies come into play.

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Can an Equifax-Like Data Breach Happen to Your Company?

Florida cyber security attorney data breachWhen credit reporting giant Equifax announced that millions of consumer records were exposed to hackers by means of a data breach, it was just the latest in the series of recent commercial cyber attacks which have impacted millions of people. Perhaps the primary takeaway from this news is that if this type of breach can happen to a company as large as Equifax, it can happen to any company that maintains digital business and client records.

How Can a Business Protect Company and Client Data?

By most accounts, the breach at Equifax was due to complacency in addressing a software flaw in the company’s website involving a tool which consumers used to contact the company and address issues with their credit reports. Every company should be aware that hackers will seek to expose any flaw in your company’s software or website protocol.

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Protecting Your Company from Cyber Attacks

Floridy business cyber security lawyerBusinesses of all sizes are being targeted by hackers and other electronic criminals more and more frequently in modern times. Incidents involving large corporate entities such as Target and Equifax make national headlines, but it is a fact that even small businesses are attacked by hackers. In fact, experts agree that nearly 43 percent of all cyber attacks are launched at small businesses. 

Protecting Your Business

Being unprepared is no longer acceptable, as the cost of repairing your business’s reputation and defending your company from subsequent legal action can drain resources and even result in bankruptcy. Because physical storage of records and data is costly and can require an inordinate amount of space that could be better used for other business purposes, storage of customer information and proprietary company data is frequently converted to some electronic format. This action makes that data vulnerable to breach and theft. Here are some basics steps to follow when considering how to best protect your company’s cyber assets:

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Balancing Biometric Privacy and Technological Advancements

Tampa cyber security lawyer biometricsNo longer is it necessary for one to key-in a password of letters and numbers in order to gain access to computers, smartphones, or other electronically-secured information. The use of one’s facial features, fingerprints, and even their iris for electronic security purposes is becoming more common, yet concerns pertaining to personal privacy and use of stored information is now facing legal challenges.

Wide Use for Biometric Technology  

The use of biometric technology has allowed various businesses to enhance service and security for their customers. Some examples include:

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