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Legal Compliance

EU Cookie Law deferred for 1 year

The EU law on e-privacy, cookie law, came into effect on May 25th. At the moment only 2 countries in Europe have implemented this and the UK has deferred the implementation for a year, to give technology time to catch up.

What is a Cookie?

Cookies are small files saved to the users computer by the web browser. They are used to hold information about users and their preferences on a website, these rules relate to code designed to help target advertisements – specifically when the information gathered is unrelated to the website being browsed.

So what is ‘Cookie Law’?

It states that websites must seek consent from users before using tracking technologies.

What does Cookie law mean to UK Business

UK Business will lose out as a result of this law. We will implement it and every UK website will start to annoy visitors, by asking for consent to use cookies. The law only applies within the EU so rest of the world won’t have to take any notice of this law, so traffic will go to the sites that don’t have this as it will be simpler to do business on-line with them.

The problem with the law is:-

For a website to remember that you don’t want cookies it needs to do one of 2 things.

  • Require that you login to the site and save some preference data
  • Put a cookie on the users PC, which you aren’t going to be able to do

So website designers have 2 ‘options’ the 2nd of which isn’t an option. The only other way is for the web browser to hold the information of your preferences about cookies, like firefox does, but under the wording of the law that isn’t sufficient.

Basically a law drafted by people who have good intentions around privacy but have no idea of the consequences of their ruling.

 

What Website Information is required for UK companies?

Website Information - Legal ComplianceIf your business is a private or public limited company or a Limited Liability Partnership, the Companies Act 1985 requires that the following website information is displayed in legible characters:

  • Your company registration number
  • Your place of registration (e.g. Scotland or England & Wales)
  • Your registered office address

Failure to comply with these requirements puts your company at risk of a fine. These duties were clarified on 1 January 2007, as a result of an amendment that was made to the Companies Act to comply with a European Directive.

VAT Registration

If you sell from your website and charge VAT you also need to display your VAT Registration number on your website. Typically the VAT Number is displayed along with the contact information and on any invoice.

Where do I need to include the Website Information?

The legislation does not state where on your website the information needs to be displayed, just that it must be ‘…. displayed in legible characters.’

Some sites include the required Website Information in the footer of every page, others will display it in the About or Contact Us sections of the site. The choice of location is up to you, its just needs to be easy for visitors to find the required Website Information.

What should I do if the Website Information is missing?

If the website is a personal Blog and isn’t run by a company there is no requirement for the owner to provide any contact Website Information on the site.

If however you are buying direct from a website you want to be sure that you know who you are dealing with and that they are happy to provide contact details. For UK companies you can always go to the Companies House website and check the Company Registration Number, provided as part of the Website Information, matches the company name and registered office address.

You should now know what the UK legal requirements are for Website Information and how to check it.

Create your own personal email signature

To help you generate your own personalised email signature for Outlook, or any other email client, we have put together a simple email form. The form will take the details that you provide and then generate four different email signature styles for you to try in your Outlook signature.

The signatures include the legally required information in the UK to comply with the Companies Act and ensure that your email signature is legally compliant. You can review the current UK legal requirements for email signatures in the attached post.

Simply provide the details requested below and we will email you a set of personalised email signatures for you to use. Complete the form below and we will email you a completed email signature.

Once you receive the emailed signatures just follow the instructions outlines in the article  adding an email signature in outlook and you will be able to start using them straight away.

email signature generator

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone Number

Your Job Title

Your Name Company Name

Company website address

Company Registration Number

Full Registered Office Address


To be kept updated with tips from ComputerSpot and to get your personalised email signatures sent direct to your inbox just click on the button.

You will receive your personalised email signature very soon, they will be sent to the email address that you give in the form above. If the email doesn’t appear in a few minutes check that the email hasn’t been caught in your Spam, or Junk Mail, Filter.

Don’t see the email signature that you are looking for?

If you would like a different format of email signature, or want other information added let us know though the comments form below and we will look to add it as another format for everyone.

If you like the email signature generator I suggest that you also download our complete Business email check list

Download our Business Email Checklist

Using the Website Analytics for ComputerSpot we noticed that the top 2 items people were looking at related to email and compliance, so we decided to create a summary Business Email Checklist to bring all of the important items together in one place.

Using the Posts that we have on email and email signatures we have put together a simple Business Email Checklist, which highlights the areas which have attracted the most attention and traffic.

What is in the Business Email Checklist?

The Business Email Checklist contains advice and guidance around:-

  • UK Legal Requirements for email signatures
  • Email Archive
  • Email Branding
  • Disclaimers
  • Protecting your business from Spam and Viruses

The Business Email Checklist is a 1 page advice and guidance document, aimed at providing the important information, without being too complex . We will be creating a more in-depth Email Survival Toolkit over the comming months, which will be available from the ComputerSpot website. If you sign-up for the Business Email Checklist then you will be notified when the Email Survival Toolkit is available.

How can I get the Business Email Checklist?

To get hold of our simple, one page, Business Email Checklist just complete the sign-up form below and you will have direct download access to the PDF checklist.
Business Email Checklist

We hope that you enjoy the Business Email Checklist

Exclaimer Mail UtilitiesDisclaim, Brand and Protect with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

As your business grows you can no longer afford to let individuals control their own email signatures. You need to make sure that all email is correctly branded, with the latest marketing messages, and are also legally compliant. As a UK Limited Company there are certain legal requirements on you regarding information that must be included in all business email.

Features of Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Exclaimer Mail Utilities can ensure that your brand is properly reflected and that all of your email, even if its sent from a Blackberry, iPhone, Android phone or Tablet, is correctly branded and compliant.

  • Programatic control of the insertion of disclaimers in Outgoing, Incoming and Internal email
  • Branding of outgoing email for that professional image that the marketing department are looking for
  • Protection against incoming Spam, with the Anti-Spam module
  • Block or redirect email based on rules about specific users or domains
  • Create disclaimers for Plain Text, HTML and RTF format messages
  • Integration with Active Directory enables you to trigger rules based on AD fields and include information from AD fields in your signatures to personalise signatures. i.e. Phone Number, Job Title etc.
  • Compatible with mobile devices like Blackberrys, SmartPhones, iPhones, Android devices etc.

Why do I need Exclaimer Mail Utilities?

Exclaimer Mail Utilities are designed for Microsoft Exchange mail systems, including Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010. The goal is to simplify the process of managing, disclaiming, branding and formatting of your company email, through automation.

Branding with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Design your email signatures so that they fall in line with your company brand guidelines. Create dynamic signatures that adapt to automatically personalise and include Active Directory Fields along with the latest messages from the marketing department.

Compliance with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Ensure that all of your external email is correctly disclaimed for legal, compliance and email regulation purposes. In addition to adding the disclaimers some of the compliance regulations require that you journal your email.

Protect your email with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Use Exclaimer Mail Utilities to help protect your computer systems against Spam and email hosted viruses.

Manage mail flow with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

Control and manage the email flow process to ensure that when emails are sent to your support department they are correctly routed. That the customer receives an automatic response saying that the email has been received and that someone will be in contact within 15 minutes, if its within business hours or providing a phone number if its out of hours.

You now know how Exclaimer Mail Utilities can help your business better manage your email branding and compliance.

Next steps with Exclaimer Mail Utilities

If you want to find out more about Exclaimer Mail Utilities, or download and evaluation copy, then go to the Exclaimer website at www.exclaimer.com.

If you need assistance installing,  configuring  or managing Exclaimer Mail Utilities then contact me via the SystemAssure website.

Secure Vantage Launch Audit Manager 2010

Secure Vantage - Audit Manager 2010Secure Vantage have launched the latest update to their, highly successful, Security Compliance Audit Reporting Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (OpsMgr).

Secure Vantage Audit Manager 2010 leverages the underlying Microsoft Audit Collection Services (ACS), which is part of OpsMgr. It also provides facilities to manage the ACS infrastructure. Secure Vantage fully integrates with System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 and the OpsMgr security model.  Secure Vantage Audit Manager  then extends the ACS components to provide facilities for:-

  • Audit Collection Archiver
  • Audit Collection Manager
  • Compliance Reports (See the list below for supported Regulations)
  • Real Time Security Alerts
  • Security Console
  • Security Forensic Analysis of ACS information
  • Syslog Gateway to get information into ACS

If you use OpsMgr within your business and need to to report on Security Events then take a look at Secure Vantage Audit Manager 2010 and see how it can help your business with Security Audit and Complaince.

Secure Vantage Background

Secure Vantage - Audit Manager 2010 SummarySecure Vantage Technologies (SVT) provides IT Security Auditing solutions helping enterprises meet their specific IT compliance and regulatory requirements. SVT understands that IT GRC is an issue that most enterprises presently face, especially as laws and regulations are changing and new laws are being passed to ensure greater transparency and safety in our global economy. More importantly, SVT also understands that for these very enterprises this will mean more money, more time and more resources spent doing something that isn’t directly related to their core competency.

Secure Vantage Technology’s Audit Manager 2010 can help your company to reduce the time and resources you spend in the IT security auditing process, thus helping you meet your deadlines and save money in the process. Based upon industry best practices and expert guidance, our certified auditor-led Audit Assist program is designed to eliminate the risks associated with preparing for external audits by ensuring the proper technical controls and corporate policies are in place.

Supported Regulations: NERC, NIST, DS-484, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), HIPAA, ISO, COBIT, PCI DSS and FISMA.

Next Steps with Secure Vantage

To learn more about how Secure Vantage can help your enterprise with its it security auditing process, please contact the UK Secure Vantage Partner AK Computer Services.

Acceptable Use Policy

If you are monitoring employee activity, typically this is monitoring web traffic patterns and sometimes email content, then in the UK at least, you are legally obligated to notify people that you are doing this.

Web Traffic Filtering and Monitoring – Acceptable Use Policy

Some businesses monitor their employees use of the Internet, whilst they are at work. Most businesses will have an Acceptable Use Policy – AUP, (An example of an Acceptable Use Policy is available from Business Link). These policies will normally form part of your Company Handbook and as such are something that your employees agree to when they recieve their copy of the policy.

Other businesses simply filter web traffic, to remove offensive sites or to block Social Networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo etc.  In this case the business are not monitoring who is attempting to access the sites they are simply blocking access. Others will allow access to Social Networking sites during lunch times or for a number of hours a week. Either way you should know what the policy of the company is and whether they are monitoring your activity.

Email Traffic – Monitoring

If your business monitors the content of email traffic, perhaps as part of a Data Leak Prevention (DLP)  Policy then you need to notify the people you are sending email to that you are monitoring the email traffic. This notification normally forms part of the email disclaimer  that business put in the footer of their email. If you are monitoring the content of email you also need to inform your employees. This doesnt mean that you are reading their emails you might have a profanity checker, or application checking for Credit-Card numbers etc. 

Acceptable Use Policy

If you don’t have an Acceptable Use Policy – AUP, for Internet access then I suggest that you contact HR Management Support for a discussion.

Why create an email archive?

There are a variety of different reasons why your business should have an email archive. These include:-

  • Legal Compliance
  • Performance improvement
  • Protection of Your Intellectual Property
  • Business Continuity

In general all of the above come down to getting a copy of your email into a secure location as quickly as possible after it is received, or sent.

Options for creating your email archive

There are different ways that your email archive can be created. These either involve you:

  • Installing email archive software on a server in your office
  • Using a hosted email archive provider

Local Email Archive

A local email archive will generally involve having an additional server, somewhere in the infrastructure. This server host the archive to ensure that data cannot be ‘lost’ by people deleting emails.

Your local archive should be on a separate server to your email server, ideally it should also be in a separate physical location.  So for Small Business this isn’t a realistic option, the capital expense of a second server just to hold your archive would not normally be acceptable.

Hosted Email Archive

I would recommend that you use a hosted email archive. A hosted archive is a very cost effective solution as, most of the email archive providers, don’t require any upfront investment. You will get a highly performant email archive, you don’t need to worry about having to backup the email archive, you also don’t have to worry about scalability.

There are lots of options for  Hosted email archive companies, but don’t forget that you are entrusting them with your information so don’t just choose the cheapest. The 2 options I would recommend are:-

If you want information about either of these please contact me via the SystemAssure website. Both Webroot and Microsoft offer free trials of their archive solutions and we can help you set these up and evaluate the best email archive product for your business.