Social Media Disasters
As an entrepreneur with a growing business, I rely on social media as a venue for potential clients to know, like, and trust me.
My social media content allows people who need my expertise and services to find me. I’ve been posting legal tips, thoughts, and motivations for small business owners consistently and regularly for quite awhile now; and am proud of the content I have created and shared; and the business owners I’ve helped.
Yesterday, all that content suddenly disappeared from LinkedIn.
Each and every post – poof they were all gone.
Where all my posts had previously displayed, LinkedIn now said “Randi’s Been Quiet Lately, check back for any new updates.”
Seriously? How did this happen? Panic and overwhelm took over my mind. Yes, I know my thoughts created these feelings; but for the moment, the thoughts and feelings controlled. These feelings froze me into inaction. Well, just for a short while.
I eventually settled down and appeased my anxiety with the knowledge that everything I had posted was backed up and available on other platforms. I could and would recreate the content on LinkedIn if I needed to.
Next Steps After the Panic
First step of course consisted of understanding the cause of this content loss and how to hopefully fix it from happening again in the future. For hours the clue hid itself from me. Then, suddenly, the posts came back. Phew….
By the way, later that day I read a notice on my Hootsuite account that Hootsuite and LinkedIn were having an issue; and the two companies would fix it. So herein was the root cause. I schedule all my social media posting on Hootsuite. Apparently, I wasn’t alone. Eventually, later that day, my content came back fully restored.
Coincidentally, the very next morning, one of my mentors Karen Yankovich, experienced a complete cut off from posting on Facebook for 24 hours right in the middle of a Linked Profile Challenge she was hosting. Karen handled the situation so perfectly by seamlessly moving the Challenge activities from Facebook to LinkedIn for the day.
Great recovery Karen!
Data and Content Backup Provides Recovery From Operational Disasters
These two incidents in a two day period reminded me how important it is as a business owner to have backups of everything we do to protect from potential “operational disasters.”
What do I mean by operational disasters?
Firstly, we rely on so many software applications and platforms such as social media networks. As in the two situations I just described, we depend on those networks to keep our data and content available to our clients; and we have no control over whether they do or not.
Secondly, business data and content may be inadvertently deleted or corrupted. It could be a user who hits the wrong button, a system or application upgrade, a server defect, or a system fraud/virus/hack. You get the picture.
Legal Responsibilities of Data and Content Backup
Routine backups of your documents and content are essential for your practice and clients’ privacy. It is important to implement backup best practices to ensure that your business is properly protected if something causes a data loss.
Compliance Legal Obligations
Dependent upon your business operations as well as your jurisdiction, governmental backup requirements may be applicable.
For example, many state governments require you to keep employee records for a specified period of time. Many states require a business to establish policies and procedures to ensure that electronic records and their documentation are retained and accessible as long as needed.
As another example, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires a full backup schedule of the entire healthcare infrastructure containing patient data as well as any electronic protected health information (ePHI).
As another example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that the entity that stores sensitive data of European Union (EU) citizens, must ensure that it has data encryption procedures and the ability to restore the access to them in case of hacker attacks or technical failures.
Business Legal Obligations
Most contracts and agreements include data backup requirements, especially service-related agreements. At the time you execute such agreements, the thought of data loss is probably low on the priority list. However, as soon as you sign the agreement, you have a legal obligation.
Be safe, not sorry: be prepared.
With the potential for a legal dispute in the future, your business may also be obligated to preserve information potentially relevant to litigation, investigations or other disputes, as well as take steps to ensure that data maintains its evidentiary integrity.
Creativity Legal Protections
You work hard to build your business, differentiating yourself in the market through your creativity and innovation.
Backup of your creations provides the proof of concept date of an invention, the first use of a trademark or copyright, and/or the ownership of intellectual property in general. It would be disastrous if you lost that first entry, that first dated drawing, your logo files.
For your own peace of mind and legal protection, backup your creativity and innovation today.
The morale of this story:
If you have a system for data and content backup in place, brush it off and reconfirm compliance. If you don’t have a backup system in place, do so sooner than later.
Are you and/or your business Florida based? If so and you need help with your business back-up policy, we’re here for you. Contact us here.
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