How to Keep Business Users Safe on the Internet
What Are the Dangers for Business Users on the Internet?
Everyone who uses the Internet faces potential dangers. Workers who
use the Internet from their office are presented with some of the same
threats everyone faces: hackers, malware, identity theft and even
stalkers. But the risks go up from there. They are not just exposing
their own home computer, but are exposing their business computer,
networks and servers to threats from the Internet bandits.
Mis-use of your employer's Internet connection could lead to job
dismissal -- or worse. Sharing copyrighted files is illegal, and many
businesses have Acceptable Use Policies for their computers and the
Internet. Misuse of company computers could lead to a security
compromise which could lead to criminal charges being brought against
What Criminal or Civil Penalties Could an Employer Face and
Due to the
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and HIPAA
Regulations, theft of information from a business can lead to
hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, and 10 years in jail for
the business' senior management. In this case a victim, the business
whose computers were compromised, gets severely punished.
Congress passed the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act in 1998. This Act imposes substantial penalties for
businesses whose systems are used to transfer copyrighted works --
even without the business' knowledge. In order to be immune from
potential prosecution, all businesses with Internet connections must:
- Designate an agent to receive statutory notices from copyright
owners about infringements
- Register with the Copyright Office
- Post the agent's name and address on the service provider's web
site (if they have a web site)
- Adopt and reasonably implement a policy of terminating the
accounts of subscribers who are repeat offenders
- Accommodate measures adopted by copyright owners to identify or
protect copyrighted works.
A copyright owner can, under this act, seek civil damages, costs, and
attorney's fees against a business whose equipment is used to
distribute their work. Violation can also results in criminal
prosecution. Courts may impose a fine of up to $500,00 and a prison
sentence of up to five years for a first offense. For subsequent
convictions, the fines can reach $1 Million, and the prison sentence
can reach a full 10 years.