A Federal Lawsuit was not thrown out this week by a judge in San Jose, California that alleges Google violates Federal wiretapping laws in its processing of Google Mail (Gmail). The lawsuit alleges both Gmail users and non-users who sent mail to Gmail users did not consent to the processing procedures Google uses for advertising and profiling purposes. Google processes email for all of its Gmail users which requires some level of review and scanning in order to provide the service, but the issue is whether Gmail goes further than basic scanning for processing purposes and if so whether the users and non-users consented to the techniques. When an email is sent from one user to another there is information in the email such as the To field which must be scanned and processed in order the email to reach the correct destination. This level of scanning is standard on… Read more!
Dropbox was conceived and created by Drew Houston while he was a student at MIT as a better way to store and access documents. For students the need to keep up with and share documents is imperative in today's academic environment. Students are able to collaborate and avoid the traditional issues with papers and research such as versioning. However, as students are graduating and moving into the work force they are taking the skills they learned in school with them. One of these skills is how to implement Dropbox and while the implementation and use is simple the more difficult question is whether a particular industry should be using Dropbox. Professional practices including accountants, lawyers and doctors have third party regulatory issues they must comply with when implementing a practice management system to safeguard client information. For doctors the standards are set by HIPAA, for accountants the AICPA and for… Read more!
e-vos was recently a presenter at the Dorchester County CLE for technology. The topics presented were email security and search engine optimization for law firms. Lawyers in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkley counties all face similar issues. Email security is becoming increasingly difficult to manage and understand because cloud vendors are replacing in house exchange servers for many firms. Lawyers need to keep up with the end user license agreements and if they practice personal injury or other areas of law that involve protected health information they need to be aware of HIPAA HITECH and the regulatory requirements it has in place. In particular a business needs a signed business associate agreement or BAA. Microsoft's online Exchange offers law firms an affordable means for accomplishing compliance. The most important aspects about search engine optimization for law firms in Charleston, SC are to make sure the law firm correctly targets an audience… Read more!
Sales commissions are often a difficult thing to balance and manage for any startup company. The sales people want their commissions yesterday and the business is afraid if they do not pay the sales commissions immediately the sales people will stop working. However, a business needs to understand the process of generating revenue, entering deposits, reconciling books, calculating commissions, transferring funds if necessary, and finally paying the sales people their commission. A business generates revenue from clients and looks to pay sales people a commission for bringing that business to the company. In a perfect world money would be paid by the customer and the sales commission would be immediately deposited into the sales person’s bank account. However, the reality of the situation is that money does not typically enter a company on a single day. Revenues typically trickle in over a 30 day… Read more!
Credit card processing has become a vital tool for many small businesses. The ability to swipe a credit card and accept payment on site allows businesses to improve their bookkeeping and owners to avoid the headaches and time commitment associated with collections. The collections process is often the most difficult and tedious process for business owners and professional services because often clients do not have the funds available or the work has already been performed. Credit card processing can streamline collections, but for the legal industry a different issue arises when trust accounts are involved. This is based upon South Carolina rules so please consult your local jurisdiction’s rules before considering whether or not to accept credit cards. In South Carolina the Bar association is clear that funds which are to be held in trust must be deposited directly into the IOLTA account, and… Read more!
It seems that every professional practice is now looking at cloud based solutions for their next IT expenditure, but many practice owners do not know where to begin when researching their choices. Professional practices have more scrutiny than other businesses because third party regulators provide additional oversight of their actions. For instance attorneys are scrutinized by the American Bar Association (ABA), accountants must comply with Sarbanes Oxley security standards, and doctors must remain compliant with HIPAA. The additional regulation provided by these agencies can often carry severe consequences for non-compliance in the form of fines, reprimands, or suspension of licenses to practice. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an IT system that is 100% secure. Clouds will be broken into, computers will be stolen and phones will be lost. However, despite the risks the benefits far outweigh the threats which will cause in-house servers… Read more!