Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA)

December 31, 2022 is When Virginia's Privacy Law Takes Effect.

Second in the nation behind California to enact online privacy regulation, Virginia’s new law takes effect on January 1, 2023.

Similar to the law in California that is again similar in itself to the more stringent privacy regulations in the European Union, Virginia has new privacy rules now too.

What does this mean for US and Virginia-based businesses and those selling in Virginia?

First and foremost, if you do not have cookie notifications on your website, now is the time to implement this scripting. There are many online services that provide the scripts to meet the European Unions’ strict rules and can be used to meet both California and Virginia’s regulations. We use cookie-script.com for our privacy adherence needs.

For Virginia businesses and those that do business in Virginia, here’s what you need to know about this recently passed act.

First you must be in compliance by January 1, 2023.

“Virginia’s legislation has a carve-out for information collected in the employment context, whereas California’s law applies to some employment data.” Read the full article.

The CDPA applies to the following business types:

• Those that control or process the personal data of at least 100,000 consumers.

• Those that process the personal data of at least 25,000 consumers and derive more than 50 percent of their gross revenue from selling personal data.

Make sure to check this article for a number of exemptions. Virginia has made its law less stringent than California’s privacy law, but make sure you know what is covered and not covered.

What Are Your Rights in this New Law?

“Virginia’s law was modeled after California’s laws and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation. Virginia’s law provides expansive consumer privacy rights, such as the right to access, right of rectification, right to delete, right to opt out, right of portability and right against automatic decision-making. The act includes a broad definition of “personal information,” a “sensitive data” category, and data-protection assessment requirements for businesses that control the data.”

“Consumers don’t have the right to bring a private lawsuit for violations of the act. Instead, the Virginia attorney general’s office will enforce the law. Entities will have the opportunity to cure violations or face a fine of $7,500 per violation.” Read more.

Most people expect other states to follow with restrictions similar to Virginia’s or California’s.

Our Recommendation

With privacy being in the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, it is time to look at adding a privacy statement and cookie setting acknowledgement script on your website.

When the EU rolled out it’s privacy regulation several years ago, many businesses opted to not update their site for cookie approval as they felt they were exempt (erroneously) by not selling services or products in the European Union. Now with expansion of similar regulations to California and Virginia, it is time to implement technology to be in compliance this year and at the minimum by December 31, 2022.

 

 

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Introducing Our New Website

The New McCord Web Services Website.
The New McCord Web Services Website.

We’ve launched our new website last week and invite you to take a look at https://www.mccordweb.com.

Created using a new responsive framework from Project Seven, our new site is made for speed. We have utilized a number of different page layouts using the Zeitgeist page pack.

Our new site features a return to our original colors from years past of a blue-green, gray, and black and we have moved to https.

We have revamped our content, streamlined our services, and introduced new offerings.

As part of our change, we will be changing up our marketing mix.

  • Our newsletter will disappear in October.
  • Our blog postings will move from twice a week to monthly.
  • Our blog posting will be longer, more thoughtful articles.
  • Our social media will focus on LinkedIn engagement.

You will start to see these changes over the next month as we work out pre-scheduled content.

We look forward to many more years serving our clients.

Visit the site now.

 

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We Do Recommend Using Chat Apps on Your Website

What to Know About Chat Apps
What to Know About Chat Apps

Seems simple, just install code and you’ve got a chat app. But not so fast. I am finding out from personal experience that not all chat apps are alike.

I started out with Drift and still have that chat app on my website. What I found as I used the app was it slowed my website to a crawl for load time. I think much of this is the code is installed in the head tag as instructions state, but may be better installed before the ending body tag </body>.

What is happening on my site is the page is taking so long to load and the navigation does not operate until the chat app function appears – I consider this very bad. Drift must have made a code change to the asynchronous code recently as the page load time was not an issue before but started about two weeks ago.  As a result I have been actively looking for a website chat app replacement.

I have tried three Tawk.toMyLiveChat, and now Pure Chat. I am using Pure Chat on my website right now and so far I do like the free version. What I consider important for a website chat app are the following:

  1. Easy to install
  2. Able to configure colors
  3. Has a rock solid mobile app
  4. Does not impact page load speed

So far Tawk.To and My Live Chat  were too complicated for my needs and cumbersome to use.  Pure Chat has easy set up and I do like the mobile app which is simple to use.

I invite you to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay up-to-date on things that can help your website performance.

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Contact Form Solutions

What to Do With a Contact Form?
What to Do With a Contact Form?

Occasionally we have a client who is using a low-end web host or who is self-hosting and does not have a cgi-bin or scripting enabled in order for us to install a contact form processing script. Sometimes this has lead to expensive programming charges. We do not offer programming and so we have to contract out this portion of a project adding to expenses.

We have found a service that will process the script for you on their servers and so far it looks like a clean and elegant solution to a thorny problem for some clients. You will want to click our post title to review the site MyContactForm.com. With a premium account for $24.99 per year, now any client can have a professional seamless contact form installed on their site without complex programming initiatives. I think that it is a very smart solution.

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How to Rebut a Negative Review

Do You Worry About What to Do About a Negative Review?
Do You Worry About What to Do About a Negative Review?

This is the struggle for businesses and it is real – get a bad online review and how do you deal with it and move beyond it.

First, you should not ignore a bad online review. That does not mean that you have to respond to each and every one, but you definitely want to think about your strategy and what to do if and when you get one.

Consider the following…

1. Review the legitimacy. Should you change something you are doing?

2. Decide if you should respond. Not every comment about your business deserves and needs a response.

3. If you do respond, don’t respond in anger. Craft your response and sit on it for several days, read and re-read your response. Make sure you are not venting.

4. If you know who left the review, try to fix the problem and then ask for an update to the review they have posted.

Negative reviews can be very damaging to your business but sometimes your own response can make it even worse. You should be regularly monitoring your business reputation online and looking at what others are saying about you. Especially as Google and Bing are now highlighting reviews that they find around the web and meshing them with location specific results in the Knowledge Graph side bar on their search pages in the four pack of location specific businesses.

For help on what to do with a negative review, ask for a short paid consultation.

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Why Reviews Matter

Yes I love to take pics of my food for reviews.
Yes, I love to take pics of my food for reviews.

As a Google Local Guide, I review every place I visit and every place I eat. With over 300 reviews and photos uploaded to Google, I am just one of many who are helping Google index local businesses, build reviews and improve the accuracy of Google Maps.

Google does not pay me for these services, but I do receive special Google branded products and other perks for being a Google Local Guide.

Here’s what I’ve found out as I travel my local area.

  1. Reviews really do matter.
  2. People actually look at the photos I post for about a business.
  3. Negative reviews mean I probably won’t visit.
  4. I am constantly evaluating my store or restaurant experience.
  5. If I receive poor service, I will write about it.
  6. Even for lower end restaurants food presentation is important.
  7. People actually read what I post about a business.
  8. I do not tell business owners I am reviewing them.
  9. I myself select who I trade with based on online reviews.
  10. Reviews are more important than a nice website.

The bottom-line is that you are on display and being rated with every phone call, every visit, every plate that is served. You may have the best website, but if your visitors do not receive the royal treatment when they call or visit, you’ll set yourself up for a negative review. Get several and they can damage your business and sales!

To get savvy help in writing rebuttals to negative reviews, contact us today.

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