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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How to Move Your Website to SSL

Be in the Know

Many website owners are getting approached by their hosts to move from http to https. What is important to know is that there is an easy way to do this and a hard way.

Here are my tips to easily move from http to https

Typically I will recommend that you buy your SSL certificate through your web host. Although it may be slightly more expensive, when you use your host’s provider your host is eager to help you set up your SSL cert correctly.

I paid $199 for my SSL certificate which is renewable each year through my web host. Once you have purchase the certificate, your host take over the installation on your server. For most clients this is all that needs to be done. Everything should work yet be under the green padlock and your site should start with https.

I do recommend that if you do move to SSL that you have your webmaster review your website files to assure that there are no hard coded in page links within your website referencing http. If there are, you will want them to change them to https.

Also if you are running WordPress in a directory on your site, you will want to update your logins and locations so that your blog and the blog access control panel are now all https.

Last of all do not forget to update the links in Google Ads. Change your site links and ad URLs to https to complete the project.

One tip, I typically recommend moving to https before you do a website redesign. There is nothing worse than having to troubleshoot server issues for https while you are troubleshooting a new site launch. Don’t do these updates at the same time.

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Why You Should Move To HTTPS

HTTPS – Google loves it, but for informational websites, moving to HTTPS adds to your costs. Expect to pay $129 to $229 for a SSL or secure socket layer certificate to be able to have your website use HTTPS in the browser bar.

For me at this time, I am not moving to HTTPS and it is mainly due to the additional cost. I do not have e-commerce on my website and I only use a contact form for prospects, so do not feel that I must have this extra security. But, Google loves the security and encryption that HTTPS affords for websites. At some point in time, the use of HTTPS on your website may be a ranking factor for organic results, but for now, it is not.

E-Commerce Sites MUST be HTTPS

If your website has e-commerce, you take payments or log users into a secure area, you really need to be using HTTPS at this point in time, no exception.

New Websites Should Embrace HTTPS

Any new websites we design are all in HTTPS. At this time I do not feel that existing informational websites should move to HTTPS, but that day may be coming soon.

To find out more about how we can help you, I invite you to visit our website to browse our service offerings and read more content on topics that will help your business grow.

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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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New Website Launch

Our team has been working hard this past week and through the weekend on launching our new website. Our blog already has a new look.

We are rolling out https, a new responsive design, and new content. Although all pages may not be completed yet, we were so excited to change our site that we boosted our time to at least get what we have in place posted.

In addition to the design change, we will be making sweeping changes across all our social media profiles in the weeks to come. We will be changing how we create and post content and the frequency when we do post.

Stay tuned for more site improvements and customer engagements.

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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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