There is no reason why you as a company should fail to maintain online records. It is certainly not a cakewalk. Infact, it is one of those challenging aspects of a business, that must be conducted with the utmost efficiency for your business to reach new heights. So below, I have rounded up a list of 5 essential record-keeping tips, which will this process a lot easier:
#1 Maintain compliance with your Industry’s record-keeping rules
And if you fail to do that, the day is not far when you have to drain your valuable resources paying painful fines, leave apart the impact of tainted reputation. Thus, it’s your duty to ensure that each and every record-keeping rules of your industry are complied with. Finance-akin companies, government agencies or legal organizations, all industries have a defined set of industry regulations. Read them and ensure that you are not missing out on any detail, or any new update that might cast a negative impact later.
#2 Screenshots and CMS Backups are not your fallbacks
Just because they are readily available and easily stored, doesn’t mean they can replace a regular website archive. There is a list of differences amidst screenshots and CMS backups, and there are too many limitations that you will have to suffer if you fall back on them. In fact, CMS Backups and screenshots were never meant or designed to be an archive system.
Of course with advancements in technology, you get to backup your files and data. But this does not make it a proper archive, a record, which is verifiable and authenticate. Also, what if, you take a screenshot, import it to Photoshop, edit it as you wish, and republish it? Again, what about digital signatures and timestamps? Are they present in a CMS Backup? Is it possible to prosecute them in the court of law? No. Thus, it is always better to pick a reliable archiving solution that will be able to replay your web content as it once was. Know the whole process of web archiving here.
#3 Social media communications need special attention
Who knew social media would play such a vital role in businesses and corporates today? But with time, it has become proved its influential power, so much so that there are some businesses that thrive solely because of social media. Considering the extraordinary reach of social media platforms, you certainly need special solutions to capture your social media communications. You must aim to have comprehensive records for your social media activity.
However, make sure your social media records have the desired authenticity or else, they are completely worthless for compliance audits and litigation. You can even idealize to give public users access to external links to all your archived data, have a legal hold on all your social media data, and even create specific legal folders for easy exports. Make sure you cover all your social media platforms ranging from Facebook and Instagram to even YouTube.
#4 Reckon the significance of capturing Metadata
Your archiving solution might be the best of the lot, but if it fails to capture metadata, it’s all going to be worthless. Thus, whichever archiving solution you pick for the long term, ensure that it captures website and social media metadata. From IP infringement to court cases, metadata plays a crucial role to justify your adherence. Speaking about court cases, metadata is extremely beneficial because of its valuable nature. Infact, for many industries, it is a demand in the given regulations.
#5 Always be ready for audit
Auditors, citizens, and third party collaborators will not come with warnings. One fine day, while you are sipping your evening tea, there can be a knock on your door requesting all your online activity. At that time, you must not delay the process and quickly export your data upon request. The reason why you must always aim to work with a system that makes the process easier and quicker.
Hiring a Professional
You see, record keeping is a legit task, and it will take demand a considerable part of your daily schedule to perform each of the tasks effectively. Thus, it is always better to hire an expert, so that you can invest undiverted attention to your business’s core activities. At once, you might think this to be an additional expense, but once you consider the amount of work that needs to be done and the long-term returns in comparison to the expense, you will start perceiving it more like an investment. It would also help if you consult digital media lawyers before refining the scope and other details of the job. Plus, not only will the tasks be performed more efficiently, you will have peace of mind knowing that all the requisites are being taken care of, no laws are being broken, you are not losing documents, or making any errors in the process.
Website archiving is no more an option for businesses, it’s a necessity. It deserves equal attention like the operations of any other department. These tips will make the process considerably easier, but make sure your website archival tool is the best in the market!