Learning Center

Who Holds the Keys to Your Online Presence?

Your company may have an established online presence, from your website to your email campaigns to your visibility on social networking sites, but who controls these accounts? Who might have control of them in the future? If you’re not careful with your online accounts, it may not be you.

Domain Names

Your domain name (your “www” address) is a property that is renewed (typically) every year, with the domain Registrant listed as the owner of the domain. The domain name Registrant needs to be permanently associated with your company. If your design firm is taking care of the registration themselves, be sure to specify to them who should be named as Registrant, and what contact information should be associated with the domain. This should be the name of an individual within your organization and long-term contact information for your company.

You should also put in place a succession plan in the case that the individual listed as Registrant leaves your company. Your domain registration should always remain within the hands of your organization.

Facebook Pages

Facebook Pages are run by “admins.” The initial creator of the Page is automatically made an admin, who can then designate other administrator. In the relatively recent past, Facebook has created a tiered administration system so that other Facebook users can be added as a “content creator,” which can do everything an admin can except delete the page; “moderator,” and so on. Assign administrative roles wisely!

Because of the nature of these pages, it is important to always have multiple individuals in your company listed as admins. If an admin leaves your company, you should be sure to remove their admin status from the page. Likewise, if you have a third party taking part in the running of your Facebook Page, you should never have them as the sole administrator and should remove their capabilities from the page if you part ways.

There is no way to have Facebook restore administrative powers to your company once you lose control of your Page, even if you can prove that you own the company it’s promoting. This makes it vital that you do not allow such a situation to occur.

Twitter, YouTube, etc.

Services such as Twitter and YouTube are run from a single username and password. If you have multiple people updating your company’s profiles on these sites, they will all be sharing the same password. However, even if you only have a single person updating your profiles, you should have multiple people within your business who know the login information. If one person who knew the password leaves the organization, you should be sure to change the password and inform those who are still with your company.

If a password is lost, forgotten or changed without your knowledge, it is possible to reset the password using the email address that is used when registering for the websites. To ensure you will be able to reset the password if needed, you should use a generic company email address (for example, if your company has an “info@” email address) that is not specific to an individual.

It’s important to maintain ownership of and access to everything your company puts online. If all of your online accounts are in the hands of a single employee or a third party company, there is an ongoing risk that when that employee leaves, or when you disassociate with the third party, that you will lose access to your accounts. Or even worse – an unhappy former employee could use their ownership of your online accounts against you.

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