Risks to Company Website During Job Changes

Where to avoid unnecessary time and budget increases when your marketing team changes.

Staffing and hiring is at the top of the list of problems effecting business performance. This includes marketing team members leaving to take new jobs. Especially if that team member was the primary contact for the business website.

This past year Cybervise has seen a lot of turnover in marketing staff. We get involved as the web master resource for many business websites. Often Cybervise represents the one constant in a company marketing team. Because of this, we get the outsiders view of what this disruption does to a company.

Let’s tackle this issue head on. Work with the the assumption that your team will change. But make sure that the website is safe and will transition to the next primary contact.

Core Pieces of Website Security

There are a core set of website logins that make sure your website is live. Your website is at risk if you loose a member of your team that has access to these accounts. Take immediate action to protect these logins when someone leaves. Remember, as soon as an ex-employee can access the internet, they can make changes.

High Security Level accounts include:

  • Domain Registry
  • Website Hosting
  • Content Management or Website Backend (example: WordPress Login)
  • Website Admin Email Address (example: email listed in WordPress Settings)
  • Email address where the “Forgot Password” message gets sent for any of these logins.

At least two people in your company should have logins for these accounts at any given time. Cybervise acts as one of those contacts for many companies in case of staff turnover.

Someone Used Their Personal Email

Many online tools require a gmail address for the user name. If your company uses gmail as your email provider, its not an issue. But for others, staff will need to create gmail accounts on behalf of the company to use these tools. Make sure everyone documents accounts setup on behalf of the company.

Social media accounts also need a personal account to create company profiles. Before you delegate the creation of your company Facebook page or LinkedIn page, think strategically about whose profile the page should be attached to.

Here is a list of logins where personal information could be on company accounts:

  • Website Licenses
  • Advertising
  • Google Business Page
  • Company social media accounts
  • Created multiple Gmail accounts
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console

Anything attached to a Gmail account that you don’t own will take work to regain ownership. Make sure to check the “Recovery Contact Info” on company Google accounts. Many times we find personal cell phones and emails as the security contact. That means when you go to reset the passwords, your ex-team member will get the messages.

A big concern will be license renewals. Staff may have registered 3rd-party software used to run your website. When the renewal comes around, their personal email could get the notices. The risk is you find out you missed a renewal once the website stops working. Again, make sure to document any account setup for the company website.

Other Potential Website Security Issues

Site Content – Did you have a former employee writing content for your website? Do you have a policy that states content written for the company belongs to the company? Believe it or not, ex-employees of our clients have called trying to get copies of all the blogs they did. We had another call requesting deletion of all posts they had written. Make is clear who owns what when they leave. That way your blogs don’t end up on the new employers’ website.

Stock Photos – Can you prove when and where all the photos on your website were purchased? Do you have copies of the receipts? Do you know the login for your stock photo account? Use of stock photos is very regulated. If you don’t have proof that you paid for the use of the photo, you will likely get a letter from a lawyer. Add this account to the list of priority logins kept with your website info. I would suggest creating a policy that defines the use of stock photos and how to license them. Document everything.

Website Forms – Do you have forms on your website that collect user information? Who gets the notices when a user completes a form? What email address do they go to? If someone leaves, how do you change this? Two risks here. Missing website leads because no current staff is getting the emails. Sending leads to an ex-employee now working for a competitor. Staff use mulitple emails in the form settings, including a personal email, to help test web forms. Make sure to update these settings as soon as someone leaves.

Related Accounts

They won’t take down the company website. These accounts often share responsibility with the website contact. They also could contain important client or sales data that you will want to protect.

  • Email Lists or Email Marketing Tools (example – Constant Contact)
  • Sales Data or CRM system (example – Salesforce)
  • Shared Drives (example – Dropbox)

Marketing Team Turnover – Potential Costs to your Business Website.

Our November Broadcast of our series “Website Peak Performance” addressed Marketing team turnover. We discussed 3 major issues: Security and Ownership, Training Investment and Maintaining Your Brand.

To learn more, listen to our November Broadcast.  Marketing Team Turnover. 

Don’t forget to check out our next Website Peak Performance Broadcast. We have a new topic each month.