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Global outsourcing is a relatively new thing in the business world – especially with small and medium businesses. This kind of outsourcing – namely hiring VA’s – can prove to be extremely useful and helpful. You could save yourself a lot of time and money this way.
However, there are – as with many new things – certain doubts and problems that may occur. Questions like how safe your data is and if the VA can harm your business in any way often arise. But, if you take the time to develop systems to protect yourself – and your business – there should be no problems.
Here is a list of the things that you could do to make sure that you can maintain your privacy and be secure while still working virtually:
- Obtain an anti-virus program for your computer
This is one of the most obvious points and you should already have this type of program on your computer. Invest in a good and reliable software and let your VA use it too. It’s not just people that you have to protect your business from, but also malware, viruses and Trojans. A good anti-virus can make your business much safer.
There are many free options out there, but using paid versions is recommended because they offer more protection.
- Limit the access of your VA
This is definitely something you should do. Many people make the mistake of giving their own account information to a VA, giving them full access to the data at hand. However, what they should do instead is create a separate account for them with their own password and of course – limited access.
“Also, only give them access to the absolutely necessary information – something they can’t work without. There is no need for you to give them all of your data if it’s not something that they will use. Don’t allow them to be the administrator of your programs or sites but instead give them ‘editor’ or ‘moderator’ roles”, – explains Casey Owen, a Virtual Assistants Manager at Ukwritings.
- Don’t give out financial information
Most VA’s don’t really need your financial information. You should keep your bank accounts, credit cards and various related passwords protected. If your VA needs to access your software for bookkeeping reasons, you can create them an account which will limit their access to the financial information that they would need to commit a fraud.
Also, if you need to give them your financial information, make sure that the institution has strict controls on expenditure and purchases in foreign countries. This will help you make sure that you are protected.
- Limit their knowledge
Your VA should be on a need-to-know basis. If there is no need to share sensitive business information, create a separate file where you and your VA can share the information related to their tasks. In case that they need to work on a confidential file, make sure that they are ‘un-invited’ once the task is done.
- Back Up your data
Create back-ups for your data and keep all of your back-ups safe from external manipulation. As a business owner, you should already have systems for this in place because it’s a great way to be safe. A virtual assistant should really not have any business with your back-ups and there is no reason, therefore, to grant them access.
- Clear communication
Once you hire a VA, make sure that you have a thorough conversation with them. Let them know what your rules are and what you require. Create an NDA if necessary. Tell them that they shouldn’t be careless with your information and take steps to protect it from misuse.
- Use your administrator privileges
Most systems allow you to set the level of access a virtual assistant can have. They also allow you to see a log of the times they have accessed the system and how they used it. This information and rights that you have can give you enough control over what your VA does”
Any business could benefit from hiring virtual assistants but hey should also be careful and remain safe. Before you hire anyone, check their credentials and history and follow these tips to protect your business from any harm.