They say the sense of independence and security is very sweet. I’d say it is more than sweet, it is indispensible for emotional, financial and social well-being of any person. No wonder intrusive pop-up windows in your browser offering actionable security advice or stories on online, data, network, corporate, communications and other types of security are already part of Internet culture. It is great to feel protected but definitely not needlessly overprotected. Why not? Just because you start missing out on opportunities. That is the case with virtual assistant services.
It is not hard to see why these services are gaining ground while security issues claimed to arise from contracting a virtual administrative assistant seem to be totally groundless.
Make sure you are not lulled into a false sense of security with the following common myths about work with a virtual personal assistant:
• anyone regardless of their moral code can post an ad offering virtual assistant services which is suspicious; • virtual employees work remotely so they cannot be held accountable; • virtual assistant has access to my documents and private information; • remote task manager works from offsite computers and devices making it impossible to keep an eye out for info that is stored on a remote unsecured computer.
SECURITY MYTHS DEBUNKED
With virtual assistant services from Ukraine, from Europe or any other country outside USA there are of course risks as there are risks with any other endeavour you attempt. Even in our daily routine activities we face risks. How about living with risk!
It is true we take risks the moment we get out of our beds, walk to the kitchen to have our breakfast or walk down the stairs on our way to work. More, do we drink coffee for breakfast but chances are it’ll provoke attention deficit disorder. Tea? It might give me a heart disease in the long run since both contain caffeine. And it goes on and on.
You say “Huh, these are mostly the things I can control!”. Sure, you can as well as you have full control over virtual assistant security issues.
Just be sure you haven’t thrown caution to the wind but taken seriously:
1. Where you contract your virtual assistant
By tweeting about a virtual personal assistant position or posting a job offer on freelance platforms you get the bargain but it is doubtful that you are on the winning end of the deal. You get to deal with unvetted virtual assistants who haven’t undergone rigorous screening. Among those who tweet and populate Upwork, Freelancer, Craiglist, Guru, PeopleperHour are even people just out of primary education. This definitely poses the virtual assistant security risks.
Consider contracting VA companies. They usually subject their candidates to a background check, a thorough hiring process, care about professional background of their employees. Once both quality and price tag matter to you, try applying for virtual assistant services from Ukraine or, to be on the safe side, a company with an office in the location you do business in.
2. Who you contract
Once you’ve contracted a virtual assistant agency you may rest assured that your task manager has been carefully vetted by an employer. Though, to put your mind at rest schedule an interview, look through a list of references and decide for yourself whether a person will make a trustworthy virtual administrative assistant.
3. Whether VA works from the office or from home
A company office is usually equipped with surveillance camera and more advanced secure IT as opposed to personal unsecured computer an employee uses at home.
4. What you sign
Choose one more protective measure aimed at secure virtual assistance and sign non-disclosure agreement (NDA) restricting use and dissemination of confidential information by your virtual assistant. Since this legal agreement enforces penalty claimed from your virtual assistant’s employer, you get another warranty that your task manager is kept under necessary scrutiny.
5. What access you provide
Customise user access to protect your information, grant restricted access only to necessary information by delegating specific roles (editor,curator). You may choose to create new file solely for tasks you and your assistant collaborate on. Once the work is completed, change access. It is wise to set up unique login and password for your assistant so that you could follow their tracks on your website, in your file storage, social media accounts and different projects.
6. What tools you use to protect your information
A backbone of secure virtual assistance is formed from monitoring tools that prevent “cut and paste”, screenshots, ensure print control and web filtering (InterGuard, FileOpen, Websense Data Endpoint). There are plenty of other tools averting data interception like LastOass or Keepass that protect passwords or ContentGuard that nip in the bud all attempts of third parties to open the document that might have been forwarded to them.
Follow these security tips, choose carefully your company, and your work with virtual personal assistant will secure you reduced workload, business growth, productivity instead of overheads, late delivery and lost opportunities.