How to Maintain Privacy and Security When Working Virtually

Anne Lackey

There’s no doubt that a business can benefit greatly from a Virtual Employee (VE) because of the convenience it provides, no more hours in front of the computer responding to emails, filtering junk mails, organizing calendar, answer phones, updating social media and other tasks. It's imperative that you also consider that your VE is working on the other side of the world and your information is exposed to the Internet.

One of the reasons a business owner might be hesitant to utilize the help of a virtual employee is the risk of compromising the security of the business, customer data, or any intellectual property. It’s completely straightforward. Businesses should include the security of their data as high on the priority list.

Whether you hire locally or you hire a VA you always need to do your homework on the candidates. This can largely be done for you with the help of a VA agency for background checks and police clearances which can be obtained through an agency based in the country that the VA works in such as the Philippines.

If you’re working alone take note of the following advice.

Here are some tips you can may consider to ensure your company’s security while endlessly enjoy the benefits of a virtual employee.

1. Limit their Access
Grant access to your Virtual Employees only if they absolutely can’t work without it, then give them access with a new username and password where possible, retaining the principle master access yourself. This should keep your data secure and access is regulated.

2. Provide clear instructions regarding confidential business information and trade secrets
Make sure that you inform your VE of the repercussions of leaking information or using the intellectual properties of your business if used inappropriately.

3. Make use of non-disclosures
You need to share information with your Virtual Employees just as you would with locally hired staff, so utilize the use of a well-constructed non-disclosure contract.

4. Keep all data backup secure
Unless you have a good and rational reason a virtual employee must have access to your back up, as much as possible keep your backups locally & ensure that they are usable. You don’t want to test it when you already may have a breach.

5. Obtain Anti-Virus or any necessary protection for your computer (and your VEs)
Invest in reliable anti-virus software and also do the same with your virtual employee. Tasks working with a virtual employee are exposed to the Internet. You need to protect your business information not only to a person but also to malware, virus, and Trojans that can cripple your operation and might cost you a lot. There are several free programs out there, but we highly recommend paid versions to enhance the functionality like automatic updating or monitoring.

The last thing you want to deal with is a security issue that can be exhausting. Consider these precautions with your virtual employee and you can relax with the knowledge in mind that tasks are handled with care.

At HireSmartVirtualEmployees.com we provide our clients with the option to purchase a Global Policy & Procedure Manual which clearly defines the various policies and procedures and the VE acknowledges the policy and understands the rules. This is a huge advantage as it clearly defines the rules, responsibilities, and consequences for everyone involved.

Most importantly, hire a virtual employee that you feel you can trust. There are many ways to determine the trustworthiness of a VE. Contact us if you have any questions about our services and how we can help you in your next staff hire.

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