Safe and Secure
Working from the comfort of my own home as a virtual typist is amazing, but I am always conscious of security.
In an ever pervasive world where all we do can be tracked, there are important considerations for those who deal with remote work which may be of a confidential nature.
Here are my top tips…
Make sure your computer screen cannot be read by people coming into your home (eg: tradespeople, utilities’ readers). Treat work with the utmost confidentiality.
Once work is complete and has been returned to the client, use an online File Shredder rather than merely deleting your work (there are perfectly adequate free versions).
Get yourself a Data Protection Certificate (www.ico.org.uk and currently costing £35 a year) – you will need one if you are dealing with details of a personal nature, for example, name, address, dates of birth, passport numbers, etc.
Delete emails once sent – then make sure they are permanently deleted.
Ensure that a piece of outsourced typing is returned to the correct client if you are working on several items in the same day. It’s not only embarrassing to hit the wrong ‘send’ (perhaps because computers insert previous recipients’ emails), but also a breach of confidentiality.
Paper files – I don’t like to have these in the house if I am out or not working on them. Keep them out of sight and return them to the client as soon as possible once the work is complete.
Paperless office… there’s no such thing. I always use a paper shredder which cuts several ways and burn the bits in an incinerator (this not only reduces waste, but ensures it’s destroyed).
You will need relevant insurance, depending on what type of service you are providing. I’ve found Hiscox good but there are plenty to consider.
A little bit of common sense means you are running a safe and secure virtual office assistant business. And that equals peace of mind for me – and my clients.