A few weeks after I had been working with a new client, and he had given various secure information, we were chatting on the phone and he jokingly said “and please don’t steal my credit card” well after I had already been given access to it.
Trust seems to be an afterthought with many people. I think you just get so busy, and you’re so glad to have someone to help you that you just start throwing out instructions and information and you don’t stop to think about the information that you’re sharing with your freelancer.
Depending on the type of work you are doling out, it is quite possible that you will be sharing usernames, passwords, credit card info and more with your virtual help. Before you do, there are a couple of things you can request of your freelancer. The first is easy – ask them to submit to a background check.
Background checks are a good idea. They don’t cost much, and that can save you a lot. Don’t feel ashamed to ask for one. You’re trying to protect yourself and your business. And if you want the background check and the freelancer balks at the idea – walk away.
The second thing you can do is have your freelancer tell you about her home office setup. If she’s using Wi-Fi, is it secure? How is critical information stored on her computer? If paperwork is printed off, is it being shredded?
Trust between you and your freelancer will come gradually. You’ll begin to understand each other, how you work, how you communicate. But before that happens, use a few preventative measures to protect your information.
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.