A virtual PA is there to make your life easier, but it can be concerning when it comes to sharing personal information such as addresses, login details to critical information and financial information. Deciding to do these on your own could mean adding admin onto your list of tasks – this takes away from one of the reasons you may have chosen to get a virtual assistant in the first place. It is better to identify the best ways to share this sensitive information rather than taking on the additional work.
1. Develop clear security policies
Your virtual PA is possibly your first outsourced employee, so the security and privacy policies are not as easily enforceable as your in-office staff. As a general practice, the ideal VA should already know the importance of keeping crucial information private. To outline your expectations and to ensure that they’re met, develop a policy that is tailored specifically for virtual assistants. What you should include here are things like what would happen if sensitive information is breached, the methods of electronic communication, what may be recorded, and what your virtual PA may share regarding your business.
2. Use information sharing software for passwords
Software such as Lastpass is great for sharing login information safely. This is also a great tool for you to manage passwords to your multiple accounts such as social media platforms and logins for cloud accounts. Storing login credentials this way allows for quick access for both you and your virtual PA, and should they leave, access can be revoked. A feature that is beneficial to your password privacy is that you may choose to whether you want your virtual assistant to see it or not. Choosing to hide the password does not affect their ability to log in.
3. Get a prepaid card
Just as a safety measure, it is best to have bank account that is separate from your business account. Handing over primary bank details has serious security implications, especially if the account will be accessed continuously. Your virtual PA’s access to any finances can be limited and controlled by you continuously topping up with the amount you require.
4. Have your virtual PA sign an NDA
A non-disclosure agreement protects both you and your VA legally should you ever expose sensitive information pertaining to your business and other operations, including client information and contact details. If your assistant shares the information that has been protected by the NDA, you have legal recourse.
5. Grant limited access to your accounts
You don’t have to give details to access the admin accounts that contain information you want to keep hidden. Rather create a separate account with permissions only relevant to the work your VA will be doing. Should they leave, you won’t have to recreate new passwords – just terminate the separate account. What you can also do here is assign access that restricts what they can do on your account. There are some platforms that allow you to see who has made any changes to your accounts. When they leave, you can revoke the access rights they had rather than recreating new login information.
6. Know who you’re hiring personally
When choosing your virtual PA, trustworthiness should be one of the factors contributing to your final decision. If you are hiring someone with experience, check the legitimacy of their work with their references. Above that, check their performance, their overall background and how reliable they are. Not being able to trust your virtual PA with personal information will only make the work unpleasant for you because you’ll constantly be on edge. As time goes by, you can learn to trust your VA so that you can start supplying more security permissions to them.
7. Use a reputable VA company
Hiring a reputable virtual assistant could be challenging so it is advisable to use a VA company such as AVirtual. There is a pool of experienced VAs to choose from and they understand the importance of keeping sensitive information confidential. Most VA companies have their own security measures when it comes to privacy policies.