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How to Keep Your Customer Data Secure When Working With Independent Contractors and Remote Employees

Many businesses and entrepreneurs have started hiring independent contractors and freelancers for various projects, and it isn’t hard to see why. They offer an organization flexibility and a wider employment pool. However, the most significant challenge of this relationship is client security and internal safety. In this article, we’ll help you navigate both issues successfully.

Have a Written Policy That Includes Training

Although we all live in an Internet world, not everyone will have the necessary cybersecurity skills that ensure your and your employees’ safety online. Since security is key for remote businesses, implementing an inclusive security policy is a good first step. Provide adequate training that follows your policies so your employees are aware of the threats. Finally, implement tools, like two-factor authentication, into their user accounts and profiles.

Implement Secure Mobile File Access

Adding a mobile secure server for your remote workforce will give employees access to required documents without sacrificing security. With secure mobile access and file sharing, disaster prevention, and recovery, you won’t experience slow down or usability issues when transferring over systems. On top of that, their good usability minimizes training, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time coaching your mobile employees on how to add passwords or maintain compliance. 

Trust Your Employees, but Ask Them to Sign an NDA

Culture is important in any organization, and a healthy corporate culture is built on a foundation of trust. Creating an environment that helps your employees feel empowered and trusted can minimize the chance of an inside data breach. At the same time, you should still get your employees to sign an NDA that outlines your stringent security policies. Without an NDA, your remote workers may use unauthorized sources for transferring data, which hurts your clients.

Use Strong Passwords That Can’t be Deciphered

Coaching your team members on what constitutes a strong password is a tried and true method for removing the possibility of a data breach. Weak passphrases will use common words, easy to identify words (for people who know you), and are short and easy to decipher. Make sure you never write your passwords down or reuse them on other websites. If you have a bad memory, use a password manager to store your passcodes securely from your web browser.

Ensure Bidirectional Encryption

While this option may not be accessible to all if you can develop an IT system that ensures data bidirectionality and communication encryption, do it as soon as possible. On the other hand, you could develop a web platform that’s completely secure and accessible to all of your employees. This web platform could also track results associated with remote work and their productivity throughout the day to ensure that their work-from-home environment is the ideal work setup.

Help Employees Secure All Devices

Many of your remote employees will feel that their data is secured, even when it isn’t. A network is only as secure as its most vulnerable device, so even if one employee uses an unsecured Wi-Fi connection, it could cause a ripple effect across the company. For true security, offer your independent contracts the necessary tools to secure all their devices. They also need to be engaged in monitoring and managing the vulnerability of their computers through updates.

Offer a Professional CRM Tool

Define where your customer data is being stored by offering a professional customer relationship management software that securely encrypts all of their data. Get rid of easy-to-hack platforms like Dropbox or Office immediately. Ensure that everyone working remotely has a working Internet connection, so they don’t have to store data locally. Train and support your employees while they learn about your process while they’re with your company.

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