How To Protect Your Clients’ Privacy And Data
Managing other people’s social media accounts puts you in a position of ultimate responsibility. Maintaining security online isn’t the most convenient task, yet it’s absolutely necessary. A large number of cyber attacks are a direct result of employee negligence.
While you can get away with ignoring secure practices with your own accounts, doing so with a client’s account have far-reaching consequences. If you fail to keep a client’s login information secure, and the result causes damage to the client, you might get sued.
Security isn’t convenient, but it’s absolutely necessary. The following strategies will help you protect your clients’ privacy, login credentials, and other sensitive data:
Avoid discussing project details in public
Starbucks is a convenient place to set up your office for the day, but there’s no privacy. When you take a call from a client in a coffee shop environment, everyone is going to hear what you’re saying. You don’t know who’s listening to the conversation. There might be a competitor sitting at another table, and if you start discussing trade secrets or strategies to outdo the competition, they’re going to start taking notes.
To protect your clients’ privacy, find a quiet and private place to conduct your conversations. Schedule your calls according to when you have access to a quiet, private place. If you can’t find anywhere to go, sit in your car.
Communicate using encrypted software
Any communications that aren’t encrypted can potentially be hijacked. If you’ve signed an NDA, make sure your internet communications are encrypted. A private investigator from Inmyarea.com suggests using WhatsApp for its end-to-end encrypted voice and text data. The other app suggested is called Signal. This app was approved by the U.S. Congress for securing communications between elected officials and their staff.
Take protecting login credentials seriously
When a client entrusts you with login details, they’re trusting you with their life. Take your duty to protect this information seriously. Don’t share the login credentials you are given with anyone unless you have written permission from your client. If you need to outsource some of the work, find a way to do it without giving away client logins.
Be aware of how and where you log in to a client’s account
To stay on top of security, create a set of rules for how, when, and where you will log in to a client’s account. For example, avoid logging in on public Wi-Fi, and don’t bet on a VPN as the solution. Avoid saving client passwords in your browser, especially if you use Google Chrome. Browser passwords used to be saved to your local machine, but today they’re stored in the cloud. If anyone gains access to your Google account, your clients’ passwords will be compromised.
Avoid device-hopping while working
Commit to using one device rather than keeping active logins on your smartphone and tablet. It’s convenient to work on a client’s project from your smartphone, but it’s unnecessary. Despite the popularity of using mobile devices for everything, you’ll produce better work for your clients by stationing yourself at a desktop or laptop computer and giving the project your full attention on a big screen. Getting into better working habits will eliminate the risk of maintaining active logins hackers can access through your mobile devices.
Check to see if your client’s data has been compromised in a data breach
As a courtesy, use the tools on haveibeenpwned.com to find out if a client’s account has been the victim of a data breach. Be sure to check only email addresses. Although you can search for compromised passwords, never enter any passwords currently in use.
If your client’s email is connected to a data breach, notify them immediately. Let them know it’s crucial to change their passwords and deactivate accounts they no longer use. If their email address doesn’t register a breach, it doesn’t mean they haven’t been part of one that has yet to be made public.
Teach your client good habits
Most clients don’t understand security, so you’ll probably need to explain why you want to discuss their project on WhatsApp rather than Zoom.
Be careful not to sign any contracts that will make you responsible for compromised data if the methods of logging in and communication are out of your control. Do your best to educate your clients about your preferences so they understand it’s all connected to keeping their data secure.