Useful Cybersecurity Tips for Virtual Assistants

The internet is a dangerous place. Every year, billions of dollars are stolen from businesses and private individuals by cybercriminals. If you work as a virtual assistant, then it’s your responsibility to protect your employers from theft. If you do not, then you could be held responsible for any leaks or thefts, and then punished or even fired.

However, preventing cybercrime can be very difficult. If you have not got experience in crime prevention, then this post has you covered. This article will break down and explain exactly how you can protect your employers from fraud.

Digital Storage

If your employers are still using physical storage devices, then now’s the time to make the shift to the cloud. Studies have shown that cloud storage is much more secure than physical storage devices. One of the main reasons cloud storage is so secure is that as long as you back up files, it’s impossible to lose them. Your account cannot be hacked, either. Most cloud providers require customers to set up two-factor authentication, which prevents account hacks from happening. If you have two-factor authentication enabled when you try to log into your account, a one-time code will be sent to an approved device of your choosing, and you will have to enter it. If you are unable to come up with the code, your account will be temporarily locked.

Strong Passwords

Even if you have two-factor authentication enabled on your cloud accounts, you still need to have strong passwords. A weak password puts your entire organization at risk of fraud. If your employers do not have strong passwords, then you need to explain their importance to them. You can use passcode generators to create secure, unique passwords. The only downside to using passcode generators is that the passwords generated tend to be too long to remember. This means that if you share a device or account with more than one person, they will all need to have it written down, which again, increases the risk of fraud.

Authorized Access

Only ever allow authorized individuals onto your company’s work devices or cloud accounts. Studies show that the vast majority of thefts and fraud occur from within companies. If you work in a large business, then employees should be given access only when they can be trusted. The best way to determine whether or not an employee can be trusted is by examining how long they have worked for the company, and whether or not they have ever been flagged up for suspicious behavior. If you think somebody should not be given access to sensitive information, explain this to your manager.

File Sharing

File sharing is something that’s very common online today. Businesses regularly collaborate and share files via email and cloud links. While sharing files online is safe for the most part, it’s a good idea to take steps to protect your company when you are sharing files. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by adding passwords to your file-sharing links. By password-protecting them, you stop unauthorized or intended recipients from being able to open them and see what’s being shared. Taking precautions when sharing files will stop fraud or thefts from occurring. It’ll also prevent your business’s data from getting leaked.

Sensitive Emails

If you send emails to people with important information, then you need to send them in a confidential mode. Most email providers have a confidential mode. Usually, confidential mode means an email can only be accessed with a specific password (and expires at a certain time). If the email you have sent in confidential mode is not opened within a fixed period, it will be automatically deleted. If the email is not deleted by the recipient by the expiration date, then again, the email will be automatically deleted, wiped from their mailbox, and removed from the internet for good.

Customer Financials

Finally, make sure that you delete customer financial information when you are sent it. Most regulatory bodies recommend against keeping your customer’s financial information stored online (or even offline). If any leaks were to occur, your company would be held liable. While as an employee it would not necessarily affect you directly, you could still lose your job, or the business you work for could be forced to close. If your customer information is leaked, every single customer whose information has been leaked would be legally entitled to compensation.

As a virtual assistant, it is your responsibility to keep your employer safe online. You can do that by taking the steps listed here in this post. Cybercrime is becoming extremely common, so if you do not take steps to protect them, they could be targeted, and you could be blamed.

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