Julia, my OFCS (Online Filipino Content Specialist):

As I was checking John’s emails for him, I see a lot of questions like:

“How can you trust your VA with personal information?”
“How can you trust your VA with financial information?”
“How can you trust your VA with your client information?”

As someone who has access to all three, I want to give you my perspective on it, as John’s assistant. I want to explain why there’s this level of trust between us. Why I don’t feel the need to take all that information and use it for nefarious purposes.

Mostly I think it’s because I’m a good person. I don’t do it because I know it’s bad. And karma is real.

John trusts us, his VAs, because we both had to work on that trust on both sides. In my case, he didn’t give me access to everything when I first started out. I was hired as a writer. So what I had access to was limited to what I needed to get the job done. As John gave me more responsibilities, he gave me more access. I had to prove myself to be trustworthy to get that trust. And maintaining that trust (where I get to keep my job with benefits, bonuses and yearly raise) is worth so more than a one time big payday and the loss of my reputation.

And speaking of karma, when we do get reports of Filipinos scamming clients, they’re banned not just on Onlinejobs.ph. They’ll be banned everywhere. What most people don’t know is that we Filipino workers talk to each other. A Filipino worker who scams will get banned in our communities and smaller platforms. 

We don’t want these people because they hurt our reputation. We Filipinos have worked so hard over the decades to be known for more than doing domestic work. We’ve worked so hard over the years to be treated with respect. So these scammers, they might get away with it once. But we’re watching… 

Now that you’ve seen their perspective, here’s what I’ve seen over the years.

Generally, the Philippines is a very compliant culture. 

They’re obedient.
The law is serious to them.
They don’t want to commit a crime.
Punishment is serious in the Philippines.

They’re also very proud of being from the Philippines.  Their reputation is important.  When they find someone harming their reputation, they’re not happy about it.

My opinion:
You’re more likely to have data security problems with someone in your office than you are with your OFS.