My favorite thing to do outside is to ski in the backcountry.
It’s exhilarating and requires both physical and mental strength and awareness.
Last week we skied 3 steep lines of fresh powder.

Part of skiing in the backcountry is managing risk.
– What if someone gets hurt?
– What if this slope avalanches?
– What is a safe stopping zone?
– What are emergency numbers to call?
– What are conditions like?

There’s a lot of risk management in skiing in the backcountry.

There’s risk management with OFS too.

One of the biggest fears of outsourcing to an online Filipino specialist is security.

How can you protect your data and your customers’ data when working with an OFS?

Can you trust them? How sure are you that they’re not going to steal your information?

What if something goes wrong? What can you do to make sure your business is protected?

I have a bunch of tips I think can help you.

Cultural Factors

  1. Filipinos are honest, for the most part, especially with foreigners. Once they get a job, they want to keep that job. They know stealing from you will get them fired, and it’s just not worth the risk.
  2. Personal data isn’t that valuable for them. In the Philippines, it’s not easy to sell data.
  3. In the Philippines, they respect authority. Theft is a serious crime with severe penalties.  The Philippine government has made cybercrime laws stricter to encourage more online businesses to come to the country. Theft of digital information carries double the punishment compared to common theft.

Sharing Tips

  1. Sharing Passwords – The best thing we have found to protect you is to use password managers like LastPass. You store your passwords in a password manager, allowing you to share passwords with your OFS. So your OFS can log in to the accounts they’re working on, but they can’t see or edit your passwords. If you need to let your OFS go, or they don’t need that account anymore, you can easily revoke access to that password.
  2. Sharing Data and Files- Google Drive allows you to manage permissions to specific files. You control who can see, comment, or edit your files. In Google sheets, you can even lock specific cells. Like with password managers, you can revoke access whenever you want.

Security While Working

  1. Make sure that the person you’re hiring has their own computer. Any information you’re sharing stays on their device, and it’s not going through public Wi-Fi. Even if your OFS sometimes works in an internet cafe or a coffee shop (if their internet at home is slow), you want them using their device and not a shared computer. The more people share a computer; it’s more likely someone else will have access to your stuff.
  2. If they are using a shared computer (with family), ask them to create their own separate computer user login with a password so no family member can accidentally access their work. Many families sharing a single computer do not bother creating multiple user profiles, so having them do this can help.
  3. Are Filipinos more likely to be hacked? Generally no. Security and privacy there are the same as in most places globally. Most Filipinos don’t access unsecured websites, so they’re not at greater risk of being hacked. But if you want to be sure, you can subscribe to a VPN and have them use it. It only costs $2-3 a month. It’ll encrypt everything and help them access geo-locked websites and content.
  4. If you don’t want to send sensitive data and want everything to stay on your computer, you can set up a remote desktop. Your OFS goes online to log in to your remote desktop, and they work on your computer. It’s almost like having them work in your office. There are problems with this setup, though. The work is going to be slower because of lag and connectivity issues. And if you have several OFS, you’ll need to provide computers for each of them because you can’t have two people working on the same computer.
  5. Using virtual card numbers. Having your OFS make payments for you is one of the things I know many people want to delegate but are afraid to do. Sharing your credit card information is scary. But you don’t have to worry about it if you’re using virtual card numbers. Capital One has this feature where you can create virtual card numbers, control their use, and set spending limits. If your OFS tries to use or uses it without your permission, you can revoke access.

The last thing I want to say about this (this is totally my opinion) is that I think that you’re more likely to have data stolen by someone in the US, somebody in your office who can access your computer, than by someone in the Philippines. It’s not in their culture. There’s no incentive for it. The cost of getting caught is too high. It’s just not worth the risk for them.

I hope these tips have helped you feel more secure about hiring an OFS. In my experience and the experience of thousands of business owners, Filipino workers are pretty honest. You can trust them.