As a translator, you’ll come across documents from all sorts of sources, from big businesses to universities to governments. This means that in your line of work, you are likely to come across a lot of confidential and sensitive information, which your clients will expect you to keep private.
It’s vital that these documents are kept secure, as any information being leaked will not only make you look unprofessional, it could cause chaos for your clients.
Here’s how you can keep documents secure when you are doing translation work.
Ensure documents are sent to you securely
Firstly, it’s important that your clients can get documents sent to you securely. If you’re a freelance translator, you may use a Gmail account or similar free service, however, this doesn’t always provide the best level of security. You should do some research into the most secure email providers, and use one that offers end-to-end encryption where possible, so even the email provider won’t be able to read your message.
Some other ways of receiving files securely include:
- Using a secure cloud server like this
- Via Signal, WhatsApp, or another encrypted messenger
- Using Dropbox or similar applications that allow for file sharing
Make sure your home network is secure
Translators often work from home, which means they often have to access these sensitive documents using their home WiFi. The trouble is, these networks aren’t always very secure, so you need to improve your internet security at home.
Firstly, you should focus on protecting your work laptop or computer, ensuring it is safe from viruses, ransomware, and blocking websites that may try to steal your personal details. You should also:
- Make sure you have strong passwords for your router and all devices
- Be careful when clicking links – if you get a warning, don’t proceed
- Consider using a different laptop for work, as you’ll do less web browsing, so the risk is lower
- Be careful when taking your laptop anywhere, and never leave files on a USB stick, as this is easy to lose
Put a password on your files
An easy way to stop people gaining access to files is to put an individual password on them. You can password protect Microsoft Word files, as well as other types of documents, then send them to the recipient. You could then send the password separately via a secure messenger, so it’s harder to intercept. While this isn’t one of the highest levels of security, it is often enough to stop prying eyes.
Be careful with physical copies
When you are doing translation work, you may like to print out copies of documents and mark them up by hand. However, it’s worth remembering that paper copies are not secure, so you need to take extra security measures.
Once you’re done making notes, be sure to shred these documents and dispose of them securely. If you need to take hard copies to a client, make sure you keep them close to you, as important documents could be stolen from cars or left on public transport.
If you need to send documents, don’t just stick them in the post. Use a secure courier, as they can then be tracked, and you can be sure they are in safe hands. This will also ensure they don’t end up in the wrong hands.
Storage is also important. If you need to store important documents at home, get a safe or lockable filing cabinet, preferably one that can withstand damage such as fire or natural disasters.
Ensure documents are backed up
All documents should be backed up, without exception. Find a cloud service that focuses on security, so that you can feel confident about storing your files securely. The free services aren’t usually very secure, so you may need to pay a small subscription fee for peace of mind.
One of the interesting things about being a translator is that you work with many types of content that the general public doesn’t see. However, confidentiality is key in this business, so you need to focus on information security.
From preventing viruses to using encrypted emails, there are many precautions you can take in order to avoid a leak of sensitive information, which could cost you your reputation or even valuable work with clients.
As a realiable professional translation service, BeTranslated always makes sure your documents are secure and translated by skilled linguists. The range of languages we work with is vast, so if you need someone to translate your French, Japanese or Turkish documents, look no further. Get in touch today for more information or for a free, no-obligation quote.