The translation business has changed massively over the past 20 years or so, thanks to the growth of the internet and social media widening opportunities. Whereas previously your business would have been restricted to local translation needs, thanks to the internet connecting people from all over the world, you now have a huge online client base to access. However, working online does bring its own risks, such as the potential for your website to be hacked and sensitive information like bank account details to be stolen. To help you out, here are some tips for how your translation business can stay safe online.
1. Invest in the right cyber security software
When it comes to securing your translation business online, there are some basic cyber security software that you need to invest in for your work devices and network. Robust anti-virus software, such as McAfee or Kapersky, will prevent, detect, and remove any malware that attempts to infiltrate your device. A VPN (virtual private network) makes your network safer and more private, and as such is an essential tool to have if you do a lot of your work remotely using public Wi-Fi connections in coffee shops. A firewall will prevent unauthorized users from accessing your private network. These are cyber security basics to ensure that your business devices and network remain secure and safe to work on.
2. Invest in a security appliance
Your translation business’s network is at risk of online security threats, such as phishing and malware, especially when accessed by remote users. Translation is a business that has long seen remote working, but this has increased over the past year with people being encouraged to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Watchguard m470 is a device which enables full network security, such as providing firewall and VPN protection, without slowing down the performance. You can carry out your translation work online safe in the knowledge that your data is fully protected, without the frustration of a slow network.
3. Avoid unsecured public Wi-Fi connections
One of the benefits of working as a translator is that it is a transportable business: you are not necessarily tied to an office, instead having the freedom to work wherever you access to a laptop and internet connection. This flexibility, however, does have its drawbacks. Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi connections when doing your translation work in locations such as coffeeshops and public libraries, as your confidential translation data is at more risk of being infiltrated. If you can’t get around not using Wi-Fi for work, make sure that you are using a VPN before accessing any confidential files and emails.
4. Restrict access to sensitive data
Clients have a wide range of translation requirements. You might be asked to translate a tourism brochure, a government document, or a birth certificate, for example. You will be privy to information that is often confidential to the client on either a personal or professional basis, and as such you should ensure that this information is kept private. One way of doing this is to restrict access to the document, allowing only the translators working on it to view it and make changes. Doing this will give you control over confidential documents and help to prevent any confidentiality breaches.
5. Always back up data
Imagine the horror of being near the end of a lengthy translation project, only to lose it. There are many ways your data might be lost, such as the file being stolen by ransomware, corrupted, or simply accidentally deleted. To avoid such catastrophes, ensure that you have multiple copies of every draft of your project saved to an external device like a USB stick or external hard drive. For extra security, ensure that this external device is stored in a secure place with limited access, such as a locked drawer.
6. Create an online security policy for staff and clients
You might have other translators working for you, either full time or on a freelance basis, who live all over the world and are only contactable via email. To ensure that there is consistency in online security checks across your business, it might be useful to create an online security policy for both staff and clients to refer to. This might include such points as not using unsecured networks or unprotected devices to access translation work, restricting access to sensitive documents, and securely sending financial details.
Although there are many potential security risks to working online, the online market place really does provide the best opportunities for a burgeoning translation business: you are connected with clients from all over the world, from government agencies and large businesses to individuals, each with a wide variety of translation needs.