It was reported last year on a CBS News website that there are more Americans worried about their data privacy than about losing their income. 56 percent of the people are concerned about their privacy and trust the companies they deal with will keep their data from falling into the wrong hands.
With the recent security breaches of large companies including Equifax, individuals are worried that their names, addresses, social security numbers and a host of other bits of information will be stolen and used in identity theft. It has unfortunately become a common concern among individuals, but how aware is your company of privacy breaches?
Your company may have policies in place regarding email communication and social media, but what about your documentation safety? You assume that the companies you work with will treat your files with the same amount of care and online security that you use, but what assurances do you have?
This issue came to the forefront in the translation industry with a massive security breach of documents used through a free online translation service. Potentially confidential information related to company communication, contracts and products were posted in good faith by employees seeking free and quick translation, which, unbeknownst to them, exposed their content unprotected on the internet. When using free translation tools, you might find that the text you have entered becomes available on the internet for anyone to access. A Norwegian company that used a free translation service discovered that some sensitive information was available to anyone who used Google. In response, many companies took action, including the Oslo Stock Exchange, which blocked all free online translation providers in their company, including Google Translate. (See this article.)
This incident raised an issue to many minds – what steps are being taken to ensure my company’s online documentation safety?
There are four important general considerations when transferring your documentation online. Of course, if your documentation is subject to government or ITAR considerations, the level of care should be higher.
Rather than blindly trusting protocols are in place, ask your translation provider for their policies regarding client documentation. As it may be noticed through recent headlines, there are those who seek to infiltrate even the most secure systems. Therefore, due diligence is required. Checking that even basic requirements are met will help ensure safer documentation handling and lessen the risks of content breach.