Arabic translation confidentiality and data security

Culture & Politics


What do you get when you take a busy translation manager, an urgent document (standing in the way of happy hour), and cross it with an email list of contract translators?

…a recipe for confidentiality disaster.

We’ve been in the translation business long enough to witness firsthand some of the horrifyingly common security breaches that go on. And we’ve been on the receiving end of some sensitive documents unthinkingly blasted out to an email list of un-vetted names in cyberspace by translation managers at some well-known translation agencies…

We know how vital data security is to your business, so we’ve put together four common-sense guidelines that will help your translations stay more secure:

1. EARLY Communication: While most people intellectually understand the importance of security, these concerns often take the back seat in a deadline crunch.

In other words, the best time to discuss translation security procedures is not at 3 am when you’ve just finished the final draft of that proposal that needs to get translated for your meeting tomorrow.

When working with a new translator or agency, you should discuss security measures at the start of work, and away from deadline pressure.

2. Signed Confidentiality Policies written in PLAIN ENGLISH: Some translation firms have a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement, but you’d be surprised how many translation agencies or freelance translator shops do not have formal procedures on confidentiality.

Laxity in this area tends to lead to some of the most common security breaches in the industry – outsourcing to 3rd party translators who are not properly vetted.

Industry Arabic strictly forbids this practice, and every new translator joining our network is tested, interviewed, reference checked, and signs our agreements on confidentiality, non-outsourcing, and data protection before they ever see any client material.

Our agreement also requires translators to not work on their translations on public computers and to delete all client material after project completion.

3. Use a Dedicated, Encrypted Email for the Most Sensitive Files: Google’s introduction of standard HTTPS encryption for Gmail has made the platform much more secure. But oftentimes a user’s Gmail or another email account can be the easy subject of a hacking attack if the user re-uses the same password on other less secure websites.

For your most sensitive files, Industry Arabic uses temporary accounts at Hushmail, a secure, encrypted webmail platform, to minimize the possibility of any unauthorized access or interception.

4. Don’t Forget Mobile Security: With the widespread adoption of Blackberry, iPhones, and other smartphones, the loss of a device can mean the loss of an entire lifetime’s worth of email data.

For this reason, Industry Arabic requires all our translators and staff to equip their smartphones and laptops with password protection to prevent unauthorized access.

No security procedures are completely foolproof, but we believe taking these simple, common-sense measures can dramatically improve document safety.

Finally, if you’re ready to begin or discuss a translation project, follow this link to get your free time and cost quote.

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