Online security is a hot topic in today’s society. Almost everything we do is online, from sending documents to sharing our children’s photos. It can be dangerous because it can be stolen and used for all sorts of criminal activity. As translators, we need to send documents to our clients, this is how we conduct our business, but we must be aware of what we can and cannot, or should not send online and what information about ourselves should we provide.
I am always very cautious about what I share online. As translators, we need to share lots of information to show clients who we are, our credentials and services we provide. I am aware of that and when I set my professional profile, I always choose very carefully what I put in there. I want my clients to know who I am and what I do, but I don’t want my privacy invaded or my identity stolen. I provide enough information for my clients to know about me and my services, but I don’t provide personal or financial information that can be stolen. I don’t provide my address or bank account, these can be stolen. I don’t share photos of my NAATI stamp or my CV either. My clients can verify my credentials in the directories of the associations I’m affiliated with and if they require my CV, it can be provided upon request.
I never send digital copies of certified translations I do. These documents have my NAATI stamp and signature, that can be copied to steal my identity. Some clients may ask for the translation to be sent via email, but I cannot do that for security reasons. Also, a certified translation is an official document, it has a stamp and a signature of the person that certifies its authenticity, if that document is to be presented to an authority as a part of an application, the authority would certainly ask for the original.
For this service, I usually post the document via Australia Post Express or DHL, for international clients. Before COVID-19, if a client lived close to my office they could come and pick up their documents, so they wouldn’t pay the postage fee. It was great because I would have the opportunity of meeting my clients face to face. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this option is no longer available.
Unfortunately, lots of translators have their identity stolen by criminals who copy their CVs and pose as those translators. Therefore, we need to be very cautious and only provide the information needed to conduct our business safely.