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Security to ensure your personal and business information is secure from contractors

I have never used oDesk and am considering using the resource to help build my e-commerce website. It is a foreign idea to me to give someone I can not meet access to all of our information. Are there any security measures take by oDesk to ensure the safety of this information from the few contractors that might not be safe?

Vote Result

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Score: 10.0, Votes: 1
NoI know it's hard to judge

No
I know it's hard to judge something in an unfamiliar field but I wouldn't give any sensitive info to anyone if not extremely needed, definitely not somebody you would hire just for a small task.
Personally I do work with sensitive info all the time but I usually decline to have access to something when I see a lot of people have access to it.
So keeping your exposure to the minimum is crucial - the more people have access to something the more honest (and not so honest) mistakes can happen.

Also, as you are new to oDesk, don't be as trustful as you would if you go to your local website building studio. It is much easier to cheat people over the internet with much less consequences.

edit:
Another thing I would look for is a contractor who has more to lose than to gain if they defraud you in any way (have their oDesk account suspended).

No

There is nothing oDesk does, it is totally up to you to be smart. You might want to hire someone locally for this or look for some one at least in your area if you go the oDesk route.
Also you definitely do not want to give the keys to the kingdom to anyone no matter where they are located.

Security

Stupid question on my part...what is oDesk good for if you are not able to allow someone to build or edit your website? In order to do any of that you need to "give the keys to the kingdom" to do any work?!?

Development server

Two words....development server.
Setup a development server and you move the finished product over yourself after testing. Hiring a remote worker is a lot of supervision work.
If you are not technical then really, do not hire someone on oDesk unless they are in the same country and maybe the same state as you for legal reasons.
Hopefully after a little while you will get to trust the person you hire.
I am a programmer and have even visited one of my client's site's for training. I speak on the phone or Skype regularly with all my clients. So you can find people on oDesk but you really must exercise caution, common sense and good business skills.

Yep to all your comments. I

Yep to all your comments.

I find using my own server for design and rewrites of someone elses site to be a whole lot easier than having to log into theirs.

Developement tools I have on mine are a whole lot better.
And I have full control over it to see what actually went wrong.

If by chance I make a mistake.

I have made only one mistake in my life and that was think I had made a mistake. Smile

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Where there is a will, I want to be in it.

If I were building a website

If I were building a website for my business, I would not go the oDesk route. I would hire a U.S. based contractor near where I lived. Recently, I worked on a marketing project where the client hired a number of people from all over the world to develop their website, write content and do a number of social media work for their company. The results were horrible. The website looked like crap (and still does), the content was poor and inaccurate and the social media work terrible. Before, I cancelled my end of the contract, I recommended to the Owner of the company that the site be taken offline and the entire thing be redone from scratch as nothing was usable.

Often the problem is that clients are looking to get work done cheap and get unqualified contractors here.

You have to look after your

You have to look after your own interests. For web work this means:

1) A full backup of the sites/databases -if applicable- before work starts. This gives you a restore point if things go wrong.
2) Give the contractor only needed access
3) Change all passwords after the work is done