InCharge Debt Solutions, and Orlando based non-profit credit counseling agency, just put out a press release that brags about how their telecommuting program benefits the environment.
It even included a neat little infographic which you can see below.
“Improving our employees’ quality of life and job satisfaction were enough for me,” said Ms. Money from InCharge. “Reaping the additional benefits of productivity gains, lowered operational costs, and a reduced carbon footprint are extras. We were able to do this without any impact on delivering quality services to our clients.”
“Technology and communications advances mean that team members don’t have to be physically present in the office,” said Soraia de Araujo, InCharge’s Vice President of Operations. “That’s particularly true for many counselors who interact by telephone, online or in chat mode with our clients. They can provide high quality, confidential counseling from their home office. With quality of life greatly improved, they can concentrate on helping our clients get out of debt.” – Source
But What About Consumer Security?
While InCharge is proud of the operational and environmental savings achieved by this work-from-home effort it leaves me wondering what security measures they have in place to protect consumers that call them and their personal information.
People that deal with credit counseling agencies share personal and confidential information with the credit counseling agency they speak with. This information can include social security numbers, identification information, and credit account numbers.
The one item not addressed in the InCharge press release is what protection exist for consumers when over 60 percent of the InCharge staff is working from home and out of the direct supervision of InCharge management.
How is caller information protected? Is key information written down on pieces of paper and then tossed in the employees kitchen trash? How would InCharge even know? Is client personal information shared with others? Does InCharge provide shred bins and a visiting shed service to protect client information? What processes exist to make sure not just anyone can see the home workers screen?
I completely understand the benefits of telecommuting and working from home but are there some occupations that we would rather they not? Like how about your banks customer service. Would you feel comfortable knowing that over 60 percent of a banks employees had access to your personal account information and worked unsupervised from their home?
Are you comfortable with debt relief employees having unsupervised access to your information? If you are not, what suggestions would you have for the protection of confidential client information in an unsupervised environment?
Posts your suggestions below in the comments.