How to Choose the Best Transcription Service Provider to Protect Your Data

How to Choose the Best Transcription Service Provider to Protect Your Data
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


In this digital era, a data breach or personal information leak is a growing concern. A small mistake from your end can cost you and your business a great loss, and all your precious data and sensitive information can fall in the hands of cybercriminals. 

If you are dealing with transcription services and outsourcing tasks, the risk of data security is much higher. Your audio recording might have some sensitive information that can be used against you and your company. So how does one keep the data secured and safe?

Choosing a trusted transcription service  provider can be a daunting task, but at the same time, it will ensure your peace of mind and help safeguard your valuable data in the long run.

Encryption Is the Key

The most vital aspect of data security is website data encryption. A secure online transcription service company will follow the protocols of the right data encryption. Before you zero down on a transcription service provider, look at the URL. If the web address has HTTPS, it is a sign of a secured site –the data exchange between the third party and your browser is encrypted and is completely safe. If the ‘S’ is missing from the HTTP address, remember it is outdated and does not promise security.

Also, consider a service provider that emphasizes on using TLS or SSL encrypted log-in portals. Companies make sure their transcriptionists use the said log-in portals, and the data is stored in an encrypted format to avoid any kind of internal threat or information breach.

Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

Any reliable audio transcription services will provide a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). By signing an NDA contract, the service provider ensures your shared data or information in your audio files will not be shared, disclosed, or discussed with any other third party or person. Transcriptionists working with reputed transcription services companies are obliged to sign an NDA along with other confidential agreements. Several transcription service providers offer NDA on request and are more than willing to help. 

If a service provider breaches the contract, legal action can be taken against the company and its employee. Companies generally don’t charge extra for an NDA feature. If you come across a service provider that refuses to sign or offer an NDA, don’t consider them for work.

Limit Storage Time

All your confidential files – audio, video, or transcripts should have a limited storage time. Once a transcription file is delivered and uploaded and the project is completed – the files should automatically get deleted within a stipulated period. The file will no longer be available to the third party for future tampering or misuse. Never let your guard down.

Do Not Rely on Cheaper Offshore Service

If your transcription service provider is sending your audio files to offshore transcribers, you need to reconsider your options. Several transcription service companies outsource their work and hire freelancers across the globe. There is a high chance of your valuable data being leaked or the danger of cyber theft if the service provider is sharing files to a freelancer located elsewhere. 

Offshore services could make policy implementations and tracking breach cumbersome, as privacy laws can vary from country to country. Instead, go for companies that rely on their own in-house and local transcriptionists. Data security should be your paramount concern; however, the transcription services should also be equally accountable.

Choose a GDPR Compliant Company

A Transcription services company that follows the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can be trusted, and you can be certain your sensitive data is in safe hands. GDPR is a series of strict regulatory rules that every European Union Company has to abide by and follow. If your transcription service provider follows the GDPR compliance policy, it is following the best business practice. The GDPRgives weightage to data protection – it is safe to assume that your data is being dealt with utmost sensitivity and confidentiality.

Dependency on ASR

Trusting ASR (automatic speech recognition) or automated speech-to-text software could cost you. You may want to rely on software-generated transcripts to keep any kind of human intervention at bay, but how reliable are these service providers that are heavily dependent on ASR software? Your recorded audio files are not quite safe with such companies. They can use your confidential audio files to test their product – to check their own software’s performance and accuracy.

Such companies can put your data security at a much higher risk than anticipated. The ASR vendor might be in some other part of the world; you would not be aware where your valuable data is being stored and on which server. So before handing your sensitive data to any transcription service company, your research about the service provider should be thorough.

What Makes a Transcription Service Secure

There are many transcription service companies, and most of them will meet your desired expectations, but it is upon you to choose the best from the bunch. Opt for a local transcriber or a company that relies on their in-house transcriptionist and remember, good service comes at a price.

Make sure you have your GDPR and an NDA in place – this will ensure that your data is secured and is with the right people in the business. Always partner with a company that has a secured site; simply check the URL has HTTPS in the address, and you are good to go. 

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.