Working with an executive assistant requires a certain level of data and information sharing for the relationship to be successful and worthwhile to you. This level of access goes beyond calendar visibility and email sharing—you will likely need to provide your assistant with personal account passwords, credit card information, and even financial documents. Not only will this require establishing a certain level of trust with your assistant to facilitate this sharing, but you will also want to have security and privacy practices in place to ensure your information is safe.
Our team at Double kept security and privacy top of mind when structuring our hiring process for sourcing executive assistants, as well as designing our app that empowers their work.
Here are the steps we take at Double to ensure safe information sharing, security, and privacy for our executives and their doubles. While these practices are specific to working with our assistants, they can be easily adapted for individuals navigating a new assistant relationship on their own.
We are dedicated to selecting the most professional executive assistants who understand the seriousness of trust and integrity in relation to their work. In addition to assessing these qualities throughout our interview process, verified background checks are a requirement for every double we hire. We use a thorough background checking platform called Checkr to safely verify identity and confirm the individual’s employment history. Background checks for new employees is considered a recruiting best practice—in addition to traditional references. While people can generate false references, a background check from a third-party like Checkr can be verified.
Once we have verified a person's history, it is critical to ensure that the information shared with your executive assistant remains private. Every double we hire signs an NDA before they are matched with an executive. The NDA covers all data they receive from third-parties while working with Double. This measure protects not only us, but any and all information our executives share with our Double assistants while working with us, regardless of which executives they're working with or who provides the information to them.
If you are hiring an assistant full-time through your company, make sure the NDA you have in place for your employees and/or contractors is appropriate for your assistant. For example, you may want to draft an additional NDA for an executive assistant who will be supporting you with personal tasks outside of company work.
Password managers are incredibly important for your security and for your double to be able to do their work effectively. Assistants need access to your personal accounts to complete tasks like submitting expense reports, reviewing LinkedIn messages and invitations, booking flights or hotels, and more. Rather than painstakingly share individual log-in information directly with your assistant that could live-on in your shared email or chat history, we encourage using password managers such as 1Password. The data saved in 1Password (and most password managers) is encrypted, adding another layer of security.
As part of your own onboarding to Double, we either ask you to add your double to your existing password manager, or we guide you through creating a free and secure 1Password vault through Double that is shared between you and your new assistant (all of our doubles are trained on 1Password!). This ensures all shared, sensitive information—from company login details to personal bank information—is protected.
Once you’ve matched with and have met your Double assistant, we recommend that you interact with one another through our Double mobile app, desktop app, or Chrome extension. The data passed through these communication tools are always encrypted—both at rest and in transit.
We also request that you connect your Google Calendar to our technology so that your double can safely manage your calendar and access your contacts, as these are the most common and time-consuming tasks delegated to our assistants. It’s important to note, however, that we only have access to calendar events and contact information—our team does not have access to emails and we do not replicate any information on our servers.
We realize that trust between an executive and their assistant is not only interpersonal, but also relies on the use of shared, safe, and secure technology. Having assurance in the security of your personal information is key to allowing you to delegate effectively and focus on your priorities. Whether you’re working with Double or hiring a full-time assistant yourself, addressing security and privacy upfront is a crucial first step for a successful relationship with an executive assistant.