Tips for RIAs: Why and how to separate your work and personal accounts

Tips for RIAs: Why and how to separate your work and personal accounts

As a registered investment advisor (RIA) or financial advisor, you understand better than anyone how important it is to safeguard your clients’ data. And when you’re working remotely, it’s critical to take extra steps to secure that information — especially on personal devices.

Although it may be convenient for you and your staff to use your own laptops, tablets, or smartphones for work, there are several compelling reasons why you should consider setting up distinct work and personal accounts on your devices.

With separate accounts for work and personal activities on a device, it’s as easy as signing in to the device using the account you need at that time. If you’re logging into a tablet for work, you use your office credentials. And if you later want to watch Netflix or check your personal email from that tablet, you log out of your office account and in to your personal account.  

Why should you have separate work and personal accounts?

At RIA WorkSpace we believe that there are three main reasons to use separate logins for work and personal accounts: security, productivity, and balance.

Security is always the top priority when handling client data. By keeping your work and personal accounts separate, it’s easier to manage and secure business information. For example, you can implement more stringent security measures, like multifactor authentication (MFA) and remote device management on your work account without worrying about impacting your personal data or preferences.

In terms of productivity, having a dedicated account for work can help you avoid distractions and stay focused on the task at hand. When everything related to your job is in one place, it’s easier to stay organized and keep track of deadlines.

Finally, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance between work and life, especially when you’re working from home. By keeping your personal and professional accounts separate, you can create clear boundaries between your work and personal time. Not only will this help you avoid burnout, but it will also prevent important work tasks from spilling over into your personal life.

How can you separate your work and personal Microsoft accounts?

If you’re using your own device for work and your personal account is already synced with Microsoft services like OneDrive and Office 365, don’t worry. We can help you set up a new, dedicated account for work without losing any of your personal data.

Take note, that simply logging in to a Microsoft work account on your personal device isn’t enough to protect your company’s data. This is especially true if you’re using a shared device, like a family computer or tablet. The way RIA WorkSpace sets things up creates an experience on your personal device that mimics using an office PC. 

There are two ways we make sure RIAs maintain a high level of security when using their personal devices for work:

  1. We recommend implementing security controls with additional protections on personal devices so RIAs can simply log in to their Office portal like they’re used to. For example, you can set up or require controls that prevent any files, folders, or emails from being downloaded or synced to a personal device.
  1. We configure personal devices so RIAs can securely access the company portal. This is an advanced setup that requires our IT team to remotely access and set up devices, ensuring these devices have all the apps and updates necessary to make them compliant. We then apply security policies to the devices, and when RIAs need to use the device for work, they simply have to log in using their work credentials. And when they want to use the device for personal use, they can easily log out and log back in using their personal credentials.

In both cases, app protection policies play a critical role in securing company data. These policies prevent sensitive information from being synced to the device’s local storage, which means it can’t be compromised if the device is lost or stolen.

Using company-owned devices is still the best practice

While it’s possible for you and your staff to set up separate work and personal accounts on your own devices, we still highly encourage using company-owned devices for work. Not only does this help to keep business data more secure, but it also ensures that your devices are configured and optimized for work tasks.

For instance, you can remotely install work applications on company-owned devices and manage security settings centrally. This guarantees that your devices have the most recent security patches and application updates. What’s more, it’s easier to enforce company policies on company-owned devices, like requiring the use of MFA or setting up device restrictions.

If you’re looking for more guidance on setting up remote or hybrid workstations for your advisors and staff, our team at RIA WorkSpace can help. We specialize in providing solutions for RIAs and financial advisors, from managed IT services to cloud computing and security. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.