oDesk Screenshots a Security Risk?

Are you using oDesk.com to find outsourcers? If not, you should definitely check it out, I’ve found some WONDERFUL talent there — writers, link builders, programmers, just about any kind of skill you might need to build your business.

One cool feature of the oDesk interface is the ability it gives you to view screenshots of your outsourcers’ desktops, so you can see what they are working on. These screenshots are random, so the worker doesn’t know when their screen’s image will be captured.

This is all well and good, BUT…a word of caution about those screenshots. EVERY person that you hire through oDesk has access to them.

Yes, that’s right, if you give your programmer cpanel access to your money site or root access to your server, and the oDesk system happens to take a screenshot of that email or whatever, EVERYONE on your oDesk team will be able to see it. Even if it’s someone who you hired a long time ago and they did a few hours worth of work for you. To me that’s one of the great things about oDesk – you can build a team of people to call upon as you need them. But unless you terminate the assignment, they still have access to your team room, and all of the screenshots of all the other workers.

I didn’t realize this at first, I thought that only I could see everybody’s screenshots. Not so. Heck, even if they are still working for me, I don’t want everybody I hire to have access to everything.

There is no way to shut this off, all members by default have access to your team room. The only way around it is to create a separate team for each worker. If someone finds a better way, do let me know.

I still think oDesk is a great service, but this feature is a major security flaw IMHO.

Just thought I’d pass this along to you FWIW.