DEAR HARRIETTE: My assistant of two years will be leaving me soon, and I have a concern. She has been completely loyal for the time she has worked with me, and I appreciate that. She also has all of my passwords and other sensitive information because it was part of her job.
I'm wondering if I should change all of the passwords and the locks, etc. I don't have any reason to believe she would do something to harm me or my business, but if she's not working for me anymore, shouldn't I make it so that she doesn't have access to my records? -- Turning the Page, Seattle
DEAR TURNING THE PAGE: Security specialists typically recommend that passwords for email addresses be changed frequently. At some companies it is mandatory to change them every 90 days. For sure, you should change all of your passwords. You also should change your locks.
It's great that you have had a positive relationship with your assistant. Protecting your files and other assets by updating your security measures in no way reflects on her. So shrug off the notion that you are doing anything wrong.
Celebrate your assistant as she leaves you, and take care of your business as any professional should.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter (a senior in high school) was invited to go on spring break with friends from her high school. They are going to Florida. I keep hearing the news reports of wild teenagers getting in trouble at those kinds of things, and I am nervous.
My daughter tends to be very well-behaved, and she talks to me about her friends and her life all the time. But I know peer pressure can be hard to resist. I don't want to tell my daughter "no," but I'm also concerned. How can I make a decision? -- Worried, Washington, D.C.
DEAR WORRIED: I fully understand your concern. Peer pressure is real, and sometimes even the best behaved of the bunch can buckle under it. That said, your daughter is at the age where she is about to be on her own. Hopefully, you have taught her along the way about the importance of making smart decisions.
Sit down with your daughter and talk to her about the upcoming trip. Ask her to tell you what she thinks the activities will be. Ask if she has any concerns about what may happen on the trip. Express your concerns about what you have heard happens at some spring-break activities. Ask her what she thinks she will do if her peers begin to participate in activities that might be dangerous.
Don't grill your daughter; just talk. Tell her you trust her, and remind her that it can be hard to make smart choices when others are doing other things. Remind her that she can always pick up the phone and call you, at any time of day or night, if she needs help.