Most producers want their products to be launched in total secrecy and think that entrusting unreleased product to beta testers is always accompanied by a threat. However there are some simple tips which can help you to increase beta test security.
Tip #1 Do not enlarge upon your test!
Gaining confidence that you have already recruited enough testers try to limit the number of people knowing the fact that you conduct beta test.
Tip #2 Begin with confidentiality obligations.
When you first announce of your test give the testers who want to apply a clear understanding of your requirements of confidentiality. This will somehow save you from curious press members and competitors.
Tip #3 Be selective.
The candidates for the tester position should be selected as thoroughly as possible. Offer them to pass the application process and provide the key information about them. This will help you to detect threat in time.
Tip #4 Limit the size of your test team.
It’s obvious that the more people work over your project the more likely you will witness the information disclosure. So try to keep your team as small as possible.
Tip #5 Always insist on a non-disclosure agreement.
Having a confidentiality agreement is the best step you can take to ensure secrecy. Everyone has fears of legal issues. Giving the impression of well-funded and large company most of your enemies will think before encroaching on your information.
Tip #6 Use plain English in your non-disclosure agreement.
It’s necessary that every tester can read and get a clear understanding of the NDA. Use all possible ways to make the tester read the agreement and try to explain the main point of an agreement as easy as possible.
Tip #7 Attach Secrecy Messages.
It’s also significant to remind of secrecy constantly while communicating with your testers for example sending reminding mails periodically or marking beta documents with the inscriptions “confidential”.
Tip #8 Set the expiration date on your beta software.
Beta software should have the expiry date. Though it does not limit the risk of hacking by technically advanced pirate organizations it will still reduce the risk of casual piracy.
Tip #9 Emphasize Beta Status.
Necessarily mark your beta product to make it obvious that it is an unreleased one. When it comes to software it can have big red messages announcing that it is a beta release which will appear on title bar or loading screen. In the case of leak this will make it obvious for users that they deal with an incomplete product.
Tip #10 Allow the testers to share experience with each other.
Today every professional feels the need to share his experience which totally opposes beta confidential nature. There is an option to create an independent forum intended at your testers only. Thus you will simultaneously encourage secure, engage your testers and improve the quality of your product.
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