Beginner Freelance Security 101
You’ve made it to the other side! Congratulations on becoming a freelancer. You’re now your own boss, working for yourself and not someone else. Now you can be as productive or unproductive as you want to be during business hours (or whatever time of day you choose).
However, on the other hand, with all this freedom comes a great risk if you don’t take the measures necessary to protect yourself online.
It goes without saying that security should always be the first priority when embarking upon any new venture, especially involving money transactions. Freelancers are no exception to this rule.
Here Are 5 Ways Freelancers Can Protect Themselves Online
- Keep Your Private Life, Private
The first step is to take care of the basics. Limit public access to your social media accounts – Keep private thoughts and opinions out of your public pages with guaranteed removals, so you’re less likely to put something incriminating up there by accident
- Secure Your Machines
Make sure you have a secure password for your computer or laptop, as well as any other devices that connect with the internet. It’s also good practice to set up two-factor authentication on important accounts—like email and social media—to keep them safe from being hacked by cybercriminals.
- Befriend Software Protection
Next, make sure that all software installed on your machine is updated regularly. This includes not only operating systems like Windows or macOS but also programs such as Adobe Creative Cloud apps, web browsers (such as Chrome), anti-virus software (e.g., Avast), and others.
Cybercriminals are always developing new ways to steal information online, so it’s vital that you keep your software updated to ensure that they’re protected from these threats.
- Educate Yourself On Online Security
Virtual Private Network
The best way for freelancers to protect themselves online is by using a virtual private network (VPN) service, also known as an encrypted connection.
A VPN allows you to connect your computer or device securely over the internet with any website so all of your data can be transmitted safely and privately between these two points.
This will encrypt all internet traffic going in and out of your computer, protecting it from being monitored or intercepted by cybercriminals on the network you’re using (e.g., public Wi-Fi).
You will need both a subscription plan that provides unlimited bandwidth and strong encryption protocols to have full protection when browsing the web from public Wi-Fi hotspots, which are notorious for being insecure places where cybercriminals frequently operate their hacking operations.
In addition, this can help bypass restrictions set up at certain workplaces as well as other places where people might not be allowed access to certain sites—like streaming services.
- Email Accounts
Finally, make sure that you have two separate email accounts: one for work and another for personal accounts should anything sensitive ever get sent through them online. Most emails are stored indefinitely, so having a dedicated account for personal use is a good way to keep your work and home information separate from each other.
Freelancers are able to make their own hours but also have more responsibility than traditional employees. Protecting yourself online is simple if you know how to do it correctly, so follow these tips for better peace of mind during every project!