Yes, no one can deny the many advantages you have working as a freelancer. From having the possibility of getting involved only in the projects that genuinely interest you and subjects you are most passionate about to being able to organize your time and schedule as you please, provided you fulfill the work and establish professional collaborations. Flexibility and adaptability stay at the core of being a freelancer, and more and more people prefer this type of working practice. Instead of working for companies, individuals nowadays opt for remote and freelance work. Thanks to technology and how efficient digital tools have become, not only is freelancing possible, but you can maintain and improve productivity.
Having said this, it is crucial to point out that freelancers have to face particular challenges that you wouldn’t have to worry about if you worked in a company. Apart from the fact that you need to research projects on your own and make sure you have scheduled projects to work on, there is also the fact that you need to ensure the digital security of your work on your own.
But don’t worry, you can do this pretty easily if you have the correct information – and you don’t have to be an IT specialist or a computer scientist – and look in the right places for it. Luckily, the number of freelancers has increased significantly in recent years, so learning how to ensure digital security is much easier now than it used to a few years ago.
Because it is of the utmost importance to remain vigilant and protect your work and your collaborators’ information against any cyberattacks, applying cybersecurity measures is a must.
So, how can you exactly do this? Here are five simple tips that may be able to help you ensure the digital security of your freelance business:
1. Strengthen Your Network Security
First and foremost, you need to strengthen your network security before you start doing anything else to ensure your digital safety. By increasing the protection you have on your networks, you diminish the risk of a cyberattack, given that a high number of hackers target routers and loT devices. Therefore, this should be the central aspect of your list, making it a top priority.
You can accomplish this by changing the router password frequently and always with a complex combination of letters and characters and, evidently, allowing network firewalls to encrypt data. Once you do this, you can move on to the next digital security measure on your list.
Having strong security on your network is of the utmost importance, regardless of the type of work you do. Whether you are a professional or a student, it is crucial to ensure you aren’t a target for cyberattacks. This way, you can commit to any project you want or attend an online course without worrying about your data being breached.
2. Update Regularly Your OS And Software
Operating systems and software programs that aren’t regularly updated present a threat as they become easy targets for cyberattacks. When you don’t update frequently, you allow the operating system or software to exist with vulnerabilities as well as give hackers the chance to exploit them.
For this reason, it is of the utmost importance to never underestimate the need for regular updates and install them every time it is needed. You may ask yourself why this is vital and why you see so many update windows popping up. In short, developers fix particular bugs and vulnerabilities through these updates, and it is necessary to install them. Otherwise, your OS won’t be able to solve them by itself, and, therefore, you will continue doing your job without eliminating this digital vulnerability. This may be dangerous to your work.
3. Create Strong and Complex Passwords
You may be tired of hearing about the importance of creating strong and complex passwords containing a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and even characters. But this is an effective and incredibly simple method of cybersecurity you can do. High password standards and maintaining them organized are vital. If you worry about forgetting them, you should use a reliable and trustworthy tool that helps you manage all the passwords.
As a freelancer, it isn’t uncommon to have a lot of clients and, hence, a multitude of accounts that each need to be digitally secured. So, it is understandable you want to choose the simplest combinations for passwords or never prioritize changing them. But because cyberattacks can happen quite often, you should commit to your digital security. Plus, as mentioned above, a password manager tool can help you manage all your passwords, generating complex new ones and safely storing your existing ones.
4. Consider Using Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication offers an extra layer of protection, effectively securing your data. With this type of digital security method, a hacker won’t be able to access your information even if they managed to get a hold of your passwords.
There is no denying that you should consider two-factor authentication to ensure the digital security of your freelance business. This way, you can rest assured that your data is effectively protected. Plus, it isn’t as complicated as it may seem. There are many options you can choose from if you want to enable 2FA, such as via reliable authentication apps or by receiving a unique code on your smartphone.
5. Virtual Private Network Services Offer Encryption
Virtual Private Network or VPN services are an efficient method to make sure ill-intentioned individuals cannot access your data. Thanks to the fact that this type of software creates and uses a private, unique, and well-encrypted tunnel for internet traffic, hackers are unable to perform cyberattacks, given that it is extremely difficult to intercept the server. VPN software redirects the network IP address through this tunnel on a specific remote server that acts as a VPN host.
Therefore, your data and work are securely hidden from prying eyes. Using a VPN service is especially recommended if you need to access public wi-fi – which should always be avoided as much as possible – as a freelancer who works remotely.