• Rutvik Hajare

Simple Steps for Freelancers to Keep Client Data Safe

Freelancers need to take measures to keep their business (and their clients) safe. Unfortunately, many freelancers take a lax approach to digital security. So it’s not much of a surprise that they’re popular targets for cybercriminals.

The issue of cybersecurity is more serious than many freelancers realize. They work on their personal computers that contain their clients’ data, but often fail to keep their security up to standard. 

Taking precautions will protect your business and clients from irreparable damage. Keep reading for five cyber security tips for freelancers to implement immediately.

1. Keep Your Software Updated

Software that hasn’t been updated can cause a security risk, as it may not be secure against the latest threats. You have allready know that many of the freelancers neglect to update the programs they work with.

Practically every software update comes with its share of security vulnerabilities - usually the ones that cyber attackers already know about. In other words, hackers know how to exploit weaknesses in out-of-date software.

These days, software tends to automatically update but you may have to restart your computer for the effects to take place. To ensure your computer is running on the latest version, reboot it regularly, which is also good for its performance.


2.Toughen Up your Passwords

Don't be the one who use weak password! Using strong password is one of the best way to reduce your risk of getting hacked. The strongest passwords are random strings of upper and lower case letters mixed with numbers, which are impossible to crack. Of course, it’s important that your strong password is also memorable.

Here are some handy tips on how to fortify your password.


  1. Avoid the obvious: “password” won’t cut it.

  2. Use more than one word: dictionary attacks make short work of one-word passwords like “pineapple.”

  3. Longer is better: keep it above 12 to be safe.

  4. Don’t just use letters: adding numbers and symbols helps a great deal.

  5. Don’t make it relevant to yourself: avoid opting for something like your pet’s name.

  6. Change your passwords routinely: as often as thirty to ninety days.

Use Encryption

Encryption is a terrific way to keep your data safe. It essentially makes all data unreadable to those who aren’t supposed to see it. Encryption works especially well in situations where data needs to be transferred, like sending something via email.

Encryption might sound fancy, but it’s quite affordable these days. In fact, there are plenty of free programs that do it for you. AxCrypt, VeraCrypt, and NordLocker provide pretty great services for free software.

Ask Your Client for Help

Sometimes, the client has more cybersecurity resources at their disposal than you. If you feel that your protection is lacking, it’s probably a bad call to just hope for the best. So, why not reach out to your client for some assistance?

Your client might be happy to provide you with their safety tech. Working with company-level firewalls, backups, encryption, and more is definitely safer than fending for yourself. If their safety is on the line, they should be happy to help.


Set Up a Secure Connection

One of the best part of freelancing is the ability to work from anywhere .However, this can put you in a risky situation, as not every network is secure. If you like to work from coffee shops, or travel frequently, it’s essential to ensure your connection is secure. Unsecured networks are easy targets for cybercriminals.

Routing your connection through a VPN is an easy way to keep your data private. Many services are pretty affordable as well, which is great for freelancers on a budget. Another option is to use a mobile modem rather than logging onto public wifi.


Invest in Anti-Virus Sofware

Most reputable anti-virus software programs have in-built scanning features for emails, websites, and downloads. Every email is scanned before you open it to assess the risk of it containing a virus. Though they can be spendy, anti-virus and scanning tools are worth the investment.


Back-Up Data a Frequently

Backing up data is also important. If a hacker gains access to your computer, they may try to hold your data under ransom. Regularly backing up your data prevents you from having to pay to get it back. It could also protect you from things likes accidental deletion, theft, or damage. If something unexpected happens, you still have copies of all your important files.

One of the best places to keep your files is the cloud but, for many, the cloud can be a confusing place. There are many cloud providers to choose from and having an expert on hand can be beneficial.


Conclusion


Making an effort to protect your own and your client’s data doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s difficult to overstate the need for cybersecurity. Though you keep yourself a hundred percent protected might be out of your reach, you don’t have to be completely vulnerable.Even the most precautious of freelancers may experience a cyber security attack. However, by implementing the above cyber security tips for freelancers above, you have a better chance of protecting your business and its corresponding data.


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