When you work for an employer, it can be easy to take for granted the security systems and online safety measures put in place by your company. They help to protect both the business and clients/customers from threats. However, when you work for yourself, the responsibility rests solely on your shoulders. Knowing what precautions you need to take can be difficult, especially if you’ve never had to think about it before.
If you care about protecting your business and your clients from online threats, take a look at these online security tips for freelancers.
Get up to date antivirus protection
The first thing you should invest in for your business is antivirus software. There are some free antivirus programs available that can help you to protect your computer, especially when you’re first starting out. As you start making more money through your freelance business, you should consider investing in more sophisticated antivirus options to provide the utmost security for your clients.
Secure your home network
In addition to securing your computer, you’ll need to make sure that your network itself is secure. VPN (Virtual Private Network) services can encrypt your connection to enable anonymous browsing, protecting your network from hackers. Again, there are free VPN services available, but a paid-for service will provide you with more options as well as better customer service. If you’re unsure of what defences you need for your home network, consulting with Firewall Technical could provide you with some solutions. IT support services are worth the investment, especially if most of the work you’re going to be doing is carried out online.
Become savvy with spam and phishing
Clicking a link in a single spam or phishing email could cause serious problems for your business. Emails that make it past your filtering systems can look as though they’re legitimate, but not all may appear as it seems. There are some great tips for detecting phishing scams that can help you avoid disaster, that might also worth be passing onto your clients. If you’re ever unsure about the authenticity of an email, don’t open it. You can always screenshot the email onto the company the sender is claiming to be and check to see if the email is the real deal.
Don’t post personal data online
When your clients sign a contract with you, you have a duty to protect their personal data. Any breaches could lead to legal action, which could come at a financial cost as well as a reputational one. Keep all of your files secure and password protected, and never let things make their way online that a client hasn’t agreed to. If you’re sending emails to multiple clients, always BCC them to make sure that something as seemingly innocent as their email address doesn’t get sent out to everyone else.
Getting your online security in place is one of the things you need to do to establish your freelance business. If you’re serious about making it as a freelancer, these top tips for freelance success could help. Remember that succeeding as a freelancer depends on reputation and word of mouth, so protecting your clients’ information and data is vital to helping you gain your clients trust and ensure the best chance of making it in the freelance world.