Working as a freelancer is mostly being a one-person business. That means you get to enjoy the benefits of having a single enterprise. On the other hand, it is also inevitable that you will experience the pitfalls of working as an independent contractor.
When you are working online, you put a lot of trust in your clients, the platform that you are using, and the resources that you are using. That is why it is crucial to prioritize the security of your livelihood even if you are working at home.
Here are the significant aspects of freelancing that you should secure:
At the heart of a freelancer’s work is data. Whether you are a web developer or a self-made real estate expert, information is an integral element of your daily life. As such, part of your work is handling sensitive data such as client contracts, bank details, and even top-secret projects.
As the freelancing world grows, so are the entities that are looking to take advantage of any weaknesses to steal your hard-earned money. Attacks from hackers can come from various channels such as your email, your browser, and the websites that you access. Additionally, active attacks can happen even if you are connecting to the Internet using WiFi connections, whether at home or in public.
Installing an antivirus and anti-malware is not enough these days. The threat of phishing attacks and ransomware can significantly affect your means of living. That is why it is highly recommended that you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN creates a “tunnel” that protects your connection to the Internet.
That means you are not only protected from attacks, but you can also hide your identity and protect your privacy. This is essential to prevent any identity theft that you lead to issues with your financial and online records.
Freelancers take risks every day, and part of it is working with clients that they never meet in real life. Many clients do not even require a call when hiring an independent contractor. That means you are trusting your clients to fulfill their contractual responsibilities and vice versa.
You can find clients practically anywhere on the Internet from Craigslist to job portals. However, when you are working in the freelance world for quite some time now, you know that there are excellent sources where you are protected from fake clients. Freelance portals such as Freelancer, Upwork, Elance, and Guru are popular among clients and freelancers as they provide security from a contract breach, payment issues, and more.
It is especially important to only deal with trusted sites as your private information is also protected. Freelancers often provide personal information to clients, especially during contract signing or payment. However, if this information lands in the wrong hands, it can be used for further information and identity theft.
Unlike office workers, freelancers invest in their own space and equipment. You have to spend your own money to set-up your computer, desk, Internet connection, and more. One of the most essential factors consider is the stability of electricity in your area. After all, if you do not have power, you cannot work.
You can ask your local electrician to protect you and your home from a power surge, such as setting up shunt resistors that will monitor the power that your equipment pulls from the grid. Additionally, you can sign-up for Internet plans targeted towards small and medium enterprises. These usually have service level agreements that will protect you in case you lose connection.
Working on your own as a freelancer also means you need to set-up protection to minimize risks and pitfalls that may happen along the way. Your data, equipment, space, and clients are critical for your work. Hence, making sure that these aspects of your job are secured from potential disasters.