Security Tips for Freelance Writers and other #Entrepreneurs

Last Updated on: September 26th, 2016

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Security tips for entrepreneurs is not something that is often discussed… but it needs to be!

Entrepreneurs, including freelance writers (and anyone who works with digital files on a daily basis) need to be aware of the steps they can take to ensure that their hard work is not lost, deleted, or stolen, never to be retrieved.

The purpose of this article is to share some security tips you can follow easily to protect your computer/laptop and data from being compromised.

Article/Post Outline:

Before you read through the following article (because I KNOW you are a scanner!), here is the format this post will follow:

*Introduction

  • Protecting your sensitive information is of paramount importance.
  • You can’t afford to lose time cleaning up after an attack.

*Follow Basic Internet Security

  • Many people still don’t know what dangers await them online.
    • This is a travesty for freelance writers!
  • Tips
    • Strong passwords
    • Best security programs
    • Use trustworthy sites

*Use a VPN 

  • You will want to use a VPN
  • Public networks are dangerous and vulnerable to hackers.
    • Your data can be intercepted
    • VPN creates an encrypted connection that will protect you
  • You will also have a great deal of privacy
    • Your IP address is masked
      • This protects against monitoring and censorship

*Have Backups Prepared

  • Don’t put all of your digital eggs in one basket
  • You are going to have a hardware failure
    • You need a way to recover your data
    • You should back up at least every week

*Update Your Software

*Thank you / brief conclusion

Security word collage

Now let’s get into it, shall we?

 Cassie Phillips

 

This article was contributed to Wording Well by Cassie Phillips from Secure Thoughts, an industry leader in online security and VPNs.  Cassie specializes in online security for freelancers.

 

    

Security Tips for Freelance Writers

Any business will know the importance of protecting their sensitive information and their goods, and as a freelance writer, you are effectively your own business, responsible for such decisions. In such a highly competitive and time-sensitive environment as freelance writing, you can’t afford to waste several days of work getting rid of malware or harm your reputation due to losing a client’s data. This is why you absolutely need to protect yourself and review your own security practices.

Here are a few tips that will help you protect your work product when using the internet and prevent your business from being harmed by hackers.

Follow Basic Internet Security

While some people follow the basic rules of internet security, one would be surprised at how many still don’t know what risks might await them or their data if they don’t use basic protection. For freelance writers, whose computer is quite literally how they make their livelihood, this is especially important.

You want to make sure that you are using the strongest (and varied) passwords that you can possibly remember and to not under any circumstances share those passwords.

In addition, it is absolutely necessary that you use the best security programs and suites on any computer that you have in order to keep yourself from becoming the victim of malware or viruses.

Finally, you need to know which websites to trust and which to avoid when surfing the web for research purposes.

Use a VPN

Speaking of tools that will keep you and your clients’ data safe, you most certainly want to use a Virtual Private Network and read various reviews when looking for the right one for you.

The reasoning for this is twofold. First, if you ever like to get out and write somewhere other than your house, you are going to want to use a VPN due to the fact that public networks are extremely dangerous and you will be vulnerable to hackers without protection. The strongest password won’t do a thing against the methods hackers use to intercept data over public networks. What a VPN will do is make sure that your data cannot be intercepted and used against you by creating an encrypted connection between your computer and an offsite server over the public network.

No one will be able to penetrate the security on this connection, and in fact, you will have perfect privacy in your internet use, which is the source of the other security benefit. Because your IP address is masked by the offsite server’s, you will be able to be unaffected by government restrictions, monitoring, and censorship, as well as any other organizations that might do the same.

Have Backups Prepared

If you are going to have a career where almost everything you produce is a digital file, then you might not want to put all your eggs in one basket, especially when you can make a copy of the entire basket for the cost of a cheap flash drive or a free cloud service.

This is more important than you think because I almost guarantee at some point in your career you will certainly have a major hardware failure of which there was no way to directly recover your data. This is when you will want to make sure that you have your data backed up. You will in fact want to make sure that you back everything up every week at the very least. This way, should there be a major problem, you won’t have to completely restart any projects you are working on (if you even have the time to do that).

Update Your Software

One last tip is whatever software you might be using in your freelance career that connects or is involved with sensitive information should be updated as often as possible. Yes, this includes those annoying Windows updates you hate so much. The reasoning for this is that many hackers use the bugs and exploits corrected in these updates in order to gain access to your system. And once a problem has been patched, it is a broadcast to every cybercriminal that this is a way in until users update their machines.

Thanks for reading. I hope you will always be prepared for any attacks on your passion and career as a freelance writer… or any other type of entrepreneur.

For more information, feel free to check out Cassie’s other post, 10 Top Security Tips For Bloggers – A Guest Post By Cassie Phillips. It’s pretty good!

16 thoughts on “Security Tips for Freelance Writers and other #Entrepreneurs

  1. Habib rasel says

    Lorraine, thanks for this great and helpful article, I am your big fan who always waits for your new article…..

  2. I think using a VPN is the best way to secure ourselves. A VPN can protect us from all kinds of spamming. Though all your security tips are so much helpful and relevant.
    Thanks for sharing your post with us. 🙂

  3. Shafiq Ur Rahman says

    Lorraine Reguly thanks again for giving such best tips. I was just checking my mail and I received your mail of reply to my comment. Thanks for suggestion to read your best post.
    I will make my best to come back and read your unique top posts.
    Thanks

  4. Hey Lorraine,
    Most of these tips were basic, but not everyone is aware of these. It will definitely help the blog readers, and you deserve an appreciation for helping out. No one cares to share such basic things these days, but sometimes, little things can make life worse or best.
    Keeping software and OS updated, and keeping backup of everything is a way I follow to keep things secured.
    Since I’m new here, I should share that I read your story featured by Enstine Muki, and in no time, I visited your blogs and started reading.
    So, this is my first of many comments. We’ll be in touch. 🙂
    Be well!

    • says

      Pawan, I sure appreciate that you read about me on Enstine’s site. Thanks for visiting me here!

      I hope you will become a regular reader, too. It seems we have much in common, and I look forward to interacting with you further!

  5. Hi Lorraine,
    Thank you so much for the kind reminder via face book and for the wonderful feedback on my page and ha, thanks a lot for the kind mention of Cassie’s Guest post on my page,
    Yes, security is a vital issue in blogging for that matter in any activities on internet,
    She very well put it here as well as on my page.
    Protection of our hard earned resources is an important matter!
    Cassie very well presented the serious subject in a systematic way.
    I am sure this will be a wonderful guide to all, especially the people who work on internet day in and day out. Keeping safe our things is indeed a serious issue, her post here as well as on my page will be a great help to all around.
    Thanks again for your wonderful help
    May you have a profitable day.
    Best
    ~ Philip

  6. Connor Rickett says

    Good tips!

    When in doubt, a little bit of common sense will get you a long way in internet security. Most people whose security is compromised weren’t hacked by some kid in a hoody in their mom’s basement, or even compromised by a virus, but simply gave away their password and information to a phishing scam or some such.

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