As a freelancer, you likely set your preferred hours and accept projects as you please. You’re allowed to work from anywhere – as long as there’s a laptop with a fast internet connection. Unlike other jobs, you need to operate as an employee, all while you act as your own HR and IT departments. That’s why it’s a must to stay informed about security.
You’re responsible for your online safety. Look at why you should prioritize cybersecurity.
The Potential Impacts of Cyber Attacks
When many of us think about cyberattacks, we don’t consider their influences on an individual scale. Unfortunately, we’re as vulnerable as large companies and governments. In fact, remote access attempts, where hackers target smartphones and routers, continue to increase over time. If you don’t take the necessary precautions, your work could face implications.
One day, you click on an advertisement that takes you to a fishy website. In less than a minute, a virus infects your computer. As a result, there are pop-ups on your home screen, and search engines redirect to fake pages. If you can’t navigate through your workday, you aren’t able to complete projects – and your clients won’t receive their work.
Many freelancers use personal websites and social media to promote their work. If someone hacks your profiles, you won’t be able to access those channels. Then, you’ll struggle to fulfill your duties and maintain proper workflow. When you take the time to fix those errors, you miss out on billable hours.
Failed Client Trust
Some freelancers work for external companies, so they sign contracts that outline specific safety requirements. These documents protect businesses and customers. If their information leaks due to your mistakes, they face limited repercussions. It’s essential to take precautions so that you don’t breach those agreements.
If you maintain your own client base, a similar scenario could still happen. People trust you to safeguard their data. Whether a hacker steals someone’s home address from your website or downloads a detailed portfolio from your iCloud account, it’s your fault. A single suspicious attachment or link could damage your reputation and relationships altogether.
It’s essential to prioritize cybersecurity so that you can continue to work as you intend.
How to Protect Against Cyber Attacks
Before you download any cybersecurity software, it’s crucial to educate yourself. Many signs allude to potential risks. For instance, you shouldn’t open an email that claims to offer a cash prize or discount. If someone sends you a direct message on social media, don’t open it unless you know that it’s legitimate. When you plan to work at a library or cafe, try not to connect to their public Wi-Fi.
When you know how to recognize potential threats, you can protect your business and your customers. Here are a few cybersecurity tips to follow:
- Change your passwords: Use words that make sense to you but not others. Add a combination of numbers and symbols, too.
- Update software: Do this step whenever you receive a notification. If you delay downloads, you can put your computer at risk.
- Don’t upload to websites: When you want a friend to proofread an article, print out a copy. Uploads put your data in jeopardy.
At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Do your part to make your job more secure.
Make Cybersecurity a Top Concern
Cyber-attacks affect everyone, from massive corporations to individual freelancers. You should make cybersecurity a priority so that you can keep your work on track.