You would think that working from home would make things fairly safe, right? After all, it’s your own home; what location would make you feel safer? The problem is that your clients expect that you will have exceptional cyber-security when dealing with their proprietary information, and most home networks just aren’t up to par.
Always make sure that you’re using an up-to-date antivirus; preferably the paid kind. While there are free antivirus programs out there, they don’t carry the same level of protection and/or support that you would get from a paid service.
A firewall is a simple and effective way of protecting information on your network. A firewall will block any unauthorized access to your data while still allowing you outward communications.
This prevents would-be hackers from accessing your data and files, by monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic based on security rules that you determine ahead of time. There are various types of firewalls including hardware and software, and their uses vary depending on your needs.
A Virtual Private Network is a fantastic way to secure your data. They are quite popular with enterprise level corporations for securing communications for external or remote employees.
A VPN uses encryption to create a network that only those with the encryption key can access. It also obscures your data by hiding the origin of transmissions, often routing your information through multiple servers in different locations over encrypted connections, making it extremely difficult to track your physical location.
Your next best option for protecting all of your data is having strong passwords and pin numbers for all of your devices and accounts.
We’re now learning that the standard password rules, one capital, one number, one special character, etc. are not anywhere near as effective as a long password that is made up of a phrase that you can easily remember. Longer passwords take significantly longer to crack even with the latest computers.
Certain computer problems can be taken into account, detected and resolved before becoming critical. Cyber security services play a key role in business, regardless of the size of the business or its sector of activity.
Remember when you were a kid and enjoyed secret codes and other puzzles? Encryption takes the plain data that you have, and then encodes it.
The information can then only be read by someone on the other end who has they encryption key, or the key to the secret code. This is a highly effective way of protecting your communications and is used in various aspects of telecommunication, including email servers and VPN connections.
Protect Mobile Devices
You should make sure that any mobile devices that contain your critical work information are not only password protected in case they are lost or stolen, but they should also feature a tracking program so that you can find them again.
There are plenty of available options for Android, iPhone, and even Windows based devices. Just search in your app store for one that works best for your device.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
One of the things that might have drawn you to a freelancing career in the first place is the freedom that you can find working remotely.
You can take your work with you and sneak in bits of productivity while waiting at doctors’ offices, or at the café that you’re meeting your friend for lunch.
Unfortunately, public Wi-Fi is a great way to open your device up to security breaches of many different types. If possible, avoid using public Wi-Fi and opt to use a mobile hotspot through your own provider instead.
Keeping your client’s data secure, as well as protecting your own files and documents, can be critical to maintaining a strong reputation when working as a freelancer. Follow these security tips to keep your security practices up to par.
The author is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK.