Freelancers are increasingly becoming popular as more people seek to make money outside of traditional 9-5 jobs. This new way of working has many benefits, but it also comes with unknown cybersecurity risks that freelancers need to be aware of. Read a comprehensive freelancer cybersecurity guide on secure PC networks.
The role of freelancers is one major reason behind the threats. Their job is to connect with unknown clients, and some of them can be potential scammers looking for prey.
Many big companies spend thousands of dollars on their security and still face cybersecurity threats. Many of them engage in relationships with freelancers for various purposes. It might be to create a unique logo or write code for a specific portion of a project.
As freelancers, people need to understand that they also deal with confidential information and resources. Therefore, the security of such data needs to be secured on both ends: businesses and their freelancing partners. Additionally, many techniques can break through their defenses, like sending Word files with malicious macros.
One of the most common freelancer cybersecurity threats is phishing. In this type of attack, scammers send emails that look like they are from a legitimate source.
They trick freelancers into clicking on a malicious link or downloading an attachment that can install malware. This type of attack is challenging to detect and can be very dangerous.
Such an attack can be carried out by sending you some work-related files, and one file can contain a link that customers want you to click. Now, this link can be infected to steal your financial information.
Malware is software created to harm or corrupt devices. It can be installed on your system without your knowledge and cause serious problems. There are many different types of malware infections, including viruses, spyware, worms, keyloggers, remote access Trojans, etc.
The malware can infect your computer through email attachments, websites, or even USB drives. Once it is on your system, it can steal your confidential data, damage your files, or even delete your entire hard drive.
Ransomware is a popular type of malware that encrypts files on PCs and demands a ransom to decrypt them. This type of attack can be very costly as the hackers usually demand a large amount of money. Moreover, there is no guarantee that they will decrypt your files even after paying the ransom.
You can do many things to protect your freelancing business from cyber-attacks. Some of the most important ones are as follows:
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool that allows you to connect to the internet through a secure server. It encrypts your data and hides your IP address, making it difficult to track you.
It is an excellent tool for freelancers as they might be working on free public Wi-Fi. After all, freelancers enjoy the flexibility and can work from anywhere. Having a PC VPN means protection for all communications on potentially unsafe networks.
Freelancer cybersecurity is enhanced using two-factor authentication (2FA) as an extra layer of security that requires you to enter a code and your password when logging into an account. This code is usually sent to your phone via text message or by an app.
2FA makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts even if they have your password. Therefore, it is a very effective security measure that you should take to protect your freelance business.
Being a freelancer, you must know how much data means; it’s the treasure that you’ll want to secure at all costs. So, it’s always a good idea to back up your data regularly.
Even if your system is attacked by malware or ransomware, you will not lose your important files. There are cloud storage services available that offer free and paid plans.
You can also use an external hard drive or a USB drive to store your backups. However, encrypt the backups as they can be intercepted if they are not encrypted.
Using unbreakable and strong passwords is one of the most critical security measures that you should take to protect your online accounts. A strong password is a password that is at least 12 characters long and contains a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters.
You can use a password manager to generate and store strong passwords for your online accounts. You will only have to remember one master password instead of dozens of different passwords.
As a freelancer, you will be dealing with payments from clients worldwide. Therefore, it is essential to choose a secure online payment method.
There are many different types of online payment methods available. Some of the most popular ones are Stripe, PayPal, and 2Checkout.
These payment processors have security measures to protect your money and personal information. Therefore, you should choose the one that you feel most comfortable with.
These are some of the most concerning cybersecurity risks faced by freelancers all over the globe. But you can deter all of them by following the easy methods mentioned above. Plus, try to add these habits to your routine so that your PC remains safe always.