How to Stay Safe Online as a Freelancer

How to Stay Safe Online as a Freelancer

Working online as a freelancer is now becoming a huge business, this helps both companies and individuals who are seeking that way of working (more often than not at home) is the way to go and gives them the freedom a 9-5 job does not offer.

For freelancers though, it is crucial that you protect yourself while online as you can be exposed as much as anyone if not more due to the nature of your work.

Freelance Sites

The majority of freelance sites do all they can to protect their freelancers, although there are still people who wish to take advantage as some sites do not have the funding to make sure they have security at every step.

One of the most significant areas is where the freelancer gets scammed by a suspicious client. If there is a job that seems too good to be believed, there is a good chance that it is.

In other cases a company might be asking for your full resume yet they are not a known entity themselves, this level of detail they ask for might be too much to justify their advertised post and they are after your information.

When choosing a freelance site, it is best to stick with ones that have proved themselves over the years. Two of the most prominent names are UpWork and Fiverr which offer different degrees of work.

You can also find many niche sites which specialize in their chosen field, these have limited opportunities, and as they are already established in what they do, they are generally secure.

Payments

This is an area where any freelancer has to be wary. As all of your payments will be online, you need to know they are being made to the right place and they are secure when they get there.

One of the best ways to ensure you receive your payments safe and also to make sure it is safe upon receipt is to use a service like PayPal. This can be an intermediary between a freelance website and your personal bank account and saves you handing over any banking details to a site you are not sure about.

Payments from suspect clients are the other areas where freelancer fall foul. The work is done and submitted yet they struggle to receive payment. The more significant freelance sites do have measures in place to help with this, yet a person can still take advantage in this way.

Securing Your Connections

There are many positions available where the information can be of a sensitive nature. One of the best ways to ensure your work is passed as is your online banking, you should make full use of VPN software.

When you use this, you know that you are free to work anywhere including the local coffee shop that offers free WI-FI. Your connection becomes invisible, and all data is fully encrypted with the same level as what a bank would use. This protects you and also protects your customer which will go down in good stead for future work.

Online Type Work

Many positions which are posted require the freelancer to spend much time searching or researching on the internet, and in some cases, they may have to install additional software to perform the task in full.

If you find this is the case, it is advised to install an anti-malware and anti-virus software package to prevent these risks affecting your likelihood.

There is a great deal of malware out there from keyloggers, spyware and also ransomware, all of which can compromise your work system and render you unable to work.

This malware can infect your system and steal personal information which can include your banking details and any work you have completed for your client. All of this information can be transmitted back to the hackers and used for their benefit.

Social Media

Many freelancers advertise themselves on social media sites. This can be fine, yet you should be careful what information you share and with whom. In some cases, even profile pictures have been stolen and re-used. The best way to make sure all of your online profile pictures have not been taken is to use Google and perform a reverse image search.

Passwords

As a freelancer, you will more than likely have multiple accounts spread across the internet. All passwords for these should be robust, secure and varied.

To help with this to save you storing them on your system which is insecure can be by using an encrypted password manager. These will save you the hassle of finding them and will also make sure you are adequately protected.

About the Author: Peter McBryde is the head writer at VPN Streamer, a site dedicated to web security and privacy as well as getting you more from your internet connection. Peter has extensive experience in Network systems and IT.

You can also find Peter on Facebook and Twitter.

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