Protecting Your Data
As a freelancer, you need to take steps to protect your data. Freelancing can be a rewarding and enjoyable job but unfortunately, it’s not without its risks. You may be handling sensitive data on clients’ behalf, or maybe using your own confidential information. No matter what type of data you are dealing with, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and know how to keep your information safe.
Backup Your Data
Having a reliable backup system in place is essential for protecting your data. With automated backups, important files can be easily recovered in the event of a power outage, system crash or other unexpected event. If a hard drive fails, or data is accidentally deleted, then you won’t lose any of your crucial files.
You can use cloud storage to back up your data, or a local storage device such as an external hard drive. Choose a backup option that suits your budget and meets your needs. You should also consider how often you need to back up your data and how easily you can restore it.
Secure Your Network
When freelancing, you may be working with sensitive information that needs protecting at all times. Make sure that your computer and mobile device are secured with a VPN, firewall and anti-virus software. This will help protect your data from cyber criminals and stop your connection being used to access confidential information from other computers.
Also, use secure passwords for each website and account you use for freelancing. Passwords should be at least eight characters and contain a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, and never share passwords with anyone else.
Encrypt Your Data
Encryption is a useful way to protect your data, especially when working with sensitive information. Encrypted files and emails are unreadable to anyone without the correct key, making it impossible for hackers or criminals to access or intercept your data. Choose encryption software that is authentication-protected, with setting options and full access control, including password protection.
Manage Access to Your Data
When you are collaborating with other freelancers or contractors, ensure that they only have access to the data they need in order to carry out their role. Keep an up-to-date list of people who have access to your data and use password protection to secure any sensitive information. You should also regularly review the access control measures to make sure that only the right people have access.
Manage Your Data Responsibly
Being responsible with your data is one of the best ways to protect it. Make sure you regularly delete any confidential files or emails that are no longer needed. Also delete any unnecessary backups and remove any data from external drives that you no longer need.
It’s also worth monitoring your data to identify any suspicious activity, such as unexpected changes or unrecognised permissions. If you spot anything unusual, you can take action quickly to stop any damage being done.
Finally, remember to educate yourself about all aspects of data protection. You should be aware of the latest data security risks, including cybercrime and identity theft. Understand the laws surrounding data protection, such as GDPR, and be aware of the potential consequences of a data breach.
By taking all the necessary steps, you can protect your data when working as a freelancer. Data protection is a fundamental part of freelancing and it’s essential that you stay up-to-date with the latest threats and know how to protect yourself. Take some time to assess your data security measures and make sure your data is as secure as possible.