.According to numerous statistics provided by Fundera, over 3.7 million people in 2017 worked from home. The same statistics show that those who work from home tend to be more productive, especially when they work alone. Thus, it’s not difficult to understand why remote working has become such a popular trend.
However, looking at the situation beyond the surface, things are not as positive as they might seem. While online working has allowed thousands of companies to outsource tasks and employ people from all over the world, it has also opened the door for millions of hackers who are always looking for ways to exploit people’s data.
In other words, the internet is not the safest place to work. In fact, it is filled with malware and traps designed to manipulate people into submitting their data to suspicious websites. The only way to stay secure while working online is to take crucial security precautions in time. Here’s a list of the five security measures you should keep in mind when working online.
Precautions for Freelance Work
Here are the top 5 precautions you can take to secure your freelance work:
Use Strong Passwords
Passwords are the key to the entire collection of people’s sensitive data, yet no one takes them seriously. According to poll results presented by Security Boulevard, 59% of people use the same password for all their accounts. With statistics like these, we don’t even have to wonder why hackers are so successful at what they do. To stay protected while working online, you must understand the importance of your passwords and make sure they are strong enough to keep your accounts secure. To strengthen your passwords, opt for multi-factor authentication, combine capital and lower-case letters, and make sure your password contains 8 to 12 characters.
Be Careful How You Store Data
Losing data is a major concern when working online. Most people use some data backup solution to be able to access their files in case of hard disk damage or device theft. However, while trying to protect your data using backup solutions, you might also be exposing it to the wrong people. To make sure your data doesn’t get into the wrong hands, only use reputable online storage platforms and secure them with strong passwords. If you store your data on an external device such as a flash drive, make sure not to leave it unattended.
Secure All Mobile Devices
One of the biggest perks of working online is the possibility to take your work anywhere. However, as convenient as it is to get your tasks done at a coffee shop or any other location, this benefit brings many risks to the table. The majority of people who work online use mobile devices to get their work done. This may expose their data and the company’s confidential information to hackers. Therefore, make sure to secure all mobile devices you’re using by installing antivirus programs and enabling the remote wiping option that will delete all the data in case of theft.
Beware of Malicious Links
Some of the biggest dangers that lurk online are malicious links. These links either take you to suspicious sites or initiate unauthorized downloads on your device. People fall for online scams every day because of the lack of awareness regarding this issue. To avoid this, make sure to stay up to date on relevant topics regarding online scams. It’s also a good idea to read up about new tricks and methods hackers might be using to scam people. Learn to recognize fake websites and suspicious links by examining the content of the link. Errors in spelling or random numbers in the link will indicate that something is not quite right.
Use a Virtual Private Network
One of the most critical pieces of advice you need to remember from this article is to start using a Virtual Private Network. VPNs are the most powerful online security assets that you can begin using at very affordable prices. Simply put, a VPN encrypts all your data and hides your online activity from others, making it impossible for hackers to track you down or access your data in the pool of other users. Make sure to download a reliable VPN service and use it whenever you’re connecting your devices to unprotected public networks.
Getting used to practicing security measures on a daily basis might take some time, but it’s highly recommended to start taking things seriously. It is only a matter of time when hackers will detect your unprotected device and get their hands on sensitive data. This can lead to identity theft, device malfunction, as well as devastating financial consequences. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve experienced any security-related issues while working online and how you managed to overcome them.