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Monday, May 4, 2020

Looking After Your Cyber Security When You're Self-Employed

Whether you're a freelancer, solopreneur, remote worker, digital nomad, self-employee, or a side-hustler, chances are you’re going to love the work you do and love the flexibility that it gives you, the ideal work-life balance and autonomy that these careers offer. However, this type of work-life isn’t one that comes without risks, especially when it comes to one essential piece of equipment, your computer.

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When you work from home, you are lacking when it comes to the expertise of an IT department supporting you. This means that your computer and the data it holds are more vulnerable than they would if you were working for a company.

It’s far too common to hear of people who depend on themselves to fall behind and lose a lot of valuable information and work that they have put their precious time into. There is, however, some ways that you can help protect yourself some of them include:

Install Security Software
Every single Windows 10 computer will have a Windows Defender pre-installed, this does provide some level of security. It has improved leaps and bounds since it was first introduced and now includes features like ransomware protection, this prevents malware from damaging your files. This definitely a much-needed addition and great security product.

When it comes to choosing a product, completing a swift google search for these will yield some fantastic results. A lot of people recommend using a paid service instead of a free one. Whichever product you choose to use, you need to make sure they include at least the following:

  • 2-Way Firewall- This helps to prevent outbound and inbound internet connections from/to unsafe destinations or sources.
  • Real-time protection - This works to prevent malware infections in real-time as opposed to post-infection with virus removal.
  • Regular Updates - You should always make sure that regular updates are standard with any product you choose, this way you know that it will be able to keep up-to-date with the latest threats. Threat Scanning - It’s essential to have the ability to schedule and run virus scans on your chosen files or on your entire computer

If you like to work away or work on the go then you are most likely going to use public Wi-Fi in coffee shops, on the train, in workspaces, and libraries, etc. If you do then you should consider using Virtual Private Network (VPN). This will ensure that any data you send or receive whilst using public internet will remain private.

Always Back Up Your Work
It is vitally important for you to make a backup of your files, maybe even your whole computer. You need to do it on a regular basis, ideally once a week. The more often you do it, the less you are going to lose if a disaster was to strike.

Using services like the cloud is a brilliant way to do this. It’s really easy to recover any lost data from any device connected to the internet. You need to make sure that your loud back-up isn’t just your files being synchronized, this isn’t bad but it’s not enough to secure all your data.

On top of this, it’s a good idea to make sure you also have a physical back-up on an external hard drive. You should avoid keeping this in the same place as your computer for extra security measures. For example, if you’re working out and about and you take both your laptop and your external drive with you if your bag was to be stolen you would have lost both. The whole idea behind having an external backup is so you have all your important information and data if the worst were to happen.

Think About Outsourcing Your IT Services And Cyber Security Services
If you are unsure or worried about the security and the level of protection you can provide yourself, it can be concerning and a little bit stressful. If you ultimately want to make sure you are protected it’s probably good to look at outsourcing your IT Services and Cybersecurity Services to a professional company. This way you know that you are in good hands and protected to a good level without the worry fo doing it yourself. You will have access to advise and have someone to turn to if a problem was to occur without having to stumble through it yourself.

It’s vital that as a self-employed worker you’re taking the relevant steps to secure your data, this short guide should help point you in the right direction. Is there anything that you already do to secure your data? Please share them in the comments below.
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