Freelancing is a rewarding experience. It allows you to work from the comforts of your home. You also get to spend more time with your loved ones. However, freelancing comes with its own set of risks. Anyone who is working on the internet can be the victim of a cyber-attack.

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Cybercrime has become alarmingly common. Here are a few ways to secure your devices and your data from hackers.

1. Use cloud services

More and more freelancers now use cloud services to secure their data. When you use a cloud-based service, you can rest assured that the service provider will back up your data in the cloud. You can access this data from wherever you want by simply logging into your account. Cloud-based services reduce the chances of data loss due to hardware failure or power outage. Also, most cloud services encrypt user data to protect it from prying eyes. That said, cloud services are not totally immune to cyber-attacks, so before you choose a service, make sure to check their background.

2. Use anti-virus software

Install good anti-virus software on your computer to protect it from cyber-attacks. These programs are capable of detecting malware, viruses, and other bugs. When they detect security threats, they will alert the user and encourage them to take action. And some anti-virus programs even allow users to scan their devices for undetected threats that could damage their software or hardware. There are several free and paid anti-virus programs available in the market, so it’s not difficult to choose one that provides adequate security for your computer while surfing the web or working online.

3. Update your passwords regularly

If you use the same password for several months or years, you increase your risk of becoming a cyber-attack victim. By changing your passwords frequently, you can protect your data from scammers. If you have several online accounts, it is not easy to remember your passwords for all of them. So it makes sense to use a password manager. A password manager will encrypt your passwords before storing them on your device. This will save you a lot of time and headaches. While choosing passwords, make sure that they are a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters.

4. Use a Firewall

A firewall also protects your device from cyber-attacks. You’ll find several free and paid services. Popular operating systems like Windows have a firewall built into them.

5. Install a VPN

Freelancers save a lot of important information on their computers. In the event of a cyber-attack, this information can reach the wrong hands. Your clients will not be happy if hackers gain access to their information through a security hole in your computer. Luckily, there are ways to protect your computer. We have already seen that an anti-virus program offers protection from several different online security threats. Installing a VPN on your computer is another action we would recommend. When you have both an anti-virus program and a VPN on your device, your computer gets the best protection against cyber-attacks.

There are some free VPN services; however, they offer only limited functionality. If you care about unlimited bandwidth and round-the-clock support, a paid VPN service is your best bet. They also have servers in several different parts of the world.

A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and thus protects it from prying eyes. Since a VPN hides your true IP address, it allows you to surf the web anonymously. When you connect to the internet through a VPN service, the computers on the internet can only see the IP address and location of the VPN. They cannot see your location or IP address. There is yet another advantage to using a VPN service. By hiding your true IP address, it allows you to access geographically restricted content.

What to consider when choosing a VPN service?

The reputation of the service provider is the first thing to consider. Choose a service that has been in this business for years or even decades. For example, if you’re on Mac, select some popular VPN services that have an app for the Mac platform. Some such services are ExpressVPN, Pure VPN, IPVanish, and HideMyAss. Choose a company that provides excellent customer support, unlimited bandwidth, and multiple connections.

6. Do not share your personal information with anyone

Freelancers do not really have to share their personal information with their clients because most of them work on a contract basis. So do not share your address, credit card number, social security number or other sensitive details with people you find online.

Freelancing becomes more enjoyable when you have the assurance that your data is safe. While it is true that cybercrime has become alarmingly common, you can protect your data by following the above tips.