As a freelancer there are, unfortunately, many more things to consider than just the creative outlet, and internet security is among them. Protecting your business and yourself from phishing, scams and knowing which tools can help you is an immense support when setting up your business. TurnOnVPN specialises in internet security and I am happy to share a post highlighting how the scary way into freelancing can become a little easier.
The freelance economy is booming – and we are not even at the peak of that curve yet. In the time since the start of the pandemic, there has been a push to freelancing for many people, which isn’t surprising, considering many workers are in furlough.
If you are looking for work as a freelancer, though, know that it is not all rosy. Those that have been freelancing for a while are aware of the challenges, but you are just starting in the field. An understanding of the dangers you might face – and how to tackle them – will do you a lot of good.
Common Challenges for Freelancers
In the months leading up to this one, new freelancers have fallen to many dubious scams on the internet. The most elaborate involve a potential client contacting the freelancer and asking them to start work immediately. Part of the job would require sending a check to the freelancer, which they cash out, hold some of the money for themselves and send the rest out. The only problem is that the sent check is a dummy, which means you as the freelancer will soon found out you have a negative balance. The worst part is that the monies are usually sent via applications like Cashapp and Venmo, or cryptocurrency channels. In other words, there is little to no hope of ever getting such monies back.
And we have not even talked about the stability and security concerns you need to now take into account. Once you start putting your business out there, you will start getting a lot of files over the internet. Potential clients are not necessarily who they say they are, though. What if they are hackers trying to get you to download malicious content to your computer? Some might even want to run a phishing scam on you.
2. You are your own boss
Apart from being aware of potential scams, new freelancers might find it difficult to keep up with the task management part of the business. As a freelancer, you don’t have a boss hovering over your head anymore. This means that you have to take full responsibility for being on time – and doing the work right the first time too. Otherwise, you might start losing clients faster than you get them.
In short, freelancing is not just about having the right skills. It also goes beyond knowing where to seek clients and getting them too. Freelancing the right way means knowing how to handle all aspects of your business by yourself.
Otherwise, you might not be able to run a successful practice.
Tools to Make Your Life Better
After all that has been said, you do not have to resign to fate. The learning curve might look steep right now, but you are soon to get into the green.
To accelerate the process, you can take advantage of a series of tools right now.
If you are coming from an office setup, you will benefit greatly from tools like Asana, Trello, Slack, etc. They simulate the office experience, allowing you to interact with your clients, get tasks assigned to you, and more.
You should also get a password manager for yourself. You will have a series of accounts – from freelance platforms to other apps (email, etc.) – that you have to keep protected. Clients might even provide you access to some of their backend services for you to complete your work.
This is not the time to have a password error/ hack happen. Likewise, get a password generator so that you always have strong passwords for all of your accounts.
Still, on security, you need to download antivirus software and a VPN to secure your device too. The former will be there to prevent the infiltration of a virus on your device, which will protect you when browsing the web, downloading files, and more. On the VPN front, you are always sure of having an encrypted network – even when dealing with public/ free Wi-Fi networks.
Becoming a top-class freelancer is not rocket science, but you need to keep yourself safe and secure too. With the tips above, you should be more ready to go.
Writer. Editor. Blogger. YouTuber. Freelancer. Traveller. English fanatic.