For a lot of people, working as a freelancer is hugely rewarding and also convenient. Not only do you get to work from anywhere, but you can also choose how much work you take on and when. However, the ability to work in a library or a coffee shop if you so wish comes with risks that you need to consider. The information you are writing about could be sensitive to the client, so how do you protect your client’s data when you are on the move?
Set Out a Plan
Before you start to implement storage security, you need to plan where the data will be kept and how you are going to access it. For example, you could keep data securely in the cloud, though what happens if you are somewhere with no Wi-Fi or a bad signal area? However, if you keep the information on your laptop, you will need to think of strong security measures to stop it being stolen. Having a plan is also a good idea for your clients. If they are planning on giving you something sensitive to work on, they might want to know what security measures you are using.
Working at Home
Although you are working in the comfort of your own home, you still need to be aware of what you are doing with your client’s information. If you have an office room where you work, then think about putting a lock on the door so that no-one has access when you are not there. You might think that a little extreme, but there may be visitors or tradespeople in the house who could try to look at your computer. It is also a good idea to keep your work laptop strictly for work, just in case something gets deleted by accident by another member of the family. Also, if you’re accessing private data, it may make sense to use a highly recommended VPN (VPN Vanguard has a thorough list) to mitigate your data footprint.
If you are going to be taking your laptop to clients’ houses or working outside, then you should make sure that there is adequate security to prevent others from gaining access. You need to password protect your client’s files as well as the laptop itself. Choose a strong password and make sure they are different from each other. If you don’t use robust security procedures and there is a data leak, then your clients may well use the best forensic services to find out how it was leaked from your computers.
If you need to transfer sensitive data to and from your clients, then you need to think of a way to do this without any danger the data could be lost. You could do a physical exchange via a USB stick if the client is nearby, however, if they are in another country, then setting up a secure shared drive with them is one way you can move the data safely.
Your reputation as a freelancer is measured by how you look after your clients work, so you need to have strong systems in place.