No one wants to think about things like stolen trade secrets or identity theft. No one wants to think that someone could ruffle through their rubbish and pull out your discarded writings and use it for crime. Most freelance writers do not even think that their rough-drafts are worth the paper they scribbled their notes on. However, information theft is one of the most prominent crimes in the world.
Freelance writers working from home must take precautions to protect their client information. They must take the necessary steps to ensure that whatever data they are entrusted with remains confidential. Freelancers who do not protect the interests of their client may face liability lawsuits.
When you are transmitting data over the Internet, is important to establish a secure connection. You can have extra security added to your website through your hosting company and the cost is very minimal.
You should also make sure that your data transmissions are protected from malware and viruses. It would be a liability issue if a file you transmit carries one of these malicious programs and infects the receiving computer.
Digital files that you store at home should be kept on a portable hard drive that can be unplugged from the computer when it is not in use. This ensures that if your system is hacked, these files cannot be accessed.
Paper File Protection
If your client provides paperwork for you to use as a basis of your work, make sure that it is always filed properly. If the materials are not required to be returned to the client, ask if they would want the files immediately shredded or stored for future use.
Any scrap paper that you use to take notes on the project should either be kept with the file or shredded, regardless of relevance. Copies that printed off of your computer and were not perfect should be destroyed.
Invoices, payment information, credit card or banking information should be stored in the same manner. Keep your paper files locked as an extra act of precaution.
Why The Paranoia?
Information is the hottest commodity, and yes, people will go to great lengths to obtain information that they can sell. A criminal looking through your trash to find an old credit card statement will think they hit gold when they find corporate banking information.
Additional Benefit Of Protecting Your Data
When you can provide your client with this extra security, they will feel better about working with you on a regular basis. A company that believes that you have their best interests in mind will become a regular client.
You should be very straightforward to your clients about the security measures that you use both on and offline. Many clients who visit your information page may decide to select you over another economy-priced writer simply because you offer this extended protection.
Every minute of every day someone has personal information stolen. These victims spend months, and sometimes years, fixing all the problems that this identity theft has caused.