As a copywriter, you need to protect yourself against cybercrime.
Your data is more valuable to cybercriminals than you might think, so even if you’re a freelancer and don’t think of yourself as a business owner, there’s every reason in the world to guard against becoming complacent.
Client data, for example, can be used for extortion or blackmail, as was the case with the Ashley Madison hack. Users of the dating website were blackmailed to pay to prevent their presence on the site going public. The company was forced to pay $11.2 to those who had breached. If details related to your client’s projects are stolen, they could be used against them – and minimally, your client surely wouldn’t work with you again. So if you fail in defending against cybercrime, you may find out the hard way just how vulnerable both your device and career are.
It’s true that cybercriminals target government units and major corporations, but not exclusively. As a service provider who stores sensitive data, you’re also at risk. It isn’t necessarily your personal data they want, either. A hack is more than capable of taking over your computer and accessing every last one of your files, including those with information on your clients.
There are many types of data breach. But whatever happens, just a single occurrence can lead to losing trust from clients and consequently, a loss of work. As data is central to any freelancer’s business, data security is paramount to ensuring repeat business and good PR. The fact that you are in possession of such data, however, makes you a target for cybercriminals. If you’ve been reactive in this area thus far, it’s time to adopt a more proactive approach. One of the very first things you need to do to is to provide data security protection through united security policies across hybrid environments, in the cloud, and on premises. Exactly what would be right for you depends on the volume of data you have stored and other factors.
If you use a CMS for your own ventures or for certain clients, you need to be extra careful. Without sufficient security, WordPress installations are known to have vulnerabilities that can easily and quickly be found by using automated tools. There are a number of reasons . One of the main reasons why hackers are attracted to CMS is that they possess multiple weak points of entry, such as the large number of plugins available for CMS like WordPress. Many make the incorrect assumption that as CMS such as Drupal and WordPress are popular names, they are fully secure. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. According to the Hacker Combat website, there are several signs you can watch out for to tell if your website has been hacked. These include unethical links and strange search results.
While it might seem obvious that a Nigerian prince wouldn’t need someone to assist them with transferring money, many phishing emails are more sophisticated than that. The first thing to do with any email you receive is to check whether you know who it’s from. It could be from a client, for example, in which case they should be in your contacts. But if you don’t recognise the email, tread carefully even if the name is familiar. Bear in mind that some phishing emails are created to look specifically like one of your contacts, so look closely. You can hover over a link to see the URL before clicking on it. If you’re in doubt, just don’t click. If you click on a phishing email, you’re likely to be taken to a site pretending to be a familiar company, such as PayPal, and asked to enter your personal details. That data could be login details or online banking or credit card credentials. It could even be information such as a social security number that could be used in identity theft.
Cybercriminals could then either use that data themselves or sell it on the dark web. By placing more emphasis on data security, you’re not only protecting your reputation in the eyes of your clients, but also a potential lawsuit should their data be used for malicious purposes.
As a copywriter, there’s no shortage of online scams that you’re susceptible to. New threats have appeared from the increase of available digital tools. So keep your data secure and remain vigilant to avoid becoming a victim.