Whether you’re a web designer, photographer, programmer or content writer (like yours truly), keeping your online presence private and secure is an absolute must for any active freelancers. With so many unknowns about where your next job might be or next paycheck will come from, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether or not the hotspot you’re on might accidentally leak your credit card information while you’re trying to finish up a conference call from halfway around the world.
This is why it’s imperative that anyone who works online has access to a VPN at all times. No matter what device you use the most, being able to constantly keep in contact on platforms like Slack, Trello, JIRA, and more are the key to making sure you’re always working with your team when they need you most.
So how can you guarantee that your connection will be protected from attackers on all sides? Read on in our guide to VPNs for freelancers to find out!
Freelancing and Remote Threats
If you’re a tried and true freelancer, chances are you work most of your jobs from a desktop or laptop wherever you happen to wake up that day. The beauty of modern freelancing is that for the most part as long as you’ve got access to a computer, you can get to work from anywhere in the world.
Many freelancers even adopt what’s known as the “digital nomad” lifestyle, travelling the globe and checking in from any WiFi hotspots they happen to find along their journey. The practice is becoming especially popular among programmers, writers, and designers, all of whom only really need a keyboard or a Wacom tablet to do 99% of their work.
Traveling so much can be a great way to clear one’s mind and help them do some of their best work, but it also means being thrust into situations where you may have to sign into WiFi networks that are...less than reputable, in order to check in with home base every day.
And just like you need to be careful of real thieves while visiting abroad (traveler’s checks exist for a reason), you have to be just as careful about which WiFi networks you sign into to send your completed assignment back home.
When you work remotely, this usually means you get paid remotely too. Logging into your bank or payment services like PayPal on public unsecured WiFi can open you up to huge security threats, because once a hacker steals your credentials via a public WiFi man-in-the-middle attack, they can then transfer your entire savings right into Bitcoin or other non-traceable forms of currency and be gone before you even know what hit you.
Digital nomads are known for living paycheck to paycheck, and place to place. These make them the perfect targets for international hackers who see that insecurity as a sign of weakness, and will always do whatever they can to exploit it when you’re at your most vulnerable.
All Theft Doesn’t Involve Pickpockets
But, even if you’re not currently connecting to your Slack channel from the front porch of a hostel in Peru, you should still be just as concerned about the WiFi hotspot down at your favorite local coffee spot as daily travelers are.
For example; if you work in a country like China which heavily regulates and monitors their population’s internet usage, it can be a risky endeavor to make a connection with your co-workers back home to talk shop. Why?
Because intellectual property is sometimes far more valuable than a single bank account ever could be. See, when you’re working on a big project - say the next iPhone, for the sake of argument - any bits of information about that product could potentially be worth thousands, even millions to foreign governments like China.
When you work as a freelancer, a VPN is a guaranteed way to know that all of the data you’re transmitting is being protected behind a stone wall of 256-bit AES military-grade encryption. This prevents hackers, governments, or IP thieves from peeking in on your next conference call or capturing any data uploads that might potentially contain sensitive information about your company’s next big launch.
How VPN.com Can Help
Being a freelancer is an exciting way to earn a paycheck every month, and can often lead to some pretty wonderful ways of living if you’ve ever found yourself with a bit of wanderlust on the brain.
But, it’s still a life steeped with hours of hard work, and almost all of it requires a secure internet connection in order to get it done right. The last thing you’d ever want as a freelancer is to lose the privilege of working remotely, all because you connected to a dodgy WiFi hotspot in Laos and a hacker stole your big idea and sold it to the highest bidder.
When you sign up for a VPN using the recommendations by VPN.com, you give yourself and your bosses the assurance that none of the chats you have or the files you send will ever be compromised in transit, regardless of where you’re connecting from in the world. With an encrypted end-to-end tunnel providing a safe lane of communication for all major freelance platforms, a VPN gives you the guarantee that none of your professional or financial information will be exposed to the hackers of the web.