As a freelancer, it can be difficult to balance your privacy requirement with your desire to find work. Often, a lot of questions arise:Should you share personal information that can be used to identify you with potential customers (such as your ID, SSN, etc.).
When it comes to your privacy, do you treat freelance clients the same way you treat an employer?
What happens if a nefarious person defies your identity and decides to use it – together with experience, social evidence and work samples – to work as a freelancer, under his own name?
These are issues that you have to deal with sooner or later and as a freelancer it is essential to be privacy conscious, in an online world race with scams, hacks and piracy. But where should you start? Following these 6 privacy best practices will ensure that you are more protected as a freelancer.
1. Keep an eye on your name and brand online to prevent identity theft.
Research by Javelin Strategy & Research shows that in 2017 alone there were 16.7 million people with identity fraud, and these stolen identities were used to cheat people out of $ 16.8 billion.
Identity theft is a major issue – more for freelancers. Thanks to how easy it can be to get information online, someone can quickly search up on you, steal your identity, and give it / yourself a major advantage when dealing with other customers. Can use This means that a random, unknown person can immediately claim to be you and can take advantage of your experience, your credibility, your social proof and even your location to get a job as a freelancer. . Just ask this freelancer who stole his identity from Bangladeshi natives; Using his identity, Bangladeshi natives were able to pose as a native-English speaking freelance writer from the US and then used the opportunity to get more employment. A real nightmare.
Unfortunately, no matter how much you try, you cannot protect yourself 100% from identity theft. However, you can make yourself more secure by doing the following:
Monitor your name and brand online. Set up alerts to automatically track online mentions of your name, brand, and keywords, using services such as Google Alert and Mention. If you notice that anything has come upon you that you have not created or authorized, then quickly follow and remove it before it becomes a major threat.
File DMCA notice. In the event that you find that someone is impressing you using your identity on your website or on a freelance job site to secure clients, you can take your content (which includes your pictures) DMCA can file a takedown notice to force. Sample content, or any other content you create and can claim copyright).
With a little awareness and monitoring, you can give yourself an edge and stop people planning to use your identity in their tracks before further damage occurs.
2. Be careful about installing third-party software recommended by the potential customer.
When a potential customer says that you have to install third-party software, before they can work with you, make sure that you have malware or some other malicious software designed to steal your information It is important to do your own independent testing to ensure that you are not installing.
There have been circumstances in the past when offenders claim to be a potential employer in search of a freelancer and then ask the freelancer to install only the remote management app as an app to take the app to the freelancer’s device To use, steals the freelancer’s description. And even tricking freelancers.
If you really want to install third-party software, test it independently and make sure that you only install it from an official source. Many developers will protect their work with a code signing certificate. This certificate is issued by a certificate authority or CA by GlobalSign and serves as an assurance that the software is authentic and has not been changed since it was published.
3. Think twice before sending any identification or document to customers.
When an independent employer hides behind only an email address and a Skype account, you are asked to provide important documents or information such as your driver’s license or your social security number, which you should proceed with extreme caution.