Monthly Archives: August 2011

Keeping Your Life Secure

Image representing PayPal as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Hi readers! Reader. People hopefully still reading.

I know; I’m a horrible blogger and the worse part is, I seriously have been meaning to this blog for weeks now. So I’m not gonna get into a long intro, I’m just gonna jump in.

At the end of July, word got around that Anonymous and LulzSec – you know, those hackers that brought down Sony’s PSN – had a new target in their sights and that target was PayPal. Now like it or love it, it is one of the most popular financial sites online and in the world and if that doesn’t get your attention, it’s a pretty good bet that in your freelancing career, you’re gonna be using it.

I originally saw the article on Twitter, but as soon as I saw it, I was pissed. In case you hadn’t heard about the PlayStation Network fiasco (and where were you that you missed it), last count that I heard was 70 million of PSN players had their personal information compromised and that was just the PSN; weeks later, the hacker group took down other Sony websites and accounts.

I’m sure that by doing this post (weeks later, sorry!) I’m just giving them more attention, but in this case, I think it’s warranted. I don’t think I’ve done any posts in regards to protecting your information while freelancing and for that, dear reader, I beg forgiveness. The reason?

As mentioned, Pay Pal is a huge financial backer when it comes to getting money securely without using your banking information, which for many of us who are freelancing, is a very important aspect. Freelancing, as I’ve mentioned, isn’t your average 9 to 5 job and with that, you shouldn’t expect it to pay out that way. (Note – I will do a post on how to get paid). In most cases, you’re going to get electronic funds (like direct deposit) and have it in your account within moments.

This is why stuff like this is troubling; in the end, I haven’t heard of the groups hitting the site, but it’s still a worry. In fact, I changed my password right after I heard just to be on the safe side. With groups like these and other security issues, how will you, new bright-eyed freelancer, be able to protect yourself?

Simple – be smart and use common sense.

  • Password protect your accounts, with strong passwords that you can remember, but no one else can guess.
  • When out and about, lock your laptop/tablet/smartphone. This just means you need to enter in a password when you return; obviously the better suggestion is to take your equipment with you when you get up for longer than five minutes.
  • Never, ever, ever share accounts or passwords or any information with people you don’t know. And certainly don’t click on mysterious email links; if Facebook is sending you email to an address that is not associated with FB, it’s probably fake.

Later in the week, I’ll discuss how to get paid while freelancing, as well what you can do maybe. Oooh…it’s getting professional up in here!