Freelance Tips: How to Avoid Computer Disasters

Freelance Tips: How to Avoid Computer Disasters

  • Aug 21, 2021
  • 5 min read

As a freelance proofreader today, nearly all your work will take place on a laptop or computer. As such, it’s important to protect yourself against any technological mishaps that could set you back. Disasters such as losing files, getting a virus, or experiencing other tech malfunctions are frustrating. This post will cover our five top tips to help you avoid computer disasters:

  1. Back up your files to avoid losing progress on your work.
  2. Get your hardware insured so you’re covered for loss or damage.
  3. Invest in reliable antivirus software to protect yourself against malicious files and sites.
  4. Update your tech regularly to reduce the possibility of glitches.
  5. Set secure passwords to keep your data safe.

Read on to find out more about these tips.

1. Back Up Your Data

Backing up your files is a quick and easy way to avoid computer disasters. It can save you hours of hassle should you ever experience a file malfunction.

We recommend backing up your files regularly on both an external hard drive and an online cloud backup such as DropBox, Google Drive, or OneDrive (whose basic plans are free). By doing so, you’ll ensure that you can still access everything you need on another device if your hardware fails.

You might also want to opt for premium cloud storage such as those listed here. These offer additional features such as unlimited storage and file restoration. But for most freelancers, the free options will be enough!

2. Insure Your Hardware

Getting your tech insured will save you money and stress if your valuables are lost, damaged, or stolen. It will also allow you to get back to work as quickly as possible, especially if you choose an insurer that offers coverage for replacement equipment.

If you work from home, it’s worth checking your contents insurance to see if it covers your laptop or computer. But if you regularly work elsewhere, it’s a good idea to insure your tech with separate gadget insurance.

3. Get a Reliable Antivirus Software

Having reliable antivirus software will prevent malware from compromizing your work, adding an extra layer of safety to downloading files from clients and browsing the internet.

Make sure to get familiar with the features of whichever software you choose. Most come with a scan function, which is excellent for ensuring that all the sites you visit and files you download are safe and malware-free as well as checking your whole device for any viruses.

4. Update Your Tech Regularly

Most (if not all) technology companies update their software regularly to improve the service they offer. This can mean fixing bugs, adding new features, or optimizing the back end of their systems. But it’s often up to you to trigger each update as you will usually need to restart your device.

Both Windows and Mac have a check for updates function, as well as pop-ups that remind you when a system update is due. Other software, including browsers such as Google Chrome, also require updates that keep them running smoothly.

In addition, make sure you invest in new equipment when necessary. Outdated hardware is more likely to malfunction and puts you at risk of losing important data.

The operating systems of old computers may also become incompatible with downloaded software. For example, a very old version of Windows may not support the latest version of Microsoft Word, which may cause problems when sharing and downloading documents from clients.

Regularly updating your tech will ensure that everything on your device runs as smoothly as possible.

5. Strengthen Your Passwords

While the event that your accounts are hacked is unlikely, strengthening your passwords is a simple precaution that could save you a lot of hassle.

Make sure you update your passwords regularly (e.g., every three months) and put some thought into their content:

  • Don’t use easily guessable words associated with your life such as addresses, dates of birth, or the names of children or pets.
  • Include a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special symbols.
  • The longer the better; aim for 12 characters and above.

And don’t use the same password for every login! You can use a tool like Chrome’s built-in password wallet or 1Password to keep your passwords safe without fear of forgetting them.

Becoming A Proofreader

Working wherever and whenever you like is hard to beat. As a freelance proofreader, your only limits are a good internet connection and somewhere to plug in your laptop. Why not check out our courses today or sign up for a free trial?

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