5 Essential Steps for Securing Your Digital Writing Portfolio - Desk2Blog - A Technology Blogging Blog

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Friday, October 28, 2016

5 Essential Steps for Securing Your Digital Writing Portfolio


A digital writing portfolio is one of the most valuable assets you can have as a blogger or freelancer. Your portfolio is important part of your CV as it is the main way you highlight your talents and skills to potential clients. When clients or collaborators see a well-written and organized portfolio, they will be more likely to hire you because they’ll believe you can proficientlyhandle the project.
                     
Unfortunately, anything stored online is at a real risk of being copied or outright stolen. While many of us would nottake anything from the local bookstore, unauthorized copying of content offtheinternet is rarelythought of as a crime. This could result in significant loss ofyour reputation or potential revenuefrom the items in your portfolio. However, employing the following tips will keep your digital portfolio safe from harm.




Have a DMCA Notice

Flashing a DMCA Protected Badge on the homepage of your blog or website asserts that noone should reproduce or copy your writings without your consent. Triggering a DMCA takedown means the content will automatically be removed from the offending site, but this is largely used as a last resort. However, simply having that badge on your homepage will deter many thieves or even just those who don’t realize that copying content is stealing.

If you find someone has used your writing without permission, contact that person and politely ask him or her to remove the stolen items. However, remember to consider that if it is a high-authority site, it might be more beneficial to request a link back to your blog on the post. If a webmaster is still uncooperative, file a DMCA complaint with the web host, who will remove the item, or with Google, who will deindex the portfolio item on the offending website.

Set Up a Monitoring Service

This may not be financially feasible if you are a new blogger and not yet earning significant income from your writing; however, there are some simple free services available that do the same thing. Monitoring software will notify you if your work appears to have been plagiarized elsewhere.Unpaid options, such as Google Alerts, should be sufficient to flag unique phrases or sentences, your name or title of your article are mentioned on another website. For the veteran writer, services such as Mention, Copyscape or even simply hiring a virtual assistant would be more suitable.

While paying a wage to a virtual assistant may be more expensive, this is probably more efficient than most alert services. This is because in addition to monitoring the use of your images and articles on the web, virtual assistants can file DMCA paperwork and send takedown notices.

Protect Your Passwords

Probably the most important component of protecting your digital writing portfolio is utilizing secure passwords. The website where you host your portfolio, your email, your social media accounts, your marketplace accounts and your cloud-based storage are all potential targets for hacking. Having weak passwords in any of these accounts could result in a cybercriminal accessing your entire portfolio.

Follow recommended security protocols for keeping your information safe as a freelancer. Create password-protected, encrypted folders for your portfolio items. When it comes to passwords, the lengthier and the more varied the characters, the stronger and more secure they are. Have a combination of symbols, numbers, lower and uppercase letters in your passwords whenever you can. Do not use personally identifiable information or anything that may be easy to guess, such as your date of birth or the name of your dog.

Lastly while you should always try your best to have a good working relationship with your clients, you should also exercise caution in your dealings with them. Do not give any of your passwords to those you work with, as some may find their way to scamartistswhowould steal your work and disappear without giving you the monetary compensation you deserve.

Use a Virtual Private Network

As a freelancer or blogger, you may get alerts on a new job or need to complete posts while on-the go to ensure a regular schedule of updating. This will require you to frequent vulnerable public WiFi networks where cybercriminals can set up “sniffer” programs to steal whatever you submit over that network, including that secure password you just developed.

Fortunately, aVirtual Private Network (VPN)provides excellent protection on public networks by sending your data through a secure virtual tunnel between the VPN provider’s servers and your device. Most hackers will simply give up when they determine you are using a VPN and find an easier target who is not as protected. With a VPN you can use public networksas freely as you would use the secure network you have at the office or home.

Backup Your Work Regularly

It is likely that you are already doing this, but it may surprise you how many people do not backup their work on a regular timetable. As much as possible, you need to save your writing portfolio items and blog data on a cloud server. Similarly, it is always good practice to have physical copies of your portfolio for the unlikely situation of your internet connection getting compromised.

In fact, whether your portfolio is large or small, it’s advisable to take the time to back it upon both a physical hard drive and a subscription-based cloud service. Generally speaking, most digital writing portfolios will not exceed storage space offered by the leading free cloud services. Plus, any expense for added storage or an external hard drive will be well worth the investment if your computer or website gets infected and crashes.

What other methods are you employing to protect your digital writing portfolio? How effective are they? Please leave a comment below, and let us help each other protect our online portfolios.

About the Author: Cassie Phillips is a blogger, online freelancer, and cybersecurityexpert who enjoys the life of a digital nomad. She likes sharing tips on how to become a better freelancer with both veteran and aspiring freelancers.