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Virtru Blog

June 16, 2015 | Business

Why Freelance Professionals Need Email Encryption

secure attachments to protect ip

Ah, the hustle of freelance. For contractors, creative types and the growing mobile workforce, the constant hunt for new clients, new bylines or new projects is well worth the freedom of steering your own ship. However, that freedom can come with more than a little uncertainty — and not just when it comes to securing enough work.

Unlike someone working at an enterprise or even a small office, freelancers don’t have a Help Desk to call when something goes wrong with their tech, or a security policy designed by InfoSec experts to follow. Any writer who’s lost an entire manuscript to a computer virus or power outage knows this intimately. But what can freelance professionals and contractors do to protect their security and data privacy?

Email Encryption: A Freelancer’s Best Friend

Email is everything for a freelancer. Even if you’re on the phone with your clients a ton, open to texting or other forms of communication or using collaboration software like Google Drive, chances are you have your inbox open at all times. It’s a lifeline between you and your contracts.

When you’re your own business of one, one of the simplest and most important ways to protect yourself against hackers and cybercriminals is to use email encryption to secure attachments and messages. Email encryption uses a complex cipher algorithm to make the data in your email messages and attachments unreadable to anyone except for your intended recipient. That means that even if uninvited eyes get hold of your secure email, that information is unreadable to them unless they also managed to crack the encryption key (which, using 256-bit encryption, would take many billions of years).

Protecting Your IP with Secure Attachments

Many freelancers and contractors are creative sorts, whether they be copywriters, screenwriters, music composers, graphic designers, illustrators or developers. No matter what your vocation, your intellectual property is one of your most precious assets as a creative professional. That’s why “plagiarism” and “piracy” are your two berserk buttons: someone stealing your manuscript, mp3s or pages of code is just as bad as someone breaking into your brick and mortar store and pilfering your inventory.

Now think about how much of your IP is sent over email. Sending these files in an unencrypted email can leave your e-books, wireframes, illustrations, manuscripts, or any other creative products in these attachments exposed if your email is hijacked along the way. Even if your recipient were to quickly save the file locally on their computer and delete the message and attachment swiftly,  there’s still no guarantee that it’s not still sitting on a mail server somewhere.

How Email Encryption Protects Freelancers From Identity Theft

While your IP may be your most cherished data, there’s plenty of other potentially dangerous data sitting vulnerable in your inbox. Freelancers often send a lot of sensitive data via email. Consider, for instance, any tax documents you might be sending to your clients. I9s, W4s, direct deposit information — without something like email encryption, the only thing that stands between a hacker and your social security number, bank account number, address, birth date and other personal identifying information is your password.

Even if your password is long, complex and frequently updated, do you want that to be your only protection from identity theft? Using email encryption to secure attachments and message provides a critical layer of security to protect your livelihood.

Virtru: Convenient Email Encryption That’s Perfect for Freelancers

Thankfully, freelancers can enjoy the security and privacy benefits of email encryption without paying an IT professional, or hunkering down to learn how to use PGP. With Virtru, all you have to do to protect your inbox is download a browser extension and flip a switch to encrypt your email and secure attachments — that’s it!

If you’d like even more control over who has access to these secure attachments and messages, Virtru Pro is right up your alley. With the additional features Virtru Pro offers, not only will your emails be encrypted with data-centric encryption, you can also control or disable forwarding, enable expiration on your messages after a certain period of time, or flat-out revoke access at any time. See Virtru Pro’s features in action here:

Now you can rest assured knowing that your novel, screenplay or logo design is protected by the power of 256-bit email encryption.

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