Why Cybersecurity is Relevant to Copywriters

As a copywriter, you need to protect yourself against cybercrime.

Your data is more valuable to cybercriminals than you might think, so even if you’re a freelancer and don’t think of yourself as a business owner, there’s every reason in the world to guard against becoming complacent.

Client data, for example, can be used for extortion or blackmail, as was the case with the Ashley Madison hack. Users of the dating website were blackmailed to pay to prevent their presence on the site going public. The company was forced to pay $11.2 to those who had breached. If details related to your client’s projects are stolen, they could be used against them – and minimally, your client surely wouldn’t work with you again. So if you fail in defending against cybercrime, you may find out the hard way just how vulnerable both your device and career are.

Source: Pixabay

It’s true that cybercriminals target government units and major corporations, but not exclusively. As a service provider who stores sensitive data, you’re also at risk. It isn’t necessarily your personal data they want, either. A hack is more than capable of taking over your computer and accessing every last one of your files, including those with information on your clients.

Client data

There are many types of data breach. But whatever happens, just a single occurrence can lead to losing trust from clients and consequently, a loss of work. As data is central to any freelancer’s business, data security is paramount to ensuring repeat business and good PR. The fact that you are in possession of such data, however, makes you a target for cybercriminals. If you’ve been reactive in this area thus far, it’s time to adopt a more proactive approach. One of the very first things you need to do to is to provide data security protection through united security policies across hybrid environments, in the cloud, and on premises. Exactly what would be right for you depends on the volume of data you have stored and other factors.

CMS platforms

If you use a CMS for your own ventures or for certain clients, you need to be extra careful. Without sufficient security, WordPress installations are known to have vulnerabilities that can easily and quickly be found by using automated tools. There are a number of reasons . One of the main reasons why hackers are attracted to CMS is that they possess multiple weak points of entry, such as the large number of plugins available for CMS like WordPress. Many make the incorrect assumption that as CMS such as Drupal and WordPress are popular names, they are fully secure. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. According to the Hacker Combat website, there are several signs you can watch out for to tell if your website has been hacked. These include unethical links and strange search results.

Phishing emails

While it might seem obvious that a Nigerian prince wouldn’t need someone to assist them with transferring money, many phishing emails are more sophisticated than that. The first thing to do with any email you receive is to check whether you know who it’s from. It could be from a client, for example, in which case they should be in your contacts. But if you don’t recognise the email, tread carefully even if the name is familiar. Bear in mind that some phishing emails are created to look specifically like one of your contacts, so look closely. You can hover over a link to see the URL before clicking on it. If you’re in doubt, just don’t click. If you click on a phishing email, you’re likely to be taken to a site pretending to be a familiar company, such as PayPal, and asked to enter your personal details. That data could be login details or online banking or credit card credentials. It could even be information such as a social security number that could be used in identity theft. Cybercriminals could then either use that data themselves or sell it on the dark web. By placing more emphasis on data security, you’re not only protecting your reputation in the eyes of your clients, but also a potential lawsuit should their data be used for malicious purposes.

cybersecurity 2

Source: Pixabay

As a copywriter, there’s no shortage of online scams that you’re susceptible to. New threats have appeared from the increase of available digital tools. So keep your data secure and remain vigilant to avoid becoming a victim.

The post Why Cybersecurity is Relevant to Copywriters appeared first on Writing, Wishing.

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

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