How can you protect your writing?
Being a writer can be stressful knowing that your work has to be seen by so many people before it can be published can also be scary. If you don’t know how to protect yourself your work can be stolen and used by someone else. It is so easy for someone to take credit for something you have created. There is a story of an Emma Cline who wrote a bestseller “The Girls” and reportedly received an advance of two million dollars, also obtained film rights before the book was published. December of 2017, her ex-boyfriend sued her, saying that she stole his unpublished work after she downloaded a spyware hacking into his computer. Even though it is so easy for someone to to steal your work you must have a establish trust, you have to trust those you are willing to work worth. So how do you protect your writing? I will be going through all the best ways to protect your work.
Copyright Registration, used to put work on a verifiable account so in case of plagiarism you can show a copy of your work from an official government source. How safe is Copyright Registration anyways? Well It is both a good and bad idea. While it does protect your work, it will only protect the first draft. Because you must proofread, edit and re-write more than once it is only good when you use it after you have finished your final draft.
A written contract used as a written document signed by all parties involved explaining the payment and job of those you wish to work with. Also being sure to include that you own everything discussed during the time you work with them. If they have an idea suggestion of comment you will own that as well if you were to include it in your final draft. If you come across any professional such as an editor, book cover artist, proofreader, or any other professional and they don’t have a contract as well might not be a professional at all and you could be putting yourself at risk. A contract should be laid out a certain way, including provision, there are two types of provision you should include and one that you should not. First “a work for hire” making it clear that you are the owner of any work done by you and the professional you are working with. Second there should be a confidence provision which those who are working with you not to share or disclose any part of the manuscript unless you give permission. The provision that should not be used is the one that can be used to reverse the copywrite in what has been done by those who you choose to work with until final payment dispute. A separate contract should include any payment details you and the professionals agree with.
Beta reader, a volunteer reader used to proofread without a payment. The understanding between you and the beta reader doesn’t have to be strick but should be in writing. An example of agreement to a beta reader might look like this
Thank you for being a beta reader and agreeing to proofread my work. I understand the time you will take out of your day to do this and I will be happy to send you a copy of the published book when it is finished. Attached is a list of questions I want you to focus on while reading.
I have not shared the manuscript with many people I ask for you to keep it confidential and not to share with anyone, not even your comments and/or questions. Please do not copy or share with social media or anyone on social media.
This work is my life It is mine and created by only myself. I I use anything you have suggested it will be owned by me as well. Once you are finished reading and giving me your thoughts, I ask you for you to return the original manuscript and any notes. Please also delete any files that you might have made during your reading. Does this work for you?
When your beta reader replays with “yes that works.” You can feel that both agree, and your work is protected.
With the world changing and everyone wanting to use computers instead of a pen and paper, hackers have learned how to get into your computer and even your mobile devices and take your life's work? How do you protect yourself from these hackers? Here I will give you different things you can do to protect these devices from hackers.
Use a Firewall
Windows and Mac both have built in firewalls. A firewall is a software used to create a barrier between your information and the outside world. Firewalls are used to prevent other networks from accessing your information and alerts you when someone tries to do so. You can also purchase other firewall programs to protect you more. Always remember to enable your firewall before going online.
Install Antivirus Software
Antivirus software are used to protect your software from viruses and malware, which can cause your computer to shut down and wipe out anything saved to it at the time. People use antivirus software like Bitdefender, Panda Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes and Avast to protect their computer there are many more and will be able to detect the danger before you attempt to download it to the computer. Some advanced antivirus software will do recurring updates everyday detecting threats that emerge daily.
Spyware secretly monitors and collects personal and organizational information. It is used to be hard to detect and difficult to remove. Also used to direct you to certain (often malicious) websites that were delivered through un-wanted websites and search results.
Recording even keystrokes to access passwords and other vital information. Anti-viruses are used to focus strictly on protecting your software from this. Webroot Macafee and Norton are 3 of the anti-virus programs that also include the spyware in it scanning your computer repeatedly and blocking any potential threat.
Using a secure password is the best way to protect your work from hackers. What is a secure password? A complex password is harder to guess using 8 characters or more, using numbers, upper and lowercase and computer symbols. Hackers have a tool that can break a password in minutes so making it more difficult and can be harder for the software they use to figure out the password.
Don’t use anything that could connect to you, like numbers that are similar to your birthdate, part of your name, your phone nu/mber and your address. You can also use a software that can help you make up a difficult password for you. These websites like Dashlane, Sticky passwords, Laspass, or Password Boss can be used to make the password difficult and hard to guess.
Keeping your OS, Browsers, and Apps up-to-date
Updates will include security fixes that will prevent hackers from accessing and exploiting your data. Be sure to read the security setting when updating, the browser bow can prevent websites from tracking your movements which will increase your online privacy.
Backup your computer
This is critical in case a hacker does get in and trashes your system or even a virus attempts to get into your software and your computer crashes. If you backed up then you can always go back and find your work.
In your email there is a folder that goes by the name spam, this is the number one-way hackers have been able to get into computers. Once you open the email it now gave access to all your information. The inbox spam filters have got good on catching corrupted file but it's always better to be safe. If you are unfamiliar to where the file is from or who it is from then don’t open it. The hacker has gotten mor sophisticated and can mimic a friend or familiar business like you bank, if you are reading your email and anything looks suspicious don’t reply. Look out for key phrases like Kindly, Urgent/Important, Followup, Hello, Invoice Due, and many more. Typically, a business will not use those word.
Let's say a hacker was able to gain access to your network and files encryption will make sure that they can't access them. Using Bitlocker (windows) and Filevault (mac) to encrypt your hard drive and any USB flash drive and a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt web traffic.
To protect your mobile devices, you have to take different measures than you would do for your computer. Here I will tell you how to do so.
Turn Off Your Bluetooth
Bluetooth opens another backdoor for hackers.
Don’t Use Unsecure Public WIFI
If the WIFI has no password, then it usually means it has no security features. Mostly meaning that the hackers use it too.
Get A security App
Just as you would install a spyware or antivirus you should do so on your mobile device as well. Avast, Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus and Bitdefender are a few that will provide an app for your mobile device.
Switch off Autocomplete
Even though this feature is convenient it is also dangerous and gives hackers an easy way to find your information. Since it saves information like emails passwords, card numbers and even your personal information it gives hackers an advantage. So, to keep your information safe it is better to switch it off.
Following these few steps can save your work and prevent anyone from stealing your writing. Keeping your computer safe since it is the place where all information on the piece you're writing and your original copy is will prevent anyone from getting a hold of your life's work.