Posted on: 15 February 2019

How to make your life easier with technology

In an ever increasingly connected world, keeping up with the latest technology can help get you more business, especially as a freelancer.

So what are the essential pieces of technology that you should consider to keep you connected to clients?

What equipment should you consider?

Smartphone

Research from Ofcom showed a huge surge of market penetration for smartphones, from 17% in 2008, to 78% in 2018. Whilst it is likely that, as a freelancer, you will already have a smartphone, can you explore other models or find new apps to help manage your business?

All modern smartphones can take calls or messages, but research showed that mobile calls in the UK have dropped for the first time ever in 2017. This shows a need for alternative methods of communication, so having access to your emails and an instant messenger is an essential use of your smartphone.

If you drive or deliver as a part of your activities, a satnav will be a vital part of your smartphone, as will making sure that you have enough data to use this function on a regular basis.

Because of how fast smartphones can now operate, you could be carrying around something in your pocket as powerful as a desktop computer. Most modern smartphones will have between 2GB and 4GB of RAM which can be as much as a modern laptop, however OnePlus and Vivo are two manufacturers looking to push the limits of mobile speed to 10GB of RAM.

Laptop

Whilst modern smartphones can have powerful processors, large amounts of storage and access to office programmes, it would be unreasonable to think you could perform any lengthy writing task on a mobile phone screen.

Where 41% of people have stopped buying desktop PC since 2008, there has been a 19% increase in laptop buyers from 2009. Laptops can now not only be as powerful as a desktop PC, but they stand apart from desktops because of their portability, allowing users to carry most of their office requirements in a bag, as well as being able to use it on a desk.

External hard drives

A storage device could be essential if you ever need to transport information around with you. To be able to transport large amounts of data, your data would be stored on a physical disk which would often need a power source, but now with the introduction of solid state external hard drives, you can take your information around on a device similar to a memory stick that can hold huge amounts of information without the need for a power source.  

External drives can come with huge amounts of memory, usually between 1TB to 2TB for an affordable model, however some models can range up to 8TB and can store around 1,600 films.

Smartwatch

Smartwatches are another piece of technology that recently broke into the mainstream market and can range in price depending on what you are looking for from your device.

Most smartwatches can notify you of incoming calls or messages, and can do so discreetly. On the top end of the price spectrum, smartwatches can make calls and track you via GPS. Having all of your notifications on your wrist can help keep you connected whilst also remaining active.

You will be able to find smartwatches from tech industry leaders such as Apple, Samsung or Garmin, but also cheaper options are available that will have a similar functionality.

Mobile Wi-Fi or USB dongle

Do you have limited data package for your phone or need portable Wi-Fi for your laptop? You could consider a mobile hotspot, which is a small device that allows you to connect to the internet whilst you’re out and about. Because you will usually have your data supplied through a mobile network, you can usually use your Wi-Fi in EU countries without incurring any additional charges.

Securing your technology

With the growth of technology comes the risk of having your information compromised. If you use a laptop, phone or tablet for your business, you are likely to have sensitive data about your clients on your device.

Make sure that you have strong passwords and encryptions on your devices to keep your data safe. A strong password will have a mixture of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers and symbols if allowed. Password protection software, LastPass, recommend having a minimum of 11 characters in your password to make it as strong as possible On your mobile devices, see if you can add more characters to your unlock code. By having 6 digits in your password instead of 4, you increase the amount of possible combinations from 10,000 to one million.

Whilst having a password is a tried and tested way of keeping your devices safe, we can now use facial recognition and finger prints to gain access. These advances offer a more convenient way of accessing your devices but have been known to have some flaws in their security.

Freelance insurance

Finding the right freelancers insurance to ensure your business is protected can be difficult because of the variety of specialisms that can be considered as freelance work. Our trained insurance professionals can help you find the right insurance package for you to help protect your livelihood. Get in touch to receive a competitive, no obligation quote.

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