Tag: Candidate

Tag: Candidate

  • Part 1: Why Working RVers are the...

    When the pandemic hit in 2020, our working world started to change.

    A great many companies across most industries had to – almost instantaneously – learn to adapt their operations to become remote friendly. 

    Since then, the remote work trend has continued to accelerate, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. 

    According to Forbes: 

    Researchers from Ladders have been carefully tracking remote work availability from North America’s largest 50,000 employers since the pandemic began. Remote opportunities leapt from under 4% of all high paying jobs before the pandemic to about 9% at the end of 2020, and to more than 15% today

    The number of remote work roles is increasing. 

    At the same time, the number of full-time RVers is also increasing. 

    According to the Annual North American Camping Report by KOA (the world’s largest system of privately held campgrounds), the number of full-time RVers increased by 10% YOY. 

    But that doesn’t mean those new RVers are giving up on work.

    CamperReport.com says, “Up from previous years, 40% of campers say that they sometimes or always work while camping.”

    But, many companies are missing out on the awesome talent available from working RVers.

    Many feel hesitant to hire a digital nomad or working RVer because they think someone who travels won’t be as reliable as someone who is always in a stationary location.

    But the truth is, the remote workforce is way more prepared for work than a lot of people realize.

    Heck – we’ve had to be. 

    For years, we never wanted our employers to know we weren’t working from a landline internet connection or a stationary “sticks and bricks” location – because we were afraid we’d get fired. 

    So, in order to hide the fact that we work nomadically, we’ve learned to be over-prepared for remote work. 

    How did we do that?

    By creating redundancies. 

    Backups. Contingency plans. Alternative options and strategies.

    All created to make sure we could work from the road without interruption.

    Turns out, many of us do it with even less interruption than working from a stationary home.

    Having multiple redundancies for the most important aspects of our work – Internet, Power, and Environment – is a huge part of how the remote workforce brings even more value than stationary work-from-home employees. 

    Internet Icon - 350x250

    Internet Redundancies


    Multiple Service Providers

    Internet connection is one of the most important components of being able to work from the road. 

    For RVers, the most common way to access the internet is through an internet hotspot, either from a standalone hotspot device or from their cell phone. 

    Since the hotpot is provided by a cellular service provider, the internet connection is dependent on cellular service in that area from that particular provider. In areas where a given service provider has a weak cell signal, the internet signal will be weak, as well.

    To combat this, many RVers create a redundancy by having phones and/or hotspot devices provided through multiple carriers. 

    Of the top 3 carriers in the U.S. (commonly understood to be Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile), many RVers will choose to hold plans through at least 2 of them; some go even further and opt for all 3. 

    This means that if internet signal is weak through one carrier, they can just switch to using another. 

    Which gives them an advantage over most stationary work-from-home employees, who usually don’t have backup internet if their primary one goes out.

    For RVers, having these backups is just a normal part of living and working on the road. 


    Signal Boosters

    Beyond having backup carriers for cell and internet access, many RVers also use signal boosters to maximize usability from each carrier. 

    The 2 most common types of signal boosters for RVers are cell signal boosters and WiFi boosters.  

    Cell signal boosters amplify cellular reception, which allows for better cell phone calls and stronger internet signal from any hotspot devices. 

    This helps RVers take business calls, access the internet, and get work done from remote areas of the country.

    WiFi signal boosters help lengthen the reach of a wireless internet signal, which helps RVers have stronger internet when staying at an RV park or campground.

    So no matter if we’re camping off-grid or staying right in town, we have devices to make sure we have strong internet access.



    Starlink is a satellite internet network by SpaceX that uses advanced satellites in a low orbit to provide high speed, low latency internet that enables high data rate activities like video calls.

    And through its new Portability feature, it’s making high-speed internet more accessible than ever for RVers. And since Starlink fills the gaps left by major carriers in more remote areas of the country, even the most adventurous RVers can get work done from wherever they go. 

    Power Icon - 350x250

    Power Redundancies


    There are two main default ways an RV gets power: from being plugged in to an external power source or from onboard batteries.

    External power sources often come from ‘shore power’, which is usually the electrical box at an RV park or campground, but can even be an electrical outlet in a home garage. 

    As for RV batteries, while many of the factory-installed ones are small and don’t provide much power, most full-time RVers level-up to lithium batteries, which provide exponentially more power. 

    Another common power source for RVers is a generator, which is another external power sources that provides power in much the same way ‘shore power’ sources do.

    Finally, many full-time RVers opt to have solar power as an additional back-up (or even primary) option. 

    Most full-time RVers who work from the road choose to have all 4 options for power, so we’re almost never in a situation where we can’t power our devices and get work done. 

    EnvironmentLocation Icon - 350x250

    Environment / Location Redundancies



    Working RVers use a multitude of resources to research and choose our destinations. 

    There are apps, tools, and other online resources to plan travels based on weather, cellular coverage, WiFi signal, and so much more. 

    By using those tools to pre-plan our travels, and having back-up options just in case the first 1, 2, or 3 don’t work out, we’re able to make sure we land in a spot that lets us get work done. 



    Because we know we need to have back-up options, RVers are usually more adaptable to changing environments. 

    So, for instance, if the location we’re in has been good for a few days, but all of a sudden there’s construction or an influx of loud adventurists – we can hop in the truck and head to the nearest town to get work done in a coffee shop or restaurant for the day.

    Many of us even do that research ahead of time, so we’re prepared to do that if we have to. 

    And we’re usually already equipped with remote work tools like a hotspot device, laptop, and earbuds, so it’s not much hassle for us to change locations on the fly. 

    That’s not always the case with stationary work-from-home employees.


    Location Independence

    Speaking of changing locations on the fly, the best part about living in an RV is that your home is on wheels, so you can always move it if you need to.

    No matter how much pre-planning we do, there will always be things out of our control. 

    But for RVers, if plans A, B, and C don’t work out, and we wind up in a spot for a night with less-than-optimal working conditions, we’re always prepared to sleep on it, regroup the next day, make a new plan, and get to somewhere we can work from. 

    Stationary work-from-home employees don’t often have the option to go somewhere else if a 3-month construction project starts in their neighborhood. 

    That’s the beauty of being a digital nomad. 

    And hiring one. 


    Employers: Want direct access to remote talent?

    Learn more about how the RVer Job Exchange can help you bring diverse and highly skilled talent to your company. 

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  • What Is A Virtual Assistant?

    Are you curious about what a Virtual Assistant is and wondering if it is something you would like to pursue? Awesome! Let’s do this!

    So… What Is A Virtual Assistant?

    In short, a Virtual Assistant can be almost anything you want it to be in terms of work that is assisting someone and their business. It is a broad title that can cover a lot of different areas. This is great since it means there are lots of opportunities for VA work!

    Virtual Assistant Admin​

    In this role, you are, in a sense, a virtual secretary for the person you are working for. You are available to help with any virtual task that your client is looking for. That may be data entry; it may be emails or social media help.

    Any task that your client wants. This work is usually done within a set amount of hours each week, dependent on how much help the client needs. 

    This can be a fun role to have if you like variety and are looking to learn many different tasks. You may decide to take these tasks and hone in on one or two to become an expert in them. Or you may enjoy the variety and be open to continuing to take on whatever tasks the client is looking for. (Want some help keeping track of all these tasks? Learn about organizing your digital workspace.)

    The best advice I have for this role is to know you aren’t going to know how to do everything out of the gate. BUT if you have the drive and want to be good at what you do. Say yes to things you don’t even exactly know how to do and use your own time to research and learn (don’t charge the client for this). This will help grow your skill base – while also getting paid for the work you are doing for your client.

    Clients appreciate having virtual assistants who have this drive and desire to learn and deliver what they ask for. If they ask you to do backend coding or some complex task, it is OK to say no. For more straightforward tasks or tools, it is worth it to give it a go and see what you can learn.

    Specific Tasks Virtual Assistant

    This is a whole different kind of Virtual Assistant. In this case, you will present to the client what your skillset is and the type of work you can do.

    You may choose to be a Project Manager VA – who can take a client’s project idea and make it a reality.

    Or this could be something along the lines of a Social Media or Pinterest VA where you hone your skills on a specific set of Social Media tools and only offer those services.

    In this case, you can put together packages with a set price and set work that you will deliver for your client.

    If you specialize in a particular task/area, you can generally charge more for your services since you are an expert on the service you are providing.

    This becomes less of an “I will do what you tell me” role with the client, and more of a “this is what I do.” It is always OK to take on more work from the client if you would like to, just be sure you are getting paid appropriately for your time and expertise.

    Here are a few specific tasks you could offer:

    • Newsletter creation
    • Data entry
    • Email inbox maintenance
    • Presentation creating
    • Social Media
    • Pinterest
    • YouTube maintenance
    • Blog post-editing
    • Basic bookkeeping
    • Invoicing clients
    • Podcast tasks
    • Organization
    • Landing page creation
    • Customer relation manager

    The list goes on and on.

    Above all else, to be a successful Virtual Assistant, you want to focus on a few things.

    1. ALWAYS deliver on time.
    2. NEVER make your client reach out to you asking you how a project is going.
    3. OVER communicate.
    4. Take ownership of your tasks and do what needs to be done to get them done.

    If someone hires a VA, they want someone to take things off their plate – not add to their plate. Make this easy for them and make them feel like you are making their life easier.

    If you really want to impress them, find things in their business, they could improve on and present ideas and options on how YOU can do this for them.

    Alright, you are ready to do this and become a Virtual Assistant. Now what?!

    Getting Your First Virtual Assistant Job​

    This is what I always share about getting your first clients. It is also what worked for me to kick off my business.

    Find a few people you know that have their own business and reach out to them and ask if you can work for them for free for one month. Make it very clear that it is only free for one month. Also, have a plan on what you could do for them.

    To put this plan together, research their business and find places where you think they may need help or support. Put together a simple PDF document laying out the kind of work you could do for them.

    Present the document to them and offer to do the work laid out for free for one month. If they like what you have been doing after one month and it is working well, you will present what your fee is to continue with the work.

    I like this approach since it gives everyone time to try out this role and see how it works. Many business owners are hesitant to bring on a VA since they aren’t sure how it will work. This gives them a chance to try it out.

    It also gives you a chance as a new business owner to see how this works, if you like it, and to get an idea of how you should present your offerings to future clients.

    To keep it simple and straightforward, be sure to provide set dates out of the gate. For example:

    • Work for free from May 1st – June 1st.
    • May 15th – Reach out to discuss how things are going.
    • May 22nd – Send over potential fees for ongoing service beyond June 1st.
    • June 1st – Start paid work.

    From there, game on! Time to prove to your first clients that they want to pay you and that you can help them accomplish more in their business.

    Once you have your first few clients, be sure to set up a referral system and let your clients know. It can be as simple as saying I will give you $50 off your next invoice for any new clients you send my way. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy.

    Alright – you got this!! Time to put a plan together on what you want to do as a VA, find those first potential clients, reach out to them, and get the ball rolling!!


    Bryanna Royal

    Bryanna Royal started Virtual Powerhouse, a business that does Pinterest support for small businesses, and co-founded Crazy Family Adventure with her husband, where they write about things to do in locations, road trips, and RV life. They have been traveling full-time around North America in their RV with their 4 kids since May 2014. If they aren’t out climbing mountains, hiking to a waterfall, or playing at the beach they are most likely at the local donut shop trying to find the best donuts in the US!

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  • How to Become a Freelance Writer (Even...

    How To Become a Freelance Writer was originally published on Xscapers.com. Freelance…

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  • The Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up Your...

    Let’s dive into the remote work waters! Whether you’ve spent the pandemic…

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  • How to Find a Remote Job

    The badassery is already inside of you. We’re going to help you…

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  • Working Remotely with Mobile Internet

    Working Remotely With Mobile Internet was originally published on www.xscapers.com

    If you’ll be working remotely from your RV, mobile internet may be one of your most critical amenities. For some, it’s as important as water, power, or sewage hook-ups – maybe even more so.

    For many who are working on the road, getting online when you need to can be absolutely essential to earning the money that keeps your travel dreams a reality.

    Working and traveling is completely doable if you’re willing to plan ahead, be flexible, and build up a solid internet arsenal. Your travel style, your internet needs, and your budget will all be factors in creating a set-up that works to support you.

    We’ve been RVing full time and working remotely since 2006 and have gathered a bounty of tips and tricks we’ve learned for keeping connected in our own travels.

    Here are some of our top tips for keeping connected while nomadic:

    Redundancy - Maintain Multiple Options of Mobile Internet

    There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to what is the ‘best’ mobile internet option. What works best is what works best at your current location. Having multiple options for connectivity on board is important.

    Redundancy in options for getting online is the key to success.

    Don’t jump out of an airplane without a reserve parachute. Don’t try to work online from the road without at least two ways to get online.

    Examples of a redundant mobile internet approach:

    • Having two or more cellular carriers on board
    • Having options for enhancing a weak signal
    • Having back-up gear to deploy
    • Having adaptability to seek out a library, cafe or coffee shop for Wi-Fi when all else fails

    There are so many variables impacting connectivity on the road – from signal strength, to congestion, to hardware that fails – that you’ll be thankful for the extra options you carry with you.

    Understand Your Mobile Internet Needs

    We all have different requirements for our mobile internet and the tasks we need to accomplish online.

    When considering your setup, there are a variety of needs and desires to contemplate:

    • What is your style of traveling? Short- or long-term stays? Urban or rural? US based or International?
    • How critical or flexible is your work schedule and deliverables for needing to be online?
    • Does your employer require a wired internet connection (and just what do they mean by that?)
    • What minimum download and upload speeds are needed to do your job? Does your job require frequent video conferencing or large file transfers?
    • Will you have special security & privacy requirements?

    For more in-depth information on this topic, take a look at our article on Assessing Your Mobile Internet Needs

    Public Wifi Not Always Ideal

    Often the cheapest, and easiest way to get online is to use public Wi-Fi networks such as those offered at campgrounds or cafes.

    It may not necessarily be the most reliable or the fastest internet option, however. And working from a loud cafe may not be the most conducive work environment.

    If you have high-bandwidth needs for working remotely, relying on public Wi-Fi likely won’t be your jam.

    But there may be times that the option surprises you and becomes your best way online in a particular location. Look at public Wi-Fi options as a pleasant back-up plan, not your primary way online.

    Cellular Data - Your Likely Choice

    Cellular data is probably the easiest and most accessible option in most places across the USA. Most working RVers depend on cellular data as the core of their mobile internet connectivity.

    Cellular is truly mobile, can be extremely fast (sometimes even faster than cable modems!) and is much more secure and reliable than public Wi-Fi hotspots.

    Cellular can be a confusing topic, however. There are just so many options and ways of connecting via cellular.

    You’ll need to:

    • Choose the carriers you want in your arsenal (AT&T and Verizon are top options).
    • Find data plans that give you the amount of data you need. You’ll want to pay particular attention to mobile hotspot restrictions, as this is the feature that will allow you to get laptops and other devices online.
    • Choose the gear you’ll need. There are smartphones, mobile hotspot devices, routers and signal enhancing gear like boosters or antennas. 

    Boosting Your Cellular Signal

    If you are depending on cellular, getting the best signal possible is imperative.

    You will likely find that cellular signal strength can vary quite a bit while traveling. This can impact the speed and reliability of your data. You can sometimes improve the situation using cellular boosters or antennas.

    Enhancing cellular signal and data performance is a tricky subject, and sometimes requires trial and error at each location and for each type of device & cellular carrier. It helps to understand a bit more about frequency bands, decibels, signal to noise ratio and MIMO to help decide on your signal enhancing strategy. To help with navigating these issues, we put together Understanding & Optimizing Your Cellular Performance.

    Travel Planning - Research in Advance

    Before heading out to your next location, do a little (or a lot) of research in advance to understand what potential connectivity issues you might have there.

    Checking campground reviews (we’re particularly fond of Campendium) and coverage maps (we wrote an app for that – it’s called: Coverage?) can help in picking your next spot – and make sure that it is one that you can work from. There is also a blog from us and Xscapers on this, called Planning Your RV Travels Around Cellular Coverage. 

    Balance Your Time Between Work and Travel

    If you have a big deliverable, a webinar or an online task – do not arrive the same day that you need to be online. It can take time to figure out which is your optimal connection in a new location, and travel days can sometimes take more time than you anticipated (traffic, delays, construction, break-downs, serendipitous encounters with other Xscapers,etc.)

    Don’t assume you will be ready to pop open that conference call or upload that big file immediately upon arrival to a new location.

    Save yourself a lot of stress and arrive at least a day before a big work day, so you have time to optimize or to come up with Plan B.

    Performance - Not Bars: Testing Your Internet

    Save the bars for happy hour. Don’t focus on the cellular bars on the home screen of your device for evaluating how decent of an internet connection you’ll get.

    After all – two bars in one location may perform better than 4 bars in another.

    Instead of focusing on bars, run some speed tests on each of your options or configurations to determine what is working best at your current location. And don’t always assume that just because one option is performing great now that it will continue to do so for your entire stay.

    What works great mid-day might slow to a crawl during prime-time congestion, so test your backup plans too.

    We have put together a handy guide for testing your mobile internet at a location.

    Using Your Back-Up Plan

    So, you’ve built a redundant mobile internet arsenal to meet your specific travel style and mobile work needs. You’ve done your research and planned around reported signal coverage and strength. You’ve left yourself plenty of time to set-up and test your connectivity after moving to a new location.

    You’ve just dialed in to your daily conference call on a strong, fast connection, when suddenly… nothing.

    That’s right, your connection has given out in the middle of your work day. Maybe you’ve lost power and your hotspot has shut off. Maybe the network you are on has crashed. Maybe a giant rig has pulled up next door, blocking your signal enhancers.

    → Have your back-up option accessible and ready to pop into action!

    And know when it’s time to explore an alternate option like seeking:

    • Co-Working Spaces
    • Cable Internet at Campsites
    • WISPs
    • Satellite Internet & Communicators 


    We can’t repeat this enough. There is no one option that will keep you online everywhere you go fast and reliably.

    The key to successfully keeping connected is redundancy. Having multiple options on board can be a job-saver. Know the options you have on board, know how to use them, and check in periodically to see if gear or plans in your setup need an upgrade.

    The options for keeping connected are constantly changing – so at least once every year or two evaluate your plans and devices, and your backup plans too.

    We did mention redundancy and backup plans, right?


    Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy

    Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy of Technomadia.com have been living and working full-time on the road since 2006, and Internet connectivity has been essential to them every step of the way. To help other RVers with the challenges of staying connected, they co-authored The Mobile Internet Handbook, and in 2014 they launched RVMobileInternet.com to provide unbiased information, reviews, resources and tutorials to help us all stay better connected on the road.

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  • Workcamping and Taxes: Tax Implications of Trading...

    Workcamping and Taxes: Tax Implications of Trading Labor for RV Campsites was originally published on www.xscapers.com

    Bartering your labor for free RV camping is a very popular strategy for RVers looking for creative ways to make ends meet while living on the road.

    Websites, various organic communities, and for-profit businesses have sprung up to provide how-to tips and facilitate the matching of “work-campers” with the RV parks and campgrounds offering these bartered opportunities. No doubt about it, the work-camping ecosystem is thriving and growing.

    There’s no surprise that the IRS has carved out a position regarding tax implications for bartered transactions. Accordingly, one of the more frequently asked questions we deal with is “Should RVers claim income and pay taxes on the value of the free campsites that are provided as compensation for their services?

    The IRS doesn’t address the work-camping scenario in specific terms, but we can draw a reasonable conclusion from how they weigh in on the concept of employer-provided housing—also referred to as “Lodging on the business premises” in the IRS regulations. First let’s lay some groundwork and then we’ll return to this concept.

    Taxable Income

    The IRS casts a wide net when defining what is taxable income. I recall my professor’s sage advice in my first college class on federal income taxes. He advised my classmates and me that when dealing with the IRS it is best to assume all income is taxable unless you can find specific guidance (from the IRS) that states otherwise.

    Consistent with my professor’s admonition, the IRS defines business income as follows, “Except as otherwise provided in the Internal Revenue Code, gross income includes all income from whatever source derived.” (1)  For individual taxpayers, the IRS mandates, “You must include in gross income everything you receive in payment for personal services.” (2) 

    Fringe Benefits

    The IRS further states that taxable income includes, “other forms of compensation such as fringe benefits.” (2) Fringe benefits are defined as, “a form of pay for the performance of services…. For example, you provide an employee with a fringe benefit when you allow the employee to use a business vehicle to commute to and from work.” (3) 

    Compensation in the form of a taxable fringe benefit is included on Form W2 (subject to income tax and FICA tax withholding for employer-employee situations) or on Form 1099-MISC for independent contractors (subject to income tax and self-employment tax paid by the contractor).


    The IRS states, “Bartering is an exchange of property or services.” (2)  As a general rule, the IRS requires both parties in a barter arrangement to claim as taxable income the fair market value (FMV) of products and services received.

    Consider, for example, a mechanic who repairs a painter’s truck in exchange for having his shop painted, or a lawyer who provides legal services for a restaurant client in exchange for free meals. IRS rules dictate that such arrangements create taxable income for both parties even though no cash changes hands.

    Having explored how the IRS defines taxable income, fringe benefits and barter transactions, it appears work-camping arrangements constitute a taxable barter. Case closed? Not so fast. 

    Lodging Provided On Business Premises

    Thankfully, the IRS grants an exception to the taxable barter rule that is advantageous for work-campers and thus brings us back to the concept of “Lodging provided on the business premises.” Even though the IRS defines employer-provided lodging as a taxable fringe benefit, it does allow taxpayers to exclude this benefit from taxable income if all three of the following tests are met. (3)

    1. Employer-provided lodging must be furnished on the business premises. In other words, for the work-camper, the campsite must be on-site at the RV park or campground where you are providing services.
    2. Employer-provided lodging must be furnished for the employer’s convenience. The IRS states that there must be “a substantial business reason” why the on-site arrangement is necessary for the employer and “depends on all the facts and circumstances”. A simple written statement that the lodging is furnished for the convenience of the employer is not sufficient, a legitimate business reason must be provided. For example, requiring work-campers to live in the RV park or campground because they must be available at all times of the day or night would satisfy the test. Also, a work-camper is in a better position to serve paying customers because they are “eating their own dog food” so to speak, personally experiencing what it’s like to live on the premises and provide a level of internal quality control.
    3. The employer-provided lodging must be a required condition of employment. For the RVer, living on-site must be a condition to getting the job and being able to effectively perform the job’s duties.

    If any of the above three tests are NOT met, the IRS will consider your “free” campsite to be part of a taxable barter transaction and reportable as income just as if you had received cash. 

    Note also, if the employer allows work-campers to choose to receive cash compensation instead of the free campsite, then the campsite, if chosen, is NOT excluded from taxable income. If a choice is offered, then by definition the employer-provided lodging is no longer a “required condition”. However, if you receive cash in addition to a free campsite (for example, if you work extra hours) you are still allowed to exclude the value of the free campsite from income as long as all three tests are met.

    Workamping and Taxes: Tips and Warnings

    TIP: It is very important to get the employer to put these conditions in writing, so you have proper documentation in case of an IRS audit.   

    FREE TEMPLATE: Email freetemplate@quest-cpa.com and I’ll email you a reply that includes a template (Word doc and PDF versions) of a letter work-campers can use to document the three-pronged test. All you need to do is print and obtain the signature from an authorized representative (manager or owner) of the RV park or campground.  

    BEWARE: If you receive a W2 or 1099 after providing services for what you thought was a tax-free barter arrangement, the IRS will expect you to claim the W2/1099 income on your tax return. If such a situation occurs, contact the employer to correct or cancel the W2/1099 before filing your return, otherwise you’ll be on the hook to pay income tax on the value of the free campsite.

    Good News

    Work-campers can rest assured that there is precedent for legitimately excluding from taxable income the value of free campsites that are traded for labor. However, don’t cut corners and skip the important step of obtaining a signed document from your employer showing the three tests are met. Paper trails are your friend! 


    1. Instructions for Form 1120 (2018), U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return, https://www.irs.gov/instructions/i1120.
    1. IRS Publication 525 (2018), Taxable and Nontaxable Income, https://www.irs.gov/publications/p525.
    1. IRS Publication 15-B (2019), Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, https://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b.

    DISCLAIMER: The information and materials we share in this article are intended for reference only.  As the information is designed solely to provide guidance to the readers, it is not intended to be a substitute for someone seeking personalized professional advice based on specific factual situations.  Therefore, we strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a professional to help you with your specific needs.


    Tim Ewing - Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Tim began the full-time RV life in 2014 and works full-time from the road providing profitability and growth advisory services to business owners. Tim is also a CPA who specializes in helping self-employed RVers unload their bookkeeping burdens and avoid IRS headaches. You can reach Tim at timewing@quest-cpa.com or 757-771-2557.

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  • How to Translate Existing Skills for Remote...

    How to Translate Existing Skills for Remote Work Success was originally published on www.xscapers.com

    One of the key components many of us need to secure in this nomadic lifestyle is identifying work to help support our adventures.  There are many professional and trade skills that can adapt and be functional on the road.  But did you ever stop and take time to realize many of the skills we all perform every day as an RVer are truly applicable to working remotely? Let us look at some of these skills. 

    Communication is Key

    RVers often have effective communication skills because we naturally meet new people as we travel and explore. It is very common to strike up conversations, answer questions and share experiences of our travels, with others. Whereas others blog, share their trip itinerary/adventures, or provide DIY ideas/suggestions for others to benefit and learn. Communication is a natural skill for Rvers. 

    In a more traditional workplace your communication often occurs more face-to-face, allowing for both verbal and non-verbal interactions. However, creating an effective way to communicate with your leader, peers, and/or customers must be more intentional for remote employees. Given you are virtual, the work performed is not seen firsthand, therefore you need to share more openly. A few examples of how this may look:

    • send out proactive or informational communications in preparation for/of the project, event, or meeting
    • include a weekly status or project report sharing details, updates, accomplishments, and any potential risks
    • do not only relay on messenger or email, pick up the phone and have phone calls or video chats

    Also note that how you articulate and speak is essential as well. Take time to slow down, concentrate and not be distracted – each will help with your success when communicating virtually.  

    How you interpret or read communications is important when working remotely. At times we can read an email with our own rose-colored glasses or we skim and miss important details, resulting in potential pre-mature, offensive, or defensive responses.  Therefore, taking a step back, a walk around the RV, or a re-read an hour later can make all the difference.  And finally, any time emotions are racing high – always a good idea to pause, wait, or even sleep on the return message before hitting send or picking up the phone to discuss.

    Adaptability and Flexibility Are Important for Remote Work

    RVing requires all of us to be adaptable and flexible. As an RVer, we understand that being able to manage change is critical to our lifestyle. We may start out with a plan but at any given point we can encounter issues with our home on wheels, our vehicles, our travel plans, illness, injury, or family needs.  

    The same is true of working virtually/remotely. 

    • Often the time zones will be different from your client, prospect, co-worker, or main office. Therefore, adapting to meeting times or being available for key follow-up might be earlier in the day or later in the evening. 
    • Technology is a key component to our day when working remotely. At times we must be patient, innovative, and creative when utilizing and accessing technical tools. Additionally, having multiple devices such as phone, tablet, and computer or multiple screens may be extremely useful. 
    • Finally, we are in small places. We need to identify and create workspace that meets our need and allows us to be productive. At times, this may require working outside, in a vehicle, or in other locations such as gazebo, community center or library. 

    How many times have you adapted or needed to be flexible on your RV journey? Be able to develop a Plan B? I anticipate the answer is “a lot”. The same is needed for working remotely. We can all apply the skills of adaptability and flexibility to remote working jobs and functions.  

    Planning and Research Can Make All The Difference

    Without a doubt, our nomadic life requires some degree of planning and research. May it be to find boondocking or campgrounds, special interests, fun activities, mapping out or securing a safe route, home-schooling children, or managing internet and phone connections. 

    Working virtually requires planning and research as well. You want to ensure you have the tools, resources, connectivity, and supplies necessary to perform the job functions and tasks. 

    • If you are a repair specialist or mechanic – you want to have the necessary tools to help your customers, 
    • if you are a trainer/educator – you want to have the supplies and connectivity to conduct your classes, 
    • if you perform bookkeeping or accounting – you want the software and tracking necessary to record entries, and 
    • if you manage and lead teams – you want to ensure you have video/camera, conference line or other means to communicate accordingly. 

    Planning internet connectivity, shipment receiving or sending, printing demands, access to vendors or stores, or outlining a schedule of availability for conference or video exchanges are all essential to working remotely. And, depending on the work performed, it may be essential to research options, navigate alternatives, and be innovative when identifying solutions. 

    Welcome to the world of nomadically living, right? We truly can take these skills and translate/apply them to our remote offices, tasks, and functions. 

    Digital and Technical Skills are Necessary for Remote Work

    Without a doubt working remotely will involve some form of digital and or technical tools and resources. Technology and digital footprint solutions can truly enhance, secure, and improve virtual business operations. 

    Learning these skills (self-taught or classroom) is worth the investment of time and money. Utilizing applications, phone, conferencing/video, team chat, shipping, purchasing, invoicing, or compliance/regulatory functions is inevitable. Equipping yourself with the necessary tools, resources and technology is a key first step when working remotely. 

    If you work for an employer, they will often supply and or provide these items. When self-employed, you will want to plan and budget for such items as part of your business operations and planning. 

    Consider all the apps, social media groups, and resources we access and utilize as RVers. Just as we rely upon our fellow RVers for information on “what to” and “how to”; we can do the same with our remote work tasks and functions. 

    Many fellow RVers work full time and are completely willing to share what works for them, while working on the road. We all need to take advantage of technology to meet, engage, and maximize our remote functions. If technology or online functions are challenging for you today – there are many webinars, books and resources to enhance, grow and obtain skills.  It would be a great investment to enhance knowledge and experience with specific software packages, industry designated applications, search engine optimization/tools, and eLearning courses available.  

    Networking as an RVing Remote Worker

    Working remotely requires us to network and share what it is we do with others that we meet – especially if you are self-employed, launching a new business, or require a specific customer/buyer for your product/services.  

    This is where having business cards, website, social media forums or blog can really enhance your messaging and awareness. Networking, sharing ideas, and building a connection with those who compliment, enhance, and/or relate to your work skills will be extremely helpful and beneficial. At a recent convergence, several bookkeeping/accountant skilled members met and shared ideas and information with one another. You want to create more of these exchanges. Be willing to open the door and ask, “What do you do?”

    As RVers, especially associated with Escapees/Xscapers, some of the best ways to share your business or skills is through smaller group conversations, social outings/events, presenting on a topic or writing an article. You want to take advantage of the social media conversations where/when you can post links or information about your business or specialty. Maximize campfire, lot crawl or small group event discussions. Do not forget to listen to your fellow RVers, hear what their experiences/challenges/needs might be and follow up when you can make a connection or fulfill that need.  Our community of RVers are the most kind, helpful and caring individuals.  Networking can truly open doors for your business and or position.

    How to Pitch the Remote Work Idea to Your Current Employer

    • First, take a good inventory of your skills, strengths, and expertise. Be prepared and able to discuss, emphasize and articulate them clearly. And if needed, consider options to improve or enhance areas of growth and development.
    • Second, know the job functions performed today. Consider and evaluate how functions are completed and what challenges might exist if performed remotely. Evaluate options to overcome those questions or challenges. 
    • Third, conduct research and planning before discussing with your direct supervisor. Propose a part-time or scheduled approach to moving to working remote. An example may be to start with 1,2 or 3 days a week, on a trial basis. Remember to consider who your customers or internal/external team members are and how/if they are impacted. 
    • Finally, present your plan to include what, when, how and why. Share benefits for both sides; you and the company. Identify challenges proactively and discuss solutions/considerations. If there are cost savings, be prepared to speak to those as well.  

    Regardless if you are in a profession, a trade, self-employed or working for an employer; so many job functions can be performed successfully remotely.

     In my 23 years of experience of working remotely, it comes down to utilizing, sharing, and maximizing your skills. It is about being responsible, dependable, and reliable. It includes communicating timely, effectively and efficiently.  

    Remember to adapt and be flexible – not flat on your feet.  Be innovative and creative, think outside norms.  Plan, research and use technology/tools to enhance your skills and job competencies.  Plus use them to improve and maximize business operations.  But most importantly…share and network whenever possible. 

    And, the best part of all of this…so many of the skills needed/learned to live nomadically, in our homes on wheels; directly corresponds to and relates to working remotely! We all can apply our RVer skills to our new or current remote job functions.  


    Wendy S. Kadner

    Wendy is a senior executive in the healthcare, technology, and consulting industries. With over 23 year of remote work experience, she has also served on hospital boards, and developed a non-profit pet rescue. 

    Originally from Iowa, Wendy travels full-time in her truck camper with her 2 pups. She enjoys the Southwest and Pacific Northwest and spends most of her time in these areas. As a solo traveler, Wendy enjoys meeting new people, experiencing local favorites, visiting famers markets and cooking in her truck camper home. “Learning about Escapees/Xscapers just 16 months ago has been the best thing ever in my travels. I have truly found my community of friends on the road.”

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  • How To Start Working Remotely Even If...

    How To Start Working Remotely Even If You Don’t Have Any Experience was originally published on www.xscapers.com

    The popularity and availability of remote work has been on the rise for the past several years, and it has never been more popular than it is now. With 2020 we’ve seen the spread of Coronavirus, and subsequently, hundreds of thousands of companies expanding and offering remote employment. So how do you start working remotely even if you have no experience? If you have been wondering how to work remotely but worry you lack the experience or skills, keep reading. This article will walk you through how to work remotely, even if you’re a total beginner.

    Types of Remote Jobs

    While it used to be that the only remote jobs available were for highly skilled individuals, that is no longer the case. There are remote jobs in every industry you can think of! If it can be done from a computer, it can be done remotely. This means: 

    • Customer Service
    • Marketing
    • Writing and editing
    • Data entry
    • Computer Programming
    • Administrative
    • Bookkeeping/Accounting
    • Sales
    • Teaching

    This list could go on forever. The point here is that you don’t have to have special qualifications or a degree to get a remote job – so many entry level positions exist. And if you do have a degree or certification, that’s great! But it is not a requirement to get started, so don’t get hung up on that.

    Decide On Your Ideal Remote Work Situation

    The first step on your remote work journey needs to be deciding on your ideal life and work situation. What works for one person may make another miserable. What do you want your life to look like? Are you a morning person? Do you prefer set hours and a set, predictable income? Aside from starting your own business, remote work can be broken down into remote employment or freelancing.

    Income Requirements

    Before you start your remote work journey, be sure to have a clear picture of your personal financial requirements. Set your budget and decide how much income you need to bring in to sustain your lifestyle. Once you have a clear picture of your income requirements, you will know what to look for (and ask for) in your remote job search.

    Remote Employment vs Freelancing

    Remote Employment: As a remote employee, you’ll likely be working for a company or business and need to adhere to set hours – like 9-5 or whatever you agree upon with your employer. As an employee, your employer takes care of your tax withholdings and you may also be eligible for certain benefits through your company, like health insurance or 401k. You will earn a salary or hourly wage and have steady paychecks. 

    Freelancing: As a freelancer, you will be self-employed and take on clients of your choosing. You will be in charge of setting your pay rate, getting new clients, and deciding how often and how long you want to work based on your income requirements. You will also be in charge of handling your own tax withholdings and seeking out your own insurance needs.

    9 Skills You Need For Remote Work

    These skills are necessary for any remote work situation, whether you decide to be a freelancer or a remote employee. 

    • Self-Motivation. Are you a self starter? This is an essential skill for remote workers. There will be no physical boss to check in on you, get you started on your tasks, or ensuring you finish your work in a timely manner. You need to be able to motivate yourself to get started on work and stay with it until it’s done.
    • Strong Communication Skills. Strong written communication skills are absolutely essential as a remote worker. Whether you’re a freelancer or an employee, you will do a lot of communicating with your clients and/or team via email and online chat communication tools. You will also communicate via phone and video calls, so all-around strong communication skills are a must.
    • Comfort Learning and Using Digital Tools and Softwares. When you work remotely and collaborate with clients or a team, there will come a time when you have to use certain digital tools or softwares. Examples of these may include cloud-sharing apps like Google Drive and Dropbox, project management software like Monday or Airtable, and so on. It is not necessary to know all of these tools up-front, but you must be comfortable to learn and use them as necessary. Adaptability and a willingness to learn will take you a long way. 
    • Collaboration. Are you a team player? The ability to collaborate with a team is an important skill for remote workers, even as a freelancer. You may work on team projects, need to collaborate with a client to finish a task, etc. 
    • Reliable Equipment. You need to possess the tools for the job, and they must be reliable. Examples of this would be:
        • A reliable computer with enough storage and speed to handle your workload
        • A strong internet connection – don’t rely solely on campground wifi, many times it isn’t reliable
        • Good cell signal for phone calls (and internet if you use it for data, this may require a cell signal booster)
        • A webcam for video meetings – many laptops have pre-installed webcams
        • A microphone for better audio during meetings – nothing is worse than bad audio! Some earbuds have microphones in them, and this can work at minimum
        • A backup internet option – many RVers have several backup options, and if all else fails, head to the local library or coffee shop
    • Responsiveness. This is pretty self-explanatory. You need to keep lines of communication open and be responsive to your clients and/or employer during agreed upon work hours. 
    • Organization. You don’t have to be the most organized person in the world, but you need to be able to keep up with communication, project tasks, digital files, etc.
    • Time Management. This skill can be tied into self-motivation. As a remote worker, time-management skills are so, so important! Even if you don’t have strict deadlines on your projects, you need to be able to complete them in a timely manner. If not for your employer, for yourself. It can be easy to procrastinate and stretch out a 3 hour task over the entire day… or longer.
    • Balance. Be sure to have hobbies and interests outside of your work to create a healthy work/life balance. When you don’t have a healthy balance, you risk burning out. This will lower your productivity levels and affect every area of your life. Just because your work is always there doesn’t mean you should always be working! 

    How To Repurpose Your Existing Skills for a Remote Work Resume and Environment

    The above skills are essential for remote workers. So how do you identify those skills in yourself from your past work experience, AND convey them to potential employers? 

    There are two categories of skills: soft skills and hard skills. The most valuable remote work skills, like the ones listed above, are soft skills. Soft skills refer to how you work, hard skills refer to what it is that you do. Effective communication is a soft skill, proficiency working in Google Drive is a hard skill.

    Identifying Your Remote Work Skills

    If you’ve never worked a remote job before, it’s easy to assume that you don’t have the experience necessary to land one. However, that’s not true! Not all remote employers are looking for candidates with remote experience. But, they will be looking for certain soft skills that show them you can effectively work from home. 

    To identify your remote work skills, start with making a list of previous work experience. This list should contain every job you’ve ever had, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Not all of this list will go on your resume, only the most relevant parts. If you’ve ever had side jobs, done any volunteering in your community, held events, wrote a blog, include those in your preliminary list.

    From this list, determine what skills you had to have to perform essential tasks that you could relate to a remote work environment.

    For example, as a bartender or server, your skills might look like: 

    • Effective communication 
    • Ability to work well on a team
    • Flexibility and Adaptability
    • Strong interpersonal and customer service skills
    • Ability to maintain a high level of professionalism in a challenging environment

    If you’ve ever had a hobby blog, your skills would include writing, proficiency using computers, etc. Or, if you’ve ever been a volunteer admin for a Facebook group, your skills could include community management. Get really creative here! Even parenting skills can translate into remote work skills.

    Conveying Remote Work Skills on Your Resume

    Now that you know what you can bring to the table in a remote work situation, you need to be able to convey those skills on a resume for remote employers.

    Include any relevant job or hobby experience, and list the relevant skills and tasks you performed for the job that could relate to a particular job or remote work situation in general. 

    Be sure to list any tools and softwares you’re already familiar with, too. 

    Here’s a great article on FlexJobs that goes more in depth on how to convey remote work experience on your resume, even if you’ve never worked remotely. 

    How To Find And Apply To Remote Work Jobs

    Now that you know your skills and have revised your resume for a remote job search, where do you go to find remote jobs? 

    • You can search the main job boards like Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder, etc, for keywords like “remote” and “telecommute” 
    • Create or refresh your LinkedIn profile and search for remote and telecommute jobs on LinkedIn
    • Network on social media and let friends and acquaintances know what you’re looking for
    • Websites like FlexJobs, WeWorkRemotely, Virtual Vocations, and more
    • You’ll even see remote jobs posted to The RVer Job Exchange.

    As a freelancer you can use these techniques, as well as finding potential clients you want to work with and reaching out to them directly, whether or not you see a job listed.

    Setting Yourself Up For Success As A Remote Worker

    Working remotely is a lot different than working in an office, and as such, there are certain things you can do to set yourself up for success in your work and for your health. 

    • Set up a dedicated workspace. Whether you’re working from home or your RV, having a dedicated workspace can help you be more productive and is also better for your physical health. If you’re spending long hours at the computer, make sure your workspace is ergonomically correct to ease the strain on your body. 
    • Create and stick to a schedule. Whether you have set work hours or not, giving yourself certain time periods to complete tasks will help you stay productive and on top of your time management. This will help with your work/life balance and help you meet deadlines.
    • Get dressed and ready for the day. As a remote worker it is all too easy to wear pajamas all the time. Getting yourself dressed and ready each day promotes a feeling of alertness and can increase your productivity. 
    • Maintain a healthy work/life balance. If you plan to be RVing, make sure you give yourself full days off to go explore and enjoy the lifestyle. If you’re working from home, give yourself full days off and engage in hobbies or other activities to keep your mind off of work. 

    Remote work is the future, and it’s more attainable now than it ever has been before. By now you should be aware that you, in fact, DO have the skills necessary to be a remote worker… even if you’ve never done it before. 

    To connect with remote working full-time RVers, join the Xscapers Facebook Group here.

    For remote work inspiration and advice from full-time RVing remote workers, check out this interview series! 

    Remote Work Advice Series Part 1

    Remote Work Advice Series Part 2


    Carrie Fay

    Carrie has been on and off the road for the past 3 years, experiencing travel as a full-time RVer and most recently trying out the van life. 

    When she’s not geeking out on marketing or befriending the local cats, you can find Carrie at her website: Making Money and Traveling – where her love of travel and obsession with location-independence meet.

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  • Internet Security for Digital Nomads

    Internet Security for Digital Nomads was originally published on www.xscapers.com

    Welcome to my world, where bits and bytes fly through the air across the wire and (if I have done my job right) slam right into a firewall and “get injected, inspected, detected, [dis]infected,
    neglected and selected” before being passed into your laptop, phone, or tablet.  We are going to chat about the basics of Internet Security while you are on the road and how you can make sure to protect all your technological doodads.

    Patch It!

    The first thing, and I can’t stress this one enough, is PATCH YOUR SYSTEMS!  Like RIGHT NOW! 

    This means:

    • Turn on automatic patching on Windows
    • Turn on “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” for your Mac
    • Turn on automatic updates for your phones
    • Update your apps on your phones
    • And, if you are on a Google device that wasn’t built by Google and is more than 3 years old, it’s probably time to get a new one. (yes, I am Mac/Apple user and yes, I think they are more secure for the general user)

    While I know many of you will be using some sort of cellular upstream connection (Wi-Fi puck, Wi-Fi tethering to a phone, cell card in a device in your rig, whatever) and I know those gigabytes are critical to survive, you still need to make sure your machines get their patches.  You can set both Windows and Mac laptops to download the updates at certain times, maybe off hours in the middle of the night, when the bandwidth usage on the cell tower is low or possibly hold off until you are near somewhere with a good broadband Internet connection (like a coffee shop or library). Either way, I want you to promise me that you won’t go more than 14 days after the patches have been released to install them.

    The patches that are being released will always include some security update for an application running on your machine.  These security updates are being released because someone found a flaw and either has released it into the wild before the patch was released, at which point hackers are trying to use it to figure out how to exploit it and get onto your machine before the vendor releases the patch, or the security flaw is released concurrent to patch at which point you have some time (usually hours or days) before the hackers have a working exploit.  This is why you have to install your dates quickly!

    I would like to make a quick point about the Android operating system and how it gets patches and the economics of the “cheap” Android phone.  If you have a Brand X Android phone sold by Verizon to get updates, this is what has to happen:

    First Google releases a patch. They do this really well and often.

    Then Verizon has to review the patch and make sure it works on your BrandX phone. In doing this, Verizon has to do a cost analysis of calls per hour into their call center from any potential failures from this patch, plus the cost of them doing testing to see if this patch works on a few thousand different variations of software and hardware, plus the cost of the infrastructure to keep patch servers up and running 24×7 versus the satisfaction they get from making sure you could be a bit more secure. 

    Yeah, they aren’t going to decide to help you very often.  In the off chance they DO, its likely weeks or months behind and comes with some additional Verizon “features” to help sell you some more stuff.  

    On the other hand if you bought a phone from Google (ie if you have a Pixel device), then all you have to do is press update and your phone reaches out to Google Data Centers and downloads the patches for the hardware and software that they built from servers they are already using to send you search results and give you free email. Google takes this into consideration when selling you one of their phones (as does Apple) which is why they are about $800.  They need to get enough cash out of you to make sure they can keep supporting your phone for 2-5 years.

    Password Protect It!

    Second thing I want you to do is promise me (and don’t lie because I will know) that you won’t use the same password on all the websites you use.  As soon as one website gets hacked, the hackers then use any passwords they found and try about 5000 other websites they have in a list using the same username and password to see what else they can get into.  They have scripts that do this for them, it takes them seconds to put a single username and password into all those sites and see if they get in anywhere else.

    I know remembering passwords is hard. I use a password manager App called 1Password. In my opinion, it’s the best, but it costs money each month.  You can also use LastPass. This one is free and they have a great security track record for fixing any issues that are uncovered.  

    Basically, humans are really bad at coming up with random passwords. Thankfully, machines are REALLY REALLY good at it.  Use a password manager and you only have to remember a single password (and it better not be password123 or even “ifyourRVsarockinImstillcomingknockin”) then the password manager will generate random passwords for you and use those password to auto-log you in to every different website you visit.  I have hundreds of passwords in my password vault and use a long passphrase that’s easy for me to remember. I don’t know any of my passwords because most of them are 26 character randomly generated strings of gibberish.  When setting up your password vault password use something easy to remember but hard to guess like “I like Kyle because he has a pink bus” or “RVing is awesome because it allows me to meet people like Kyle” or a sentence from your favorite song “big lizard in my backyard cant afford to feed him any more” (Dead Milkmen, 1985).  It doesn’t have to have caps or letters or numbers (better if it does, but it’s harder to type) it just needs to be long.

    Third thing please also put passwords/passcodes on your devices just to make it harder for someone to login who might be in your rig for a few minutes. You don’t want your neighbor seeing those pics of you and the Mrs from your birthday last year, do you?

    Lock It Down!

    If you have a Windows PC and have it all patched and password protected, give yourself a little pat on the back. Good job! You have now become part of a small elite group whose machines will be a little tougher to exploit.  

    Sadly, however, the Windows operating system is the most attacked system on the market due to market share, age of the code bases, and complexity. You are also going to have to turn on some antivirus and enable the Windows firewall.  The FREE windows defender Antivirus is great don’t buy anything else and if you already did then please uninstall that garbage and install Defender instead.  Turn on Defender and allow it to get its updates and run a full scan of your file system.  If you want I will happily wax poetic over a roaring camp fire and some whiskey about the pros and cons of third party antivirus but the reality is that ONLY Windows Defender gets access to the ooey gooey guts of the operating systems in a safe way. Every other solution is jamming its grubby little hands deep into the operating system to see what’s going on. Often, it gets it wrong and lets in attackers instead of keeping them out.   As for the Windows firewall, it’s pretty great, too. Enable it and set your rig wifi to be “home” and anytime you join a new network, set it as a public network so that people at the coffee shop can’t make unauthorized incoming connections.

    If you have a Mac machine then you are a bit safer here, there are no real viruses so no real need for anti-virus solutions, but I do run my Mac with the firewall turned on to keep the unauthorized applications from accepting incoming connection.

    As far as other operating systems (Apple iOS, ChromeOs, Android, etc) go, just make sure your OS and applications are updated and you will be fine. There is no need to add antivirus or antimalware to your phone.

    Finally, please make sure that your email client is setup to use and encrypted protocol (HTTPS, POPs, IMAPs, SMTPs).  If you are using mainstream free email setups like Gmail or Yahoo with your browser, you are fine keep doing that.  If you have it setup in your Outlook or Mac Mail, go into settings and make sure your that the client is configured to use SSL/TLS for the incoming and outgoing servers.  If you don’t have this turned on, your email client is sending your username and password in the clear across the Internet every time you check your email or send an email. So, change it, then go change your email password.

    Choose Your Networks Wisely!

    Finally, take a moment to understand what network your device is connecting to and try to make an assessment as whether it is safe.  In my bus, I have a WifiRanger (running on 12v power) that acts as my Wi-Fi when I am near the bus. I can connect it to my Wi-Fi hotspot for internet connectivity or use some other Wi-Fi network (like at an RV park).  

    I have my 2 AppleTV’s, my Network Attached Storage Array (for movies, music, and backup), my Victron gear, my phone and my iPad all connecting to the “Bussy McBussface” name on the Wi-Fi Ranger.  When I got to a park or if I was moochdocking with a friend I would login to the Wi-Fi Ranger and have it reach out to my friend’s, or the park’s, Wi-Fi.  That way everything in the bus was safe behind the WifiRanger and I didn’t have to change all my gear around every time the Wi-Fi name and password changed.  When I was on the road, I definitely found myself connecting to some sketchy networks just to be able to get my email or stream something, but I would not have done so without the WifiRanger acting as a firewall for the bus. 

    Now, some of you know me know that my big pink bus does not stealth camp, at all. There were times that I would go into town to get fast Wi-Fi.  In those cases, I was usually picky about where I was getting Wi-Fi, trying to stick to establishments where you had to ask for the password and it wasn’t just a signal that said “Free Wi-Fi.”  I consider the “Free Wi-Fi” signal to be akin to a white windowless van with the hand painted cardboard sign that says “free candy.”  Don’t do it, go to a Starbucks or the local Library or McDonalds.

    That’s it! Really… There’s a lot more to do in my consulting practice but honestly if everyone, including every firm I have worked and consulted for in the last 25 years, followed these rules we would likely have a much safer Internet.  If you want to chat in detail feel free to reach out, hit me up on Facebook or over email and hopefully I can help you out!


    Kyle Starkey

    Kyle has been in Internet Security for more than 25 years professionally and spent his youth hacking phone systems and logging into computers attached to modems before the days of the Internet. He spent a year full time on the road in his Prevost bus, towing his Jeep and seeing the county with his dog Zen. He has since come back to his sticks and bricks in Scottsdale, but continues to be involved with Xscapers Community for convergences and other RV adventures. Kyle also runs an Information Security focused consulting practice called Cyber Nomad Security helping customers to ensure their systems and practices are secure.

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