Is there a safe way to hire a freelancer to do website work. If I provide them a backup of my site that they use on their own server in beta mode until the site is ready to put live, will it compromise my security? I found someone who can do work for me at a rate I can afford who seems very proficient and has a good rating however they are in Pakistan and I am in the US and I am leary about giving up my information / 12 years of work to site to a stranger in another country. (it could be a nightmare for me). How can I do this so that I will be safe?
In 12 years you would've learnt that any web project has a Production evironment and a Development one. It's not the developer's responsability to pay for a VPS so that a Dev environment exists.
The Development server would be under your control so that you can limit the information shared and the security keys will be different.
I always host development environments on my own servers, which I give project owners full access to. I don't require access to the live systems or real customer data in order to do development work.
There are very safe ways to work with developers.
I do not solicit work through the Forum so I would not be available to work on your project, but there are many high-level developers who use similar safe practices. And you should feel free to ask other questions about this topic here in the Forum.
The "country" has nothing to do with who or who is not trustworthy ... you can get scammed by a neighbour.
"Proprietary" routines (like the "Coke recipe") should always be safegarded.
Depending on the work you need (simple web pages versus payment gateways, etc), run a "file compare" on the files afterwards to see "what's new". It should be (somewhat) obvious if new / strange code shows up.
WINDIFF works well for me; highlighting any differences / changes in source code.
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