In the past, having an antivirus program was enough to keep you protected while surfing online. However, that's no longer the case today. To keep your online activity private from third-party businesses and prevent hackers from intercepting your data, you need to invest in a virtual private network (VPN).
What is a VPN?
A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet, keeping you safe from hackers looking to intercept your data and any third parties that want to monitor your online activities.
Moreover, VPNs can disguise your location by masking your IP address. Once you've connected to a VPN server, your device acts as if it’s using the same local connection as the VPN. Therefore, websites will tag your browsing location as the server's geographical area, not where you actually are.
What are the benefits of using a VPN?
Connecting to public Wi-Fi networks — like those in coffee shops, libraries, and airports — isn’t advisable since any data sent through these networks isn't encrypted and could be stolen. But if you must use public Wi-Fi, make sure to turn on your VPN first. The VPN will encrypt your data, ensuring that no one can access the information without authorization. This improves your online security.
What's more, a VPN also increases anonymity and privacy by hiding your IP address from trackers, making it nearly impossible for anyone to track what you're doing online. This feature can be especially handy when you're traveling abroad and you find that your company network or US websites are geo-blocked in your current location. By connecting to a VPN server in the United States, you can regain access to these networks and websites.
What should you consider when choosing a VPN?
When picking a VPN, take into account the following factors:
Though there are free VPN services, they usually either keep logs of your internet activity or bombard you with ads. This is why it's better to invest in a paid service like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. These paid options also have a huge list of available servers and configurations that improve data security.
There are several reasons why the location of your VPN's servers matters. For one, if you're connected to a server that's far away, you're more likely to suffer latency issues. To enjoy a smooth surfing experience, it's best to connect to the closest available server.
Moreover, if you want to avoid geo-restrictions, connect to servers in the same location as the content you want access to. So, if you want access to research published in Canada, be sure your VPN has servers located in that country.
Find out how much data you're allowed to use by asking the VPN provider or reading their terms of service. If you need extensive online resources for your tasks, then opt for a VPN with high data allocation.
What's more, determine how many servers the VPN provider has online. In general, the more online servers there are, the more capable the VPN is of supporting resource-intensive tasks.
If you use your laptop, tablet, and mobile phone for work, then invest in a VPN that's compatible with all these devices.
Not all VPN tunnels offer the same level of security. Some could leak your IP address, allowing third parties to track your online activities. So before purchasing a VPN, test the service out by using their free trial (if available). Once you've activated the VPN, visit IP Leak to see if your activities are being monitored. If they are, choose another VPN provider.
Having difficulty picking a VPN service for your business? No problem, our security experts are here to help. We also provide cybersecurity services to prevent hackers and other third parties from accessing your data.