What you need to know about VPNs

Having a VPN as a part of your cyber security setup is always going to be a smart decision, whether you have your staff back in the office or if you have them working remotely, or if you are just wanting to be more secure when using the internet at home.

A VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, is often confused as something that is technologically advanced and as such not really suitable for smaller businesses. But in reality, having a VPN is something that everyone can invest in these days, and for businesses of all kinds, it is fast becoming an essential part of your IT setup.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a type of software that has been specifically designed to protect your information when browsing the web.

Whenever we have a web browser open, we are making ourselves vulnerable to hackers as well as websites which are actively collecting visitor data for marketing purposes. While the everyday web user is likely to be of little interest to a savvy hacker, businesses are always a target for such threats.

But with a VPN basically hiding you online, certain information about you will be impossible to get hold of. Such information can include your IP address, and your online identity, which when in the hands of the right can of person, can be incredibly valuable data.

A VPN is designed to encrypt your data and route it through a secure network which is often located in areas and even countries well away from your exact location.

If you are visiting a website that wants to find out more about you through your IP address, the website will still be able to gather data on your location, but the data that it collects will be completely incorrect. Although you know you are hidden online, those trying to access your information will not know that you have a VPN enabled and as such will be unaware that they are not actually benefitting from the data they collect about your identity and location.

This is what makes a VPN so effective. And while hiding your details is the primary function of a VPN, the capabilities of this useful tool can go beyond these basic safety functions.

Why are VPNs a must for business?

Since so many businesses are continuing with some form or other of remote working, having to be a little more creative and doing a bit more out of the box thinking when it comes to cyber security is important. VPN’s not only protect the web user but they can also protect the data that the user is creating from the prying eyes of a hacker.

Here’s a closer look at why a VPN is a necessity for the workplace:

  1. Protection when using public networks

Whether it is you or an employee who is working from a favourite coffee shop, or if you are visiting clients and using their public Wi-Fi, having a VPN will provide protection from the insecurity that comes with using such a network.

  • Increased data privacy

From apps and your service provider right up to the government, a VPN will ensure that you enjoy an increase in data privacy, and that your valuable data remains your business.

  • More access to content

Since a VPN “redirects” your precise location, you will be able to access content that might be restricted in your country. This can be helpful for when you are doing business research.

  • Remote working security

When you have employees working remotely, and accessing the Cloud to work on tasks or logging into the web for meetings, with a VPN in place, you will be able to provide them with extra security via the software’s encryption.

  • Multiple device adaptation

VPNs are not just used on PC and Laptop browsers, they can also be added to smartphones and tablets, furthering the security of your business.

If you are looking for a way to improve your online security, the team at 24/7 IT Services can get you setup with a safe and reliable cyber security solution as well as assist you with all sorts of IT consultancy services. You can contact us today to have a chat about what you need.

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