We know we just concluded a month long campaign about the importance of cybersecurity in participation with National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), but the importance of a properly implemented VPN for your business or your customers can’t be understated. And with businesses and employees operating from home more than ever, VPNs go a long way in protecting your company’s most valuable information.
VPN stands for virtual private network. When you use a VPN while you are on the Internet, you create a barrier between your information and the outside digital world. Think of it as your information traveling through its own subway tunnel. Nobody else can see or track what you are doing, protecting you and your information from getting stolen.
The value in using a VPN to create this so-called “subway tunnel” for your information is that it encrypts your information and hides your identity and location in the process. The “N” in VPN stands for network, and that’s exactly what a VPN is — a network of servers located around the world. When you connect to the Internet using a VPN, you hide your actual IP address (your location) with one of the network’s servers. This makes it look like you are surfing the internet in London, when really, you’re at a coffee shop in Seattle.
When you hide your IP address, it creates confusion for hackers trying to steal your data. Especially if you work on the road, and connect to various WiFi networks, it can be the difference in keeping your sensitive information protected or exposed.
When you connect to public WiFi networks, you really have no idea if it is a legit network or not. A cybercriminal could have set it up hoping that someone would log in, so they can attempt to steal their data. With a VPN, it really doesn’t matter what public network you connect to, because it will look like you are connected to the Internet somewhere else, protecting your information.
If your company doesn’t already have a VPN setup, we encourage you to use one, especially when you are conducting business transactions over your computer. Since VPNs create a private subway tunnel for your information, nobody on the outside can see what is going on, track, or try to crack into your information or system. This protection is especially important when you use company credit cards, personal credit cards or make any sort of business transaction over the Internet. A VPN becomes extra important if you take your business on the road with you, connecting to whatever WiFi you can get your hands on. As with package theft, being proactive about your home security is the best deterrent. The same goes for your online security. Don’t wait till your business or personal information gets hacked. Enhance it with a VPN.