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Why you should use a VPN

Take a step back and consider how much of your life is transmitted over the inherently insecure internet. Do you feel a creeping sense of dread? That's entirely reasonable, considering just how vulnerable your personal data is. One of the best ways to secure your data is to use a virtual private network (VPN), which also provides some control over how you're identified online.

Many of us may be familiar with a VPN by now. Whether it be for getting access to international streaming services or perhaps more commonly these days, being in the wave of a primarily mobile workforce.

The reason it has become such a familiar three-lettered saving grace is due to the fact that it is an extremely safe way to go about your work needs from almost anywhere with an internet connection. When practicing good computer habits, a VPN is a perfect match.

What a VPN does is creates a virtual encrypted tunnel between you and a remote server operated by a VPN service. All your internet traffic is then filtered through this tunnel and therefore keeps your data secure from prying eyes. Another plus is that your computer's identity and location gets masked, further securing your data and minimising any unexpected third party interception.

When your data reaches the VPN server, it exits onto the public internet. If the site you're heading to uses HTTPS to secure the connection, you're still secure. But even if it was intercepted, it's difficult to trace the data back to you, since it appears to be coming from the VPN server.

With the call for remote working to become more secure and versatile should events like the lockdown take place again, understanding how a VPN works is crucial, especially when using something like public WiFi.

When connecting to a public space with a VPN you can have peace of mind knowing that no one on the same network will not be able to intercept your data.

For the most part, VPN clients are the same for both Windows and macOS, which means that there is a certain level of versatility available to users. However, some performance differences can be dependent on certain platforms.

Although a VPN is a good, secure way to go about your daily work operations, it should be noted that there are still many ways your behaviour can be tracked online despite using a VPN. Things such as cookies allow web services to track your internet usage even after you’ve left their sites.

VPNs also only do so much to anonymize your online activities and should only be used as a means to protect personal or business data when accessing unknown or public networks, or to prevent third-party services prying on your data.

a VPN is a uniquely powerful tool that you should definitely have in your personal security toolkit, especially in today's connected world. Whether you opt for a free service or even go all-in with an encrypted router, having some way to encrypt your internet traffic is critically important.

Contact ACS if you are wanting to learn how we can help you secure your data and that of your business both in and outside the office.

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