You may think that because you are a law abiding citizen and/or because your business isn’t big enough, there is no need for you to be using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network – but you would be wrong. There are a number of activities that we undertake each day that have the potential to leave you and your business vulnerable to cyber criminals. By using a group of computers that have been networked together, you are able to log into the network and once your computer is verified, use the internet, safe in the knowledge that your connection is encrypted and secure.
You Use VoIP
You have discovered the joys of Voice over Internet Protocol, kudos to you. The 2 aspects that primarily draw businesses to using VoIP are the lowered cost and increased quality it offers. Now a 3rd piece of the puzzle has dropped in – security; at the rate at which the technology has grown, so has the threat of cyber security.
As VoIP is converting voice into data packets, it’s relatively easy for the conversations to be intercepted and listened too. Before you think this sounds far too much like an episode of CSI Cyber, just seriously think how comfortable you would be discussing the ins and outs of your business face to face with someone with malicious intent (whether that’s a cyber-criminal or the local council!)?
Using a VPN tunnel to code and encrypt the data packets used within the process means that your private or sensitive conversations remain that way – the call may also be given priority by servers and routers, improving its quality.
You are Travelling
It’s a well-known fact that some countries across the globe are incredibly concerned with the day to day activity taking place online and can prove rather restrictive with what can be accessed; you may be searching for something that is considered too close for comfort and the site would be blocked by the local ISP. To put it in relative terms, Facebook is banned in China and even Australia is locked in a battle with an internet filter; this isn’t THAT uncommon, social media along with Google and even apps such a Skype are blocked.
From a media perspective, you may become unstuck; if you have a favourite TV show that you watch, broadcasting rights means that it will be inaccessible in the county you are in.
Although, using a VPN means that you have the ability to connect to a server in another country, meaning you can catch up on social media activity, research about local politics or even just watch an episode of Downton Abbey – the best tactic here is to research into local laws and restrictions to ensure that you are fully aware with what is and isn’t censored and you remain within the legal boundaries.
You Use Public Wi-Fi
As mentioned in a previous blog post, every bank, coffee shop, supermarket and even country parks are offering you free – unsecured, WiFi. Going about your personal and business cloud based activities on an unsecured connection is nothing short of a really bad decision.
If you are anything like the rest of us, chances are you flit between work emails, personal banking, social media, online shopping when you have some free time? Well so is the hacker who is monitoring your every move.
A VPN in this instance cloaks your details and encrypts the data from potential threats, meaning you remain safe in each and every hot spot.