VPNs are considered an almost essential part of day-to-day online life among the technically proficient. They come in extremely handy when online privacy and safety are afforded the importance it deserves. Most people that use a VPN for their personal browsing will also do so when working, especially if they use the same devices. However, even those that are not overly concerned with their online presence outside work should definitely consider using one when working. Here’s why.
Personal internet use generally extends to reading, social media, and consuming content online. However, when operating in a professional capacity, data consumption changes and is far more strictly regulated. Exposing something as seemingly innocuous as a customer’s address can cause massive concern in the business world, and individuals are at more risk when out and about than when at home.
Public Wi-Fi networks are hugely convenient and potentially faster than a mobile device’s transfer speeds. However, their ‘public’ nature means that they cannot be trusted for security. A quality VPN provides the extra layer of protection required to ensure that your online communications are safe from prying eyes.
The safety and security theme continues to remote work. Even when physically located at home or in an office outside your standard workspace, a VPN remains a significant priority. Depending on the size and nature of the business, it may even be essential. Many companies rely on VPNs to enable remote employees to access their internal networks, providing them and their data with an additional level of protection against outside attacks.
Even when not necessarily required as part of the job, VPN use is good practice when dealing with the data of clients and suppliers. The transmission of data itself is protected and, even in cases where it may potentially be intercepted, it is also encrypted, making it useless to anyone that stumbles across it.
An excellent VPN service protects data and communications and enables the user to change their physical location. There are multiple business cases for using one in this way, and they will vary depending on the work undertaken.
An employee may interact with a client abroad that restricts access to data based on location. Rather than requiring them to make an exception, the location functions within a VPN can enable secure access as and when needed.
The same applies to researching products and information with localized intent. If you are putting together a content piece targeting users in a foreign country, you want your resources to reflect what someone in that country might see. Something as simple as changing your location to the country in question can modify everything from search results to social media trends.
Depending on the terms and conditions of a service, it may be possible to find cheaper prices and faster connections by appearing to be accessing it from somewhere else.
Very few business owners and employees operate from a single device, and the days of being stuck in a cubicle for hours on end in front of a massive monitor are mainly behind us. Most people rely on laptops, desktops, phones, and tablets for productivity, and they are all equally susceptible to online security risks.
A reliable VPN service includes the same protections across all devices, ensuring that all your traffic is routed through the same service and safe from those seeking to view or intercept it. This eliminates cases of absent-mindedly sending an email from a tablet when only the laptop is protected and other instances of information being potentially exposed.
It is also possible to deploy VPN protection at the router level where access is available. This offers protection across devices without configuring them individually, as all traffic is routed through the protected connection before it leaves the building.
When data protection is heavily in focus, businesses of all sizes are expected to take precautions against data loss. While not a catch-all solution to protect against theft, ransomware, and network attacks, the cost and ease of using a VPN make it the natural first step in adding a new layer of security to your operations.
Joe is a business technology writer that works primarily with SaaS businesses to share the benefits of various products and services with owners and employees in an easily digestible manner.
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