Let’s start with the latest news: A new National Security Agency cybersecurity advisory is warning that some popular VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) could have some possible vulnerabilities.
VPNs have become more important since the quarantine with more people working at home. Accessing secure company files without this layer of security runs the risk of them being accessed by third parties.
Why secure VPNs matter
VPNs create private, encrypted connections, to a remote network over the internet. This remote server acts as a middleman between you and the open internet. This is just one of many ways organizations protect sensitive data from falling into the hands of cybercriminals.
Since October 2020, the NSA has issued over a dozen warnings about the actions of bad foreign actors and the tactics they use to get information. With technology improving at such a rapid rate, ways to combat these threats have become imperative. There are a few different ways to combat these criminals and it starts with the basics.
- Make sure your Internet security is up to date and set correctly.
- Use a reputable VPN that has specific solutions to keep your personal information protected.
- Get a tune-up every few months to make sure your information is safe and secure.
With the constant change in technology it’s important to consider a security assessment. Call (888) 965-0171 now and ask your technician what options are available to keep your information safe and secure.
Fill out the form below to contact us to help you stay secure.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into the history of VPN and more.
Why was VPN invented?
As the internet started to proliferate in the late 1990s, there was a growing need for greater security and protection. Anti-virus programs emerged to protect computers at the end of the connection, security to protect the connection itself also was needed. That gave birth to the idea of an “internet within an internet,” or today’s VPN.
The purpose of a VPN is to enable multiple people and devices to connect across the Internet in a secure and encrypted environment. In effect, it keeps people using the network away from malware, hackers and any firm that wants to track where you are or where you have been on the internet. A VPN is a private channel to surf the web anonymously and more safely. This added layer of security provided by private internet access is one reason to consider why use a VPN in 2020.
How does a VPN work?
A VPN uses software that is installed locally on your computer. The software is used to encrypt your data and send it to a VPN provider securely over a regular internet connection. The VPN server decodes the encrypted data transmitted by your computer, then goes out with the decoded data on the internet to obtain the information you requested. Once it receives the data from the site, the VPN server encrypts it and sends you the information.
In the end, you see the data the same as if you were surfing on the web. The only real difference is that it does take a little longer, as you are running a network within a network. Also, if the server is very busy with too many users, the experience can be much slower. Many VPN providers will show you in advance how active a particular IP address connection is before you connect to help alleviate slower connections.
Why use a VPN?
For most users, privacy and security would be the greatest benefit to using a VPN. In an article from a few weeks ago, we discussed why to use a VPN when working from home. Anyone who works for a company often handles some of the most sensitive personal, including financial, information in a client’s life. Identity thieves are getting more sophisticated at hacking and collecting this information. A VPN connection helps keep this data away from prying eyes and nefarious internet interlopers.
For example, security experts recommend never connecting to a public Wi-Fi while conducting any sensitive business. Agents in the field will tell you sometimes that seems impossible to do. You can eliminate concerns about connecting to a public Wi-Fi with a VPN Hotspot. A VPN can help secure an open connection, making it encrypted and out of bounds for hackers.
Read next: What accountants must know about managed services
Using a VPN also provides anonymity when surfing the web. If you are tracking your competition and watching what they are doing on their website they may be watching you do that as they can capture your IP address. With a VPN, you are a ghost, as your IP address stays hidden. None of your actions are traceable to you, as you are browsing the web anonymously with a VPN. You are leaving no online browsing footprint.
Your VPN connection could drop
VPN connections, like anything else, are not flawless, and you could lose your connection. The problem is that without a kill switch, your real IP address could expose you. Fortunately, the large VPN providers, like NordVPN, have a kill switch feature. The free ones typically do not, making these far riskier to use.
Your browser default settings could change
Sometimes, VPN software can automatically adjust your browser settings to make sure these settings don’t conflict with the information you need from the sites you are trying to access. In other words, those settings won’t return to their prior state. That could mean your Google search page thinks you are in Canada or France instead of the U.S. You can always contact Rush Tech Support for support, but the safest approach: use a separate browser like Firefox for all your VPN connections.
Mobile Device Compatibility
Most current smartphones and tablets have the capability to use a VPN, as these devices have gotten, and continue to get, more powerful. For real estate professionals, the question of why to use a VPN is tied to their business and always being on the go. There are many dangers when using public Wi-Fi and VPNs offer their mobile devices an added layer of security.
And as the Operating Systems continue to include more features, we have
already seen a large portion of conventional computers and laptops being replaced by tablets, and even phablets (larger phones). You can look for services that are cross-platform: they cover laptops, computers, or mobile devices, or look for VPNs for a specific device.
If you travel or are always on the go and want to protect your client’s data better, a paid VPN service is a great option for increased security. With today’s easiness of VPN software installation and use and low-cost, it is more accessible than ever before. VPN is now a mainstream option for better connection security and at the very least, worth consideration.
Contact us at Rush Tech Support if you have any questions about VPNs. In conclusion, we can provide the names of the larger, well-known, and reputable VPN providers to give you a starting point as you consider your options, and so that you don’t end up inadvertently purchasing a Russian bot VPN and get cleaned out. More over, Rush Tech Support can also help you set up your VPN once you’ve made your purchase. Call us at (844) 881-7874 or +18848817874 today and we can get you started!