Why use a VPN at home and when working remotely?
Why use a VPN at home? That’s a question that many people have found themselves asking over the past couple of years. Today, we’re going to discuss the importance of using a VPN when working remotely.
While many countries have lifted COVID-19 restrictions and allowed employees to work from the office again, many people have decided that they enjoy not having to commute.
Working remotely has several benefits. Some people have reported a better work-life balance; others have noticed that they have saved money on needing to commute to the office. However, doing your work away from the office isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.
You’re at risk of several threats when working from home or in another remote location. Cybersecurity is a huge concern, especially in instances where users don’t connect to their employer’s servers.
Beyond that, you also might have to deal with network connections that aren’t always the most secure options.
A virtual private network (VPN) can help mitigate many risks associated with working from home. How, you say? We’re glad you asked. In this article, we’ll show you why you should use a VPN remotely.
You’re often connected to your company’s internet servers when you work in an office. In many cases, these servers are pretty secure and can protect your computer against the threat of data breaches and other nasties.
And while some employers have made it possible for employees to connect to their servers remotely, this isn’t always the case.
Of course, not many people that work remotely have a single employer. If you’re a freelancer, you will likely work with multiple companies – and often, you’ll do so simultaneously. With that in mind, the consequences if something goes wrong can be pretty significant.
When you work remotely, you’ll likely work with important documents. Moreover, you’ll have access to different company drives and more. If a hacker manages to get into these systems, crucial data could fall into the wrong hands.
Using a VPN remotely is also a good idea if you want to remain anonymous. This is especially the case if you’re a digital nomad, when you might be working in countries that have stricter internet censorship laws than what you’re used to in your home country.
The importance of using a VPN when working remotely
Before we look at what a VPN can do to protect you when working outside the office, let’s examine why you should use a VPN at home. In the sections below, you’ll discover the importance of using a VPN when working remotely.
Access content in other countries
One of the main reasons that people use VPNs is so they can access content in other countries. But this has a much bigger use than simply seeing what’s available on Netflix in the UK or Canada. If you’re a knowledge worker, you might need to perform periods of deep research as a part of your role.
As you’ll quickly notice, many websites are blocked in certain jurisdictions. This can get pretty irritating if you’re looking for specific information. Using a VPN will allow you to bypass restrictions related to your location and get what you’re looking for.
If you need to find pricing for different products in other markets, you can also change your VPN location to facilitate this.
To try the best VPN, you’ll often need to experiment with multiple services. And when you do, internet speed is something you should strongly consider.
When working remotely, having a solid connection is crucial – and if you choose the right VPN, you might find that you can complete your tasks much quicker.
VPNs have several servers available, so you can always switch if you need something a little quicker. You’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription for many networks to get a wider selection of the best speeds available.
While accessing content in other countries and having quicker internet speeds are nice, they’re not always the most important things about VPNs. Many people use a VPN because they want to keep themselves safe online.
Although it’s great that many people can do their jobs from anywhere in the world, it’s hard to ignore the potential security risks.
IBM’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach report had some telling figures and statistics to highlight how real the threat is:
- The average cost of a data breach in 2022 was $4.35 million globally.
- In the US, the average cost of a data breach was even higher – at $9.44 million.
- Between 2020 and 2022, the average cost of a data breach rose by 12.7%.
Security threats when working remotely can come in several forms. Hackers perform multiple attack types to get the information they’re looking for, including distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
Other common cyberattack tactics include SQL injection and man-in-the-middle attacks.
While many people work from home when they’re outside the office, that isn’t always the case. In some cases, you might want to visit places like a café or library. Coworking spaces are also popular among remote employed and self-employed remote workers alike.
You might also want to do some work in other public places, such as airports. The problem, however, is that many of the Wi-Fi connections in these places are not secure. If they don’t require a password, you always have to deal with the risk that others might be able to see what you’re doing.
If others can see what you’re doing on your computer, they might gain access to your passwords, payment details, and more. This can result in issues such as identity theft.
How does a VPN protect you when working remotely?
Now that we’ve spoken about the importance of using a VPN while working remotely, let’s look at how a VPN can protect you from the worst.
Protection from potential security breaches
One of the most important ways why you should use a VPN at home or when working elsewhere remotely is because it can protect you from potential security breaches. VPNs make your IP address invisible to others, making it harder for hackers to gain important information about you.
When you combine using a VPN with connecting to a secure server, you’ll keep yourself much safer from online threats than would otherwise have been the case.
And if your VPN connection ever goes down, don’t worry; many providers have a kill switch, and you can use this to take the device you’re using offline until the VPN connection returns.
If you work with multiple clients, keeping both your and their information private is critical. The good news is that when you use a VPN, many of the best providers will provide end-to-end encryption. Thanks to this, it’ll become harder for potential attackers to gain access to important documents.
While using a VPN is beneficial for protecting information involved in file transfers, that’s not all they’re good for. Thanks to this encryption, it’s harder for others to see what you share in messages with your clients or employer.
As a result, sensitive information shared via those means is less likely to become available to people that should not have access to it.
Data breaches are just one of many cybersecurity pillars that you need to keep in mind. Malware is another potential threat, and software of this kind evolves on a daily basis. Criminals use several kinds of malware to achieve their goals, including trojans, adware, and spyware.
Your computer’s immunity to viruses varies significantly depending on multiple factors. The age of your device can play a role, as can the manufacturer; some companies offer better internal features that snuff out malware.
Extra protection is a good idea; besides potentially stealing important information, malware can cause your device to perform worse – and let’s be honest, that gets pretty annoying.
Many of the best VPN providers also offer antivirus solutions, which can help protect your computer against potential malware. If your device detects a possible threat, you can quarantine these without too many problems.
The conversation about online privacy has grown louder in the past few years. Many people are particularly wary of being tracked, and many third parties do this for several reasons. These are often harmless – but sometimes, you’ll likely want a little privacy.
VPNs help to stop third parties from tracking your information and activity. As a result, you won’t need to worry as much about your data being used for advertising and other purposes.
Why use a VPN at home, then? As you can see, you should consider doing so for multiple reasons. Keeping your information safe is crucial, especially when you work with more than one client.
You’ll find plenty of VPNs on the market, and many of the best ones will offer free versions to help you get a feel. If you like what you see, you can commit to a longer-term paid subscription.
Once you’ve added a VPN to your remote work setup, you’ll find it easier to stay safe and complete your projects efficiently.
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