The majority of individuals use technology, many times to work. Particularly in recent times, where most jobs have been done remotely, an increasing number of people are accessing confidential information from their homes on a daily basis.

There are many risks associated with using computers and online systems from home, as the connection is not always private, making it easier for cybercriminals and hackers to access sensitive information. This can have very damaging effects on the individual and even the wider company. Avoiding this is highly important, and this is why Virtual Private Network (VPN) was created. It essentially comprises a piece of software that modifies your IP address and encodes your internet usage, making you secure. This allows you to be online whilst maintaining your privacy and also means that you are blocked from accessing potential risky websites. In this article, we will provide a helpful VPN guide by explaining the ins and outs of what it actually does and why you must use it.

How Does a VPN Work?

If you want to use a virtual private network, you will have to download a VPN app that connects to a VPN server. This will be run by a virtual private network provider to ensure that all information and usage is protected and secure. Everything that you do online and all documents that you access are encrypted and transmitted through a private network tunnel. It essentially stops others from seeing what you are doing and who you are as well as making it a lot more difficult for hackers to break into your server and steal sensitive data.

Benefits of Using VPN

Using a VPN provides you with many benefits. We will discuss them in more detail below:

Prevents Your ISP From Tracking Your Online Activities

Most people may not realize this, but when you are online, you can’t exactly hide what you are doing from your internet provider. Using a VPN stops this as it makes you anonymous. This is highly important, particularly if you are working with very sensitive and confidential information that would cause a lot of damage if leaked. The professionals at allthingssecured.com suggest reading expert blogs that teach you about how to effectively secure your online presence. This is essential if you do not want to fall victim to hackers and cyber identity theft.

Prevents Websites From Seeing Your IP Address

When you are online, you will have an internet protocol (IP) address, and this is how you are identified when browsing the internet. When you go online through a VPN, your IP address is encrypted, therefore websites are not able to identify you. It also makes it more difficult for advertisers to make you a target. This shows how beneficial a VPN is in maintaining your privacy and also keeps you from receiving many unwelcome adverts.

Defeats Censorship

In certain places, such as schools and universities, and other workplaces, there may be restrictions in place that do not allow you to use certain websites and your access to these will be automatically blocked. If you are connected to a VPN, you can easily overcome this, as it allows you to access blocked websites.

Allows You to Access Streaming Services

Streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube, often have restrictions in place that stop you from accessing certain content depending on where you live. You may want to watch a video that is blocked in your country or access a foreign version of Netflix that you know provides much more than your country’s version does. You can do this simply by accessing a VPN network. You can connect to any country if the VPN is connected to the country, no matter where you actually are. For example, if you want to access US Netflix, you will have to have a VPN server connected to the US, even if you are in a completely different part of the world.

Protects You From Hackers

Cybercriminals, such as hackers have become highly sophisticated, and they have numerous ways of infiltrating your connection that you may not even realize. It is very common for people to use their laptops whilst at the coffee shop, and when you do this you are more than likely to use the Wi-Fi at the place. However, this is extremely risky to do, as you cannot be sure that the connection is secure. This is one of the easiest ways for hackers to access your files and steal sensitive information. If you want to use your laptop in local areas, make sure that you are connected to a VPN as it will protect your data by making it encrypted.

Protects You When Torrenting

Torrenting is the act of downloading and uploading and even sharing files. This can be risky as hackers can easily get hold of these documents if you are not using a virtual private network. When using a VPN, your IP address is hidden from other individuals downloading the same torrents, and they are also unable to see what you download.

How to use a VPN

Using a VPN sounds more complicated than it actually is. In reality, it is very easy to use and you do not have to worry about the processes of how the data is encrypted and maintained safely. Below are the steps to use a VPN:

  • Sign-up for a VPN plan – you will need to have the software installed on your laptop, or device. This can either be a client (if used on a laptop) or an app (if used on a mobile) – they are both essentially the same thing, with different names.
  • Run the client or app – you will be provided with your own login details that you will need every time you want to access the VPN.
  • Click Connect – The majority of VPN apps will have a “Connect” button. Merely click on it to connect to the VPN server. This will usually automatically connect you to the fastest server, although you can sometimes choose which one you want to connect to.
  • Ready! – You are ready to enjoy a private connection without having to worry about being hacked.

Using a virtual private network is essential if you want to access the internet in public areas, or even from the comfort of your own home. Even if you do not think that you are accessing sensitive files, do not forget that hackers can also infiltrate your connection to steal passwords and bank account information. Therefore, make sure that you learn about VPN and use it at all times.

About the author:

Allen Brown is a dad of 3 kids and is a keen writer covering a range of topics such as Internet marketing, SEO and more! When not writing, he’s found behind a drum kit.

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