The global coronavirus pandemic gave rise to an unconventional way of working that was not considered effective at all during the past years. Remote work became the norm in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzed the world as companies were forced to shut down and people had to quarantine.
Since then, organizations have come to the conclusion that remote work or work-from-home is more efficient than in-house work. While working from the comforts of their home, employees have been more productive, offering much more, as it has cut traveling time, and other tasks.
However, remote work brought new cybersecurity challenges putting business at risk of data breach and other security risks. Due to unsecured internet connections, cyberattacks have become more prevalent across the world. Considering these challenges, we saw a rapid increase in the use of VPNs across different organizations.
What is a VPN?
VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a tool that encrypts all incoming and outgoing traffic on your PC. This way no one can read the encrypted traffic.
The data is encrypted and is tunneled through its own servers so no one can trace you online. A VPN even hides your online activities from the internet service providers (ISP) of your company.
There are plenty of VPNs out there that you can try. If you don’t want a paid one, there are plenty of free options as well that you can try today. You can also check the list of free VPNs recommended by VPNRanks and pick one to get the following benefits.
1. Helps you access blocked websites
Trying to access a website or app from your office, but it is blocked? Well, we have a solution. It is quite simple to unblock any website you want with a VPN. A VPN reroutes your online traffic through a different server location. It gives you a new IP address of a different location for bypassing censorship on websites imposed by your company.
Additionally, VPNs don’t have any restrictions on website access, so you can access any blocked website you want. Most companies block access to social media on their network, but with a VPN you can access any site you want.
With a VPN, you can unblock the following types of websites from your office:
- Social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Messaging apps (WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.)
- Gambling sites (Bet365, BetNow, etc.)
- News websites (CNN, Washington Post, etc.)
- Dating sites (Tinder, Grindr, etc.)
2. Maintain online security and privacy
Another major reason why you should use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) while working is boosting online privacy. A VPN encrypts your online traffic and protects your data and online activities away from the prying eyes of cybercriminals. It helps you achieve online privacy.
This means that even if you’re on a call with your employees on the most vulnerable Wi-Fi network like a public Wi-Fi, a VPN will secure your traffic and will not compromise your sensitive information to any snooper, or hacker out there on the unsecured network.
VPNs offer various security features that are meant to keep your private data secure. Premium VPNs offer 256-bit AES military-grade encryption, port forwarding, perfect forward secrecy, and more to users. They also offer top-notch tunneling protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec, etc. for online security.
3. Allows you to safely access company files
When you are working from the office, there isn’t much to worry about, but if you are working remotely on your home network, there are a lot of data security issues that you need to worry about.
Home networks don’t have additional security and firewalls like the company network, so using a VPN can add an additional layer of security while accessing company data. VPNs encrypt your data with 256-bit encryption, the same used by military agencies for data protection. It is strong enough to withstand brute force attacks.
4. Offers online anonymity
If there’s one thing common in all businesses, it’s sending and receiving important data files. When you are sending information on an unsecured connection, anyone can intercept your data and steal information. However, with a VPN you can achieve online anonymity.
A VPN encrypts your traffic, so even if someone does intercept data, they cannot decrypt it, making sure your data is never compromised.
This is very useful especially when you are making online transactions and during online banking. A VPN gives you a peace of mind, making sure no one can steal your identity and sensitive information.
5. Access unsecure Public Wi-Fi Safely
Someday, you might be tempted to work while enjoying a cup of coffee at a public place. For that you will have to connect to a public Wi-fi. Using public Wi-Fi to work while traveling seems like a great choice, but it is not safe.
However, public wi-fi connections are unsecured and highly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hackers can steal all your sensitive information while you are connected to the public Wi-Fi. Some major cybersecurity threats associated with public networks are data breaches and malware.
This is why cybersecurity researchers recommend avoiding public Wi-Fi, but if you are desperate and have no other choice, make sure to connect to a VPN before accessing company information on the public network.
Even though we have only discussed five important reasons to use a VPN at work, VPNs offer more benefits than these.
A VPN can help you boost online security, bypass censorship and allow you to access blocked sites as well.
Considering the current cybersecurity situation and the rise in data breaches across organizations, using a VPN is an effective way to boost your security and to protect sensitive company data from getting in the wrong hands.