Running a business comes with all kinds of challenges and problems to face. One of these is protecting your office computers, data, and online activity. Since so much of modern business is done online now, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your data is looked after properly – no one wants a data leak or loss of critical information!
One of the best ways to protect your business activity online is to use a VPN service. These clever tools are a great part of online security systems. If you’ve not heard of a VPN before or never used one, read on to learn why using a VPN is vital for your office computers and other devices.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for virtual private network. In effect, it is an app or program used to create a virtual network on top of your office network that helps to hide your internet browsing activity. Without a VPN, your internet service provider can see absolutely everything you do online. Alongside this, every website you visit will be able to track your activity, even after you leave their website.
Having a VPN in place stops all of the above from happening. It creates this virtual network to help encrypt your data, makes your browsing history completely private, and not release any data via your internet connection. These tools are used by personal web users and offices alike, as more and more people are beginning to value the safety of their data online.
How Does a VPN Work?
VPNs work by creating an encrypted “tunnel” for you to pass data through. This is used on top of your normal web connection, masking everything you do with passwords and high-level encryption. Nothing you do can be seen to anyone outside of this tunnel. Even if they did manage to hack through your VPN, the encryption would be so strong that they would not be able to decipher any of your information.
It’s important to note that a VPN does not replace your regular internet service provider; you’ll still need one of these. VPNs do not provide internet connection, but instead they build on top of your existing internet connection, adding this tunneled layer of protection and privacy. You can install a VPN to work on any internet provider. As long as you’re connected, your VPN can do its work.
The Cost of VPNs
VPN providers often offer free trials or basic packages for a low cost. However, to access the full service and be properly protected, you will usually have to pay a monthly subscription fee. If you can find them, you can use a NordVPN coupon, for example, to help reduce this monthly cost. In general, you would be looking at around $10 per month, per user, though, as you scale your business, companies will usually offer discounted rates or full-business packages. Of course, if you can find the deals and vouchers, you could save yourself a lot of money.
No matter how much your VPN costs, it’s worth remembering everything it can do to protect your business. Protecting and encrypting valuable data is priceless, really. And, the cost of dealing with a major data leak or security breach would likely be far more than the cost of a years’ worth of VPN subscription!
Do I Really Need a VPN?
In short, the answer is almost certainly yes! No matter how big or small your company is, you will likely be using your computer or the internet for the transmission of important data. Whether you do your banking online, your contracts, or store large volumes of personal data, you want to make sure it’s all protected. A VPN will stop a hacker from being able to see your accounts, your passwords, and just about everything else you do online.
Choosing Your VPN Provider
There are plenty of mainstream VPN providers these days. Not long ago, the technology was only just creeping into mainstream knowledge, while many still aren’t aware of online threats or what a VPN does. But, now, plenty of companies have developed their own VPN services.
You may look at the cost as a deciding factor in who provides you with a VPN, and that’s valid, but, there are more things to look out for. VPNs run through servers in different countries. If you need access to websites in other countries, you will need to choose a VPN that has servers in that country. Also, the amount of servers is an important thing to look for. Sometimes, as with all technology, a server may go down. You want to be able to quickly switch to another working server in this situation, so look for a company with plenty of servers around the world.
Cybercrime currently costs US businesses over $9 million per year, according to a recent survey. Cybercriminals commonly hack internet connections to steal private data – or use the holding of that private data to illicit money from business owners. A VPN is, therefore, a great way to help protect your business from these sorts of threats. It is thought that the average cost to a small business dealing with a cyber-attack is up to $200,000 – definitely more than it will cost to run a VPN for the next 10 years!
Protect All Devices
If you are going to use a VPN, it should be used on all of your work devices. There’s no point protecting the office computers but allowing staff to visit important data via mobile, with no connection protection. If your staff are likely to work remotely or access data on their personal devices, they should be connected to the same VPN. Even one device without any protection is a threat, so ensure you allow VPN use on every single work device.
As you can see, VPNs are a crucial part of protecting your business, its staff, and its data. Without one, you leave your connection vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals. Use a VPN alongside standard virus detection software to give your office the best protection possible.