Maintaining online privacy is becoming a challenge as more and more devices are connected to the internet. The amount of data that is collected from you is quite staggering. Those ads that pop up after having a voice/text conversation are no coincidence.

A good strategy to mitigate intrusion of your privacy is using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN is a secure connection between two resources. When you jump on Google, you are heading out into the open internet through your ISP; they are the gateway for you to access information. They can log all of your activity and in certain cases, they can share your browsing history with third-parties like advertisers, police, or governments.

“If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about”

You heard that before? It’s a saying that is parroted by individuals who take their freedom for granted.

To prevent these entities from creeping on you, using a VPN can reduce your digital footprint and keep your online business, your business.

How Does it Work?

When you go online you are going through your ISP to access the web. When you use a VPN service, you connect to the VPN provider first, your data is encrypted, and then sent out over the broader internet using the IP of the VPN server. This can be located anywhere in the world and can obfuscate your true public IP and hardware information. So when you visit a website, that site will log your activity but what it’s logging is useless since it’s not actually you.

This enhances your security when you are working remotely and using public wifi at a local cafe. Coffee shops don’t have sophisticated IT infrastructures so spoofing SSID’s and monitoring the network can be done by any visitor with no one noticing. If you are communicating over a VPN tunnel, you’ll be safe from intrusion and network monitoring.

Why Use a VPN?

Because it’s no one’s business, that’s the whole point of privacy. For some it’s just an unsettling feeling knowing that they are being monitored by someone or something. For business owners, it’s securing data from external threats. Others, it’s about the principles of sovereignty and freedom. And the rest; to conduct illegal activity. Yes, this technology can keep you anonymous but only to an extent.

If a VPN provider keeps logs of user traffic, you might as well save your money. There’s nothing that guarantees nor will you ever know, if the VPN provider share’s its user logs with other parties. You’ll just have to …trust…them… You do have to create accounts with these providers, so probably not a good idea to use one one if you’re planning on doing some shady stuff.

Using VPNs to connect to business networks is a common practice of IT organizations because they help reduce costs on networking equipment and provide secure access to company resources. You can connect multiple offices and remote workers securely with VPN technology and manage them from a centralized location with Cisco Meraki if you’re a network engineer looking for solutions to make your life easier. They can also save THOUSANDS of dollars connecting businesses with multiple sites. Instead of having an ISP sell you a dedicated line from office to office (most ideal if cost isn’t a factor), consult with an IT professional to see if that’s necessary.

Keep your business in-house and make sure you have the tools to protect your valuable communications from the endless barrage of cyber threats that are looking to find you.