A Virtual Private Network was once created to access company networks, now it can help protect your business too. Find out how.
Hackers are craftier than ever, so you need to take digital security seriously.
Since it’s predicted that hackers can now access of company networks, if you find yourself worrying about how secure your business actually is when your team are working outside of the office, your concern isn’t unfounded. Luckily, help is at hand in the form of a Virtual Private Network (otherwise known as a VPN).
A VPN is security software that creates an encrypted connection for people wanting to protect their identity and activity online. As one of the best ways to protect your privacy online and, more importantly, protect data when it’s shared between different computers, servers or the internet, a VPN could be hugely important for protecting your business’ information.
So, how does a VPN work exactly?
For a moment, think about the difference between driving on a road or through a tunnel. When you’re out in the open, other people can easily see you. Whereas, when in a tunnel, this becomes much harder.
Think of a VPN like a tunnel. When you use a VPN, what you’re doing is hidden from hackers, and no one outside your business can see which websites you visit or what information you send and receive.
In the same way as you can’t see through the ceiling of a tunnel, a VPN disguises your location when you use the internet, making it much, much harder for cybercriminals to interfere.
How much does a VPN cost?
While some VPNs aren’t too pricey (most cost around £30/£40) a year with a more advanced option, like , being priced at around £80), if you want to keep costs down, there are other options for covering your digital tracks that are either free or even cheaper!
What are the best alternatives?
Mostly used to get around blocks – such as censored websites - Shadowsocks offers some encryption, but isn’t as secure as a VPN. Think of it as a way of camouflaging your car, rather than hiding it. Although the software is free to use, you’ll need to set up a server before you can use it.
SSH Tunnel can encrypt your connection in a similar way to a VPN, but it won’t change your IP address like Shadowsocks. It’s mostly used as a safe way to transfer data if your VPN isn’t working, but can be difficult to set up, especially if you have no experience with networking tech. However, it’s a great choice to consider if you’re concerned about costs as it’s completely free.
Unlike a VPN, Tor (short for The Onion Router) directs all your internet traffic to a server – and because it uses a huge network of servers around the globe to bounce your connection around, no single server gets hold of all your data. This is what makes it hard for a cybercriminal to intercept, and is a great choice for anyone concerned about the way a VPN collects all data in one place, but wants the security of a VPN. Tor, however, can be extremely slow to use due to the tech needed to bounce your connection around.
Push privacy and accessibility up the priority list
No matter which option you choose, using a VPN or an alternative solution can help protect your business’ information when it's shared within your team. Plus, by doing this securely, you’ll help stop hackers from getting the best of you.
For more support discover our free business support helpline and speak to one of our Business Advisers by phone, contact form or web chat.
Wondering what you can ask? Our team can help with a range of digital topics