A big buzzword around cyber security is the term ‘VPN’, but do you know what it means and why it is important?
A VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’ and its main purpose is to hide and secure your online activity. By using one, you can set up a protected connection when using public networks (such as WiFi on a train). By doing this, you are hiding your location and internet activity to avoid tracking and monitoring.
So, What are the benefits of using a VPN?
- Online privacy. Your IP address tells others your rough physical location. If using a VPN, you can hide your real IP address and encrypt your connection so your location shows elsewhere, keeping you safe.
- Online security. If you are using public WiFi and share personal details you are likely to be at risk of hackers. A VPN means your data jumbles up via encryption. This makes it unreadable to hackers, keeping your private information safe.
- Access to international content. Some websites and streaming platforms are not accessible from all parts of the world. You might see cool things on Netflix in America that isn’t available in the UK or vice-versa. Using a VPN and setting it to be in a specific location means you can watch everything available!
How do I get/install a VPN?
There are now many providers and different implementation methods for a VPN which keep your data secure. You can get a VPN for your router, as a browser extension or as a standalone software. However, remember that a VPN connection alone does not protect against hackers, viruses and other cyber security breaches.