A Guide to Using VPNs

The internet has become one of the most useful things in our lives for many different reasons. It lets us do everything from applying for a job to transferring money, from sharing photos with loved ones, and even ordering a pizza direct to your door.

 Unfortunately, it’s also become a convenient place for criminals to steal your information. Here’s how and why you should use a VPN to protect yourself while online.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s a piece of software that runs in the background of your device that stops anybody from seeing what you’re doing online.

You might be thinking who exactly watches what I do online, and why should I care? Well, lots of companies, including your internet service provider, can monitor everything you do online.

 More worryingly, cybercriminals could be actively stealing your information from under your nose. If you regularly submit your personal and financial details online, these could be used to steal your identity or even money from your bank account.

Even if you don’t manually submit personal details online, people can see exactly where you’re sat in the world via your IP address. That is until you install a VPN.

Once you have one installed on your device, it creates a virtual protective tunnel between you and the internet that nobody can breach. All your data will be encrypted, making it impossible to be used by criminals.

Think about what devices need protecting

You may think that installing a VPN on your home computer or laptop is enough to keep your personal data safe.

If you regularly use a mobile phone to shop online, carry out internet banking, or share personal information with others, you’ll want to install a VPN on those as well. Luckily there are products like SonicWall mobile VPN that works in the same way as the software on your computer, and is available to those who already own a SonicWall firewall.

Whether you have an iPhone, Android, Chrome, Windows Mobile device, or even a Kindle Fire, the mobile VPN can be integrated into any device.

Change any passwords you used previously

Now you have installed a VPN; every time you enter a password or other personal details into a website, you can be assured that they are safe.

Unfortunately, they can’t erase any data you sent over the internet before installing a VPN. Once you’ve secured your devices, make sure you change the passwords of your email account, online banking, social media, and other sites you use regularly.

What other benefits are there?

As well as protecting your information, there are many other benefits to using a VPN. They can allow you to access your work’s network without having to enter the office.

They could also be used to get around geo-blocking systems that prevent you from streaming certain shows and movies in certain countries. They are well worth the small price tag in exchange for the confidence that you can access the internet safely and without risking your personal information.