People clicking away on smart devices is a 21st century fact. Any kind of information is just a finger click away. But this ease comes at a cost. If one has access to all kinds of information then it also exposes the user to the same.
Your internet activity can be traced through your IP (internet protocol) address. Any website that you access can see your IP address, which could ultimately be used by watchers to track down your exact location. A smart way of circumventing this is through VPNs or virtual private networks, which have been in existence since the internet but are fast gaining in popularity.
A VPN facilitates reliable sharing of information between remote computers and connected devices through a virtual network using the internet. A VPN allows clients to exchange data securely through encryption. The demand for VPNs has gone up over the last couple of years. Telecommuting and remote working has become common in today’s world of startups with access to remote talent in any part of the world. Such flexibility allows companies to retain talent and provide a work-life balance.
A recent survey by the Global Workplace Analytics and Flexjobs revealed that the number of telecommuting workers has increased 115% in a decade.
“The impact of remote work is changing; employers really need to pay attention to it and not ignore it any longer,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs.
Moreover, with cybersecurity fears gaining ground, VPNs provide that extra layer of firewall with its encrypted data exchange and are a must against corporate espionage. A VPN gives you an additional layer of protection online from cyber stalking, government surveillance, hackers and spies. Every time a person opens a web browser, it is stored in the database of that search engine. In short, they can track your browsing history and location.
Some governments are mulling more control over internet access to citizens. VPNs are a way to circumvent such controls and fears of an Orwellian dystopia. China, some countries in the Middle East, Russia and others routinely block access to certain social media sites and search engines citing security concerns.
But it would be a fallacy to think VPNs are some sort of magic invisibility shield. They at best provide you with some anonymity and obscurity. VPNs come with risk and can compromise data. Some experts advice building an in-house VPN to companies. “It’s very, very hard to make recommendations about VPNs,” says Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology.
There are many VPN providers offering services but one should be cautious while choosing an authentic provider. If buying a VPN service be sure to check these boxes. Avoid opting for free VPN hostings, they obviously are not full proof. Review the website of the provider. The landing page should be authentic, with up to date and valid content. Some sites oversell their services. See that they are clear about how their security works, and have no vague terms and conditions.
Look for customer reviews with proper links to social media sites or some form of identification. See that the company offers good customer support. Be wary if undue data information is sought.
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