Whether you’re a blogger with various online accounts or you run an online business, having a VPN is essential. Why? The short answer is if you log in to accounts online—any social media site, banking, shopping—and you don’t want others to access your accounts, then you need a VPN.
Have you ever had your credit card info stolen? Have you ever had a fraud charge on your bank account? Have your passwords been leaked? Using a VPN is essential for establishing the security that you need for your business or blog.
PSA Alert: Chances are good that if you aren’t using a VPN, you are putting a lot of personal data at risk daily.
Wondering why VPNs are such an essential tool for your business? Here is everything you need to know about using a VPN.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network; in the simplest terms, what this private network does is create a direct and private link between your device and the website that you are using. No one outside of this link is aware of the connection or anything happening within it. It’s the online equivalent of closing the curtains.
This type of secure connection is a huge deal for your security. It is key to safeguarding all of your info. With a VPN, you control all of the data that is shared with the outside world. You can fully encrypt your data and set your location or IP address as you like. You are also able to get apps that are restricted in the country that you are currently in.
Why Do I Need a VPN?
Security might not seem like a big deal when you are working at home or in the office. When you are in a less private space, however, things get a lot riskier.
How often do you find yourself working, shopping, or accessing personal info (think banking, medical records, or your e-mail) when you are in a hotel, restaurant, café, airport, or any other public space? While free Wi-Fi is great for getting things done, it comes with serious risks.
On a public wi-fi network, anyone can get access to your data. This means every username and password, as well as your credit card numbers, are at risk. Of course, this is a huge deal!
Risking your data AND company/blog details are not worth it for the free Wi-Fi.
The good news is that you can secure your data on a public Wi-Fi network simply with a VPN. When you are using a VPN, you know that your connection is completely secure. You can rest assured that you are taking minimal risks while still tapping into that sweet free internet!
For you bloggers out there, a VPN keeps all of your online passwords safe and secures the connection to every account you use while on a public network.
As a business owner, this is especially crucial for hiding confidential info and financial data (canceling your personal credit card is enough hassle and it’s doubled when you’re dealing with shared work accounts as well).
Secure Data Sharing
Many business-focused services actually require a VPN. This allows a fully secure sharing of confidential data. Once a person-specific encryption key is created, you know exactly who is accessing your data.
Those data breaches you read about in the news? They are mostly preventable when companies have the right access restrictions in place, to begin with.
An Internet Without Borders
Geo-independence is a major issue for travel bloggers. Of course, there is China’s famous online restrictions and censorship. You will also find some services aren’t allowed in countries like Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, and Turkey.
Even in Europe, you will find that many US news sites are restricted due to EU privacy regulations. I once got blocked just trying to do some shopping on Target’s website. Surprises come up all the time and restrictions can pop up in totally unexpected places.
Every country has different rules and if the website designer didn’t think it was worth the time to adapt the site to international rules, you might be locked out.
Generally using a VPN isn’t going to create any but do keep up-to-date and research any VPN that you are considering using. More restrictive places like China and Turkey are able to detect and block some VPNs and as well as things like Tor.
The UAE is one of the few places that can potentially fine you for using a VPN and they have a lengthy list of restrictions on things like VoIP calls, French TV channels, and even Netflix.
You’ll find a dizzying array of options out there and finding the best VPN can feel a bit random. I’ve been using ExpressVPN for a while now and have found it completely reliable and easy to use. If you’re looking to secure your info and stay connected abroad, I’d highly recommend checking it out.