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Private Virtual Networks
Protect Your Online Activity 

Everything is “going digital” these days, and privacy concerns are increasing. Private virtual networks can offer protection from unauthorized access to your personal information.

Whether you pay bills online or engage in personal communication between friends and colleagues, you need to know that your private information is safe.

How do you know that someone isn’t tracking everything you do and stealing valuable data?

Joining a private virtual network (or VPN) is a good first step in securing your personal information and preventing identity theft.

What is a Private Virtual Network?

Virtual private networks (VPNs) essentially secure your internet transmissions so you can safely share, store, and back up private information between computers and devices within a private network.

Businesses and individuals can use VPNs to access data centers or share information, but anyone can benefit from having a safe place to protect information online.

VPNs are especially nice for security-minded individuals who don’t want prying eyes knowing their every move online.

How does it work?

Users will be asked to provide a password before logging on to a VPN client, and once the connection is authenticated on both ends, any communications from your connected device to a central server will be protected through encryption. The level of encryption will vary depending on the VPN provider, so make sure you research before signing-up for a long-term subscription.

How VPN Technology Will Benefit You

Private virtual networks are designed to ensure that all computer files and communications sent over them will be protected from those attempting identity theft or trying to view information that isn’t intended for their eyes.

A secure VPN will allow you to:

  • Protect data using strong encryption, a reliable connection, and a scalable system that can grow with your business
  • Connect people in different geographic locations securely
  • Exchange information across the network without fear of unauthorized access
  • Provide opportunities for remote access to company servers
  • Increase productivity and save time by giving employees the opportunity to access work from home or while on a business trip
  • Use remote access or site to site access, depending on your needs

Any time you are using a non-trustworthy network (such as taking advantage of the free WiFi hotspots at the coffee shop or accessing your email on your phone at the mall), a VPN is an extra wall of protection to keep outsiders out.

Free vs. Paid Subscriptions

There are both free and subscription-based services in the world of virtual private networks. Here are a few things to consider when you’re trying to decide which way to go:

  • Free: No-cost cloud services (like Google Drive and Dropbox) will probably privately track your online activities, display ads that tailor to your usage habits, and lack storage capacity. If you want to occasionally check email while globe-trotting, this might be fine. But if any of these things bother you, you should probably consider paid subscription services.
  • Paid: Though it’s not foolproof, the idea of “you get what you pay for” generally applies here. Subscription services typically have tighter privacy policies, less ads and greater storage capacity. The level of encryption will also vary by VPN client, so take this into consideration when deciding your security budget.

As you determine the best solution for your home or business, do your homework and use reputable, knowledgeable, and technologically savvy sources.

Customer reviews may be helpful as well, but remember that customers don’t always present the whole picture. What works (or doesn’t work) for one customer may prove to be entirely different for someone else.   

Private virtual networks give you the protection you need in a world where the threat of identity theft is ever present. By taking this simple step to protect yourself, you can gain the peace of mind you need to interact confidently online.

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