Protecting yourself online does not have to stop at your personal devices. Using a VPN at work comes with its perks as well.
If you use your personal laptop or a company device, you are most likely connected to a company-wide network. To access and keep all vital information secure, this method is commonly used by many companies. In this way, they can protect sensitive data and keep an eye out for any malicious activity.
These networks are used by companies for reasons like blocking specific social media websites, preventing workers from torrenting or downloading massive files, monitoring progress, etc.
Why do I need to use a VPN at work?
A study found that a whopping 16-30% of employees either don’t know what a VPN is or don’t use one. Also, US employees are more likely to use their corporate devices for personal browsing than their UK counterparts.
There’s more to a VPN than accessing blocked websites. That’s why I’ve prepared a list of 6 reasons why I’d recommend using a VPN at work to get holistic protection when using public WiFi, browsing the internet and employers monitoring you.
6 reasons why you should use a VPN at work
- Hide your browsing habits
- View blocked content and websites
- Protect your privacy from peeping eyes
- Keep company secrets inside the network
- Work from home easily
- Join the trend of BYOD
Reason 1: Hide Your Browsing Habits
If you don’t use a VPN, there are risks you take by not protecting your data. They can be minor, such as receiving targeted ads. When your ISP collects your data or you forget to log out of your Google and Facebook accounts, your search history and preferences may trigger these ads. Similarly, your location can be found through your IP address.
That’s why when connecting to these platforms, it is important to keep in mind additional information may be collected and it might be possible to identify your physical location. This happens on every site that you visit. Your IP address also allows your employer and other entities to monitor your movements online and determine your identity.
Also, those annoying ads for coffee pots will not follow you on every website you visit, including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.. This is considering you log out of these platforms and clear your cookies. Without recorded data of what you have searched for and clicked on, these third-party companies will have a harder time tracing your browsing path.
Although a VPN acts as a layer of privacy, and can help you search somewhat anonymously, if you do not log out of your personal accounts, these websites will still find traces of your browsing history.
With Surfshark Search you can prevent this from happening. With organic results and no tracking, you can avoid triggering specific keywords that could set off firewalls and filters that might raise some eyebrows. It’s better not to get in trouble with your company and steer clear of endless ads of candle holders and picture frames.
Reason 2: View Blocked Content And Websites
Your workplace may restrict access to some sites when you are using their network and IP address. If you can hide the IP addresses of the restricted websites you visit, it is possible to avoid these kinds of limitations.
Most companies and corporations put these restrictions on their employees through something called web filtering. Many different reasons for blocking websites that deal with gambling, anything racist or offensive, and mature content are the obvious ones. However, others prevent their workers from listening to music on sites like Facebook or YouTube due to bandwidth usage and the possibility of a decrease in work productivity.
Suppose you are working hard but need a short break. You then choose to look at memes. A VPN will encrypt everything you do so your boss won’t identify what you are looking at. They will only be able to locate that you are connected to one IP.
Every working human deserves to take a rest from time to time. We aren’t robots, but we also want to appear professional and not throw our reputation down the drain. Looking at memes or watching dog videos on YouTube isn’t a crime. Neither is connecting to a VPN to bypass filtering to enjoy this leisure time off.
Reason 3: Protect Your Privacy From Peeping Eyes
Using a VPN isn’t just about private browsing, but it can also be beneficial for staying away from cyber threats. Of course, the most significant risks arise if someone with malicious intent gets your data. Anyone with the right tools can intercept passwords, banking information, and anything else you transmit over the internet (which is probably a lot), even at work.
According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2020, phishing was one attack vector most used by hackers in 2019. Technology companies, social networks, and streaming services constitute the ten leading brands that cybercriminals falsify in phishing attempts.
Even when using a VPN at work, it is difficult to know which links might be infected with viruses. That’s why with Surfshark’s CleanWeb, you can decrease the chances of being exposed to malware-infected sites that may put you at risk to phishing attempts and other online scams.
Preserve your privacy online. It is your right, and because there is almost nowhere you can go online without someone seeing you, a VPN can provide you the needed protection. This way, you can browse while maintaining your anonymity.
Reason 4: Privately Connect To Public Wi-Fi
Picture this: you go out for your lunch break or coffee break but forgot to send an important file out to your team. So, what do you do? You connect to the public WiFi available and send out this company information. What can happen?
Well, by connecting to public WiFi without a VPN, you can run the risk of being monitored by hackers who could potentially steal this sensitive date (email login & passwords). Since most hotspots do not use any encryption either, the connection is easy to access and stealing private information isn’t a hassle. A VPN can save you from such situations even when connected to hotspots or Wi-Fi.
When you connect to a public WiFi the possibility of your information being stolen increases without a VPN. If you happen to accidentally click on a malicious ad or website, it can negatively affect your work because every company has specific, non-disclosed information that clients can’t see, let alone outsiders.
Reason 5: Safely Work From Home
Working from home, in a private office, or at a table in your favorite cafe can potentially increase productivity as long as employees have the determination and discipline necessary to focus on work. Ensuring that your connection is secure and all your private data will not be leaked, is essential. Running the risk of exposing this sensitive data can harm your computer, you, and maybe your company.
You probably connect to your home WiFi, which does have a login and password. It is safer than public WiFi, but not hiding your IP address can be a recipe for disaster. Unsecured WiFi networks are notorious for allowing hackers to get a hold of the data of unsuspecting users. Don’t let them see your real IP address and maybe use it against you.
Don’t hesitate to ask your employer about using Surfshark VPN to access the company’s network safely remotely. They might even take up the monthly cost to prevent any mishaps.
Reason 6: BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
Get a hit at the latest trend where company employees can enjoy working from their own devices at the office or from home. Not only will you be able to stay alert whenever the time
arrives, but downloading a VPN is all up to you. Since it is your device, you have all the right to install a program that will keep your privacy intact.
When connecting to the company WiFi, it begins with the traditional login (username, password), then a second authentication factor is implemented to reinforce security. A VPN can keep this information safe in the network without affecting how your device works.
However, stay alert if a company requires you to install and trust their certificates on your own laptop. This may give them the ability to monitor your device and access private or sensitive information. A VPN can help you bypass this and you will be able to feel relaxed while working.
How’s That For You?
It’s hard to imagine that anyone would want to see everything you are doing online and take your personal information, right? Well, we must take this in and understand that it does happen, whether you’re working from your own laptop or from a company device. Setting up a protective safeguard like Surfshark VPN will take you less than 3 minutes to install, but will give you the needed protection to stay safe in the cyber world.
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