As a growing number of industries continue to experience a rapid rate of digitisation, network security is becoming a greater concern for both homes and businesses across the country.
The issue that faces most Australians, however, is our lack of awareness surrounding digital threats and how best we can protect ourselves from them.
This is where VPNs come in. But what is a VPN? Simply put, a VPN (or virtual private network) is a service that enables you to browse the internet without having to disclose your IP address, your internet service provider, or your geographical location, essentially enabling you to browse the web with total anonymity.
And what benefits can VPNs hold for our businesses and households? We've outlined some of the most common reasons why individuals and professionals alike use a VPN so that you can ascertain whether to invest in your own, and start building your very own cybersecurity gameplan.
Experience truly private browsing
As mentioned earlier, VPNs can be an invaluable tool for those of us who are looking to maintain total anonymity online, and anonymity is definitely a preferable trait to have when it comes to combating government surveillance and other forms of digital tracking.
Whilst the majority of federal security agencies across the globe practice surveillance solely to detect and monitor any potential national security threats, citizens who are concerned about the government having access to their browsing activity, messaging, emails, and other personal or professional data, do have the right to take measures against surveillance and other forms of tracking if they wish to.
If you're looking to protect yourself against government tracking or surveillance, a VPN should be the foundation of your cybersecurity strategy, as your VPN will always keep your user and device data encrypted, in order to make absolutely certain that third-party trackers won't be privy to any of your sensitive personal information.
The personal and professional benefits of data encryption
There are some other instances where anonymity can be beneficial, namely when it comes to shopping online, managing client information on shared documents, or using platforms like social media or digital marketplaces, which ask you to provide personal information, such as your location or mobile phone number, amongst other things.
If you're concerned about phishing or other forms of data harvesting, using a VPN can ensure that any personal data stays encrypted, and thus, away from any malicious eyes.
It's worth noting, however, that VPNs aren't a foolproof method of ensuring your data stays secure, and that exercising some cyber literacy is always beneficial.
You can sidestep a lot of digital threats simply by refusing to engage with emails, messages, and other materials online that don't seem to have a trustworthy source. By doing so consistently, you can keep yourself safe from phishing attacks and other potentially nasty surprises, like malicious malware.
Easy streaming and online gaming
Believe it or not, one of the most common reasons that people use VPNs is simply to access media content online that they may not otherwise have access to.
As Australians, we're certainly no strangers to region-locked content. If you are looking for an easy way to access streaming services from other countries, a VPN can be just the way to do it.
Similarly, VPNs can be used to ensure steady connections when gaming online, and are commonly also used by PC and other console gamers to ensure that they can maintain their wireless connection as well as connection speeds.
VPNs are quite an accessible tool when it comes to digital security, as they are rather simple to set up. For this reason, as well as the ones outlined above, you should absolutely look into securing a VPN for your home and business.
Keep in mind that there are also a great range of VPNs available today.
Be sure to conduct your own independent research prior to settling on any VPN, and it's recommended that you opt for a VPN with local servers and customer service channels, to ensure that you'll always have access to support if ever you need it.