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Would you drive without your seatbelt on? Similarly, browsing online without the protection of a virtual private network (VPN) poses a number of known (and unknown) risks. It’s an important, and often overlooked, layer of defense against threats to both your devices and personal data that is gaining even greater attention with today’s massive increase in employees working from home.

We often take for granted in the security world that people know what VPNs are and how to use them. For those who aren’t familiar, a VPN is a connection method used to add security and privacy when using private and public networks, including WiFi hotspots and personal Internet connections. When using a VPN, you’re able to ensure your IP address is private, because it’s replaced with the IP address of the VPN provider. It’s like a private tunnel from computer to Internet that’s secure and encrypted. This makes your browsing more private and helps protect personal data when using the Web.

VPNs have been used by businesses for years to protect corporate data access when employees log in remotely. They are now increasingly valued by personal users looking to add a privacy layer to prevent hacking, spying and unauthorized tracking by advertisers.

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