Employees using public Wi-Fi put sensitive business data at risk – VPN services provide proper protection
John Smith works for a small business with ten employees. The company is sending John abroad to meet with potential investors. Being the productive employee that John is, he connects to the public Wi-Fi provided by the airport to do some work. He visits the investors’ websites and sends a few emails to his colleagues. On the flight, John continues to surf the web using the in-flight Wi-Fi. Once John lands he goes to a café before his first meeting. At the café he connects to the Wi-Fi to download a revised version of his presentation. After his meetings, John goes to his hotel for the night. There, John connects to the hotel’s Wi-Fi to send his boss a summary of the meetings and to catch up on some news from home. To John’s disappointment, local news videos are blocked due to geographic restrictions.
This sequence of events is typical for traveling business professionals. Connecting to public Wi-Fi frequently while on the go may be a great way to get work done, but it can be dangerous if employees don’t use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection.
During John’s journey he connects to four different hotspots. John works for a small business, so they do not have an IT administrator who set up a secure VPN for John to use. John therefore transferred valuable information, entered log in credentials, and browsed websites that reveal his business’ intentions without any protection. Anyone could observe which websites John visited, read messages he sent, and access files he transferred via unsecured sites with tools readily available online.
Unless you are visiting sites beginning with HTTPS, your communication is unencrypted. This means all your communication is out in the open for anyone to see, including log in credentials. Sharing information, such as files, via file transfer protocol (FTP) while connected to public Wi-Fi is also never a good idea. Like visiting non-HTTPS sites, files and data transferred via FTP are up for grabs.
Small businesses, without a VPN network, should turn to VPN services, like avast! SecureLine VPN to protect their data. A VPN creates a virtual shield and tunnels traffic to a proxy server. The proxy server protects business data, thus preventing hackers from accessing files and other sensitive information stored on the device. VPNs also anonymize location; an added plus for when business professionals who need access to content from home that may be blocked while traveling.
With a VPN connection you can:
- Protect your business data by preventing hackers from accessing files and other sensitive information stored on the device
- Anonymize your location (IP address) online so you can access restricted content from home that might be blocked while traveling (Netflix, anyone?)
- Hide your login details from snoops on public Wi-Fi. Avast encrypts all of your web use, including log ins and passwords.
avast! SecureLine VPN is available in packages of three, five or ten licenses and can be purchased from authorized AVAST resellers. avast! SecureLine VPN can also be purchased directly from the AVAST online shop.
Read more about VPN and avast! SecureLine from these blog posts:
- avast! SecureLine makes free WiFi safer
- Six reasons to use avast! SecureLine VPN when traveling
- Keep your phone safe from hackers and thieves while on vacation
- How to watch American TV when traveling overseas
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Do you use your mobile device to check email, use social networks or log in to your bank account while sipping a double mocha latte at your favorite coffee shop or while waiting for your next flight? That’s risky considering you cannot count on public Wi-Fi hotspots that you find in cafes, coffee shops, airports, schools, and hotels to be secure. Remote cybercrooks, and even the guy sitting a couple of tables from you sipping coffee, can use software to eavesdrop and snoop which could result in stolen credit card information and passwords or full-blown identify theft.
With new avast! SecureLine for iOS you can secure your wireless internet connection when using your iPad, iPhone, or iPod on a Public/Open Wi-Fi network. Here’s how it works:
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. avast! SecureLine VPN creates a private ‘tunnel’ through the internet for your data to travel through, and everything inbound and outbound through the tunnel is encrypted. Data is decoded at the VPN server, using advanced encryption protocols. Handy features also detect and filter malicious URLs, block ads in the browser and apps, or can compress your transferred data which saves your mobile data plan and enables access to US-only content.