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Dangers when using a VPN: everything you should know

Much of what is said about VPNs is positive and makes us feel safe: they provide encryption, online privacy, device security, among other advantages that make them ideal for keeping online security. However, they are not always perfect or solve every problem. In fact, there are some dangers when using a virtual private network that we should be aware of.

What’s a VPN and why should we use it?

A VPN or virtual private network serves to ensure security between the client (usually remote) and the network the user needs to access, i.e. a VPN doesn’t add value if you need to use Online Banking, since you will not connect directly via VPN to Online Banking and you maybe compromising security by exposing network traffic to a specific operator. On the other hand, if you need to use an information repository or an application in the company, then you should use the company’s VPN and never a VPN other than the VPN provided by the company.

Why do companies use VPNs?

An enterprise VPN allows employees to work remotely as if they were physically present in the office. This is useful when employees need to access sensitive resources available only on the company intranet. However, it’s important to point out that enterprise VPNs are designed to protect company privacy and not necessarily individual privacy.

What are the limitations of VPNs?

VPNs are incredibly useful and powerful tools, but they can’t do everything.

1. Devices are not all automatically protected

If you use VPN software to protect your PC or smartphone, that’s the only device that gets protected. To keep your data safe, you must install an app on each device that connects to the Internet (or use a VPN router).

2. Viruses and malware are still a threat

Most VPNs do not protect your computer from viruses or malware. You will still need to be aware of downloading suspicious files, especially via torrent and P2P networks.

3. Speed Problems

VPN usually slows down your connection by 10%to 25% depending on the service, all thanks to encryption overhead, which can be frustrating.

Can you trust a VPN?

Honestly, you can’t. Even if a VPN says it provides bulletproof security, even if it says there is no record at all, you can never be sure. After all, data is being sent through a third party, so it can be compromised, because we don’t know how data is actually processed. In addition, VPN’s own software may contain viruses and malware. VPNs should therefore be used in a business context for access to corporate information, and yes, such information should be protected and secured. In most cases there are no reasons that give credible support to the personal use of a VPN.