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Protecting your company’s online privacy

Posted on July 12, 2018

Online hackers seem to be everywhere. They are often able to trace the physical location of cell phones and to pinpoint IP addresses, often gaining access to files, PIN numbers, work documents, and client files. So how does one protect the privacy of work done in the office, especially when dealing with potentially sensitive client information?

Many companies dealing with sensitive information like Teipen Selanders Poynter & Ayres, are now using VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology to protect their online privacy. A VPN is a server that you connect with to reroute your internet activities. The server is set up to completely mask your IP, or Internet Protocol, (so an IP address is an Internet Protocol address), to make it appear as if you are located in a different location.

How does a VPN offer security?

  • By having a VPN located within your company, your employees can remotely access the company’s protected server.
  • A VPN will protect and secure all users’ identities and information.
  • It can also help prevent third parties from tracking your location, monitoring web-browsing activities, intercepting email messages, copying uploaded or downloaded data files, or eavesdropping on video conferences.

In summary, hiding your IP address using a VPN prevents data tracking from everyone and anyone — even your internet service provider, which can see nothing more than that you’re connected to the internet. Everything else — including your web searches, page views, email messages, and the new IP address you’ve been assigned by your VPN connection would be protected from any external sources such as hackers.

Interesting and important side note: A VPN connection will not protect you from key-logging software or data-mining viruses that are already installed or may become installed on computers and/or smartphones. These types of hacking tools can capture data directly from your device and transmit them through your VPN connection to nefarious destinations. So you will still need to have anti-virus software and run checks and software updates.

What are the risks to your company by using a VPN?

While almost all VPN service providers claim they don’t record your online activities, you are trusting them on their promises of secrecy and anonymity. The risk of a privacy breach may increase if the VPN provider you select is located in a country with fewer privacy protections than the United States.

How can I set up a VPN?

The easiest and least expensive way to set up a VPN is to subscribe to a VPN service provider. There are many providers to choose from. Doing a search or asking for a recommendation from a likeminded business is a good way to start. Pricing will vary widely with the type security you need, as well as the size (traffic volume) of your business and the platforms your business uses.

These days, you can’t be too careful. Get the information you need to protect your business before you realize your company’s information and activities are under threat.