We really blew the budget on this video, going to a top secret mystery location to film me blabbering about why you should install a VPN on your computers and smartphone.
What’s a VPN I hear you ask?
It’s a Virtual Private Network, I answer.
“Thanks Graham, that doesn’t help very much… Why would I want one of them then?”
- It will encrypt your internet communications, creating a secure tunnel through which you will be able to surf the web without anyone snooping on what you’re doing. That’s particularly a good idea if you are using a public Wi-Fi hotspot at a cafe, hotel lobby or airport lounge where you don’t know who might be interested in sniffing the radiowaves…
- Aside from protecting your privacy you can also use a VPN to disguise where you are in the world. So, if you want to access your favourite TV show (“Doctor Who”, obviously) on BBC iPlayer but you happen to be overseas, you can use a VPN that will let you pop your head out of the secure tunnel in Britain, fooling iPlayer into think that you’re back home in old Blighty. As well as helping you waltz around the geographical blocks that some media companies try to impose on the world, hiding your location also obviously has privacy benefits too.
- VPNs are handy for work too. They make it possible to securely connect to your office network from anywhere with an internet connection, without having to worry that your confidential documents might be being intercepted.
If you connect to public Wi-Fi and don’t bother to use a VPN, you are putting yourself at greater risk of having your online accounts hijacked and your private information stolen.
My advice? Use a VPN.
For more tips on staying secure on public Wi-Fi, be sure to listen to this edition of the “Smashing Security” podcast: