What is a VPN or Virtual Private Network? It is a secure "tunnel" usually through the Internet that connects you to a remote network and makes your PC look like it is connected locally. With all the free Wifi "Hot Spots" (concentrated user access facilities like coffee shops) popping up, where security is either non-existent or very lax, a VPN is one of the safest ways to connect to your office or home.
The tunnel created is encrypted so hackers may be able to "see" the data, but will not be able to make any sense of it. Why is this more secure you ask? Well an unsecured hot-spot has no encryption enabled between you and the hot-spot equipment. This means hackers, or even regular users, can "peak" at the information being sent. That includes user-names and passwords, credit card information, even shared folders and printers can be used by a rogue user if not properly protected. The same goes for home users. If you purchased a wireless router, and just plugged things in and did not change any settings, more than likely you are unprotected.
In today’s world of scams, hackers, and security breaches, the more security you have the better. But remember, you will have to give a little to get a little. The more security that is implemented, usually the less convenience you will get. Sometimes, that less convenience could mean a few extra clicks or remembering another password. But for the piece of mind, it is well worth it.
So next time your at your favorite Hot-Spot, remember that if it is not a secure site, anything more than browsing the web could potentially leave you vulnerable.
If you have questions on best practices for securing your network or Wifi, give the CCS Retail Systems Support Department a call at 800-672-4806 or email_us to discuss your concerns and questions.