A woman is working from home on her laptop. She is wearing a white tshirt that says 'Bali Baby' on it. She can work securely from Bali using a VPN.

Should You Use a VPN to Work From Home?

Joel Mason
Job Search

Should You Use a VPN to Work From Home?

Joel Mason • Mar 17, 2022

Should You Use a VPN to Work From Home?

One of the lasting legacies of the pandemic has been the shift of many organisations towards a WFH approach. WFH of course stands for work from home, a term that all of us are now very familiar with.

Whilst this shift has brought many benefits such as increased flexibility, it also has its share of challenges, and I’m not just talking about keeping the kids out of your zoom meetings.

One of the big challenges, that many people fail to consider, is online security.

More and more of us are using our own devices for work purposes, and this poses a potential threat. Cyber-attacks put IP addresses, internet browsing history and sensitive information at risk, and this is why VPNs have gone from being a nice-to-have to a must-have tool.

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VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’, and it allows you to set up a protected connection even when using public networks. VPNs basically disguise your identity online by encrypting your internet traffic. This is turn makes it much more difficult for anyone to track you online and access your data.

Think of it as using a secret tunnel for your internet traffic, keeping it safe from prying eyes and malicious attacks. Using a VPN will prevent anyone from snooping on you, it will hide your IP address and your internet browsing activity, which will make you much less vulnerable online.

You may not have ever considered using a VPN so coming up in this article are our top three reasons for using one.

Top 3 Reasons for Using a VPN to Work and Job Search From Home

A VPN Protects Your Browser History at Work

I’m sure you have nothing to hide from your employer, and you only spend minimal time on social medial sites or your personal emails during office hours. So, you wouldn’t be worried about your employer having access to your browser history when connected to their network, right?

It’s a question worth asking, the office can be a very political environment, and visits to seemingly innocuous websites can potentially raise a red flag.

If you’re someone who likes to keep your eye on the job market, you wouldn’t want to give your bosses unnecessary cause for concern. Or, if you get contacted about a potential job opportunity or connect with someone from the competition you could send alarm bells ringing.

Make sure you fully understand and adhere to your companies IT policies when using a VPN.

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A VPN Affords a Greater Degree of Flexibility

If you’re anything like me, from time to time you like to work from a coffee shop. In fact, I am writing this in a coffee shop right now. The availability of public Wi-Fi in malls and coffee shops has opened up a whole new world of remote working.

I have personally worked from public locations like these for the last five years, and I can’t imagine working any other way. I love flexibility and variety, regular changes in my environment help to keep the creativity flowing.

But, with this increased flexibility comes increased risks. Most of us connect to public Wi-Fi without thinking twice about security, and this is a mistake. The threat of data breaches, malware attacks and loss of information is very real, you simply do not know who might be waiting to intercept your online data.

Using a VPN means you can access work files, information and services safely and securely. Right now, I’m using a VPN to disguise my IP address, and to provide me with a private and safe place to work, even as I sit in public.

If you’re a job seeker, you know how soul destroying it can be to stay at home and apply for jobs day after day, from your bedroom or dining table. It does not take long before the walls feel as though they are closing in around you. Putting in place a regular routine that includes getting out of the house, is essential for maintaining motivation and good mental health. Using a VPN allows you to do this securely and safely.

A VPN Takes Remote Working to a Whole New Level

I have a friend in the USA who is considering coming to the UK for an extended period of time. He’s not unemployed, in fact he has a great job in cybersecurity, he simply works from home 100% of the time.

This means that he can work from anywhere, even abroad. What a great opportunity! He’s not unique, many people are now what we call digital nomads. Digital nomads are people who use technology to do their job and work remotely, they telecommute and connect with the office or with clients via videoconferencing when they need to, the rest of the time they work from wherever they like.

I have read many stories of people who have gone abroad for a month – or six – and still been able to do their job without having to take any time off work.

Do you fancy traveling the world whilst still holding down your job? Or maybe you’d like to convert a van drive across New Zealand and blog about your experiences? A VPN will not only allow you to do this securely, it will also enable you to access the sites and services that may not be available in the country you are visiting.

Online security is incredibly important when travelling or working abroad, and this is where a VPN becomes an essential travel companion.

Of course, you should make sure you understand the relevant local laws that pertain to VPNs in your chosen location.

A VPN Makes Your Finances More Secure

These days we transact online without thinking twice. I manage a majority of my finances using my smart phone, transferring money, paying bills and checking my balance. As a family, we do most of our shopping online, from groceries to clothes and everything in between. This means that our account details are vulnerable.

Enjoying the flexibility and ease of banking on the go, should not come at the expense of your online security. A VPN will help to protect your finances and your online identity from those who would look to exploit vulnerabilities for their own gain.

Conclusion

In the past I considered a VPN as a nice to have, something that allowed you to watch Australian Netflix shows in Denmark, or a tool that paranoid people used to help them sleep at night. Now however, as so much of our lives and work are conducted online, it has become an essential tool.

There are lots of great VPN providers out there, and you should always do your research before deciding which provider to use.

Personally, we use Atlas VPN and have partnered with them as affiliates. You can find out more about their services here.