VPNs – What you need to know

10 Mar 2022 UK SIC

Our partners at SWGfL have now produced a new resource that includes information about VPNs and how they are used.

VPNs have grown in popularity, being advertised a lot more as part of cyber-security for businesses and more recently extending into households. They offer new features towards a user’s internet experience that can differ from other cyber-security software.

Some of these include online anonymity, prevention of location tracking as well as helping to secure and access work data. There are so many options available for VPNs – here are some of their features that you need to be aware of:

VPNs – What should I know?

  • Provide online anonymity – VPNs work by encrypting your online activity, thus preventing the user’s activity and location from being tracked. Some VPNs can also allow users to set their online location, which can make worldwide content previously unavailable, now accessible. This can include accessing films and other types of media from around the world.
  • Cyber-security and data protection – As online activity is encrypted, some VPNs can support with protecting a user’s data from common cyber-security threats. Some VPNs also offer additional features such as ad blockers or protection from malicious websites. A lot of businesses will use them to help keep their data and sensitive information more secure.
  • Can bypass other security filters –  As online activity is hidden from the established internet service provider; it can mean that other security filters such as parental controls you may have already set up for the household are bypassed in the process.
  • Potential for more harmful content – As security features are potentially being bypassed from the internet service provider, it means that there is more potential for harmful content to be exposed to members of the family. Some VPNs can allow you to list certain websites where the VPN will become inactive but this usually requires manually inputting sites.
  • Lots of options – There are many options available for VPNs. They can often range in price and there is often differences in what features they provide. It is important to always research the trustworthiness and quality of a VPN before it is brought and active within a household.

Everything You Need to Know About VPNs

Our partners at SWGfL have released a resource that gives an extensive look at VPNs. They test to see what VPNs can provide in terms of online safety and how they protect against harmful online content. They break down the advantages and disadvantages of VPNs and give advice around what do consider when using them.

If your family are thinking of having a VPN as part of your household, make sure you know what is provided and consider what features may have an effect on other areas of online safety. You can access the information right here:

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