In 2023, there had been a significant rise in the use of VPN’s, globally. What used to be something that only a “computer-geek” would know has now become, sort of, common knowledge, especially post Covid-lockdowns. Similarly, there had been an increase in businesses using VPNs from varied industries and not just very specific niche companies, unlike before. However, Fortinet support specialists advise to take caution when using free VPNs available.

Fortinet support professionals define VPN

For the uninitiated, VPN or Virtual Private Networks, is a system where you get a secure and private connection by using encryption (data converted into codes to prevent access) over a public network. Basically, VPN connects your device to a server (another computer device) and then uses that device’s internet connection. This results in your own data-like IP address, for example, being masked from any potential onlookers.

But, are all VPNs the same?

Fortinet support experts say, Of course NOT!

While about 30% of the population use VPN’s for free, and usually for personal use, this does not come without a cost. Although tempting, Fortinet support specialists said it is not advisable for business-related use as it may compromise your data instead of securing it.

What many do not realize is that VPN services entail cost. This includes hardware, software, infrastructure, maintenance, employees, etc. And as such, while you are using their free service, it means they are recovering the cost through different means, most likely unfavorable to you. Since your information goes through their system, they get access to it and can use it for various things.

Fortinet Support

Fortinet Support

Dangers of Free VPN

One example would be advertisements. VPNs are known for putting out ads and tracking cookies for each browsing session. They are probably making money from your browsing history. This is the reason you get so many advertisements that are targeted at your personal interests and preferences.

Another example could be your data being mined and sold to whoever wants to pay. This includes information like your contact details and work information. Hence, the calls and emails from various companies offering different products that you did not even inquire about. With information freely given like this, it would also be likely for cyber criminals to get your information and create much more damage.

Now, imagine this happening to your business? The damage could be a lot worse. Using free but unsecure VPNs could mean endangering your company’s operating system, trade secrets as well as customer information. Similarly, it may also place your business and your data under focus and criticism of specific government agencies, depending on the type of trade you do and how you do your business.

Now, imagine this scenario: You ask one of your trusted but untrained employees to get information or details for your business, but the data is either government restricted or unavailable in your location. So, your staff downloaded a free VPN to your company device in order to bypass these restrictions and get you that data you need. Sounds well-meaning and shows good use of initiative, correct?

However, because the VPN used is not secured, it would have exposed your business to significant risks. And your company’s sensitive data could land into the wrong hands!

Here are some recommendations from a team of Fortinet support specialists

The first line of defense is always knowledge. Educate yourself and your staff about VPNs, what they can use them for and the risk of using the wrong kind. Encourage the use of paid VPN services even for employees’ personal use that are much more reliable and secure. These paid VPNs also have a guarantee of no logging of data, rich encryption and excellent user privacy.

As for your business, make sure to invest in the best kind of VPN services. It makes much more sense to spend on security rather than lose valuable data to cyber attackers! If you are not sure which VPN works best for your business, get in touch with your reliable and professional IT management and cybersecurity company. We will set you up and guide you and your team towards more secure browsing and internet usage.

Schedule your consultation TODAY!


Watch Our Latest Tech Videos From EB Solution

Call Now