Choosing a VPN? Keep these tips in mind.

February 20, 2024

If you've been asked to install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your FirstNet® mobile device, you're probably overwhelmed with all the options. A VPN gives your data a security boost.  It adds layers of protection to safeguard your online privacy. VPNs even provide a secure channel for remote access to your organization’s resources, so wherever you are, your work remains secure.

But choosing a VPN can be overwhelming. App stores are packed with hundreds of choices promising conflicting features. Some are free, some charge you monthly or annually. But while you might be tempted to go with the free option, be careful. They can end up costing you more than you expect.  

Often, the owners of free VPNs make their money by selling your personal information or bandwidth. Your device could be involved in a botnet attack.  Your data might be channeled through their own data centers and sold. They may even sell your browsing history to social media platforms and advertising agencies.

To help you choose the right VPN, here are some helpful pointers:

  1. Choose an app from the FirstNet App Catalog.
  2. Be cautious of free VPNs. Many are owned by foreign nation states; instead, go for a trusted company.
  3. Transparency is key - ensure the app provides clear information about the company, its technology, and its location.
  4. Look for reviews - the more positive, the better.
  5. Bring in your IT Department for advice on which VPN to use.
  6. Remember, if it's free, your information might be the product they're selling.

For a deeper dive into VPNs, check out Cybersecurity Academy: Virtual Private Network (VPN) - YouTube

For a comprehensive range of security awareness materials, visit the FirstNet Training Portal.

Don't let your data be the price you pay for a 'free' VPN.


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