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How to Protect your Online Security - Pillar 3: Your Communication Tunnel

This article is part of a series on protecting your online identity. In our last post, we explored ways to protect your online accounts. In this post, we will explore securing your communication channels.

PILLAR 3: Secure the communication tunnel through which your computer reaches online services.

At Public WiFi Hotspots (this includes coffee shops, hotels, airports, and any hotspot that does not require a passcode), use a virtual private network (VPN) connection to your office.

Some of our clients have been under the assumption that enrolling in a commercially available VPN service fulfills this requirement. It absolutely does not. When you sign up for a commercial VPN service, the data in transit between your computer and its intended destination is encrypted and secured up to the VPN service. But once your data transits through the VPN service and is at their servers (en route to its intended destination), you have no idea or control over that VPN service’s practices. Therefore, the only kind of VPN service you should use is one provided by your company.

Better yet, try not to use public hotspots at all.  If accessing data on your computer, tether it to your mobile phone and use your phone’s cellular data plan instead (caution: make sure your carrier allows tethering, and that your monthly data quota will cover your intended usage). 

In our next post we will discuss how to secure yourself.

Raffi Patatian