What VPN tips and tricks do you need to know to stay safe online in 2021?
Worldwide, VPN usage is spiking as a direct response to the current Coronavirus pandemic. This is thanks to the fact that using a VPN makes telecommuting work safer for both employers and remote workers.
However, it is still necessary for VPN users to stay vigilant when it comes to security.
VPN Tips and Tricks You Need to Know in 2021
Earlier in March, the U.S. government began issuing guidelines to help protect new VPN users from an increasing number of scams online. Right from the start of the Covid-19 crisis, cybercriminals began trying to turn the
crisis in their favor.
- Hundreds of Coronavirus update websites exist which install malware and ransomware onto visitor PCs and smartphones.
- Fake fundraising websites exist which ask visitors to pledge support to Coronavirus research projects.
- There has been a sharp rise in Coronavirus phishing attacks online where criminals attempt to steal sensitive passwords and website login credentials.
- More worryingly, cybercriminals are taking advantage of spiking interest in VPN services, to lure people into using fake VPNs and telecommuting tools.
VPN Tips That Can Help You Stay Safer Online
As far as VPN tips and tricks go, one of the most important is to always be wary of free VPN services.
Maintaining a virtual private network is no easy task. Anyone making available free VPN access will, therefore, usually have an ulterior motive.
In the best case, free VPN service providers will monetize VPNs by displaying annoying ads. However, in worse cases, free VPN services will track your behavior online, and may steadily vacuum up things like email passwords.
Never Install a VPN Without First Scanning Apps for Viruses
In recent years, rates of ransomware attacks on businesses and individuals have skyrocketed. This is thanks to the fact that when PC or mobile device users fall victim to ransomware, many will pay ransoms to restore access to sensitive data.
Sadly, the Coronavirus pandemic is already seeing cybercriminals deploy Covid-19 themed ransomware like CovidLock , to capitalize on the current crisis.
- CovidLock and other ransomware varients are usually offered as free Coronavirus news and VPN app downloads.
- As soon as unsuspecting users install apps, they are locked out of devices until they pay ransoms in Bitcoin.
- Often, ransoms are for small amounts ranging from $50 to $500.
By lowering ransom amounts, cybercriminals know that ransomware victims are more likely to pay ransom to regain access to devices. However, paying ransoms also puts you at risk of being targeted by the same cybercriminals in the future.
To stay safe from Coronavirus malware, never run VPN or app install files without first scanning these with a reputable antivirus.
Stay Vigilant for Phishing Scams and Social Engineering Attacks
Do you plan on telecommuting to work as a result of the Coronavirus crisis? If so remember to stay vigilant when it comes to phishing scams.
Phishing scams are a form of social engineering where cybercriminals trick people into disclosing sensitive passwords and personal information.
In some cases, you might receive an email from your VPN service provider asking you to change your login credentials. In others, you might receive phone calls from people pretending to be remote coworkers who require what might seem like innocuous information.
- Phishing attacks may see people who you think are coworkers provide links to
mockups of sites like DropBox. You will then be asked to log in to retrieve
- A phishing attack may see an attacker send you files as email attachments.
However, later these may turn out to contain malware or ransomware.
- Attackers will often spoof the email addresses and telephone numbers of people
Try to Avoid Apps and Websites Related to the Covid-19 Crisis
As well as staying vigilant when it comes to phishing attacks, consider staying safe
when telecommuting by avoiding apps and websites related to the Coronavirus
Using a reputable VPN which is an easy way to boost your overall Internet security. However, it is important to remember that using a VPN can not protect you from malicious downloads or web browser exploits.
This is important, as some researchers believe that up to 50% of Coronavirus websites currently carry harmful malware.
Do You Plan on Remote Working During the Coronavirus Crisis?
When it comes to VPN tips and tricks to stay safe when working online, the most effective is to always use a reputable VPN.
Online freelancer, owner of Shielded VPN and long time website creator and designer. Happily married man and father of two amazing boys.