What VPN tips and tricks do you need to know to stay safe online in 2020?
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 to 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 2020
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 ransoms 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 cyber criminals 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
- 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
Thankfully, if you use a VPN when telecommuting, you can reduce your risk of falling
victim to phishing attacks. This is thanks to the fact that VPN services like Shielded
VPN, completely anonymize your location, as well as all data you send across the
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 like Shielded VPN 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
When it comes to VPN tips and tricks to stay safe when working online, the most
effective is to always use a reputable VPN.
At Shielded VPN , we make it easy to connect securely to remote offices for as little
as $2.49 per month. As a bonus, we offer a money-back guarantee on all our
subscription plans. To find out more, click here .
Online freelancer, owner of Shielded VPN and long time website creator and designer. Happily married man and father of two amazing boys.