By Sandra Lee, Managing Director for Asia Pacific region at Kaspersky
A VPN is a versatile tool that many see as an assistant to protect personal data while carrying out everyday tasks online. However, in addition to well-known standard tasks such as surfing the internet, there are several other uses for a VPN.
VPNs hide the location of users and change their IP address to the country where the server is placed. Sites are then under the impression that the user is physically located in the selected country, allowing them to use the internet as if they were a resident of that region.
A Research and Markets Survey on VPNs estimates that the VPN market was worth $35.4 billion in 2020. This increase in the popularity of VPNs is not only due to the growth in home working brought about by the pandemic, but also down to a rise in digital awareness over the last few years, leading users to want more transparency about how and where their data is stored. With these factors in mind, researchers predict that the VPN market will be worth $107.6 billion by 2027.
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As more people around the world start using VPN services for their daily tasks, there are a few other scenarios for VPNs that it is useful to be aware of:
- Safe use of online dating services
Millions of individuals are now using online dating apps or social networking sites to find a partner. This, however, also draws scammers to dating services, as they know that people on these platforms are looking for a personal connection and can be taken advantage of. According to the Kaspersky study “Love in an algorithmic age,” 5% of respondents were targeted by cybercriminals, and 31% were contacted by fraudsters but fortunately managed to avoid an attack.
Data privacy, therefore, remains one of the main concerns for users of dating apps. According to the Kaspersky study and the “Kaspersky Consumer IT Security Risks Survey 2021,” 29% of dating service users use VPNs on their smartphones. It’s important to note that VPN can’t protect from all types of dating scams, but it can be quite efficient for several scenarios.
For example, one of the valuable privacy-related benefits of VPNs is hiding the real location information from potential new acquaintances. However, users must still take caution to ensure the application doesn
t use their devices GPS location.
VPNs can also serve as an additional protection layer for texts, chats, and personal data from unauthorized access. This is important for users who may want to share messages or information with new matches.
- Protect your business data from anywhere in the world
Working from home has become much more common since the start of the pandemic two years ago. According to an Owl Labs survey on remote working, nearly 70% of full-time employees worked from home during the pandemic, with 81% of those surveyed believing their employer will continue to support remote working when COVID-19 is over.
While remote work offers convenience and flexibility for both businesses and employees, it also comes with several cybersecurity risks. As employees increasingly work on company servers or with sensitive information on their home network, the need to protect corporate data also increases.
When working from home, a VPN is an essential tool to help protect your privacy and the online security of your business. A VPN secures your data traffic and endpoints with AES-256 encryption. This means you can ensure your online data, including customer records and financial data, is not tracked and cannot be accessed by unauthorized persons.
- Super-fast access no matter where you are
ISPs may sometimes throttle access to various services, websites, games, and other portals – causing the same site to load at different speeds in different countries. You can use a VPN to avoid this problem by simply changing the geography of the server. This allows you to remove restrictions on loading sites.
This can be particularly useful for gamers who need to access games from different countries without losing traffic speed. A VPN reduces latency and ping time by switching to a server that matches the location of the gaming service.
- Access to local results in search queries
Search engines filter and rank queries based on location, which means local sites and portals containing information on your request will be located at the top of the list.
Therefore, if you are visiting a foreign country and want to find the best recommendations for places of interest and attractions before setting off, it’s worth using a VPN to connect to the servers of your chosen region. This will enable you to explore local searches and rankings and provide more tailored recommendations.
- Stream content from around the world
In addition to leveling the problem of the access speed to different services, VPNs also allow users to expand the geography of the available content on streaming platforms. Some streaming services localize it depending on the region — which means users from different countries (i.e. Japan and the United States) will see a different variety of collections and series.
Using a VPN allows you to access content from different geographical locations. Users can then watch a series available in another country at home or check something from their own country while on a business trip abroad.
For instance, by connecting to servers around the world, Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection allows users to access regional content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+ platforms regardless of where they are.
These are just a few of the interesting scenarios a VPN can offer, along with standard security and privacy tasks. In recent years, with more services becoming available online and the growing popularity of the digital space, a VPN has become a reliable assistant for everyday use, helping to protect you and keep your data safe.