In countries where coronavirus management rules have been tightened, the demand for privacy tools has gone up which has seen spikes in demand for VPN services around the world, says leading service provider NordVPN.
When Japan, for example, announced that Sapporo and Osaka would be excluded from the domestic travel subsidy campaign in the last week of November, the interest in services spiked by a record 150,81% overnight. In South Korea, there was an uplift of 80,94%. The same happened in Canada (64%), Mexico (78%), Italy (102%), and other countries.
The result is astonishing by its magnitude, NordVPN says, as not a single high-profile user privacy incident has even led to such a hasty acquisition of protection tools.
It’s obvious that those who can are considering isolating themselves away from home. As many as 6,3-million Americans packed airports before Thanksgiving, and many of them are not planning to return. When France announced its lockdown, the streets of Paris were packed with cars trying to get away from the city.
So how does the demand for privacy tools like VPN correlate with pre-lockdown travels?
During the first lockdown, emailphishing attacks increased by 400% and companies suffered badly from ransomware and DDoS attacks. Ransomware has been growing all year long and resulted in a 40% uplift in the third quarter of the year. Sadly, the majority of companies paid the ransom just to be able to get back to business.
Employees of such companies have witnessed an unparalleled rise of security breaches first-hand which has made them more cautious about cyberthreats.
“Unsurprisingly, when we asked our customers why they subscribed to a VPN service, at the beginning of the year, 80% mentioned the security aspect. In August, 96% said cybersecurity is their primary concern,” says Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
He offer the following advice to protect your privacy away from home:
• The first thing to be done is to password-secure the Internet router you intend to use. The device should use WPA3 or at least WPA2 encryption and be password-protected. Make sure not to use weak passwords. Also, it must be noted that passwords should be unique and not used on any other account. A list of the most vulnerable passwords has been revealed by NordPass in their research.
• Keeping up with unique and strong passwords is important, but it’s impossible to remember them. Use a password manager for that.
• Use cybersecurity tools, including VPN, to protect your online presence. VPN encrypts traffic and makes it invisible to anyone eager to eavesdrop or cause harm.
• Use a separate device or account for work-related matters if you can. Interception of one of the devices would naturally lead to the breach of both of them.
• Stay informed on cybersecurity and social engineering. Hackers and scammers know that many companies are going to be sending their workers home, so they will be trying to exploit the situation in any way they can. Conversations you once might have had face-to-face with your colleagues will now be happening online, making them easier to exploit.