As summer begins its slow descent into fall, college students get ready to head back into the world of academia for yet another semester. But while pens and calculators may be on the school supply list for the college bookstore, few students will come to school with a dedicated VPN service in tow. But while VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, may be known only to Computer Science majors, they can be invaluable to students across modern college campuses. Here are just a few ways a VPN account can improve your on-campus browsing experience.
Circumvent The Campus Firewall: Picture this: it is the night before your midterm report is due. You try to access a website looking for some additional context for a closing paragraph when you receive a big, blinking stop sign. For whatever reason, campus firewalls can impede your online research. Pages become blocked and harm your ability to research unfettered. VPN services can allow all of your transmitted information to go through a private server, circumventing campus website blockers. So your laptop can still access campus wi-fi without fearing the firewall.
E-mail With Confidence: Any large institution with unsecured wi-fi and large numbers of people can easily become the target of e-mail scams. Hackers have created fake Facebook accounts, fake CNN pages and several other links passed around in e-mails that, if clicked on, allow hackers access to important data that can be used against you. VPN services allow you to hide your IP address, create a dummy e-mail account and increase your identity protection against e-mail scams that, sadly, have become commonplace on college campuses.
Protect Your Proprietary Information: If the story of Facebook has taught us anything, its that college campuses are hotbeds of innovation and invention. Your business school presentation or marketing concept could have real-world potential. The last thing you want to do is risk your Fortune 500 future on an unsecured, public wi-fi network. VPN services ensure that you are browsing in private, so you are not giving away your best ideas to everyone in the student union.