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The virtual private network (VPN) has opened up a wide range of possibilities for remote network access to files from almost any geographic location. Using VPN software, computer users can access the files on their home or office computer anywhere they can get a reliable Internet connection. Unfortunately, this easy access to files has also created a new threat in the form of data thieves, criminals who steal personal or sensitive information for personal gain or malicious use.To protect your information and enhance your network security, you should incorporate a few simple protocols into your system. The first step in virtual private network protection is the creation of a secure password. Data thieves, commonly called hackers, use a variety of tools to discover the passwords used to access a private network. Security experts tell us that common passwords, such as words found in the dictionary or numeric sequences, can be broken very quickly, sometimes within a matter of minutes, using a brute force attack tool.By making your virtual private network password more complex you can protect your network security and ensure that your private files remain private. Secure passwords include both letters and numbers, as well as special characters. For the best possible protection, these passwords should be randomly chosen alphanumeric and special character sequences, rather than dictionary based words or calendar dates that could be easily guessed. Longer passwords of at least thirteen characters further enhance your private network security.One great tool for virtual private network security is the password generator and storage program. Many free or low-cost options are available for these tools which ensure your passwords are unique and secure. The storage area of the program should be encrypted and locked with a master password as well in case your laptop or remote computer is ever stolen. By doing this, it protects your passwords from theft and misuse while making them easy to retrieve for your own personal use. It also makes it possible to create a different virtual private network password for every network you connect to regularly to ensure that your other virtual private networks remain private even if one is compromised.In addition to using secure passwords, you can also choose to enhance your VPN security by using encryption. Encryption is a method of scrambling the data into an unrecognizable stream and then reassembling it properly on the remote machine that has the correct decryption software. By running encryption software at both ends of the virtual private network, security is maintained and communications remain safe from data thieves.Finally, adding a warning system to your VPN security arsenal can further protect your privacy. These systems are software based and range in price from freeware to the very expensive, depending upon the level of protection you need. In most cases, this software logs the Internet protocol (IP) address of the remote computer, the time the connection was made and the files accessed. High end software may even send alerts to the system administrator when an unknown IP address accesses information or if the wrong user account or password has been entered multiple times, alerting you to the possibility of a brute force attack on your network.
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