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Rory Brown, Managing Partner of Nicklaus Brown & Co. on Using a VPN with a Virtual Bank App While Traveling Abroad

 Originally published on

Security is always a concern when connecting to a virtual bank online. But this is especially true when using virtual banking services while traveling outside of your home country. Here are a few things to be aware of to help keep your data secure and make certain your banking services stay available.

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or virtual private network, is an extra layer of security you can add when connecting to the internet via public WiFi or other unsecured connections. A VPN encrypts any data you send across the network, making sure hackers can’t access it. The connection can also hide your location and your IP address, and change your IP address to one that can’t be traced back to you.

VPNs Protect You in Public Places

When you’re traveling, nearly every network you’ll have access to won’t be secure. Whether you’re connecting to the internet from the airport, your hotel, or the brassiere down the street, you’ll almost certainly be using public WiFi. This is bad news in general, but particularly if you’re sending sensitive information like you are when you connect to a virtual bank app.

Using a VPN allows you to use public WiFi safely by shielding everything you send over the network with strong encryption. By using a VPN, no one monitoring the public WiFi network will be able to see your data so that you can use a virtual bank with confidence.

VPNs Let You Access Blocked Websites

Some countries block their citizens from accessing certain websites. This could be a real problem if your virtual bank is one of these blocked sites. VPNs let you get around this issue by spoofing an IP address that makes it appear your connection is coming from a country other than where you actually are. This way you can appear to be connecting from somewhere your virtual bank isn’t blocked, allowing you access to your accounts.

VPNs Prevent Your Account From Getting Locked

Virtual banks offer fraud protection to their customers. They monitor accounts for unusual activity and can lock them to prevent unauthorized access. This is great protection unless it’s you generating the unusual activity.

Consider what your bank would think if you connected to your account from foreign soil. They would have no reason to think it’s you, so they’re likely to assume the connection is a threat. To prevent getting locked out of your accounts, use a VPN. You can change your IP address to one that appears to be coming from your home country. This way, any access you make won’t get flagged as suspicious.

Don’t Travel Without a VPN

VPN services are extremely affordable. There are free options that are supported by browser ads and paid options that are low cost and ad-free. Read online reviews to see which one best fits your needs before settling on a service. A good paid-VPN will run about $10 per month. Once you've chosen a service, navigate to the downloads page on the VPN service's website to install the company's app to your device. Installing a VPN will not only protect you when banking online in a foreign country, but it will also offer protection anytime you're connecting to the internet.

About: Mr. Rory Brown has focused on financial technology and investment management for 30+ years. Rory Brown is currently working on a new app that will help consumers navigate online banking. The app will connect clients with the best virtual banks in the world, where they can get comparisons on rates for home loans, auto loans, and more.

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