Should I be concerned about my data while using a VPN on public Wi-Fi?

Von from Kentucky

Episode 922 (1:59:53)

Leo says that as long as Von is in a VPN, she's OK. When she isn't using a VPN, however, she is broadcasting in the clear. Since there are often security holes in Windows, she'll want to make sure she keeps Windows up to date. If there's something that really needs to be secured on her drive, she'll want to use encryption. Then even if someone could gain access to her computer, they couldn't get access to those files.

Windows comes with good strong encryption called "Bitlocker", but she should be sure to backup her certificates. There may be encryption provided by her laptop. If there's a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) on the computer, that will provide very strong and safe encryption. There are also third party options, such as TrueCrypt. She could set up an encrypted folder, where anything she put in it would be encryped.

Von also wanted to know about the D-Link 505 Router/Firewall. Leo says that'll buy her a little bit of extra security and that's never a bad idea. However, there's no substitute for encryption. There are also secure flash drives like the IronKey, which will encrypt anything kept on that drive.

To help manage passwords, Leo likes LastPass. She can use the free version, but there's also a $12 pay version which gives a few extra features that Leo likes. It also comes as an app for iOS and Android. Using it in concert with Google Authenticator for secondary authentication will really keep her secure.

She can also turn on two-factor authentication in gmail. This episode of Know How shows how to make your tech life more secure.