Assuming that I'm not accessing any inappropriate or dangerous sites, is it inappropriate to use my company's VPN for increased security when I'm connected to a public WiFi network on my personal computer?

  • 4
    This depends on your company's usage policy. – Brandin Mar 11 '17 at 18:34

I'm assuming that using the internet for personal use is fine in principle (for example during lunch break, before or after work, or just accepted use), and the question is just about "using company VPN".

If I was the IT guy, I would rather that VPN is permanently turned on instead of being turned off for personal use, and then you forget to turn it on. And the cost to the company will be quite close to 0.

In reality it is a question to ask your manager. If the manager allows it, it is fine, if not, it is not fine. Without asking, doing something that could be interpreted as inappropriate always carries the risk that it will be used against you if the company needs something to use against you. Even if there is no real problem.

  • Agreed. My current (small) employer doesn't have one, but at my previous job we were expected to VPN immediately after connecting to any 3rd party network. – Dan Neely Mar 11 '17 at 20:51
  • The third paragraph should be first. Context of OP's question is "when I'm on a public WiFi network" which likely means he wants to hop on the company VPN while he's at Starbucks etc. for security. – Brandin Mar 12 '17 at 11:55
  • Your answer probably needs a major edit/rework due to the OP editing his question to ask about connecting his personal device to the company VPN. Putting a non-approved device on my old work network (and VPNing into their network is doing that as much as plugging in an ethernet cable) would have be a serious violation of IT policy. – Dan Neely Mar 12 '17 at 20:19

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