Does a VPN Hide My Internet History from My Employer?

Justin Oyaro

By Justin Oyaro . 11 February 2024

Cybersecurity Expert

Miklos Zoltan

Fact-Checked this

A VPN protects your online privacy and security, including your employer, from prying eyes. However, in a workplace environment, a VPN is not enough.

Although it will hide your internet history and other online activities, your employer will still know what you have been up to when you surf the internet.

This is possible due to some measures employers put in place to track what their employees do during work hours.

Continue reading to know more!

Utilizing a VPN might not suffice to conceal your internet activities from your employer, especially if you’re on a company-provided computer.

Employers often have legal obligations to monitor activities on their corporate networks, which includes tracking internet use.

Such monitoring is integral to maintaining robust cybersecurity measures, enabling the company to proactively address potential cyber threats, fraud, and other irregular activities within the corporate network.

However, some employers use this opportunity also to track and monitor what their employees are doing during work hours.

In this case, your employer monitors productivity, your internet history, downloads, emails, and everything you do on the work computer.

Why Is a Corporate VPN Ineffective?

A corporate VPN tunnels the corporate network over the public internet. It allows you to securely access the company from anywhere and do your daily work as you would in the office.

However, everything you do online while connected to the corporate VPN goes through the corporate VPN server.

Other public internet users won’t know what you are doing online, but your company will see your activities since it has access to the server.

Due to company security regulations, corporate VPN servers do not have a no-log policy. They will log everything and also retain your data for future reference. Therefore, it will not hide your internet history from your employer.

Will a Consumer VPN Hide My Internet History from My Employer

Yes, but this will depend on other factors. A consumer VPN such as ExpressVPN will encrypt your online traffic and tunnel it through their servers.

Premium consumer VPNs have a no-log policy; thus, no one can access your connection logs or online activities.

However, most companies restrict the installation of apps, including VPNs, on their work computers.

Additionally, even if you install one, company computers are equipped with software that monitors and tracks your activities.
You may get into trouble for installing a VPN.

How to Hide Your Internet History from Your Employer

A VPN won’t effectively hide your intent history from your employer. You can boost privacy and security in your workplace by doing the following:

Use your device

Most companies allow employees to bring their own devices as long as they adhere to cybersecurity regulations.

In this scenario, you can install your consumer VPN and then connect to the company network if allowed.

Nonetheless, you will surf the internet privately and securely. Your employer won’t know what you are doing online since all your online traffic passes through the consumer VPN servers.

However, be aware of your organization’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy. Some companies require employees to use MDM software even on their devices.

Usually, it is all about the company’s security, but also it tracks your activities. MDM software can manage how your browser, monitor your internet usage and send another telemetry back to the company.

In this case, a VPN won’t help you. In other words, don’t do work on your personal computer.

Don’t use your employer’s internet connection

You can surf privately and hide your browsing history using your device and your private internet connection.

You can use cellular networks for the internet or pocket portable Wi-Fi access points with cheap data plans.

Your employer will still track your online activities if you use a private connection with the MDM software on your device.

Opt-out of the MDM policy

This ensures your company doesn’t install the MDM software on your device. However, you might be barred from bringing your device to work.

This is good since your employer won’t be able to track your activities, and you can use a VPN without worrying about its effectiveness.

Wrap Up

You can use a consumer VPN to hide your internet history from your employer. However, some factors, such as tracking and MDM software, may render the VPN ineffective.

Summary: A VPN can protect your online privacy and security, but it may not be enough to hide your internet history from your employer.

Employers often have measures in place to track employee activity during work hours. Using a corporate VPN will not hide your internet history from your employer as it logs everything and retains data for future reference.

A consumer VPN can hide your internet history from your employer, but it may not be effective if the company restricts the installation of apps or uses software to monitor and track employee activity.

The article suggests using your own device and private internet connection or opting out of the company’s Mobile Device Management policy to boost privacy and security in the workplace.

Leave a Comment