If you think that changing your password regularly, visiting the HTTPS version of a website, and staying away from phishing sites would protect you against online privacy and security threats, you better think again. These steps might minimize the risks, but they won’t do you any good when you are being targeted by hackers.
Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network might be convenient when you’re out, but the risks outweigh the benefits if you’re not protected. Your personal information can easily be accessed by attackers, along with your browsing history, passwords, and login information. And it will only take minutes to harvest all of your data.
Using your own home network also doesn’t spare you from online security threats. Recently, the US Congress passed a law that permits Internet Service Providers (ISP) to sell your personal data to third-party organizations. This means that your ISP can monitor your online activities and share it with marketers, ad agencies, government monitoring agencies, and other interested parties. Whether you’re shopping online or searching for the nearest restaurant, your online activities are never safe.
The only way you can protect your online privacy is by using a VPN. Using a VPN boosts your security and privacy when using the internet. A good VPN does not keep a log of your online activities and keep all your sessions private. You don’t have to worry about other people or malicious parties snooping on you and getting access to your data because your VPN got you covered.
What Is a VPN?
A virtual private network or VPN is a service that allows users to access the web safely and privately by routing traffic through a secure server. It encrypts your data before it even leaves your device, then tunnels it through a secure VPN server to your destination website. Your target destination sees your data as coming from the VPN server you used, not from your computer or location.
Why You Should Use a VPN
Using a VPN has a lot of benefits. Here are some of the reasons why you should use a VPN:
1. Protect your online privacy with a VPN.
In these days when online spying has become rampant, using a VPN adds an extra layer of security to your personal data. Routing your connection via VPN keeps your data and online activities safe from prying eyes. With a VPN, your online privacy and anonymity is secured from any internet connection you use — whether it’s your home Wi-Fi or a public Wi-Fi network.
VPN protects your online privacy in two ways: through encryption and masking your identity and location. Encryption is a secure way of protecting your data so that it can’t be read by those who don’t have the encryption key. So, even if hackers or any third-party snoopers get access to your personal data, you don’t have to worry because they won’t be able to make sense of it. You can also use a data scrubbing software to remove information that shouldn’t be stored.
Using a VPN also masks your online identity and your location, making it safer for you to browse the internet and go about your online activities. Your online activities won’t be traced back to you because the VPN service hides your IP address and your location.
2. Access Restricted Content.
One of the side benefits of using a VPN is that it allows you to access content that is otherwise restricted. For example, school and office Wi-Fi networks often prevent users from accessing specific websites, such as social media sites, video streaming websites, download sites, etc. But using a VPN lets you bypass these restrictions and even protects your anonymity while you’re connected to the server.
This also works for geo-restricted content, such as Netflix and Hulu. VPN allows you to connect to your desired server and assigns a new IP address that corresponds to the location of the server you want to use. Because of this, you can access all content that is restricted to the IP address you are using. For example, you can connect to a US server if you want to watch Netflix USA.
3. Bypass Internet Censorship.
If you want to visit China or other countries that impose internet censorship on their citizens, you might want to subscribe and install a good VPN before your travel. The Great Firewall of China does not only block websites, but monitors your internet usage as well. Using a VPN is the only way to work around this internet censorship and do your online activities without being monitored by the Chinese government.
How to Choose a VPN to Protect Your Online Privacy
One of the main concerns of VPN users is online privacy. They want to use a VPN to be able to browse anonymously and evade snooping. But can you trust your VPN not to track you?
Some VPNs do keep records of your online activities. So, if online privacy is a big deal for you, check your VPN’s policies to see if they keep a log of your activities. If they do, switch to one that doesn’t.
Don’t trust free VPNs — ever. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Think about it: where would free VPNs get the money to pay for their own network equipment and broadband? Some free VPNs display ads, which is acceptable but annoying sometimes. Others, however, are involved in shady activities, such as selling users’ data to marketers and advertisers.
It is better to pay a monthly subscription fee for a good VPN service, such as Outbyte VPN, if that would give you peace of mind. Most VPN services offer a free trial period, so you can check which VPN is perfect for your needs.
It’s difficult to be optimistic about the current state of the online world. The best way to minimize the risk is to use a VPN for your online privacy and security. Using a VPN increases the security of your internet session, financial transactions, transmitted data, and personal information, no matter where you are or what internet connection you are using.