Issues related to privacy and data security when it comes to online cyberspace have been becoming increasingly prevalent over the last couple of decades due to the technological field’s incredibly fast development.
Because of this, a larger number of users are constantly worried about their personal and private information being leaked or exposed online while they are simply trying to browse the Web or make an online transaction regardless of whether it is for a given item or service.
Some people say that you cannot really do anything to protect yourself and just give in to the fact that their privacy is constantly put under pressure of being exposed. However, there are actually a substantial number of different actions you can undertake in order to protect yourself and your data. As a matter of fact, one of the most commonly implemented personal information and identity protection methods - the virtual private network (VPN), does exactly that.
The principles behind a VPN are quite simple - you connect to a designated VPN server located at a specific point in the world through a secured and encrypted tunnel. All of your online traffic then gets routed through that tunnel, keeping both you and your private data safe from hackers, eavesdroppers and even your internet service provider (ISP).
And while security is quite important, there are a significant number of reasons why you need to start using a VPN today. Here are 5 of them that we hope will make you at least consider the option of using a VPN service so that you can be safe and secure while you are online.
Protecting yourself and your personal data
As we already mentioned, a VPN’s top priority is to constantly protect. Due to this, it is recommended that you use a VPN connection at all times. However, if you do decide that you do not want to utilize such a connection every time you go online, then you should at least consider using a virtual private network when you are using a public or untrusted WiFi network.
Such WiFi networks are usually the most optimal target for hackers, snoopers and eavesdroppers, who can take control over your browsing session and collect your personal information. Some even go as far as asking for bribes in order to not expose the victims’ private data to the public, not to mention the identity theft cases that can also sprawl from such situations.
Given that cybercrime is a relatively new field, different countries apply divergent legislation that might not always benefit citizens in similar cases, where personal information has been stolen or an individual’s identity has been forged.
Because of this, it is safer to just utilize a VPN connection, which will encrypt all of your online information such as traffic, browsing history and payment details. This will result in a safer and better experience for you overall, as you will not have to worry about all of the aforementioned consequences of an unprotected online connection.
Hiding your traffic information
Citizen surveillance is something that some countries decide to implement for safety purposes while others completely reject it. Regardless of whether your country utilizes monitoring or not, you might still want to retain your privacy and identity.
Internet service providers have access to the logs that are generated by your online activity, meaning that they are capable of tracking your actions if they wish or are required by law to do so. This can include anything from visited websites to download history if they notice a sudden increase of bandwidth consumption that can be used as a sign to signal unregulated downloads or suspicious activity. While illegally downloading copyrighted content is completely prohibited in most countries, downloading other files and information that are open source or are in the public domain should be allowed.
Additionally, in most parts of the world ISPs are legally required to keep a record of user activity for a long period of time, which can in some cases be a couple of years! If you wish to protect yourself and your privacy from having your data collected or if you dislike being constantly subjected to surveillance, try using a VPN.
A VPN will hide your IP address and it will route your traffic through the server that you are connected to, making you appear as if you are located in another country. Your information will also be encrypted, meaning that it will not be capable of being deciphered, not even by your ISP. However, do be mindful that even when you are using a VPN connection, your internet service provider can still monitor your bandwidth consumption, meaning that larger bursts of internet expenditure can make your provider suspicious. Remember that you should never utilize a VPN connection for illegal activities! Keep in mind that the primary purpose of a VPN is to protect you and your privacy!
Enabling you to bypass censorship
Access to the Internet and freedom of speech should be available to everyone. However, there are still countries worldwide that for some reason or another limit individuals’ ability to obtain information and to express themselves.
One example of such imposed restrictions includes having limited or no access to social media platforms. Moreover, the content that is displayed is significantly filtered or altered in order for it to be eligible to be posted in the first place.
The next example includes limiting users’ ability to access information resources such as research papers, journal articles and factual magazines. This significantly damages the principles behind conducting credible research and skews perspectives and results, rendering such experiments irrelevant.
When using a VPN, you can bypass such examples of censorship in order to be able to speak your mind as well as to obtain the information that you desire or need.
Accessing geo-restricted content
Continuing on from the last point, some content is only available for the residents of a given country, meaning that outsiders cannot view that content unless they are somehow located within the bounds of the particular country.
Given that when using a VPN you are assigned an IP address based on the server that you are connected to, it makes it very easy for you to access such geographically restricted content. But what type of content can you actually get when changing countries? The examples are numerous but here are just a handful:
- Livestream content
- Some social media content
- Better discount deals on certain items
- Better overall shopping offers
- Cheaper plane tickets
- Affordable holiday vacation reservations
- Lower shipping costs
This sample list goes to show that when using a VPN you can enjoy a wider variety of online entertainment as well as be capable of saving more money in some particular instances.
Safely working from home
A secure VPN connection allows you to constantly be protected regardless of whether you are at home, somewhere public or even at work. Because of this, an increasing number of companies have begun to utilize virtual private networks in order to enable their employees to work remotely while also being able to establish a secure connection, which will limit the risk of potentially sensitive company information leaking.
This has been especially prevalent given the current ongoing global circumstances, because of which people were allocated to working remotely from their homes.
Protecting you from software and applications
Finally, with a VPN you can also protect yourself and your privacy from different software and applications that can potentially collect your data. You would be surprised to find out that there is a large number of cases that occur yearly of certain apps having collected user data including sensitive information, pictures and even browsing history, all of which are considered a privacy violation.
Should I really be using a VPN?
Using a VPN is essential in our fast-paced, constantly developing society due to the fact that your privacy and personal information are constantly at risk of being breached and collected. Stay safe and protect yourself in order to avoid potential further consequences as a result, which could have all been dodged if you had just used a simple VPN connection.
Ultimately, if you do not want to constantly use a VPN, at least make sure to do so when you are connected to a public WiFi network, as that is usually the most common place your personal information can get stolen.