Are you worried about your online privacy? If you connect to a public WiFi connection, others may be able to see what you’re doing online, including your financial transactions and other activities you probably want to keep private. Even if you’re connecting to the internet in the comfort of your home, government agencies or even your internet service provider (ISP) itself could be spying on you.
You need to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN creates an encrypted connection, often known as a tunnel, through which your data can pass. All your traffic goes through this tunnel to the server, where it is then relayed to its destination. Data coming into your computer is also encrypted in the same way. Because of the tunnel, no one can see your internet traffic and they can’t see where your traffic is coming from. You can spoof an Internet Protocol (IP) address in another location entirely, including another country. Using a best VPN is a necessity if you’re worried about your privacy online. Here’s why you should be using one.
Public wifi in airports, cafes, libraries, and other public locations might be convenient, but it’s not as private or secure as your wifi at home. Whatever you’re doing online over a public connection could be monitored by others connected to the same network. Use a secure VPN to protect your data when you’re connected to public wifi. A VPN can hide your traffic, passwords, browsing history, and banking passwords from hackers who may take advantage of public networks to steal valuable personal information.
If you work from home even part of the time, you need the extra security that a good VPN can provide. The data encryption that a VPN provides offers another layer of security for sensitive corporate data. A VPN can allow you to connect directly to your company’s servers and networks without being in the office. If you’re already working remotely, your company probably already has you signing into a VPN to look at sensitive company documents and information. If you own a company, investing in a VPN can boost security and allow your employees to sign into the network from home.
Your internet activity and data are still vulnerable even when you’re using your home network. While you might be more vulnerable to hacking on a public network, hackers also target home networks. Furthermore, your ISP can see everything you do on your home connection – and they’re probably paying attention. At the very least, they’re selling your activity data to the highest bidder.
Corporate and government entities are also interested in your online activity. A VPN may not be enough to keep social media sites that you use or online retailers you shop with from monitoring your activity somewhat, but it can still provide a level of security and privacy even when you’re using those websites. A VPN will mask your IP address, so Facebook or Amazon doesn’t know where your traffic is coming from. And while websites may be able to save data from your activities directly on the website, a VPN can help limit the amount of browser data they can use.
Installing a secure VPN is also a good idea if you’re worried about government overreach, or the possibility that government agencies might be spying on your internet activity. Since the Snowden leaks, many people have been wary of government agencies tracking their online activity. A VPN may not be enough to completely mask your activity if the government really wants to know what you’re doing, but it can help protect your data from third parties who may provide it to government agencies.
If you use streaming services, you’re probably aware that different geographical locations have different content available. You can watch different shows on Netflix, for example, depending on where in the world you’re located. If you’re in a region where the content you want to watch is blocked, you can use your VPN to simply spoof an IP address in the location where that content is available. If you’re traveling, though, be aware that it’s illegal to use a VPN in some countries, particularly those countries where the government restricts online activity.
If you’re worried about protecting your privacy online, you need a VPN. When you use a VPN, no one can see your traffic or tell where it’s coming from, so you can watch blocked streaming content or just enjoy privacy and security for your important data.