Your Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is the essential bit of kit you need to make sure your personal data stays private when you’re online. In simple terms, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it works with your internet service provider (ISP) to ensure that every website you visit is secured by encrypting your personal data before sending it to the internet.
Did you know that up to 80% of cyberattacks are committed through hacked Wi-Fi networks and unprotected public hotspots? Or that hackers can use these network connections to gain access to your personal data? With more and more people turning to VPNs to encrypt their internet usage, it’s crucial that you know how to check if your VPN is up and running so you don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risks.
Here, we’ll walk you through the essentials of checking your VPN at home.
Check The IP Address Of The Server
Firstly, you need to make sure that the IP address of the server you’re connected to is legitimate. You can do this by looking up the IP address on a website such as IPChomp or checking the WhoIs record for the domain name.
If you’re not sure what these records are, don’t worry; we’ll explain. The WhoIs record is a database of IP addresses that can be searched by anyone and it’s normally stored on domain registrars’ servers.
It is possible for a hacker to abuse the WhoIs record in order to disguise their true IP address. So if you don’t trust the IP address that your ISP handed your device when you signed up for internet access, it’s time to check the WhoIs record. Why? Well, if the IP address is faked, all of the URLs in your history will still be accessible and can be re-recorded by the attacker.
Checking the WhoIs record for an IP address is also a great way to find out the email address associated with the account. If you have the ability to do so, you can contact the owner of the account by sending them an email from the email address listed in the WhoIs record.
Check If The Certificate Is Valid
Your VPN’s certificate is like your digital identity. It is a certificate issued by a trusted certificate authority, or CA, which gives you, the user, privacy and security guarantees. Without a valid certificate, your VPN cannot guarantee your privacy or prevent others from eavesdropping on your internet connection.
You can check the validity of your certificate by visiting the CA’s website. If you already have a certificate from them, then it’s just a case of visiting the CA’s website to ensure it’s still valid. You can also use the WhoIs record to check if the certificate has been revoked by the CA. If it has been revoked, then you know it’s not safe to use and you should probably find a new VPN.
Check The Connection Status
If you’re using a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic, the last thing you want to do is wait until you’re connected to ensure that it’s working properly. To check the connection status, visit the VPN’s website and look for a’status’ or ‘connect’ button. If you’re connected, great! If you’re not connected, then there’s no point continuing.
When you’re not connected, you may experience errors such as dropped connections or slow loading times. These are both major issues which could seriously affect your online security and privacy. If you’re not sure why you’re not connected or what the issue is, then it’s time to contact the support team.
Use A VPN For Multiple Devices
Did you know that you can use a VPN on multiple devices at the same time? For example, you could use the VPN on your laptop to log in to secure websites and on your mobile phone to access messaging apps? When using a VPN on multiple devices, you should set up all of the devices to connect to the same VPN server. This ensures that all of your devices are using the same encrypted connection to access the internet.
If you forget to do this, then each time you use a different device to access the internet, you will create a new, unprotected connection to the server. This could potentially put your privacy at risk because anyone could potentially monitor your internet activity.
Avoid Public Wifi
If you’re using a VPN, it’s important to avoid all public Wi-Fi when you’re not at home. Why? Well, because all Wi-Fi hotspots are not created equal and you never know what kind of security measures are in place. Did you know that hackers can use social engineering techniques to get access to your device? This means that they can trick you into giving them access to your personal data. If you’re not at home, then you’re less likely to be vulnerable to such attacks.
If you’re unsure whether or not public Wi-Fi is secure, then it’s best to avoid it. Even if the network is encrypted, it’s still not safe to use and it’s up to you to protect your device and data. If you do decide to connect to an unsecure network, then you run the risk of identity theft or having your personal data abused. So, when possible, use a VPN to keep your personal data secure while online.
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge needed to check your VPN at home, you can feel confident that you’re using a safe and secure platform. Did you know that you can also use a VPN to unblock websites and services that are prohibited in certain countries? For example, in Germany you can’t access social media sites like Instagram and YouTube, or search engines like Google, and in China you can’t access certain websites at all. With a VPN, you can ensure that you’re always in compliance with the rules and regulations for using a service in a specific country or region.
Make Sure You Maintain A Correct Profile
Did you know that maintaining a correct VPN profile can increase your security? A profile is basically a combination of settings and credentials that you use with a VPN. These are things such as the preferred server, the login details for that server and whether or not you want to automatically log in to the VPN when you connect to a new network. In order to maintain a correct profile, you should ensure that the settings and credentials are correct on all of your devices. If you forget to do this, then your personal data could be at risk of being stolen.
If you’re connecting to a new network every few days or weeks, then it’s easy to forget to maintain a profile. However, if you’re connecting to the VPN every day, then it’s vital that you do so. Otherwise, you could be exposing yourself to unnecessary risks because the settings and credentials for the VPN will become invalid. This could mean that when you connect to the network, you won’t be automatically logged in and the connection will be dropped. When this happens, you will have to log back in manually, which could leave your personal data vulnerable.
Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Did you know that 2FA is a great way to further increase your security when using a VPN? Two-factor authentication is a security technique that adds an extra level of security when a user logs in to a website or service. In most cases, 2FA requires the user to enter a code that is sent to their phone or email. This code is then entered on the website to verify the identity of the user. Without this code, the user would not be able to access their account.
Did you know that there are risks involved with not using a VPN? If you don’t use a VPN, then all of your traffic will be unencrypted which makes you a sitting duck for hackers and malware. If you don’t use a VPN, then you’re putting your personal data at risk. Make sure that you’re always using a VPN even if you’re not connecting to a secure network so that your data remains protected. Also, make sure to maintain a correct profile on all of your devices so that you don’t leave any of them vulnerable. Finally, make sure to use two-factor authentication when possible to further increase your safety while online.