With the increasing number of data breaches, identity theft, and corporate espionage, using a VPN is now more important than ever.
The proliferation of VPN providers, coupled with their often tempting free plans, has also made it easier for average consumers to get stuck in to the world of virtual privacy.
Here’s how you can use a VPN to protect your digital rights and keep your personal data secure.
Get A VPN Account
When you want to use a VPN, the first step is to sign up with a reputable provider. You will, of course, need to meet the criteria for their service. If you are searching online, make sure you are reading reviews from previous customers before committing. Finding a good provider is not as difficult as you might think.
In addition to good reviews, consider the cost of the service, support, and the strength of the encryption when choosing a VPN provider. After all, you’ll be entrusting them with your personal data so it’s important that you feel safe and that your privacy is protected.
Install And Configure The VPN Client
The next step is to download and install the VPN client on your device. You need to do this to be able to connect to a VPN server and start sending encrypted traffic. Keep in mind that not all VPN clients are made equal and you should try and get ahold of a reputable one. Installing a VPN client is relatively straightforward and many clients are designed to be user-friendly.
Once you have installed the VPN client, you will need to configure it to work with your chosen provider. You can do this by entering the necessary details in the appropriate fields. For instance, if you are connecting to a PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) VPN server, you will need to enter the server address and the login credentials (usernames and passwords).
Set Up The Account With Your Service Provider
After you have configured the VPN client, you will need to set up the account with your service provider. This is usually a simple process that can be done from the app itself or by contacting their support team. Depending on your provider, this step could be done remotely or over the phone. You will need to provide a bit of identity (such as a username and password) and confirm your billing details (usually a credit card number).
Use The VPN When You Are Connected To The Internet
Once you have set up the VPN account with your service provider and the VPN client is installed and configured, you can start using it. When you are connected to the internet, you can click on the Start button to begin encrypting all your traffic. This will give you privacy and security when browsing the web and prevent others from accessing your personal data. When you are browsing the web, you will see a small lock icon in the form of a padlock at the bottom of each browser window. This means that your website visits are encrypted and no one can view or listen to what you are browsing. This is a great way to keep your personal data secure whilst on the move or when using public Wi-Fi. You should also look to protect your devices with a VPN whenever you are connected to a public or shared Wi-Fi network. Doing this ensures that your personal data stays secure and out of reach of unknown third parties who may want to access it.
Remember, though, that as a consumer using a VPN, you are responsible for ensuring that you are not violating any laws while using their service. Checking for legal issues is a common sense thing to do while using any service. If you are unsure about whether or not you are breaking any laws, it’s best to ask a reputable representative from the provider. They will be able to give you an answer as to whether or not your activities are illegal.
Consider The Consequences Of Using Public Wi-Fi Or Sharing Your Internet Connection
While we would all like to think that our devices and personal data are completely secure when we are online, this is not actually the case. There are plenty of circumstances where an insecure internet connection or computer could lead to your personal data being viewed or stolen by third parties. Using a VPN prevents this from happening. Even when you are not using their services, a VPN can still encrypt your data to keep it secure whilst on the move or when using public Wi-Fi. You can also get a hold of a VPN extension for your browser or use an existing WiFi hotspot to get connected without being tracked.
To prevent your personal data from being accessed by third parties, you need to consider how you will react if this happens. Will you be upset or concerned about the incident? There are bound to be some instances where your data is accessed by unknown parties whilst using a VPN. When this happens, you need to act calmly and rationally and contact the company that you believe has your data to hand. Doing this will help you find out what happened and whether or not your information was indeed compromised. In a worst-case scenario, the company will need to reset your password so that you can get back into your account. In almost all instances, though, you will be able to get back into your account and change the necessary details to restrict who can access it.
Even when you are not connected to the internet, a VPN can still encrypt your data to keep it secure. When you are on the move or using public Wi-Fi, you should ensure that your device is password protected and that you are not using any public Wi-Fi in an unsecure environment. You should also consider using a VPN on public networked computers or ones where you do not know who is logged into the machine next to you. In addition, as mentioned above, you should always look to protect your devices with a VPN whenever you are connected to a public or shared Wi-Fi network. Doing this ensures that your personal data stays secure and out of reach of unknown third parties who may want to access it.
Ultimately, using a VPN is not just about encrypting your data whilst on the move or when using public Wi-Fi. It is about having confidence that your personal data is secure and not accessible to third parties. For this reason, using a VPN is now an expectation rather than a luxury.