While the benefits of a VPN are many, keeping personal information secure online is one of the biggies. With so much data at our fingertips, it’s easy to access information about friends, family, and even complete strangers, whether they are celebrities or not. Even worse, the information is out there for the taking, making it open to potential attackers.
Keeping your personal information safe is one of the major driving factors behind people turning to VPNs. But what is a VPN and how can it help? Let’s dive into this question, shall we?
What Is A VPN?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to have a private and secure connection to a remote server using a public network like the Internet. Normally, when you surf the web, your personal data (including credit card details) are sent to web servers across the world, where they are stored and used for various purposes. Using a VPN allows you to keep sensitive data secure and private even when being online.
Imagine you’re at a coffee shop trying to do some online shopping, when all of a sudden your Internet connection drops. You frantically look for the coffee shop’s VPN connection in your mobile phone’s settings, only to discover that you’ve locked yourself out of all the networking functions on your phone. Suddenly, your whole online shopping trip goes down in flames. This is what can happen when you don’t use a VPN.
A VPN is a type of security software that allows users to connect to a remote server via a private network. As a result, all the information transferred between your device and the remote server remains private. This is in contrast to other types of security software, such as a firewall, which only provides endpoint security without any network visibility.
Why Should You Use A VPN?
Besides the obvious reason of keeping your personal information secure online, there are several other good reasons to use a VPN.
Some of the major benefits of using a VPN are:
- Anonymous surfing
- Security and Privacy
- Location-based services
- Desktop and App usage
- An alternative to insecure public WiFi
- Encrypted Traffic
Each of these reasons is discussed in more detail below.
1. Anonymously Surfing The Web
One of the major advantages of using a VPN is that you can surf the web anonymously. This is especially useful if you’re in an environment where you might be tracked on the web, such as a country where the government collects Internet data or if you’re using a public WiFi hotspot at a coffee shop.
When you anonymously surf the web, all the information you send over networks (including credit card details) is protected. This is especially helpful if you accidentally leave your wifi router unprotected or if you’re using a public WiFi hotspot at a coffee shop. In the event that your wifi is compromised, your personal information would be fully secure because there is no connection between your device and the server. If you use a VPN when following these tips, you will enjoy fully secure and anonymous web surfing.
2. Security And Privacy
Keeping your personal information secure and private is another important reason for using a VPN. After all, we all know how information leaks online these days through hacks, malware, and phishing attacks. For this reason, using a VPN is a good idea whenever you’re online. It keeps your personal data secure and private even when being online through public WiFi or using untrusted networks.
A VPN can also protect your privacy when using online services that track your location, such as Facebook and Netflix. If you use these services, you can keep your personal information secure by connecting through a VPN. Not only that, but you can even opt-out of having your location tracked.
3. Location Based Services
A VPN can also be used to enable location-based services. For example, if you’re in the U.S. and you connect to a VPN before you use an online mapping service like Google Maps or Apple Maps, your location will be protected. This means that the websites you visit won’t know your real-world location, and neither will any third-parties that might be tracking you via your device. The service will see a different location which will help protect your privacy.
In the event that you want to use a location-based service while on the go, you can use a VPN and dedicated app to get the same effect. For example, if you have Netflix and you want to stream a show when traveling, you can use a VPN to connect to the U.S. Amazon Prime Video network. This way, neither Netflix nor Amazon will know your real-world location and your personal information remains secure.
4. Desktop And App Usage
A VPN can also be used to maintain desktop and app usage. For example, if you’re using a Mac to access the web, you can install a VPN app. With the app installed, all the data you send over a network, including login details, will be secure. In addition, you can use the app to prevent your Mac from connecting to public WiFi hotspots, which could be dangerous if your Mac contains sensitive data. Installing a VPN app is also a good idea if you’re regularly connecting to untrusted networks, whether it’s at work or at home.
5. Encrypted Traffic
If you’re regularly using a public network like the Internet, you’ll want to make sure all your data is secure. This can be easily achieved by using a VPN. When you connect to a VPN, all your data sent and received will be encrypted making it nearly impossible for someone to intercept the communications. In addition, some VPNs will encrypt your connection as you go, so even if someone is watching your activity on the network, they won’t be able to read your personal information. Not only that, but because your data is encrypted it will also be secure on a flight, when using public WiFi in an airport or on a train
6. Alternative To Insecure Public WiFi
One of the big reasons why people use VPNs is because they don’t trust public WiFi. When you’re on a public network, your personal data can be easily accessed by any hacker or eavesdropper who might be nearby. Installing and using a VPN is a better alternative to using public WiFi.
A killswitch is another important feature of a VPN. A killswitch is a button or setting that you can activate in the event that you lose your connection to the VPN. Once activated, your device will no longer be able to connect to the network, even if you forgot to log off. This is helpful if you’re traveling and want to keep your personal information secure, especially if you use public WiFi. It also helps prevent any malicious activity from being detected by the authorities. In some countries, using a VPN without a killswitch feature can land you in hot water.
How Can I Use A VPN?
Fortunately, using a VPN is not difficult. All you need is a decent VPN app and a way to connect to it whenever you want. There are several different ways you can use a VPN, whether you’re at home or on the go. We’ll discuss a few of them below.
1. At Home
One of the simplest ways of using a VPN is at home. You can either install the VPN app on your device or you can use a couple of browser extensions that will integrate the service into your web browser. These extensions will connect you silently to the VPN as soon as you visit a site that uses it, keeping your identity and personal information secure even when on untrusted networks.
In addition to home use, VPNs are also popular because people want to maintain computer usage while on the go. You can use a VPN app or a couple of extensions for modern browsers to ensure that your internet connection is always encrypted and secure. Whether you’re working remotely or traveling for an extended period of time, maintaining your personal data security is a top priority.
2. On The Go
If you’re regularly connecting through untrusted networks or using public WiFi hotspots, you’ll want to ensure that all your data is always secured. Fortunately, you can use a VPN on the go. There are several different ways you can do this, but the simplest is to use a VPN app. In the event that you lose your connection, the app will reestablish it automatically.