I think it’s safe to say, we’ve probably all wondered about our safety while using the internet. Getting that random message sent to our email about a suspicious login attempt or even worse, finding out that someone managed to get into your bank account and went on a shopping spree without you even knowing are some of the worries that we go through daily as internet users.
Although our ISP (Internet Service Provider) makes promises of safety and security, their network is still easily accessible to potential hackers and your data can still be sold to third party advertisers but there’s a solution that can not only protect your data from being sold but also protect your sensitive and private information and that solution is a VPN.
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What is a VPN Connection?
A VPN connection is a technology that is used to effectively secure connections from a device to the internet. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel that offers much more additional protection when you’re doing any activities that involve connecting to the internet. This can be anything from checking your email to logging into your bank account. Due to the fact that your traffic is exiting the VPN server, it gives off the look that your IP address is of the said server, completely concealing your identity and location.
How Can a VPN Help?
A VPN can help by protecting your online data through what’s called a Tunnel Protocol. It rearranges the data that is sent over a Wi-Fi network and along with the encryption, it makes your traffic completely unreadable. VPNs can be used for home usage but they are even more important when using public Wi-Fi because it’s much easier for potential hackers to spy on your browsing activities and gain access to your other online information like passwords and bank information.
The other side of the spectrum with this is that you’re also protected in the comfort of your home as well. ISPs have access to your browsing history and with a VPN all of your web activity is associated with the VPNs IP address instead of yours meaning all of your online activities and browsing history are kept private.
Besides keeping your browsing data private a VPN can also greatly help with identity theft. Hackers try to use their victim’s names and identities to do everything from open up bank accounts to applying for loans, all of which can have devastating effects on not just your credit but your life. Normal activities like online shopping and logging into bank accounts expose you to online threats and even having your devices continuously connected to Wi-Fi can leave your information vulnerable without you even knowing it. VPNs allow for your information to run through an encrypted tunnel where no one can see the information that is being sent or received.
How Do I Get a VPN?
There are plenty of VPN services available. A quick online search will show the dozens of services available to choose from. If you’re wanting to have a VPN service for your mobile devices you can search the App Store on iOS or the Google Play Store on Android and choose a VPN provider from there but despite there being a multitude of services, every VPN is not made the same and some are indeed better than others. That’s why it’s also recommended to read the VPN reviews before making your final decision.
What To Look for When Choosing a VPN
If you’re searching for a VPN provider for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to understand exactly what a VPN does and all the technical jargon that is used in reference to VPNs but when looking for a great provider you’ll want to check for these attributes:
Servers – A great VPN provider will have a high number of servers for you to choose from. The more servers a provider has, the more locations you have to choose from when connecting through them. Look for a provider with at least over 1000 global servers to choose from.
Logging Policy – If a VPN service does not have and enforce a logging policy that is in the best interest of their customers, they’re not at all a good option. Look for services that have a zero-logs policy, this ensures that none of your information or browsing histories is being logged.
Support – Look for a service that has stellar customer support. Do you get a prompt response when inquiring about their services? Do they have business hours or are they available 24/7? Can you chat live with them or send an email if you run into an issue? These are questions you need an answer to before committing to a specific service.
Pricing – While most VPNs are pretty affordable, some are actually worth their cost while others aren’t. Consider a service that has a free trial so you can get a good idea of how the platform works and really see if you like it before you pull the trigger on that particular service.
VPNs are an investment that is well worth the money it costs. Not only can it protect you at home but also if you’re on the go. In today’s world, our whole lives are basically online whether it be bank accounts or family photos and identity thieves and hackers are at an all-time high as well. Protecting yourself should be the most important consideration when online and while it may not be something that online users think about often, it’ll not just potentially save you thousands of dollars protecting you from internet thieves but even more importantly, it’ll save you a lot of stress.