Every day we rely on the internet for our day to day activities, a lot of which involve sensitive data such as Personally identifiable information (PII). Bad actors are also relying on the internet to get this information for malicious activities. This has, in turn, made the internet inherently insecure. To be safe from cyber threats and related risks, its, therefore, recommended taking necessary precautions when using the internet.
One of the proactive measures is to protect your information while using it on the internet. This protection involves privacy, security, and anonymity. The degree of these three entities varies according to how one uses the internet. For instance, the more sensitive your job is, the more mechanisms you’ll put in place to ensure you achieve the required levels of security, privacy, and anonymity. But no matter what you do on the internet, the bottom line is to ensure that you are safe, and this includes your data and information.
The simplest way to do this is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
How does a VPN ensure you are safe?
A VPN ensures your safety by providing security and privacy. This is done by routing your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel. A VPN also assigns you a new IP address and hence your real IP address is hidden from cybercriminals, trackers and even your ISP. Due to these encryptions, you are guaranteed that all the data you send or receive is secure and invisible from snoops and prying eyes.
Reasons for using VPN
Depending on what you do on the internet, there are many reasons why you should use a VPN. We are going to look at the major ones in this article;
Staying secure and anonymous
This is the primary reason why VPNs were invented. As said earlier a VPN uses encryptions for security and masks your IP address for anonymity, and this helps you achieve a required level of digital privacy. This makes a VPN a good option for various online tasks such as online shopping, banking and for filling out forms.
A lot of governments are using censorship techniques to control what citizens can access, view or even publish on the internet. This, in turn, takes away the right of free internet and digital freedom from the citizens. To reclaim your internet freedom, a VPN is what you need. Since it uses an encrypted tunnel, it’s harder for the regulators to know what you are up to and hence you can easily pass through their controls unnoticed. Also, a VPN uses obfuscation techniques, and this ensures your VPN traffic is not blocked when bypassing censorships. Obfuscation makes VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic.
Bypassing geo restrictions
Geo restrictions are mechanisms put in place by some companies and institutions to ensure that certain content is not accessed in a particular region. It’s sometimes a good thing since it ensures that these companies adhere to the copyrights of content they distribute. But generally, it isn’t fair as different regions pay the same price for the service only to get few contents than others. For instance, Netflix US has a well-packed library of movies/shows and other entertainment as compared to maybe Netflix in Australia. To avoid these injustices, a VPN can come in handy. Due to IP masking, you can change your IP address by connecting to a US server and hence access more content on Netflix US.
Ensuring protection when using unsecured networks.
To make the internet freely available to everyone, many places have set up free public WIFI hotspots. Such places include airports, coffee shops, public halls, and even cities nowadays have free WIFI. This free WIFI sometimes may not be protected and even if it’s, it just like another insecure network. This is because people with malicious intentions use this public WIFI as opportunities to carry out cybercrimes. Most threats include man-in-the-middle attacks, eavesdropping, and even identity theft.
With a VPN, you avoid these threats as your traffic is encrypted.