Connect with us

Internet

Why VPNs are important for online privacy

Protect yo’ self.

macbook on wooden table
Image: Unsplash

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides privacy and security while using the internet, which can be especially useful to browse the web when using public Wi-Fi access. VPN services mask Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to make online actions almost untraceable.

Furthermore, VPNs offer encrypted connections that provide greater privacy in comparison with standard firewall apps. Continue reading to learn five reasons why VPNs are essential for online privacy.

Secure browsing on a public Wi-Fi connection

Public locations like malls and cafés offer Wi-Fi access to customers and guests. These establishments may even provide free access for anyone within range of the wireless signals. Many people are now anxious to go online as soon as a free Wi-Fi connection is within range.

Posting a cute picture in social media, sending an email to your boss, or contacting your loved ones via messaging apps need an Internet connection. Hence, it becomes tempting to connect to public Wi-Fi.

Even IT professionals have difficulties in encrypting private data from public connections. About 93% of IT professionals report challenges with ensuring data privacy. Unsecured connections may deliver a host of problems like:

  • Unencrypted browsing, which may lead to hackers snooping on your device
  • Cyber attackers who are transferring malware to your gadget through Over-the-Air (OTA) methods
  • The free public Wi-Fi may be a phishing scam lying in wait

Using a VPN on a public Wi-Fi connection helps overcome these problems. Install a VPN on your mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops to use the internet securely at any place and time.

Secure internet usage over a wired connection

Public internet access does not mean users limit themselves to using wireless connections. Individual establishments like hotels offer wired internet connections to guests. Wired connections are more significant than their wireless counterparts.

For one thing, wired connectivity significantly lessens the data and packet loss when sending and receiving information. In other words, it minimizes instances of delays and lag while using the Internet.

However, it does not mean that you are using a wired connection that you no longer have to consider the importance of a VPN for privacy and security. For hotels, each room will likely have a dedicated subnet. It means that other guests can still share the data traveling across the hotel’s network. Additionally, you will never know if the front desk may be using a packet sniffer.

Use a VPN app or service even when you are using a hardwired connection – never disregard the value of data privacy and security in both wired and wireless Internet connections.

Bypass location-based restrictions

Online privacy is a broad term referring to several factors. It can also mean hiding your presence from data sniffers. Now, specific locations may create firewalls that prevent you from accessing or streaming particular information on the Internet. For example, you may not access streaming or social media sites when you travel to another country.

Use a VPN app or service to help bypass the location-based restriction. Specific VPN services may offer a browser-based proxy tool. This web application allows you to browse the Internet without downloading an app. However, using a web-based VPN may result in slow data throughput.

Instead, using a VPN allows you to specify a “local” server. For example, if you live in China, you can choose an IP address from Canada to hide your online presence from firewalls.

Access websites in a secure office network

You might need to use the Internet for urgent matters, but your office network does not allow you to use certain apps. Also, the corporate Wi-Fi may block all your attempt in accessing specific websites. You can bypass this challenge by using a VPN app.

Remember, the private network may restrict you from downloading apps in the first place. Hence, it is best to download the VPN application at home first before you head to the office. The VPN will mask your IP address so you can bypass the security provided by your company.

Automatic encryption

All data sent and received to and from your mobile device with a VPN active becomes encrypted. Any online activity you conduct when a VPN app or service is running will hide your presence from IP sniffers.

Thus, you do not have to employ another data encryption app to protect your IP address correctly. Even if a hacker manages to get a hold of your IP address successfully, the cyber attacker will only get the “fake” IP address.

Specific VPN apps may not need additional instructions to use it. However, particular VPN setup procedures may require know-how on installing the application. If so, seek the help of a professional or a person proficient in the IT field.

Let’s face it, VPNs are crucial to your online security and safety. Sure, there’s a lot of them to choose from, so to make things easier, there’s a ton of helpful guides available at your disposal here to help you choose the right one.

What do you think? Do you use a VPN? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

24 y/o, born and living in Portugal. Majored in Biology, but tech and computers were always a passion. Wrote for sites like Windows.Appstorm and MakeTechEasier.

Comments
Advertisement

More in Internet