VPNs: How Much Do They Really Help You

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are among the tools commonly mentioned in the context of today`s security and privacy on the internet. 

Have you logged into a public Wi-Fi at your favourite coffee shop and got this creeping feeling of dread, wondering whether someone may be able to monitor your online activity? That’s completely understandable, considering the forces directed towards your privacy. 

With a VPN, you can protect your data from prying eyes and regain some privacy when browsing online. But how much do VPNs help you? Read on to learn more about VPNs and why they are so important. 

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WHAT IS A VPN AND HOW IT WORKS? 

Browsing the internet or transacting on an unsecured Wi-Fi network is a way of exposing your private information and online activities. That’s where a VPN comes in. It is a security tool that should be used by anyone concerned about their online privacy and security. 

When reading your Facebook messages, email or checking your bank account while at a coffee shop, unless your devices were connected to a private Wi-Fi network, any information sent during your online session can be vulnerable to eavesdropping by people using the same network. 

A VPN provides encryption and anonymity, which can help protect your online activities.

WHY IS A VPN IMPORTANT

Regardless of what device you use, you are at a high risk of a data breach. Unencrypted data is extremely vulnerable, as is the information that comes via your browser that isn’t secure. 

Wireless networks, especially public access points, are typically vulnerable to cybercriminals. They tend to be very prone to sniffers who may want to use computer programs that can decode your data and make it readable. This is true, especially in places that offer free Wi-Fi like hotels, airports and coffee shops. 

The cybercriminals use sniffers to spy on people, steal data, hijack their devices as well as steal their identities. Someone within a short distance can access your data without your knowledge provided that they have the right tools. They can access almost all your personal information, including your bank account number and password.

With a VPN, you can secure and protect your device and your data from cybercriminals, especially when it comes to preventing hacks.  

WHAT DOES A VPN DO? 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts or scrambles your data or information so that cybercriminals cannot monitor your activities online. Essentially, VPNs create some form of a tunnel that prevents cybercriminals and your internet service providers (ISP) from monitoring your information such as browsing history, downloads, credit card details, your location or simply anything that you share over a network.

Hackers cannot penetrate this tunnel, nor can your online activities be viewed. That is the reason why VPNs are good software to watch US Netflix anywhere. VPNs can mask your location or make it look like you`re accessing Netflix from the US, but in the real sense, you are miles away from the country. 

A VPN connection is private, and it makes any public network private if you use it on your device. You can use it on a desktop or any of your mobile devices, including phones, tablets and PCs. 

The most important thing about VPNs is that they protect data. This data includes your instant messages, downloads, login credentials, emails and the sites you visit on the web. VPNs also mask your IP address. This makes it look like you are using your device elsewhere. They allow you to watch US Netflix shows even if you`re not from the US. 

VPNs PROTECT YOU AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT 

Identity theft happens when cybercriminals steal a person`s information and use it to commit cybercrimes in his name, such as taking over or opening new accounts. 

VPNs can help protect you against identity theft by securing your data. A VPN builds an encrypted tunnel through which the data you send or receive is secured, putting it out of reach of cybercriminals. 

Moreover, VPNs protect the data you share or access via your devices. This is especially crucial when connected to a public Wi-Fi network, where a hacker on the same network can steal your login credentials and the credit card details you type in as you shop online. If your device’s Wi-Fi is always enabled, your devices become more vulnerable without your knowledge. Your daily activities like banking, browsing and online shopping might expose your information, making you prone to cybercrime. 

You or someone else can’t prevent identity theft. Some security aspects, such as a data breach at a brand where you have an account, tend to be out of control. A VPN can help secure the data and information you share through your device. 

SHOULD I USE A VPN

You may have heard of a VPN before but haven’t thought about getting one for your devices. When you`re browsing the web, you can’t be sure if someone is snooping your information, especially when browsing on a public Wi-Fi network, which is mostly unprotected and unsecured. 

With a VPN, you can perform all your online activities via a secure channel so cybercriminals won’t have access to your valuable data. The only real downside of using VPNs is that they might slow your internet connection.

FINAL THOUGHTS

When it comes to your internet privacy and security, there are no simple `one-click’ solutions. However, using a VPN is arguably one of the most crucial methods to better secure yourself while online. A VPN`s benefits cannot be ignored. 

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