by Mary C Long
Every time you access the Internet, you put your privacy at risk. Yes, Big Brother is watching. There is nothing that will make you completely anonymous, but VPNs are one way to reduce the risk. You’re not using one though, are you? Let’s explore why you should consider it:
Your online behavior is being watched by everyone from your neighbors, to inquisitive advertisers, to our own government in today’s connected world. And then there’s the onset of Big Data to worry about too.
So what can you do?
Short of leaving online completely (and not many people can do that), a VPN can offer some peace of mind.
So, What is a VPN?
A VPN, Virtual Private Network, creates an encrypted connection over a public, less secure network, i.e., the Internet. And it provides a level of security for connected systems that would not be there otherwise, particularly when it is either cost prohibitive or not feasible (such as for a travelling company representative) to use a private network.
As Hostwinds demonstrates the benefits of using one are numerous:
Why would I use a VPN?
Well, it’s not a magical device. A VPN service allows you to change your IP address and prevents others from eavesdropping on you (most times). But how you make use of the VPN depends on what kind of Internet user you are (and you can get a more in-depth view of user scenarios/solutions here):
Not all VPN services give you the level of anonymity that you might require. Torrent Freak shares a list that will keep you awake at night worrying, but being aware of your VPN’s logging practices is a good place to start. You should know:
And regardless of what your VPN offers, don’t be stupid. No VPN is going to protect you if you insist on behaving illegally. Not forever at least.
So, are you using a VPN? Why…. or more importantly, Why not? Are you comfortable with the idea of prying eyes? And are you doing anything at all to preserve your privacy?
This post originally appeared on Commpro
IMAGE CREDIT: SAFWAT SAYED