You’ve found it if you’ve been wondering to know what exactly a VPN protect you from and how it does it.
The internet has created a paradigm shift in everything that we do. It has made most activities a breeze, like shopping from a store in another country, or listening to music, become simplistic and easy to do.
A couple of downsides have come to be associated with the internet, one of which is tracking internet users, whether by the government or by other internet users, and hacking, which should be a source of concern for everybody.
This is the reason why VPNs have become popular over the last couple of years, protecting users from the evils of the internet.
VPN is an abbreviation that stands for the virtual private network. Such software and applications have become so popular because they protect users by hiding their internet protocol address, which is commonly referred to as the IP address.
The VPN can also block people and organizations from accessing your location and can hide your browser history so that no one will be able to access it other than you. This way, you can be assured that you will share and receive information and data from internet networks via secure channels.
VPN Protects your Digital footprints
When you are browsing about the internet, be it on websites or social media, you leave behind a trail of all the places you have visited. These are what are referred to as digital footprints. The digital footprints can be in the form of your browsing history, cookies you accepted when you visited a particular site, and other forms of cached media.
Anyone with the right resources or ingenuity will be able to access your digital footprint. Your internet service provider, IPS, the government, and any other third parties will not only be able to know what you have searched, but they will also have access to data stating all the sites you visited and downloads you made. This is possible even if you are using private browsing mode.
This is where the VPN comes to play. When you have downloaded and activated your VPN before you browse, you can be assured that you have internet security, no matter which site you visit. The VPN does so by hiding your online identity and encrypting all the channels you have used when browsing.
The hackers, third parties, and other organizations will not be able to access your internet protocol address, and thus they will have no means of getting to your data. This prevents them from accessing your browser history and all your personal information.
VPN hide and protect your IP address
Billions of internet users and devices can access the internet all over the world. Internet providers have to make sure that they do not mix up their clients and thus ensure that the needs of each internet user are met. For this reason, each device that can access the internet is given an Internet Protocol address, commonly referred to as the IP address.
The IP address is the one that distinguishes your device on a local network or the internet. It is, essentially, the key data that connects the device, which you are using, to your location, your web search history, and your Internet service provider.
It becomes apparent that anyone with access to your IP address can do a lot of damage if any maliciousness is intended. This fact is proliferated when you consider that the IP address of your phone or personal computer is linked to some of your most personal information, such as the country and city you live in and even your ZIP code.
With your IP address, persons can also trace it all back and establish your name, address, residence and workplace, phone number, and even your banking and credit card number. This is vital and sensitive information that no one else should know about other than yourself.
VPN service providers make sure that all this information remains secret. They do this by masking your IP address. Thus, your internet service provider, or any other party, will see the IP address of the VPN provider and not yours. Moreover, you can set your VPN to show an IP address in another country on the other side of the world.
VPN Protect your Cookies
Since the VPN has the ability to mask your online identity, it can also make you invisible. Most of the activities, as aforementioned, that someone did in person not more than three decades ago can be done in the comfort of your couch.
Take, for example, booking travel accommodations. Instead of going to the airport to buy a ticket, you can log into the website of the airport and book tickets. That being said, there is a downside to this. Aline websites, as well as other travel websites, function using cookies.
You’ve probably heard of cookies. A cookie is data that is sent from a user’s computer or device to a particular website. In this case, if you have visited other airline websites frequently, looking for the cheapest deal, then it is highly likely that a cookie will already have been put in place.
Most websites often give you a choice of whether you want to accept the cookies or not, and most of the time, we accept the cookies without understanding what they even mean. Cookies send your information, any information that relates to the particular website, to the said website. Most sites will claim that they use the said information to help offer better services, but you cannot be too sure.
These cookies are the reason why you will find an ad for something you’ve just searched for or even thought of. Marketers in today’s world will use advanced analytic tools to help track the behavior of all the people that have visited a particular site, and they do so by using cookies.
VPNs again provide a safety mechanism for this. No one wants their private data to be shared by all and sundry. Thus, VPNs block these tracking technologies, making it possible for you to search for things without leaving any of your sensitive information on the said sites.
VPN Protects Personal Identifiable material
As you have seen, your IP address can distinguish you from other individuals based on the devices you use to access the internet. Thus, it can store your personal identifiable information, commonly referred to as PII.
Personal identifiable information is some of the most sensitive information you can have. It includes your banking information, such as what bank you use, your account pin and that sort of data, your social security number as well as your personal ID number.
You may be wondering how exactly the IP address was able to come about with all this information. The answer is quite simple. Say you open a bank account, give your email address as part of your personal detail, and then access the bank account online, using your phone. Already, your IP address has created a link between your bank account and your email address.
Now, imagine that you also gave your driver’s license number and copy as part of registering for that bank account. Now, the system can also use your IP address to link to your bank account. Moreover, if you have bought something from an online store and have used your credit or debit card to pay for that products, your IP address can also be linked to your bank cards.
Your IP address may also be linked with your computer or phone and all the information you have on there. Essentially, it is a slippery slope of sorts. If a hacker were to get their hands on your IP address, it is easy to see how all the other information would metaphorically speaking, present itself.
It is for this reason that you need to protect yourself with a VPN. They offer increased protection when you go online, and you can rest assured that all your data is virtually inaccessible.
VPN Protect you while Torrenting
Torrents have become one of the most effective and efficient ways to share data. Bittorrent, commonly referred to simply as torrent, is a metadata file or folder through which different internet users can share and download data. Through torrents, users can access music, movies, and all other forms of media.
Torrenting, the act of sharing and downloading files through torrents, is far from illegal. However, downloading copyrighted materials, such as movies and songs, via torrents is illegal. Torrents are shared through specific sites.
If you access one of the said sites, the government will be able to track your IP address, and, as said earlier, all your other information, such as where you reside and where you work, will come about easily. Using a torrent without having or activated your VPN can be like playing around with fire, and it can lead to warning letters, hefty fines, and even jail time.
Even if you are downloading legally using torrents, it is still a risky business. This is because you may download a file unknowingly, and the said file has malware. In the form of viruses, the malware can affect your computer, from disrupting its functionality to corrupting all the files and the information you may have had on there.
VPNs not only give you the ability to hide your IP address and personal information, but they also make it possible to rest easy knowing that you cannot download any malware-infected files and data, and no hacker can single you out.
How to choose a VPN?
As stated earlier, VPNs have become very popular over the last couple of years. For this reason, there are many VPN service providers in the business, each offering something different from the other. For this reason, you must take into account a couple of things before you decide on what VPN you want to use.
VPNs can come in the form of software or applications. Either way, you have to make sure that the one you chose is easy to use and easy to understand its functionality.
You should ensure that the VPN you are getting is compatible with the device you are using or the one you plan to use. Mainly, this has to do with the type of operating system installed in the device or devices.
- Secure encryption
Though all VPNs offer secure encryption of your data and internet channels, some are more efficient and effective in terms of security than others. The best way to know which one is the best is through testimonials and referrals from those that have used it.
You also have to consider the pricing of the VPN. Most VPN providers have a subscription-based service, meaning you will be paying a certain amount of money after a certain period. Ensure that the price of the VPN matches with all the services they are providing or the services that you are looking for.
It is easy to see why VPNs have become so popular. They offer security and ease of mind, especially when it comes to personal information, such as your location. No amount of money is worth for your personal information, so get yourself a VPN today.