Do you ever wonder how protected your sensitive information really is? You’ve probably heard warnings against using unsecured Wi-Fi connections at places like airports and malls, for example, but how much is actually at risk with this choice?
Digital connection is the new normal, meaning that our devices hold valuable data that needs to be guarded. From work projects to personal details, computers, tablets and phones are the gateways to many facets of our lives. With this fact in mind, there’s a lot that you could potentially be exposing to predictors, fraudsters and hackers when you join a public network.
If you’re connected to unsecured Wi-Fi, your information is easily accessible to the other (sometimes hundreds) of people on that network. When it comes to doing work outside of the home or traveling with your devices, it’s best to secure your connection.
Hooking up your device to untrustworthy hotspots may not always be avoidable, but that doesn’t mean your security is doomed. The answer to your problems is a VPN service.
VPN Services Explained
So, what does VPN stand for? It means Virtual Private Network, and a VPN is your privacy’s best friend. Using encryption technology, a VPN connects you to a private network no matter where you are; your Internet traffic is heavily encrypted before it even reaches the server. It also guides your data through a secured “VPN tunnel,” making it much more difficult for people like hackers and governments to view your information. This means that you can connect your phone, tablet or computer to a public Wi-Fi with no snooping concerns, as long as you’re also using the VPN.
After subscribing to a trusted VPN service provider (never go with free services as they’re likely to be fake), you’ll be able to download and install the application on your device. With just a few quick clicks, you can choose your security settings and establish a safe connection.
There are various uses for a VPN, including:
- Remaining anonymous while browsing online, by hiding your real location
- Bypassing censorship restrictions while traveling abroad or living in a repressive country
- Gaining the ability to stream media from sources like Netflix and Hulu from wherever you are
- Protecting yourself from security breaches while on public Wi-Fi
- Shielding your identity while torrenting
Whether you’re a frequent traveler, mall lover or someone who does work at different cafes, a VPN can help you stay safe while browsing the Internet publicly. But as we’ve seen, VPN services have other uses too. A VPN is great for expats or remote workers who need spoof their location in order to access media, news articles and streaming services. It’s also perfect for gamers who torrent and want to keep their identity a secret.
If any of these of these reasons apply to your life, it’s worth considering a VPN service. Thankfully this kind of service is easy to set up and cost-effective, making it very accessible.