How to Use VPN to Protect Your Online Identity?
The internet has made our lives somewhat easier and tasks more manageable; however, a lot of us are now under constant fear that our personal information, even our entire identities, may be stolen.
There are so many ways that hackers can access the information stored on our computers through scam emails called phishing, malware affecting your computer, and even when you connect to public Wi-Fi networks. There are many methods to help prevent your information from getting into the wrong hands. Still, sadly, no one process works perfectly, as hackers are always staying up to date on the latest technology and quickly finding new ways to access your personal information.
To protect yourself, you need to be extremely careful and implement many cybersecurity techniques; one important method precisely for privacy and keeping your personal information safe is by using a VPN for online protection.
1. What is a VPN?
VPN stands for the virtual private network. When you turn a VPN on, it creates a sort of tunnel from your computer to a specific server that could locate anywhere in the world. This causes all of your data entered only to sent through this tunnel, and it masks your location and identity, as it gives your computer the IP address of the server you are connected too.
An example of when you would need a VPN is if you are connecting to a public Wi-Fi network at a cafe or bookstore. If you are intending to submit credit card details by making an online purchase, or even just wanting to send an email, it can be perilous to engage in those personal activities when connected to a public network.
If someone else connects to the network, they can see the information you are submitting and take it for themselves to make purchases with your credit card or posing as you with your social security number. When using a VPN while connected to a public Wi-Fi connection, that tunnel above blocks anyone else related to that network from seeing your submitted information.
2. How Do Hackers Get Your Online Information?
It is effortless for hackers to access your information. Amadou Diallo, an author on Forbes, stated, “It takes zero hacking skills to monitor and hijack communications over a public Wi-Fi network secretly. Widely available freeware makes eavesdropping on emails and web browsing as simple as pressing a button.”
Many people use VPN for online protection and everyone who uses it guard the internet itself, as it appears all the traffic is coming from one user, so there is safety in numbers. No one else connected to the public network can see your information, and that is true for those that run the VPN service as well.
Unfortunately, our data, even at trusted home networks, can be sold by our internet service providers. Although the data is anonymous, it is still out there being sold, so some people even opt to use a VPN at home.
3. Choose A Reliable VPN to Protect Your Online Identity
If you want to use a VPN for online protection, you’re placing your trust in the service and the administrators, so make sure that trust place in the right hands.
Methods to Protect Your Privacy
As a precaution, most people with cybersecurity knowledge will suggest using several different methods to help your privacy.
Such methods include following proper username and password creation, not using the same password over several accounts, being careful and research if you are being tricked by any phishing attempt, keeping your computer’s operating system up to date, and having a trusted anti-virus software scanning your computer now and then to monitor your downloads. If you already practice all these cybersecurity techniques, you’ll be less likely to be tricked by an illegitimate VPN service.
4. Safer Online Purchases
A lot of people are the most scared when making online purchases, as hackers stealing your hard-earned money is a huge concern. Many are still fearful of trying new protective ways, but because of the tunnel effect when using a VPN, online banking is completely safe with a trusted service.
All information blocks from prying eyes trying to spend your hard-earned money. If you use an app on your phone for online banking, most people suggest installing a VPN on your phone, as well. Phones are more difficult to hack than computers, but it is still possible, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
One additional tip to consider is that if you are using a VPN for online banking, try to keep the location in the same country as you reside. Most banks ask you to let them know when you are traveling out of the country for security reasons, so if the administrators of your bank see that your account is being accessed in many different countries, it may raise a red flag.
They can mark your account as a fraud and even void your purchases until you call them to verify your identity. Users save yourself from this trouble; it recommends to keep your VPN in your own country, at least when accessing your bank account online.
5. Use VPN to Protect Your Online Identity
In closing, although the internet can be a beautiful and fun place to spend your time, it can also be very detrimental to your privacy, and using a trusted VPN service can be very beneficial and protect your identity and personal information.
Most of us have to connect to an unsecured public network for one reason or another, so having a VPN service ready to use in those scenarios will make you feel at ease knowing your personal and credit card information, as well as your identity, are safe.
Do your research before using a VPN, so there is less risk that you’ll find and use an illegitimate service. Also, be sure to practice other precautionary cybersecurity methods, such as password protection and keeping essential software up to date, along with using a VPN service for maximum privacy and security.
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