A strong VPN (Virtual Private Network) will ensure that you achieve ultimate protection against any malicious activities that might occur online. It has become commonplace for news outlets to report instances of government-mandated data collection, metadata snooping, hacking, identity theft, etc. How has this become so prevalent? Today, we interact heavily on the internet, using whatever devices we have – smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, etc. The simple fact that we rely so heavily on these makes us completely vulnerable.
The VPN market is vast, so it’s important that you choose one VPN that provides everything you need to ensure privacy. Solid providers like PureVPN will offer all of the following: anonymity, privacy, encryption, and reliability. If you currently don’t utilize a VPN for your device and are worried about your online privacy, it’s time to look for one.
When will you need a VPN?
Even if you feel you don’t have anything to hide, you must understand that not everyone holds the same intentions as you do. Therefore, by hiding your online activity from outsiders, a VPN will prevent snoopers and hackers from obtaining any information about your web life.
There’s no need to be paranoid, of course. To compare, not everyone that bumps into you on the subway attempts to pick your pockets. There are far more people online similar to you, who have no intentions of obtaining your web data. However, you should know that using a VPN offers various benefits, apart from simply hiding your online identity, that you might find quite useful.
Easy tool for market research
If you’re researching the competition, you probably don’t want them to know that you’re studying their website. Keep in mind that any website owner can access Google Analytics for the metadata of the website’s user traffic. This includes IP addresses and geo-demographics.
Using a VPN will allow you to access a certain website using a different IP address every time, meaning your competitor won’t notice you continuously checking in. It’s perfect for anyone looking to conduct some covert research to stay ahead of the game.
Big brother Google
Google keeps an eye on everyone who visits websites using its search engine. Unfortunately, most internet users are so comfortable and dependent on this specific search engine that it’s hard to avoid. It’s both free and highly convenient to use! Still, you should be wary of it storing information on your activities and using it for marketing purposes, product research, etc. Even your keyword searches are logged and stored by Google!
You can’t get past Google’s data storage activities, but you can do something to mask yourself from it. Using PureVPN would hide your original IP address and encrypt your activities, preventing Google from keeping track of you.
Secured voice chatting
If you live in a country with more restrictions and surveillance practices, you might find yourself uneasy about initiating any voice calls. Skype and other voice-over-IP services are much harder to intercept by outsiders, but doing so is completely possible. Any hacker with a decent knowledge of online structure can easily find information on how to hack a Skype connection.
Countries like Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba, Egypt, etc. are known to have high censorship and surveillance in terms of the internet, and it’s imperative that its citizens protect themselves sufficiently. If you’re one of these residents, why should you risk being snooped on? Even your VoIP calls should be protected, specifically with a good VPN connection.
Access to geo-blocked content
You can use VPN to access video feeds that might be blocked in your current location. You might be on vacation in a remote area or wish to watch foreign media. Whatever the case, a VPN service will allow you to imitate an IP address from another country so you can watch whatever you want.
Copyright laws can be a pain to come across as well. If you don’t have a VPN connection, you would most likely resort to low–quality streams on third party websites with tons of click-bait and loading viruses. Why put yourself through this?
If you were to connect through VPN, you could access any geo-blocked content. This includes secured websites like Netflix, which offers differing selections based on a user’s location. In this case, you could easily utilize a US-based IP address to view the larger American selection. So far, Netflix has not made significant efforts to prevent its users from accessing extra content with VPNs. This is a slight grey area in our opinion, as content owners might find it unsettling that their movies or TV shows are accessed in other countries they have not sold licenses to.
However, the simple fact is that when you access your Netflix account, even via a VPN connection, you are accessing premium content with a subscription. While some might protest VPN usage for this website, you should feel confident about using it since Netflix shows no signs of changing this access anytime soon.
Protect yourself while downloading
It doesn’t matter whether you’re prone to downloading legal software or multimedia torrents. Whether you like it or not, you can easily be added to a government surveillance list whenever you download significant amounts of data online. However, using a VPN can help you bypass this.
Most issues people come across are with the MPAA, which is the Motion Picture Association of America. Preventing and punishing illegal movie sharing is at the top of its priority list, and it does so by tracking downloads. Torrents are especially dangerous, as the MPAA can pose as a regular P2P user and track your files. It can also use your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to collect any significant metadata surrounding your illegal downloading activities.
Many torrent downloaders seem to hold the common misconception that services that block outside IP addresses such as PeerBlock or PeerGuardian can protect them from government snooping. A related issue of using these programs is that they could potentially block the same P2P sharers who you need for a faster download.
The problem with IP-blocking programs is that anti-sharing IPs are constantly being changed, specifically to get around IP-blocking. This leaves your computer vulnerable to data collection at any time unless your blocking program is updated every time the anti-sharing IP addresses are changed.
Using public wi-fi
If you’re busy and are spending your downtime in cafes or other public areas, you’re most likely going to be using a lot of public wi-fi. If that’s the case, accessing sensitive data might be a bit worrisome, seeing as these connections usually don’t have that much security. Public wi-fi, especially free wi-fi, is a hacker’s paradise. Anyone connected to the same network could easily hack into the other devices and take sensitive information from them.
If you access the internet through a secured connection, however, you can breathe a sigh of relief. When connecting through a VPN, you are essentially making yourself invisible to anyone attempting to access your online activities and identity. Considering the scope of our internet activities today, even brief access to your data could cause significant damage.
Privacy is extremely important to you
Spending $6-10 a month might be nothing compared to what you gain from purchasing a VPN subscription. If you’re an avid internet user, securing your privacy should be a top priority for you. Sure, you could try and utilize a free proxy once in a while when you’re feeling paranoid, but is it really worth the risks? In terms of online privacy, the power of a premium service will always surpass that of a slow, free one.
Are you already using a VPN service? Tell us about your provider of choice in the comments below! For better privacy awareness, be sure to check out our article on safe browsing and stay tuned for more advice on choosing the best VPN provider!