These days, the need for online privacy, security, and anonymity is increasing dramatically. Many people often find themselves using public Wi-Fi and other public connections when running their day-to-day activities.
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, help ensure that your online activities are masked so third parties cannot trace your digital footprint. While VPNs have been in use for several years now, many people don’t know a lot regarding their benefits. In this article, we present four things you should know about VPNs, and how they may benefit you.
VPN Providers Keep Your Data
Most people believe that VPN providers will keep your data and use it against you, but this is not entirely true. The data collected by the VPN providers is used to determine any problems in their service delivery and then corrected.
They use the information gathered to improve their services or make upgrades where possible. The acquired data is kept private unless the government claims that information through a court order, which is extremely rare.
Some Countries Don’t Permit the Use of VPN
Countries that have authoritarian laws do not allow the use of VPN in online access. They need to have total control over the internet activities of all their citizens. Their main concerns are usually on maintaining national security, imposing social values, and promoting political stability.
Some of these countries include Belarus, China, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Russia, Turkey, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Syria, among others. When visiting these countries, it is important to keep this in mind.
You might end up having all your private browsing history under scrutiny, and if your views are contrary to the government policies, you could easily find yourself in trouble. The good thing is that even in these countries, there are a lot of VPNs still working, some of which have the respective governments’ approval.
VPNs Are Similar to Firewalls, Except They’re Untraceable
A firewall can be hardware, software, or a system meant to protect your online traffic from unauthorized access and prying eyes. In essence, it filters and monitors traffic and blocks unwanted traffic and connections to and from your network.
On the other hand, a VPN will provide a tunnel for your internet activities, making the data traffic between two systems encrypted so that no third party can access or trace your online activities. In other words, a VPN is like a firewall, but your activities are not traceable.
According to the folks from Nord VPN, a good VPN enhances both online privacy and security. It ensures that despite your location, you can access content from across the world online without compromising your online security and privacy.
You Can Still Get Hacked With a VPN
A VPN will change your IP address, hide you from third parties, and encrypt your data, but using a VPN may not necessarily protect you from being hacked.
The data encryption provided by virtual private networks makes it very difficult for cybercriminals to hack you, however, and you are safer when using one. It is, however, worth mentioning that your level of protection will depend on the VPN you choose to use.
The use of a VPN has become quite popular nowadays. Many businesses and individuals use them to protect their sensitive data and online activities from third parties. The above are just a few notable things you should know about VPNs when using one.