Surfing online can expose you to all sorts of risks. Your daily routine may involve reading one or two news sites in the morning, then your social media and messages including email. This is a normal way to start the day online and you might not think there are many problems here but there could be.
Without trying to scare you or sound paranoid when you go online you leave yourself and your personal credentials open to the scrutiny of others if you do not take proper precautions.
Here is a quick explanation of how that simple morning routine could leave you open to attack.
How unprotected browsing can be dangerous to your online health
So you woke up and while having coffee you decided to check the news. If this is your regular website then you may well have an account with them. This means you entered a username and password to reach your personalized news feed.
After that, you logged into Facebook, again with a username and possibly phone number. Your online profile has access to your photos and a list of contacts and friends.
Once you finished browsing Facebook you checked your messages and your emails. All of which could contain sensitive information including orders and other login details for various websites.
All the pages you visited could have been viewed by someone else too.
How does a VPN help?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network can shield your information from any hackers or snoops. It basically redirects your data through a passageway that is invisible to outside sources and goes in and out of the VPN’s server. Instead of your IP address showing you will have one created by the VPN and it can even make it appear you are in a different country than where you are.
What is an IP address?
Your IP or Internet Protocol address is the physical location of where your device is and could be unique to you or the network you are using. It is the way that data is sent and received, much like posting a physical letter or parcel.
Unfortunately, the IP address is a way other people can track and target you. A VPN masks this and helps keep you anonymous.
What sort of things can a VPN protect me from?
Depending on your use of the internet and what country you are in a VPN can shield you from authorities and undesirable people like hackers. Gangs use ransomware and other means to extort money from web users. Hackers look for personal information that can be used to clone credit cards and set up credit in innocent people’s names.
VPNs can protect personal and business data but also freedom of speech.
Using a VPN in a restricted country
While anyone who understands what a VPN is will normally be thinking of using it for streaming movies from region restricted foreign sites or protecting their financial details it can be used for other reasons too. In some stricter countries, there is less freedom of speech than the USA enjoys. Activists and charity workers can use VPNs with care to inform the world of situations that may otherwise remain secret.
What is the financial cost to download and install a VPN?
Like any form of software or app, VPNs come in many price ranges. A great bonus of this form of an app is that there are many free versions. Some come as a one month trial and others as a scaled-down version with less worldwide servers available, however, they can all protect you online. To see some free VPNs you can go to fortunelords.com and compare the options. When security is free it is worth considering adding it to your device.
Other areas that a VPN can help with
Working online can expose not just your data but your company and employer too so a VPN is another way to shield that. Of course, you may just prefer to browse the internet with a bit more anonymity. The news is full of how companies are selling people’s browsing data and if you are unhappy or uncomfortable with that you can use a VPN to look after yourself.
Unfortunately these days there are very real threats online to personal and financial data. Many people have had their private photos accessed and bank accounts cloned or defrauded. In the worst-case, your credit rating could be destroyed by hackers. These people could take out loans in your name so building protection around your personal data is vital. A VPN can help along with other apps. Consider updating antivirus and malware protection and set them to protect your browsing activity.