Before we get down to what personal information can be saved by using a VPN, let’s quickly go through the basics like:
- What is a VPN?
- Why you NEED a VPN?
- What information are readily available in the internet
- Good internet practices
If you know what a VPN is then go ahead and skip to the next part ;).
A VPN or virtual private network is a digital tool that keeps outsiders from seeing your online activity. The aforementioned internet outsiders can be but not limited to:
- Identity thieves
- ISP (internet service provider)
A VPN provides a private network from a public internet connection. This provides the user (you) to have privacy and anonymity when surfing the web. The VPN has the ability to mask your original IP address making your activities online virtually untraceable.
Not only that, the VPN is also capable of encrypting your connections making it possible to tighten the security and keeping your data secure.
Why you need a VPN?
Surfing the web or making payments over an unsecured network means there is a big chance to expose your data to the public world. This is why a VPN is a MUST for anyone who is concerned about their personal data.
Think back a bit! Imagine the times imagine the times you were waiting for your coffee and was checking your emails, Instagram and WhatsApp messages. If you were not using a VPN, then chances are that your data was vulnerable to strangers who were on the same network.
The encryption and anonymity equipped in a VPN can protect your emails, shopping carts and transactions. Not only that, it also keeps your browsing history anonymous.
Well that all sounds good but what kind of personal information is really out on the internet? Well that’s what the next part is about!
What information is lying around in the internet
To have a better understanding let’s see a list of information that can be accessed from the internet:
- Your IP address
- Your geographical location
- Your browser history
- Your devices
- Your location when streaming
- Your friends
- Your workplace
- Your bank account details
- Your social media passwords
- Your social security numbers
- Your phone number
- Your age
- Your photos
- Your videos
- Anything you do or did online
Some of the things mentioned above are very easy to get and others not so much. The point is that whatever you ever did or will do on the internet can be retrieved by one way or the other.
That’s the reality but it’s not as easy as said!
We will not go into the depths of how this works, but there’s a lot of information that can easily be accessed by anyone. This is what we will focus on.
So the things mentioned above can be extracted by a hacker who is in the internet and much easily by a hacker using the same network. One of the most common places where you can encounter such people would be in public networks.
Coffee shops are the most common place some of these attacks can happen because who doesn’t love a cup of coffee and free WIFI. When connecting to these free WIFI points, there’s a high risk of having your data being accessible to attackers.
It’s not only in coffee shops but in any public WIFI, if you will connect without the right protective measures, you’re at risk. It’s the same when it comes to the internet.
There’s a saying by Robert Mueller – FBI Director who says that:
“There are two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be”
This statement is true when it comes to users like you and me. IF your reading this article, that means you’re a few steps ahead of others. Not everyone gives priority to security or privacy when roaming on the internet and security is as strong as your weakest link.
Once a hacker finds a weakness in a system or user, they take the chance.
A VPN helps in keeping you away from getting hacked miles away. However VPN alone will not do much good if you will go and click on suspicious links and so on.
Good internet practices
A VPN is a security tool, not a magical protection barrier to stop all the threats coming towards you. It’s like a very strong armor for a knight (you) but if you go to the middle of a war without any weapon or an army, the armor won’t be useful anymore.
Just like that when you’re on the internet, you should follow good internet practices:
- Always use a reliable VPN like VPN Surf
- Use strong passwords for your accounts
- Don’t leave your devices unlocked when you’re not using them
- Don’t let anyone look at your screen when your surfing the net
- Connect to the right WIFI network when you’re using public WIFI. Ask an employee of the shop before connecting
- Never do online banking on public WIFI without using a VPN
- Don’t click on suspicious links
- Don’t open spam emails
- Don’t enter sites which require sign in’s when using public WIFI (if you don’t have a VPN)
- If you don’t want to connect to the internet, turn WIFI off.
Hope this article helped. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Do you value your privacy online?
Use VPN Surf and surf safely and securely in the open waters of the internet.