As we move into the digital age, technology is bringing convenience right at the click of our fingertips. From telecommuting to online banking, and now even online shopping, the possibilities of the things we can do online is unfolding endlessly right in front of our eyes. While convenience is the selling point for everything that technology is improving nowadays, there are certain risks that come along with it, too.
Let’s focus on online shopping, for example. While consumers enjoy selecting items that they don’t have to manually look for in a store or even a supermarket, and then line up for at the checkout counter to pay for those items, we have to admit that there are still some risks involved despite the ease and convenience of it all. In essence, where money is involved (as with payments), we should all be extra careful in handing out important information such as our credit card and even bank accounts details because these can be stolen and be used for fraud or identity theft by hackers on the web. The good news is, with a VPN, your shopping and security woes can all be taken care of. Here’s how:
Snag the Best Deals and Enjoy the Perks of Protection
As we all know by now, a VPN works as a secure tunnel between your device (i.e. computer) and the websites (i.e. Amazon) for the services (i.e. online shopping) that you use. On the internet, websites can categorize their users according to the physical IP address assigned to them by their ISP; but with a VPN, you can mask your real location as you connect to a secure server from a different area. For example, if shoppers in Canada connect to a VPN location in the UK, these shoppers will be able to browse UK-specific websites for the products or services they need (which may not be available in their current location). Or simply put: Google.com becomes Google.com.uk and Amazon.com becomes Amazon.com.uk, et cetera.
Furthermore, VPNs automatically encrypt whatever network you’re on. So, with a VPN, browsing on a public Wi-Fi (i.e. airport, coffee shops, malls, etc.) makes it secure and safe for you to send out sensitive data and information (i.e. personal information, bank account and credit card details) online without the fear of being monitored, tracked, and recorded by other users within the same network.
Websites can Dictate Prices
Believe it or not, with what little information (i.e. your location) some websites can get from you could potentially affect how you are treated or how much you will be asked to pay. Now, given the fact that some locations are priced higher than the others – a type of price-gouging technique known as “dynamic pricing”, you would like to look for products within their ideal price range without the influence of these biased marketing strategies. And one good way to go about it is through the use of a VPN which lets you connect to a variety of server locations all around the world, and compare the best prices from every region you have access to. Doing so will help you save money and find better deals while also securing your private network.
Find Better Deals Online with a VPN
To achieve this, first, you need to clear your cookies before you begin a new search. Owing to the fact that most websites tap into your online history and activities (through your cookies), you would like to begin your search with a clean slate.
Second, open your VPN app and connect to any VPN server location from a different city, state, or region.
Then, pull up a new browser set in incognito mode or private browsing mode, and check out the specific site that you want to visit or to go shopping. As you look for your stuff, take note of their prices. Once you’re done, close your browser, clear your cookies, connect to another VPN server location, and repeat the process.
You will realize that as you do your browsing from several locations, you’ll get varying prices for the same items that you’re looking for. And before you close a specific deal, be sure to read through the site’s terms of service to know whether or not they’ll allow you to purchase from a virtual location.
Save Money of Flight Bookings and Hotels
Hiding your identity online benefits you in more ways than one, especially when you’re dealing with time-sensitive transactions such as booking a flight, hotel accommodation, and so on. This is particularly important when dealing with airline sites as they depend on cookies to upcharge users with the flights they check often. Therefore, in order to snag the best deal, you need to be thorough in your initial search as much as you can.
First, take note and compare prices from a variety of VPN locations. The key here is to be thorough. You would notice that the flight charges from bigger cities and more commercial areas would charge you higher as compared to the smaller and less commercial ones. As you take note of the prices, be ready to check prices in your currency through the use of an exchange rate calculator to find out which ones are cheaper for you. Also, do take note that taxes aren’t always included, so always look at the total amount before going with a specific listing.
The same thing works for booking with hotels. Besides being thorough, you also need to consider the proximity of your set location to the area where you wish to stay. This is due to the fact that locals get cheaper rates than tourists (for sure!). Also, keep in mind that you shouldn’t book a reservation too far in the future, because based on a study, the lowest hotel room rates are offered between 21 and 28 days of your travel date, so just wait it out a little and snag the best deals at the perfect time.
Make Sure your VPN is Working
As you can tell by now, the whole process of shopping online through a VPN is quite simple. However, the “trick” will only work if your VPN is truly connected to a different server location. To know if you’ve achieved this, an easy way to check is to look at your IP address. Your IP address should attribute the server location to which you are currently connected to, otherwise, you’ll know that your VPN is not working.
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