Let’s face it, everyone is connected to the internet in some way, shape, or form. In today’s society, internet users face a lot of security challenges when accessing the WWW (World Wide Web).
From being tracked by the government or ISPs (Internet Service Provider) to their neighbor stealing their wifi and monitoring their transmitted traffic.
There’s no safe haven on the internet as long as you’re connected! Luckily, there’s a technology called “VPN” (Virtual Private Network) which can help protect your identity, location and data. It’s not the magic answer, but it will help keep you from being an easy target.
First, what’s a VPN?
A VPN is a complex network of computers/servers over the internet. Also, it’s a method used to add another level of security and privacy to a private/public networks (Like at your local coffee shop or when using the internet).
Business on the fly
VPNs are commonly used in business industries because they are a great way to protect sensitive data when employees are teleworking. An example of this would be if an employee was working from home and needed to access sensitive work files on a public internet. They could download and use VPNS client/server software or even applications like Rocket VPN, which is a free app on Google Play and iOS.
VPNs like Rocket VPN, are great for encrypting data, unblocking geographically restricted content, and keeping you anonymous while conducting business on the web. This is why businesses prefer using VPNs on a public network.
Bypassing content filters
The internet should be open and available to all, in a perfect world, but behind the scenes, content filters are actively controlling what a user sees. Content filters can be placed in a number of places including: Schools, offices, or even placed by the government; blocking sites such as YouTube or popular News media channels.
Filters can also block many other digital paths a user may want to take, but they are unable to because of the restrictions. International travelers often become innocent victims of these filters, because they are using IPs from their distant location.
VPNs will be the answer to this issue, because it will allow you to alter how you are “seen” on the internet. Example: If you’re in one of my favorite countries Mexico and connect to a VPN server located in the United States, you would be able to browse websites that only U.S residents will be allowed to access even though you are physically located in Mexico. All traffic will look like its coming from a United States IP.
The only downsides will be an increase in latency because of the additional overhead you are using, additional “hop points”, and sometimes having to use a third party server, but it’s a small price for internet freedom. VPNs are also great for bypassing countries firewalls, like “the great firewall of China” and can work the same in all countries.
Have your data encrypted, increase your security and privacy
VPNs provide security and privacy with the use of encryption. VPNs rely on ‘tunneling’, forming an encrypted connection between the VPN server and the device. By encrypting the data while it travels, it prevents MIM “man-the-middle” attacks. This is a common tactic in which criminals intercept and modify the data packets after putting themselves in the middle of the path.
A few security protocols that are commonly used with VPNs are IPsec, SSH and OpenVPN. There are a few companies that use AES 256-bit encryption and SHA2, authentication along with other proprietary algorithms.
Try downloading any of the preferred VPN’s from the app stores for use.
Featured photo credit: www.petri.com via encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com