Using a VPN for online privacy is one of the most cited reasons for buying VPN service. A close look at recent trends does reveal that preserving anonymity online is becoming increasingly important, especially for those who browse political or adult-themed websites. Before we explain how a VPN relates to your online privacy, it seems like a good idea to present a few cautionary tales.
Online privacy horror stories
Let’s begin with the obvious. Whenever you are using an unsecured Internet connection, there is always the potential that your personal data is being exposed to dangerous individuals. Sometimes the results can be merely annoying, at other times tragic. A recent article by NBC news revealed how there are now forums where personal datum—names, addresses, social security and credit card numbers—is traded like “options on the Chicago Board of Trade for as little as $1 a piece.” While this kind of security breach can be troublesome, some breaches can be deadly.
20 year-old Amy Boyer of New Hampshire was stalked and killed on October 15, 1999 by a man who had purchased her personal data online for $45. Similar stories appear often in the news. While we cannot make a blanket claim that all of these tragedies could have been prevented by the use of a VPN, we can factually state that your Internet security is vastly improved when you take advantage of an encrypted connection.
In January of 2014, the Daily Mail of the UK reported the story of Adam Garibay. Garibay was a Border Patrol Agent in Corpus Christi, Texas. He assaulted his wife and then killed Keith Martin after discovering that his wife and Martin were having an affair. Garibay learned of the affair by spying on his wife’s Internet activities.
There are also numerous people who are imprisoned each year, far too many for us to list, for viewing websites that are prohibited in the countries where they reside or work. This often happens with political websites that are considered subversive, or with adult websites that violate the religious standards of a specific area such as the Arab region.
Who is watching you right now?
Did you know that someone is likely observing your Internet activities at this very moment? That someone is probably your ISP.
ISP’s, or Internet Service Providers, are the companies that provide Internet access. As a matter of course, most ISP’s log the activity of their customers. When you visit a website your IP address is revealed, and it is a simple matter for anyone with the ability to do so to examine the ISP logs and conclusively prove that you visited a site. Other items, such as your Internet searches, can also be monitored and logged.
Sometimes this information is used for noble purposes, such as helping police solve crimes. You may recall that prosecutors of Casey Anthony attempted to tie her to the murder of her daughter, Caylee, by revealing that someone in the home had searched Google for information on how to suffocate someone and also how to make chloroform. We certainly don’t support anyone who is trying to use the Internet to commit crimes. The problem is that the same technology that is used to catch criminals can also be used to invade the privacy of the individual who is exercising their legal right to look at a porn website or read a political blog.
A VPN increases privacy
Using a VPN for online privacy works, for several reasons. The first is that VPNaccounts.com does not log the Internet traffic of its customers. Even if someone were to try and demand the release of user’s data, there would be nothing of value to release. When you use one of our VPN’s to browse the Internet, your IP address essentially becomes invisible. The IP address of the VPN is the only one revealed. So, even if a specific site like Google is tracking IP addresses they will only be able to trace the address back to the VPN server, not your local machine.
The other reason a VPN is effective for privacy is that the data you send through your VPN connection is encrypted and cannot be read. That means that hackers and data thieves will find it nigh impossible to see the data you are transmitting.
The thing about Internet privacy is that no one really thinks too much about it until their own privacy has been violated. What we suggest to our website visitors is to take a proactive approach to Internet security and put measures in place to prevent a breach from happening in the first place. Remember the old proverb. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That saying applies to the Internet. It is a lot easier to preserve your privacy with a VPN than it is to clean up a mess afterwards.