Online privacy remains a concern in 2018. You might not hear as much about VPNs in the news as you used to, but using a VPN today might be more important than it has ever been. ISPs in the US have been given free reign to sell the private data of users thanks to a rollback of existing regulations by the Trump administration. Identity theft is at an all-time high, and data breaches of large companies are almost a weekly occurrence.
The State of Online Privacy
According to one source, 90% of Internet users are worried about online privacy. What is troublesome is that only about half of those individuals take measures to see if they have suffered theft of their data. The reality is that many people are worried about privacy, but few of them do anything to improve the situation.
Some of the measures that individuals can take to protect themselves are very simple. Using a VPN might be the most simple and most effective of all. A VPN is affordable, easy to use, and reliable. The right VPN will make it very hard for anyone to steal your data, peep your Internet activity, or even determine where you are accessing the Internet. With all that is happening in the world, VPNs are more important than ever.
How a VPN Protects You
There are still some people that may not understand how a VPN really works. Basically, it routes your connection through a third-party server. This creates a secure tunnel between your device and the Internet. Information that is passed through the tunnel, both back and forth, is encrypted with various security protocols. That is a fancy way of saying that your data becomes a hash that is impossible to decipher.
A VPN also resolves the security issue that comes with revealing your physical location. Every Internet-connected device has an IP address. This address is a unique identifier that can associate a geographical location with your device. When you use a VPN the IP address that is used belongs to the VPN provider. It is very possible to sit in the US and appear to be accessing the Internet from Canada, the UK, Germany, or other locations when you use a VPN.
Why do these things matter? Well, encrypted data is important for everyone. It also helps that reputable VPN providers do not retain logs of client browsing activity. That means it will be very difficult for someone to pin down what you are doing when you use the Internet. It’s a fact that some people would prefer their browsing history to remain private.
Changing an IP address is useful for those who find themselves in areas where some content is restricted. The expat is most often subjected to this scenario. While working outside of their country they may not be able to access certain services that they enjoy back home. They may find it difficult to speak with relatives using VoIP, access Facebook, get local news broadcasts, or watch Netflix. With a VPN they can make it seem like they are still in their country of residence.
Privacy Concerns Will Likely Get Worse
It is a distinct possibility that attacks on privacy will only get worse in the coming years. Governments do not like citizens who move about in the shadows of an unrestricted Internet. During his successful 2016 campaign for President of the United States, Donald Trump repeatedly said that he wanted to find a way to exert control over Internet content and access. You might expect that from a country like China, but such censorship is a new thing to the citizens of the US.
All the more reason to secure VPN access now. Some countries have taken measures to restrict access to VPN websites.
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