Using public Wi-Fi while surfing the web can be quite risky. If a nefarious character gets hold of your password, they can spy on your online activity. The thought that someone may be onto what you are doing online is unsettling.
Even if you are simply researching your coursework, you do not want some stranger eavesdropping on you. One way of ensuring privacy while online is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPNs hide your online activity. They redirect your sent or received data via a secure channel running from your PC to the VPN server. However, some web users worry that the VPNs may not be as safe as they are led to believe.
Do VPNs conceal your online activity and location? Can they track your data? Not if you choose a secure VPN and you are allowed to test the VPN without obligation.
What Makes a VPN Safe?
VPNs encrypt your information and protect your online activity from online thugs. Moreover, they even shelter your online activity from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The safest VPN is one that:
- Is candid about privacy policies
- Does not keep your browsing history records
- Strive to fix leaks
When you are connected to a VPN, the IP address lookup returns the VPN server’s location. Note that even when you go incognito, content saved on your hard drive may still be visible to people. That is, they can view it later. Also, remove any sites you may have saved when you were in incognito mode.
While your location may still be visible to the sites you visit, a VPN can help you alter your address. VPNs allow users to seem like they are browsing from a different location. You may be in one country but look like you are logged in in another.
Without a VPN, in-built Google Location Services in your Chrome browser can access the following:
- Your IP address
- Wi-Fi routers close to you
- The strength of your Wi-Fi connection
How A VPN Works
Your PC or device is connected to the VPN provider’s servers. So, your internet traffic is routed via the VPN internet connection. Your online activity is therefore shielded from your Internet Service Provider as well as the websites you visit.
If they look up your IP address, they will find the one that your VPN uses. You are, therefore, relatively safe from scrutiny as you surf the net. Your ISP and others cannot easily keep tabs on your internet activity.
People have been increasingly concerned about privacy while surfing the internet. There have been discussions on social media platforms about Uncle Tom or Big Brother watching your every online move.
VPNs come in handy as they keep you safe from cyber snoopers. However, they also enable users to access web pages that have been restricted without revealing their identities or locations.
There is no more neutrality online and IPSs are allowed to access your browsing history and sell it. Your ISP can also interfere with your internet connection and prevent you from accessing files. A VPN is the solution as they cannot touch what they cannot see.
Creating A Safe VPN
There are free and paid VPNs. The first thing you need to consider when considering a VPN is the cost. While you may be tempted to take the free option, consider the ramifications. To begin with, the service provider runs up costs running and maintaining the service.
Free services mean they may sell your data to third parties. Therefore, a better option would be a paid VPN. Then you can be assured of your online privacy. Many providers offer monthly charges with the option to pay an annual fee.
You want a VPN that will not leak your IP address or keep records of your browsing history. The service is meant to either conceal or disguise your IP address. Also, it should not leave traces of your online activity.
Also, the best VPN contains a kill switch which allows your server to quit preselected programs if your connection drops. This prevents data from delicate programs from leaking.
Ensure your VPN comes with Multifactor authentication. This feature demands that you prove identity before signing in to your VPN account.
A VPN helps to enhance your anonymity when you are online. It prevents others, including the government, from spying on your online activity. To have better chances of getting a safe VPN, it is best to go for the paid option. Also, ensure they have a handy safety feature before you sign on.