As long as people have been going online to explore the internet, there have been bad folks out there looking to ruin that experience. We have all, at some time or another, probably been hit with some sort of virus. Using antivirus software to combat that issue is now a common practice, with the vast majority of new computers coming with some sort of antivirus suite already installed. Things are a little more different nowadays, though, as an antivirus may not be able to protect you from prying eyes intent on seeing what you are up to online.
It’s not just hackers and identity thieves that we need to be concerned about in that regard, as major corporations and the government also want to know what you are up to from the moment you open your browser. It can all start to feel a little bit invasive, but the good news is that there is a way to keep those prying eyes out of your business. Installing a virtual private network (VPN) on your computer immediately adds a military grade level of privacy to your browsing experience but how does it work?
A VPN works inside of a larger network and encrypts all your date while also concealing your identity. In many cases, you can actually choose a location to display while you surf. You may well be sitting in your office in Atlanta, but make it seem as though you are actually somewhere in the heart of England. As well as being confusing to those looking to track your every move, it also makes it possible for you to access websites and entertainment that are only available to people in a certain part of the world. Want to binge-watch those British TV shows online? Simply set your VPN to show that you are located in the UK.
When you visit a website nowadays, cookies are placed on your PC to make it easier for those sites to recognize you when you return. While the argument is that these cookies help speed up your browsing process on commonly visited sites, there is a reason why you start seeing ads for items you have viewed on a completely different site once you start moving around the internet. Whichever way you slice it, you are looking at an invasion of privacy that can be stopped by simply installing a VPN. According to research from Best VPN, 31% of VPN users make use of a VPN to keep their anonymity online.
Perhaps the biggest threat to your privacy, outside of hackers, are the companies who provide your internet connection, Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) claim that they are not looking at what you do, but they know that there is money to be made from making your browsing history available to third-party sellers. By using a VPN, you can confuse the ISP’s and keep what you do online to yourself, which is exactly how it should be. If you are routinely going online without using a VPN, you are putting your data and privacy at risk.