The internet is one of the greatest, most important creations in modern history. It enables people from all corners of the world to access, publish and share information at the click of a mouse’s button. Laptops, PCs, smartphones, tablets: most people own at least one of these things. And pretty much everyone has some sort of an online presence; whether they maintain it or are proud of it or not. But the internet’s way of making life much easier—what with mobile banking, online shopping, and social media—comes at a cost.
There are too many individuals and organizations out there who have a vested interest in what you’re up to online, whether what they’re up to is considered illegal or not. That being said, there are a number of common usages that are prone to either government or hacker monitoring – all of which can be made safer with a VPN.
Using Public Wi-Fi
It’s easy to burn through the data plan on your phone, which makes it tough to resist connecting to public networks. Hotels, trains, airports, fast-food restaurants, coffee shops – there’s a ton of different places to use free WiFi these days. But these networks come without any form of protection so using them is often risky.
Unencrypted networks leave plenty of room for things like MitM attacks, malware breaches and having your activity exposed. Personal information like logins and account details can also be stolen too. Using a VPN will add the encryption you need to keep snoopers out of your business.
Cybercriminals are renowned for targeting people using online banking. They set up snares that capture your sensitive information to get access to your account; whether that’s to drain it, or to make purchases. But, sometimes, the most minor details are all they need, as many will attempt to impersonate you over a phone call. This is the same for your phone service provider too.
With a VPN, you’re much less likely to be exposed to things like identity theft, blackmail, or any form of unauthorized access to your accounts.
Visiting the Dark Web
The dark web is the internet’s seedy underbelly. All things from stolen credit card details to various drugs can be purchased on there. Naturally there are agencies across the world monitoring this space, and while it isn’t illegal to use the deep web in most places, using nefarious services from the dark web always is.
You’re open to a number of threats when accessing the dark web, and not just criminal charges. Without a VPN, you’re at risk of being hacked, exposed to phishing techniques, as well as invasive adware and malware. It’s also a possibility that you may end up having your location tracked and compromised; which is a problem for everyone.
Researching Stuff for Your Eyes Only
We’ve all done a whole lot of Google searches. Some might be harmless, others private or even assumed offensive. Researching nefarious and illegal activity can seem unusual when pulled out of context, but the reasons for it can be totally innocent. Browsing online—whatever your reason—should always be protected. But if you don’t want anyone snooping on what you like to browse or research in your spare time, a VPN is your best bet.
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