Hardly a day goes by without news breaking about a new online scam, a security breach, a government or company’s digital platforms being taken hostage, or other major hack. Hackers and scammers around the world are utilizing the full potential of the internet to target vulnerable companies, websites and people in order to collect massive amounts of personal information and financial data.
You may think that you have never been scammed and your information has never been leaked. However, leaks and hacks are happening continually and no matter how careful you are, it is possible that one of the websites or services you use has been hacked. You can check here to see if your information and data has been exposed in a data breach or hack; you might be surprised by the results.
So, what can you do to better protect yourself and your information online? A virtual private network — better known as a “VPN” — is one way to provide yourself with improved protection and boosted defenses while online.
What is a VPN and how do they protect you
VPNs extend a private network across a public network. In doing so, it allows VPN users to send data and receive data on public and shared networks as if they were directly connected to a private network.
Although this may not seem like a significant change at first, VPNs actually do provide much more security than using wifi and public networks. VPNs allow users to browse the internet in privacy, masking their actual location from everyone else, including government agencies, hackers, marketing companies and other users.
Many people also find VPNs useful when it comes to consuming media. Depending on the country in which you live, you may not be able to use certain media platforms. For example, a person living in Canada would not be able to register for and watch films on the British Film Institute’s streaming platform without a VPN. The same applies for individuals who live in a location where they cannot access a specific social media platform.
The most popular VPN protocols in this sector right now are PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, SSTP, IKEv2, WireGuard and SoftEther; however, there are many smaller players competing in this market as well.
Online gambling and digital safety
Online gambling is a perfect test case to use when discussing the importance of VPNs. Online casinos and digital gambling apps and platforms have exploded in popularity over the course of the last decade.
Gambling online involves sharing personal and financial information, as the platforms require that users deposit and collect money from their gambling accounts. This means that online gambling platforms could be targeted by hackers looking to steal information from users.
The good news is that many of the best gambling platforms have invested heavily in their online security and digital defenses, thereby providing gamblers with a fun way to enjoy the best casino games while also giving them a safe and secure way to play.
When you gamble, you can always use a VPN in order to take your digital safety to the next level. The VPN will mask your location and provide a second layer of defense — thus allowing you to focus on the games you are playing, rather than worrying about the safety of your sensitive information. Some users may also use VPNs in order to access gambling platforms while living in areas where gambling is restricted, but this is not a legal practice.
Other ways to protect yourself online
You can never be too careful online when it comes to your personal and financial information. There are a number of things you can do in addition to connecting to a VPN to better protect yourself.
One of the best things you can do is to craft good quality passwords that are difficult to crack. Two-step verification is another great way to protect your passwords, as this type of verification forces you to simultaneously verify a login on more than one device — something a hacker is unlikely to be able to do.
You should also educate yourself about the latest hacking styles and attempts, and practice vigilance and skepticism while online. Hackers, scammers and other bad-faith actors are constantly coming up with new phishing and hacking techniques, so it is worth taking the time to learn more about what online phishing and scamming attempts look like.
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I have used a VPN for a while now. I not only feel more secure using the internet, it has stopped the scam calls, and emails about my server being hacked.
One hacker was calling every 30 minutes for days. They used a digitally generated voice to claim they were from Microsoft, and my ISP server had been hacked worldwide. Really? ATT was hacked worldwide and it never made the news? I had to unplug my landline for 2 days to stop it.
Len Penzo says
Wow. That would be annoying, Bill. I’ve been thinking about getting a VPN for awhile … I just haven’t pulled the trigger yet.