Here at Dave’s Computers, we often advocate using a VPN service whenever you go online. To us it’s a no-brainer and something we do automatically. We were asked the other day by a customer in our New Jersey computer store just why we were so in favor of them. That prompted this post. If one customer wasn’t sure why they should use a VPN, other people will be unsure too.
The way I see it, there are five important reasons you should always use a VPN when online.
Protect your privacy
Every time you connect to the internet, your every move is tracked, analyzed and monetized. Now ISPs can collect and sell your data as they see fit, your every move is watched. Not necessarily in a big brother way but to find out your habits, what websites you visit, what you buy, how you vote and all kinds of data. A VPN protects you from all that.
Privacy also goes further. Hackers, the government, Facebook and all kinds of companies are interested in what you do online. VPNs help prevent the majority of them finding out.
Protect your device
If you use public WiFi or other networks you don’t control, using a VPN is essential. Coffee shops, airports, railway stations and all kinds of public places offer free WiFi. Not all of these networks are secure and some are actively used by hackers to fool you into connecting so they can download malware onto your device.
A VPN tunnel is encrypted so even if you connect to an infected network, the hacker will not be able to see, or interfere with what you’re doing.
Bypass geographical restrictions
Geoblocking is an unfortunate situation that restricts what you can see online. While not such an issue here in the US, other countries in the world suffer censorship or controls over what you can see while online. Whether that’s for political, religious or business reasons, a lot of online content is not accessible to all. A VPN can overcome that by bypassing content restrictions.
From Netflix and Hulu to religious or political texts. Different types of content is blocked in different parts of the world. A VPN can work around it.
Avoid being traced
A VPN secures all your internet traffic inside an encrypted tunnel. That means nobody can see what you’re doing and you can appear in a location other than where you actually are. This is useful if you’re a journalist, researcher or someone interested in knowledge the government or big business regards as dangerous.
It isn’t an excuse to look up bomb recipes online but is a safeguard if you’re researching a paper or story about something that could be risky.
Privacy is your right
There is enough surveillance in the world as it is. New Yorkers cannot go anywhere without being caught on camera, watched, followed by advertisers or cell networks or tracked by Facebook or their ISP. A VPN tunnel does away with some of that surveillance. Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, your life is not for sale and companies should not be allowed to make money off of you without your permission, or at least giving you a share of the profit!
If you’re interested in a VPN or network security, Dave’s Computers in New Jersey can help. Visit our store to discuss your needs!