Even with GDPR tightening the reins on personal data collecting and processing, you still have to ask yourself how much of your personal life is transmitted over the internet almost passively. If you want to take your online privacy to the next level, you should consider using a virtual private network (VPN), which gives you extra control over how you can be identified on the web.

What is a VPN?

In a nutshell, a VPN is used to create a virtual encrypted tunnel between you / your computer and a remote server that is operated by the VPN service of your choosing. This means that all traffic is routed through the tunnel, meaning that your data is quite secure from any potential prying eyes. An added benefit is that your IP address will be that of the VPN server rather than your personal IP, thus giving you an extra level of identity masking.

When you are connecting to the VPN server, your data will reach the server and then exit out to the public internet. If your target website utilises HTTPS, your connection will still be secure; but even if your connection was intercepted, it would be very difficult for anyone to trace the data back to your computer, since it would appear as though the connection is coming directly from the VPN server rather than your computer.

Let’s take a look at some real examples of where a VPN shines. For example, you connect to a public Wi-Fi in a coffee shop, something that is often done without a second thought. But when you think about it, do you even know who might be watching what goes on and what traffic travels on that network? Do you even know if the Wi-Fi connection is legitimate? You could be transmitting all kinds of private and sensitive data without even knowing it.

However, let’s say you connect to that same public Wi-Fi connection via a VPN. You can have peace of mind that no matter what, nobody on the network can intercept your data and snoop around for your personal data. It’s vital to remember that it’s difficult to recognise whether a Wi-Fi connection is how it seems – just because, for example, the connection is called Starbucks-Free-Wi-Fi, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not a potential data thief laying a trap.

What a VPN Won’t Do

As powerful as a VPN is, it still has a limit to how it can protect your privacy and identity online. Plenty of web services use cookies to keep track of your internet usage, even after you’ve left the website (Amazon, Facebook, and Google for example). It’s important to note that most VPN services are still profit organisations that are vulnerable to subpoenas and warrants if it ever came down to it. Therefore it’s vital to read the privacy policy for the VPN service you are considering, and to find out where the company itself is headquartered. NordVPN, for example, is based in Panama, and is therefore not subject to any laws that would require it to retain user data.

Choosing The Right VPN Service

At Spectrum Networks Solutions, we have the experience and the contacts to give you the best possible security and peace-of-mind when you are browsing the web. Free VPN services are often too good to be true and you may even want to consider an encrypted router as an alternative. Whichever your choice, we can advise and guide you to what best suits your business, the data you handle and your general online usage.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

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