Isn’t it extremely convenient to update status, shop, post photos and bank online? You do not have to physically go to the store, the bank or even travel a certain distance to catch up with friends and family.
The only drawback of doing things online is that your information is travelling, via the Internet. If you thought that the information is only between you and the website that you are using, you are wrong. The data collected from you is actually bouncing through servers around the country or maybe around the world giving hackers the chance to steal your information. If they happen to get your data in transit, they might be able to gain knowledge about you that they should not know, your password or may even pretend to be you in order to trick your bank or such other security sites.
Hacking becomes especially easy when you are using public Wi-Fi. Hackers using the same network have a number of tools to know what you are doing. Not just hackers, even your internet service provider and government can also monitor your connection to find out where you are going and if they want, what you are doing.
Any shopping, finance or medical website that is even a little concerned about security is going to provide with a connection that is encrypted. The encryption helps to scramble your traffic so that hackers are not able to get a hold of your passwords or any other information.
How will you understand if a website is encrypted? If the web address in your browser starts with https://, it is an encrypted site.
Websites like, Google, Facebook and other such major sites have also adopted always-on encryption. However, every website is not going to provide you with any encryption or they might only provide you with partial encryption.
Partial encryption means that the site may not be encrypted until you log in or they only encrypt your login details and leave details, such as email messages exposed for hackers to snoop.
Lucky for you, a lot of sites are now moving towards full-time encryption.
However, you do not have to wait for sites to provide you with a level of security. You can encrypt your connection yourself. How? Read on…
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
You can use VPN to encrypt your connection. In the world of business, VPNs allows employees who work remotely create a connection with the network of the company so that they are able to safely work.
Macs and Windows have in-built VPN features. However, a thirty-party VPN service is best for travelers and average home-users. With this service, you will be able to create an encrypted connection with one the servers and you can use that server to browse the web. Even VPN will not be able to see your traffic.
To start with, you have to ensure that the VPN service has US-based servers. Also know the bandwidth that you can use and find out if they keep logs of your activity. Paid services are going to need you to provide personal, as well as, payment information.
For Android gadgets, PCs and Macs, CyberGhost is a preferred free option that offers unlimited bandwidth, strong encryption and does not store logs. If you want to go for a paid plan, there is an Apple app.
For Android and Apple gadgets, Hotspot Shield VPN with more than three hundred million downloads is a popular free application.
How to use VPN?
After installing VPN, fire it up and allow it to establish a safe connection. You can then continue browsing the Internet normally. The traffic is going to flow to your tablet, computer or any other device, via a VPN server and encrypted connection.
The encrypted websites is going to be safe from hackers and other prying eyes.
Please note that when you are searching for VPNs, you will come across two terms – proxy services and VPN services. Always choose VPN services because a proxy service will not encrypt the connection, only disguise the identity of your computer.
When you are using public Wi-Fi, it is strongly recommended that you use a VPN for your security. However, it is highly recommended that you save all your online banking activities for your cellular connection or home.
Have you used VPN services before? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.