Along with the rapid increase of internet usage and development comes the same increase of internet fraud and corruption. Internet use statistics from 2019 show that around 4.1 billion people currently use the internet, which is more that half of our world population. (J, 2020) With in person interactions being prevented by the current global pandemic, the need for internet usage to video call, shop and even work remotely has hugely increased.
However, the more time we spend on the internet, the more we risk privacy violations and fraud on the internet. To prevent being completely defenseless to cyberthieves, viruses and various malware, we can invest in VPN (Virtual Private Network).
However, most people do not fully understand the benefits to hiding your IP address and using VPN. Here are some benefits to using VPN:
- Securing your IP address and location
VPN is a service that provides online privacy and anonymity. VPN achieves this by masking your IP (internet protocol) address. Your IP address allows anyone who captures it to access your search history, and your location. VPN encrypts your information being sent out and received while on Wi-Fi. This also prevents any collection of your search history and online data.
Securing your IP address can also prevent you from being tracked. Almost all websites you view on the internet will have a history on all the IP addresses that have viewed them. Your internet/service provider and your web browser will have your search history and any information tied to your IP address. Some search browsers take advantage of this by selling the information they collect.
This can easily be prevented by using VPN. For example, if you have recently been searching up information for a new house, you will start getting targeted ads about housing. So, the house websites will know your interest in a house and could start displaying ads and house options that are more expensive. VPN masks your IP address by projecting a fake IP in place of your own, leaving you virtually untraceable. Using VPN will easily prevent this and protect your information and location.
- Protects your devices
Tech devices such as computers, smart phones, tablets and more are often targeted by cybercriminals. Every time you access the internet you are at risk due to your IP address being publicized, especially if you are using a public Wi-Fi network. Using VPN is the same as turning off location services from apps, protecting your devices.
3. Protection against identity theft
Identity theft is when your personal identification information is stolen to access and impersonate you. Opening new accounts, renting or buying property, or even accessing your insurance are all ways cyber thieves can use your identity.
By using VPN you are protecting your devices and internet information as your phone information also becomes encrypted. VPN also protects the information shared across the networks you visit. If a device in your home happens to get a virus, it can easily spread to all the devices on that internet network.
While VPN doesn’t protect you from all types of identity theft, it safeguards the information you send and receive on your devices.
3. Access region-blocked services
*We do not encourage travelling during the global pandemic*
When travelling, you may have noticed that there are many websites and online services that are not accessible or censored out of your own county. VPN can give you access to your geo-blocked content. VPN changes your IP address to be encrypted. Hence, your internet provider will not be able to locate the region you are browsing from.
*Always check the countries laws and the terms of service of the internet browsers as some do have penalties for using VPN. It is blocked by some countries and websites.*