Online privacy is of serious concern to many users of the internet. In today’s age, the public should be wary of hackers, spy agencies and governments trying to tap into users online activities in order to monitor their sessions or steal their information. With the increased focus on information security and narrative control by many governments seeking to maintain a grip on power, now more than ever has rights to privacy been under threat. One of the best ways to maintain a confidential presence online is to use a Virtual Private Network.
Virtual Private Networks, often referred to by their acronym, VPNs, are network protocols that allow you to secure your connection over the internet to another network. They are good for encrypting your online presence when using public networks. They prevent curious eyes from virtually monitoring your activities. They have the added benefit of allowing you to access region-restricted sites. Basically, VPNs create a secure, protected and encrypted access point to another network from the network you are currently utilizing. Consequently, VPN’s are a very popular tool in authoritarian societies where they allow tech-savvy users to sidestep content filters, censors, and internal surveillance in places like the People’s Republic of China, Iran and Cuba.
Traditionally, most devices have been manufactured with built in VPN systems, however, more recent products that are marketed in both the West and in China no longer contain these services because of pressure by the Communist Party of China and the desire by manufacturers to participate in one of the world’s most important economies.
If you are interested in using a VPN, which I would highly encourage if you are traveling internationally or are using public-access networks and wifi hotspots, there is a range of apps and websites that provide VPN services. Each service is unique in it’s setup and activation, so I cannot give a standard method of connecting through a VPN, but I highly encourage users who are concerned about their online privacy to use a VPN service since it provides security and anonymity on the internet which is always a positive step in protecting yourself from hackers and government interference. Windows 10 also has a built in VPN setup that is decently effective as well, but personally I think it’s a bit more complicated and less effective than a paid VPN service.
As I mentioned in a recent post, you must always be vigilant and proactive in your system security. Thankfully, VPN’s provide a further tool for you to protect and secure your system and your sensitive information from would-be malcontents.