It used to be the case that only businesses used virtual private networks (VPNs) to connect securely to the internet and keep their private data safe. But these days, with the rapid growth of online threats and privacy concerns, even the casual internet user should seriously consider using a VPN.
If you are not familiar with this technology, a VPN essentially allows you to send and receive data across a public network as if it were a private network that encrypts, or scrambles, your information so others cannot read it. Let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons why this technology could come in handy for you.
- You work remotely—If you like to take your laptop or mobile device to the library or cafe, you probably connect through public Wi-Fi. The problem is that many free, public Wi-Fi networks are not secured. This means that a hacker could easily intercept the information you send over the public network, including your passwords and banking information. But, if you use a personal VPN you can connect securely any time you are away from home.
- You want full access to the internet when travelling—Another advantage of a VPN is that it allows you to connect the sites you normally use, even while travelling. Some websites, such as video streaming sites, are not available in foreign locations. But, by using a VPN you can still access content by connecting through proxy servers. These are servers in other locations that can make requests on your behalf.So, even if you are out of the country, you can connect to a proxy server in the U.S., for example, and it will look as though the request is coming from a local server, allowing you to access the service.
- You take your privacy seriously— Although you may feel like what you do on the internet is private, by now we know that this is just not the case. Internet service providers (ISPs) often track and store information about what we do online, as do the websites we visit. This is how they serve up targeted ads and make money when we click on them. (They track us by identifying the unique number assigned to your device, called an Internet Protocol address.) But, when you use a VPN your traffic is routed through different Internet Protocol addresses, making you anonymous.In addition to online marketers and ISPs, hackers can also eavesdrop on your online activities if you are not on a secure network. That’s why it’s important to use a VPN when connecting through public Wi-Fi.
What to look for in a VPN:
Now that you know why having a personal VPN is so useful, here are a few tips to help you choose the right product for you:
- Ease of use—You want secure technology, without having to be a tech whiz to use it. That’s why you should look for a product that is easy to implement, like the McAfee Safe Connect VPN app, which allows you to easily and securely connect, ensuring that your passwords and data stay private when using public networks.
- Robust security—Look for a VPN with bank-grade encryption. This way no one can read or access the private information you send over the network.
- Access to virtual locations—With this feature you can gain full access to the Internet, and browse anonymously.
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