This year I am determined to shed light on VPNs or Virtual Private Networks for my family and friends. Because not everyone knows what they are and what they do exactly or if they are even necessary as a security tool.
According to Nord VPN a trusted provider of VPNs they explain what it is in clear terms:
“Typically, when you try to access a website on the internet, you start by connecting to your internet service provider (ISP). They redirect you to any websites (or other online resources) that you wish to visit. All your internet traffic passes through your ISP’s servers, which means they can see and log everything you do online. They may even hand your browsing history over to advertisers, government agencies, and other third parties.
Here’s where a VPN comes into play. It redirects your internet traffic through a specially configured remote server. This way, the VPN hides your IP address and encrypts all the data you send or receive. The encrypted data looks like gibberish to anyone who intercepts it — it is impossible to read.” (source NordVPN.com)
So what does a VPN look like? Well imagine a tunnel and that all the data you send and receive is being sent through a tunnel however when its encrypted as in when you use a VPN your data is actually more secure and less available for hackers to access.
Should I use public WIFI? Sure, go ahead but make sure your VPN is turned on as this can protect you, should you be doing any online banking while out and about. This way your data and your IP address is effectively hidden from prying eyes.
If I travel alot do I need a VPN? Probably as it can help you in accessing content abroad.
If i want to shop online should I use a VPN? Your VPN can protect your data from hackers so its always a good idea when entering credit card information to have a VPN turned on.
In short, a VPN lends you a global IP address and hides your true IP address from every website or email you connect with. Your real IP address is a behind-the-scenes number your Internet provider assigns your computer that allows you to go anywhere on the Internet. It’s something similar to the house number on your home.
We just love this easy and short clear video that explains what a VPN is by the BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-35328636/technology-explained-what-is-a-vpn-service
So now you know what a VPN is its time to start your New Year off right and help your family and friends to become more cybersecurity savvy this year.