If you’re doing any kind of work online (this includes sending files and sensitive data on the web), knowing a couple of cybersecurity essentials will save you from a heap of trouble. VPN, for example, is one of the key elements of your online safety, and there are plenty of reasons why you should use it – especially if you’re a webmaster. Before delving into the technical details, however, a brief introduction is in order.
What is VPN – the basics
VPN is an acronym that stands for Virtual Private Network. By using a VPN, the traffic that would otherwise be sent directly from you to the recipient gets encrypted and transmitted through another server first. This ensures that even if your data were to be intercepted somewhere along the way, reading it would be impossible. Also, your identity would remain protected.
Protect your privacy
Knowing what a VPN is is a good start, but it’s not enough; if you’re planning to use one, further education is necessary. For starters, bear in mind that you’ll need to install special software before being able to use it. Taking the steps needed to do so, however, pays off in spades when it comes to protecting your privacy. In fact, not even your ISP (internet service provider) will be able to see what you’re doing online.
Conceal your online identity
When browsing the web, everyone is assigned a special number that’s used to identify them. This is known as your IP address. Any website or server that you connect to can see this number and identify you that way. If you’re behind a VPN, however, the VPN server’s IP address will be revealed, not yours. In other words, by using a VPN, you can conceal your online identity and prevent other people from tracking your activity on the web.
Encrypt your sensitive data
Unless you’re visiting a website that employs an HTTPS protocol, the communication between you and the server is unencrypted. If someone were to try and snoop on the packets of data that you exchange with it, with enough technical knowledge, there is little that would stand in their way. Unfortunately, the regular HTTP protocol is still widely used today, even though Google is pushing webmasters towards upgrading to HTTPS. This means that, without a VPN, the data you transmit is not secure. With it, however, you don’t have to worry about a thing, even if you’re browsing a website that uses the HTTP protocol.
Protect your WordPress website
Every WordPress user knows how comfortable it is to edit posts or come up with answers to the comments while sitting in a coffee shop. However, there is one little problem – since these often offer unsecured public Wi-Fi networks you can connect to, anyone can intercept the data you send through them. Just by inputting your login credentials, they could get in the open, thus endangering the safety of your website. Yes, public Wi-Fi networks are convenient, but if you’re risking your online security by connecting to them, is the risk truly worth taking? Well, if you’re using a VPN, this is a non-concern, since any data that might get intercepted in such a manner would be encrypted anyway.
Using a VPN is completely legal
When talking about hiding your identity, it’s natural to think of something shady or ill-conceived. While cybercriminals have been known to hide their true identity behind one, there are a plethora of reasons why a legitimate user might want to be using a VPN, the most important of which we’ve covered today. While certain countries restrict you from using a VPN, most of the developed world has absolutely nothing against it, so there is no reason to fear. Still, you have a moral responsibility to behave in an ethical manner, even though you may be using external tools to protect your true identity. Always use your best judgment and respect the law at all times.
VPN is a lot less expensive than you might think
All of the benefits we’ve mentioned would probably have you thinking that having to spend a fortune on a VPN is an absolute necessity. Well, given the fact that top-notch VPN solutions start at $3 per month, money can hardly be an obstacle, especially when you consider all the benefits you get when using it.