The Internet; both a boon and a curse for the human race. Just a couple of decades ago the World Wide Web was born but is now often deemed a basic necessity of life just like food and water.
We now live in a digital world and connect with others through social media or network sites. As a result, many may not feel the need to take measures for their online privacy when the Internet just seems like a big online party with friends.
After all, you are a law-abiding citizen so you have nothing to hide, right?
Well, not exactly. While you may believe that you are minding your own business on the interwebs, others may not play as nice as you.
This is where a VPN like BolehVPN comes in. A VPN will help you protect and hide your real network identity and encrypt your online traffic to make your communications harder to be intercepted.
In any case, here are our five examples of the times you were probably surfing the Internet without a VPN when you should have been.
1) CONNECT TO PUBLIC WIFI
One of the biggest “No-No’s” is to connect to a public Wifi without a VPN.
We understand that for anyone constantly on-the-go, a free Wifi connection in an airport or coffee shop seems like a God-send when travelling outside your home country. However, one must remember that when you are connecting to a public Wifi, all the information you are transmitting is available to everybody else on the network.
Hackers can easily set up a fake Wifi hotspot with a misleading name which seems legit to trap you into mistaking it for your local Starbucks (eg. “StarbucksCo”/ “StarbucksCoffee”). That way, upon connecting to the fake Wifi, they are able to hack into your computer without your knowledge.
A VPN helps with this problem by encrypting your Internet connection so that your traffic would just look like jumbled data to anyone snooping.
2) ONLINE BANKING
One wrong click while online banking could present a whole bigger problem if you are not careful. So yes, relating back to the previous Point #1, never do your online banking on an unencrypted connection of a public network!
Connecting via a VPN helps to keep your Internet and online banking activities private, even if you choose to do your online banking on your mobile.
A VPN is also useful when you are performing your online banking from overseas. For example, if you wished to order something from an Ecommerce site in a foreign country, you could be blocked or marked for fraud when the company sees that you are conducting your online banking from an out of the ordinary location.
What you need is an IP address from your home country, something that a VPN offers to you whenever you connect using one of their servers from all over the world.
3) DOWNLOADING CONTENT
If you are living in a country where the regulations are strict on downloading online content via torrents, you would already know the significance of a VPN.
And even if you were downloading content in a country with more lax rules on torrenting, it is still important to safeguard your privacy while downloading/uploading files if you do not wish to be served a notice for accidentally accessing files that were illegally shared.
This is where a VPN comes in to help you mask your IP address (your true online identity) and encrypt your traffic so that anyone who is monitoring for illegal downloads or activity will only be able to see this encrypted data.
(Note: BolehVPN does not condone to piracy, nor do we make any definite guarantees that you would not get into trouble after following this advice, but we do support anonymity, so if you plan to stay secure, the best way is to stay informed on tips on how to do so).
4) RESEARCH WORK
To begin with, VPNs came about because of the need for a company’s private intranet where employees would be able to access files, services and applications for work.
A VPN can be a lifesaver for anyone in journalism who may need to report on sensitive content for work from a foreign location. Or say if you were looking to conduct some stealthy market research on your company’s competitors without your IP address constantly logged on their website, a VPN will help turn you into the best market research ninja out there.
5) GOOGLE THINGS YOU RATHER KEPT PRIVATE
Photo: The Sun
Are you an Internet user who would much rather keep your Google searches about that “funny rash that doesn’t seem to go away” private? (And we know you guys Google a whole lot of weird things)
Then, congratulations! You qualified yourself under the category of those who need a VPN!
You probably know that your online activity on most websites such as Google or Facebook are actively monitoring your browsing habits so that they can sell it to third-parties.
Make it harder for companies to trace all these data back to you when you reclaim your given rights to your own privacy and security online. After all, nobody likes to be a product for advertising agencies to bombard you with targeted ads so you should be given the right to keep your private browsing that way; PRIVATE.