Since cybercrime is on the rise, many people use VPNs (virtual private networks) for secure browsing and online privacy. A VPN encrypts your internet data and hides your IP address, thus improving your digital well-being. While a VPN may sound like a tool only for tech savvy individuals, it’s easy to use and offers great benefits. Here are some of the uses of a VPN you may never have heard of before.
Securely connecting to public Wi-Fi
While most of us hop on public networks without a second thought, cybersecurity experts warn against it. Threat actors can set up a fake hotspot, trick users into connecting, monitor their online activities, and steal sensitive information.
Let’s say the Wi-Fi name in your local cafe is “Cafe_Verde.” Hackers may set up their own network and call it “Cafe_Verde_WiFi.” Since it’s hard to notice the difference between the two, you connect to the imposter and then learn later that somebody has stolen your passwords and spent £5,000 on your Uber account.
A VPN redirects your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, so wrongdoers can’t see what you do online and steal your information. If you occasionally connect to public Wi-Fi, a VPN is a must.
Fighting targeted advertising
You would be surprised to know how valuable your personal information is. Data brokerage companies collect users’ details, store them in their databases, and then sell them to marketers. Online purchases, the websites you visit, the services you use, and other information about your existence on the internet may end up in a special catalog.
However, it’s not only data brokers you have to be aware of. Search engines, social media platforms, and various services also track your browsing habits and target you with relevant ads.
How can a VPN help? It hides your actual IP address by providing you with an IP that belongs to a VPN provider. This way, it’s much harder to link your browsing activities with your identity and snoop on your private data.
A handful of authoritarian countries are known for internet throttling, censorship, and heavy surveillance. If you happen to live or travel in places like China, Iran, or Russia, you may not be able to access Western media outlets, social networks, or streaming services.
While freedom of speech and basic human rights are taken for granted in the West, millions of people around the world are unable to access unbiased information and freely express themselves.
When you use a VPN on your device, you can connect to a server located in a country with no restrictions and enjoy a free internet. A VPN can unblock sites and services that may be inaccessible in authoritarian countries. Very often it’s the only way for locals to communicate with the outside world. However, restrictive governments are not in favor of VPNs and occasionally try to block them.
Which VPN provider should you choose?
NordVPN, a market-leading VPN, has more than 5,200 servers in 60 countries. The NordVPN app is intuitive, so you don’t need any technical knowledge to hop from one server to another.
NordVPN also has the CyberSec feature, which blocks websites known for hosting malware and annoying ads. More advanced users may take advantage of specialty servers, including Double VPN, Onion Over VPN, P2P, and obfuscated servers.
Since data breaches happen every day, there’s always a chance that your credentials may end up on the dark web. NordVPN has a special feature called the Dark Web Monitor that alerts you when your passwords are leaked online.
With one NordVPN account, you can protect up to six devices: laptops, smartphones, tablets, and more. You can even install the NordVPN app on your router and protect your whole network.