In the wake of several online data breaches worldwide, concern about individual cybersecurity is growing. With the Internet filled with various kinds of ransomware, spyware, and viruses, how can you stay secure under these constant threats?
The one cybersecurity tool that comes to mind is VPN. Here’s what you must know about VPNs’ role in protecting you against cybercriminals and hackers.
Wondering what’s VPN? It stands for virtual private network, a service that safeguards the privacy, Internet connection, and security of individuals using the World Wide Web for personal or business purposes.
VPN protects online privacy and security by creating an end-to-end encrypted digital tunnel between the computer/device and the Internet. It also protects online identity by hiding IP addresses.
Let it be known that VPN is not almighty. It cannot stop you from downloading and installing malicious software on your device that will give hackers access to your information and confidential data. Also, it cannot stop you from clicking on malicious links or visiting websites that can steal your data.
What VPN actually does is protects users from the techniques used by cybercriminals and hackers to gain your information. The hacking attacks that VPN can keep you safe from are given below:
- DDoS attacks
DDoS attacks involve someone sending massive amounts of empty data so that the service becomes overloaded and crashes. Cyber attackers do this to make the connection unusable. To do this, hackers need to access your IP address. This is where VPNs come to the rescue. They mask IP addresses so hackers cannot get their hands on this information.
- Remote hacking
Remote hacking involves ransacking the logs of a website to get the IP address of anyone who has visited the site. If hackers find your IP address, they can easily break into the network and cause chaos.
Since VPNs encompass the online connection of users with strong encryptions, they prevent hacking.
- Man-in-the-Middle attacks
Man-in-the-Middle attacks are common on public Wi-Fi networks. This happens when cyber attackers get in the middle of a conversation between the user and a website or an application to intercept data.
Then, hackers can get information passed between two parties, like purchase transactions and account logins. Sometimes, these attacks may result in identity theft.
VPNs encrypt the Internet activity and ensure that hackers cannot see your browsing activity. And hackers cannot launch an attack if they cannot intercept data between two parties.
- Fake Wi-Fi connections
When you are working remotely, connecting to free public Wi-Fi can be convenient. But free Wi-Fi comes with its share of risks.
Sometimes, hackers set up fake hotspots to lure people. These Wi-Fi networks pose as legitimate as they seem to belong to a business like a restaurant, cafe, or train station. Hackers give these Wi-Fi hotspots a convincing name, but when people connect, they view and steal all the data passing through the network.
Thanks to VPN, your data will be encrypted before it leaves your device. As a result, hackers will be unable to see your personal data.
- Cookie theft
Session hijacking or cookie theft is a common risk when using public Wi-Fi. Here, hackers take over one’s session to get their session ID. Then, hackers impersonate the user on the network service. For example, this might happen when you are purchasing a product or service online.
You can use a VPN to encrypt your data before connecting to random public Wi-Fi hotspots.
VPNs make it impossible for hackers to track you because they redirect the Internet traffic and disguise the IP address. Also, VPNs encrypt information sent across the web and stop hackers and all third parties from intercepting user information. This also includes your ISP, advertisers, and websites.
VPNs are not only good for ensuring your online security and privacy. They also come in handy for other things. For instance, it allows users to visit sites that the Wi-Fi provider of a specific country might block. In addition, since VPNs help users access geo-blocked content, they come in handy when traveling abroad.
Although free VPNs are readily available in the marketplace, it is best to use a premium VPN if you truly want to protect your privacy and security online.
Besides using a VPN, other cybersecurity measures that you can put in place are:
- Use a strong, unique password for your online accounts. You cannot protect your personal data by using ordinary passwords like your pet’s name, birth date, anniversary date, etc.
- Enable 2FA or two-factor authentication to secure your accounts. With this enabled, you must log into your account using a password and then enter the code sent to your email or phone.
- Ensure all your software is updated. Also, you must update your device. Typically, updates come with security patches that can fix security vulnerabilities and prevent potential hacking exploits.
- You can install VPN on your router so that all your devices connected to the home network are protected against cyber attackers. You can select a premium VPN that simultaneously supports multiple devices and platforms.
- You can install and use antivirus software to strengthen your online defense. The antivirus software will quickly detect and remove malicious code on your devices. Furthermore, VPNs will block websites that host malware and prevent them from reaching your device.
Hackers and cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated with each passing day. Therefore, it would be best to implement every cybersecurity tool at your disposal to create a line of defense. This is where VPNs come in handy. They encrypt Internet traffic and protect data so hackers cannot succeed in their hacking attempts.
It is essential to choose a premium VPN and select a subscription plan that suits your budget. Without further ado, install a VPN and beef up your online security.
Passionate Writer, Blogger and Amazon Affiliate Expert since 2014.