“So, what’s a VPN?”
That’s a question that’s been on the mind of many people who are wondering if their Internet Security does enough to protect their online privacy.
A VPN, or virtual private network is like a secure tunnel through which all the traffic between you and a website travels. While your traffic is in this tunnel, nobody can see what it is or modify its contents. Those at the other end of the tunnel also can’t tell which computer the traffic came from.
“VPNs are essentially a way of moving your trust,” Jacob Hoffman-Andrews, senior staff technologist at Electronic Frontier Foundation, told The Verge.
This requires finding a VPN provider you can put your full faith in. A recent study from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization found that this isn’t as easy as you might assume.
“The good news is that CSIRO researchers did find some gems,” Wired reported. “They specifically lauded F-Secure Freedome, an app that encrypts what it says it will and offers quality ad-blocking to boot. Sure, it’ll cost you $6 per month. But online privacy is like anything else in life: You get what you pay for.”
At F-Secure, we put our reputation from three decades in the security industry behind Freedom. As PC World noted, “Freedome VPN pledges not to log your traffic and is run by F-Secure, an established and reputable name in Internet security.
But better privacy isn’t the only benefit of encrypting your online traffic. A VPN helps you take control of how you use the web. Here are just a few kinds of web users who gain different types of benefits by using a VPN.
1 – The Content Geek
Seeing “Sorry, but this video is unavailable in your area” when you press play can be a real downer for those who like to watch stuff online. One benefit of a VPN hiding your actual location is that it can you can choose a virtual one instead.
Whether it’s a game, video or a blocked website, using a VPN can unlock the internet for those who want to access content otherwise unavailable in their corner of the world.
2 – The Privacy Seeker
Corporate and government surveillance have made privacy a valuable commodity. The most immediate effect of turning on a VPN is that it gives users back their right to be exactly as anonymous as they want to. Some of us don’t like our governments or ISP’s snooping on what we do online, and VPN technology has the incredible power to keep privacy in the hands of the individual.
Shameless plug: In addition to hiding your location, Freedome also blocks companies gathering information about you from various sources and using it to build advertising profiles on you. Our awesome new Tracker Mapper feature also lets you see who exactly is trying to track you online.
3 – The Traveler
Those who live abroad or travel a lot can use a VPN to make their lives easier and more secure. Homesick expats can watch sports or other online TV from back home, or access sites blocked in the country they are in. Travellers will also often be forced to connect to any Wi-Fi they can access, which can in worst case scenario lead to private data being stolen. Nobody likes to go to their embassy abroad because their credit card has been maxed and they don’t have a penny to their name.
While you still have to make sure pickpockets don’t get the better of you, you will be safe and sound from digital theft with a VPN. This is because all your traffic travels safely through the VPN tunnel, encrypted and unreadable by criminals. For those abroad, a VPN therefore offers the double benefit of a better online experience and added security.
4 – The Secure Shopper
Not being a huge fan of noisy crowds, I can personally say that the weeks leading up to Christmas have become infinitely more bearable since I started doing my Christmas shopping online. Credit card scammers target people like me by luring shoppers through a seemingly innocent link into a website that looks just like a normal web shop.
A VPN like Freedome detects & blocks these sites, meaning you don’t have to look over your virtual shoulders any more. Data theft is one of those things that people often don’t think about until it hits them personally. So be careful!
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