Is your identity safe online? You might be surprised

Security & Privacy

You might know what a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is. But if you’re like many people out there, you probably don’t use one. You should though. And when you finish this blog post, you’ll know why.

 

A VPN is a private network established over the internet. That might sound complicated, so simply put, a VPN provides security for your device’s internet connection. The layer of security VPNs provide is how you make sure that data you send and receive is encrypted and safe from trackers, hackers and anyone else trying to intercept your data while it’s in transit.

 

Companies and schools use VPNs to let people connect to local networks from anywhere. And you can also use a VPN to stay anonymous whether you’re at home, at work or school, or using an untrusted public network. And as an added bonus, of course, a VPN also lets you change your virtual location, which can mean unrestricted access to a whole world of content.

 

So why is online anonymity so important? Who better to answer that than two real Freedome VPN users. And while we can assure you these guys are both real, in keeping with the theme of anonymity, let’s just call them “John” and “Doe”.

 

Anonymity is important because I really see it as a human right. Like if I’m looking for things that are really personal, I have the right to stay private and keep that information private,” says John, a university student who’s been using Freedome VPN for three months and counting.

 

Doe, who is 29 and in the IT industry, has used VPNs before, but recently switched to F-Secure’s Freedome. For him, using a VPN isn’t just about protecting himself today: it’s an investment in the future.

 

I’ve never had problems myself, but we know for a fact that there are organizations and people out there right now who are looking to get their hands on our information and identities for whatever reason. This is definitely going to be a bigger problem in the future, and I want to be prepared,” says Doe.

 

Both John and Doe say that most of their friends in the tech industry are using VPNs right now. But unfortunately, there are lots of people out there who aren’t.

 

I really wish people were more aware of the fact that they’re potentially giving away parts of their identity and privacy every single time they go online without a VPN,” says Doe.

 

John agrees.

 

If you think about how people are feeding more and more of their personal information into a wider and wider range of sites, services etc., it’s obvious that the potential risks to our privacy are also increasing,” he says.

 

John and Doe definitely know what they’re talking about and we couldn’t agree more. There’s never been a better time to take control of your online anonymity. So check out the Freedome VPN site for videos and more info. And don’t forget to tap or click to get yours!

[Image by Blue Coat Photos | Flickr]

2 Comments

Sounds very nice and all very well, but what about those trolls and other appalling people who use their anonymity to send gross insults and frightening threats to other people. How would Facebook deal with those? Can they even be traced and made subject to the law? E

VPN seems to solve one of our big privacy problems. And that is awesome.

But, unless I am not understanding it correctly, it doesn’t solve all of our problems. Data in transit vs Data in servers. If I am logged in to Google and use the google search through a VPN, doesn’t google now associate my searches anyway with my account? If I am watching YouTube videos logged in to my account, won’t now YouTube know my video history even through vpn?

I am saying this, because to most of us, it is not self-understood that we log out of these services. And there may be people who believe that using a VPN, even though they are logged in to google or Facebook, will protect their privacy. The fact that Youtube knows my preferences is very convenient. The fact that Youtube has to associate these preferences with my real id is not cool at all.

Should we get back to the nickname era? Before this whole “real name” trend appeared, we used to use handles and never disclose our identity on forums and social media. And I am sure there were no more criminal incidents back then than are now. The reason we used screen-names in the past was actually for self-protection reasons, because you never knew whom you would meet online. Now we have become extremely casual about giving away all of our details and nobody finds this weird at all. What I have learned about cyber-bullying for example is that the attacking person does not need to be anonymous to bully you. They will do it anyway.

Our “data in transit” is a great problem and its fantastic to be able to solve it through VPN. We now need a solution to our “data in server” problem, though I am afraid that there is no other solution than simply stop using American services like Facebook and Gmail.

Or maybe just register to YouTube through a VPN with a nickname. Could that be enough? Could that be the solution for using YouTube at least?

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