Everyone needs a VPN to protect themselves. Cyber hackers, Governments and even your ISP are constantly looking for ways to get information from you and make money from it or use it against you or those you know.
You may be lucky and not notice anything wrong and in-deed you may not have been harmed by it, yet. With all risky bets, luck will run out. Protect yourself now before it’s too late.
What are Cyber Hackers looking for?
Different groups are looking for different information. By far the worst to everyone is the cyber hackers. They are looking for any information they can get from you about you and those that you know. They can then use this information to their advantage. Usually this is to your disadvantage.
If they can find out who you know they can pretend to be that person, or they can pretend to be you talking to them. I personally have had people from my past try to get in contact with me, but on closer examination it is not actually them. Looking at several of the emails it is clear to me that they have gained my details from hacking that persons account. Their attempts to extort money from me and everyone else in his email address ultimately failed. I managed to reply to the email and everyone explaining what had happened but would everyone you know be able to recognise that it was not you sending them the email. The hackers can also know personal information and even see the email history or sent items to make their attempts more believable.
People lose lots of money because of fraudsters
People lose lots of money trying to help a friend only to find out that it was not their friend but a hacker. This can cause all sorts of problems. They may have promised to pay it back, but if it wasn’t them making the promise, it will be lost.
Generally speaking these days they will not be able to get your credit card details directly, nor your bank details. Banks and most websites now protect you with a secure connection, which is much like a VPN between you and the website. However not all websites do. Whilst your browser is probably also making it securer for you by warning you that it is insecure. You are still susceptible in many other ways. One way is your DNS lookups, which is a record of what sites you visit. Also if any website is not using a secure connection then you can have the page you are viewing changed before you see it. Your current IP address also gives them a starting point to start trying to hack in to your network. A VPN will hide your current IP address from them and make you more secure.
What are ISPs looking for?
Your ISP is also recording everything you do on the internet. In many countries now, including the UK and the USA and many others they keep a record of everything that goes up or down your line for a minimum of 5 years. This is more for the governments use.
ISPs are more interested in your analytical data. They want to know what you are doing, where you are going, what you are buying, and how much time you spend on social media, etc. They can use this data to send you adverts on email and flyers through the door. The more common way to send you adverts is to put them in your social feed or your news feed or search results. In many cases if you miss-type an internet address then you will end up on an advertising page. Advertising is big money and if they can get an advert in front of you at the right time then you are more likely to buy from it and they can charge more for it. Some people don’t have a problem with being boxed up, sorted and categorised but it is not always as useful as it should be.
Why do you need a VPN? ISPs also sell your data on to other companies so that they can do, whatever they want with it. You wouldn’t let cameras in to every room in your house for the whole world to watch; would you?
Governments like to know what you are up to
Why do they need to know what you are up to at every moment of every day? Officially they want to “be able to know” in the future where you were in the past in case you do something you shouldn’t. There are sadly many cases of this power being abused and people arrested because of something they may have searched years before and therefor they must be a part of the current investigation. In reality they just like to know. It is not useful to them and it provide little in the way of intelligence to have hundreds of people sifting through people’s emails and web traffic looking for a smoking gun. Much in the same way as it doesn’t do any good to break encryption in the name of keeping people safe when it actually causes much more harm than good. There are many reasons why Governments should not have access to everything you do but I will not go in to those here.
Why a VPN in Coffee shops and internet cafes
In a public location, such as a library, shop or internet cafes then you need a VPN. In these situations there are several reasons why. Firstly you don’t own the network so you have no idea what they are doing to your data. NEVER install anything that they say to as they can then access all of your data. Secondly you are on the same network as everyone else who is using the network. In many cases this will give them extra trusted access to your device and easy access to your data. Connect yourself to a VPN and make sure you keep yourself safe. They can take over your email connection and some bank connections and they don’t even need your password.
It is your responsibility to keep yourself safe. It is your responsibility to keep everyone you hold data about safe. Be responsible and use a VPN.
I have many scary stories about public internet connections but I will not go in to them here. Read some other articles to find out more.
Read more about VPN issues and security news – Find out the good things about using a VPN