With so many security breaches making the news week after week, how to stay safe on the Internet is a hot topic of conversation around the world. Even relatively inexperienced Internet users quickly learn how to establish whether a connection to a bank or another important site is actually secure. Hackers are far more ambitious than merely fishing for passwords and the like, though, meaning that even those who take great care in this way can still become vulnerable.
Fortunately, there are good ways of shoring up an Internet presence to make it harder for hackers to attack. One of these is the regular use of a virtual private network, a special kind of connection that encrypts all Internet traffic that travels over it. By using a VPN for routine Internet access needs, a person can greatly improve their overall level of security.
One of the most important ways that a VPN can help is by providing additional security when public wireless access points are used. Surprisingly to many people, this method of connecting to the Internet is relatively insecure by default, being open to a number of ways of subversion.
For example, a determined hacker can use inexpensive equipment to spoof a legitimate access point, thereafter automatically collecting a vast array of personal information from unwilling people who connect. Because many computers and mobile devices connect automatically to any open access point, users may find themselves giving away information this way without even realizing they are at risk.
With a virtual private network, though, the hacker’s work becomes a lot more difficult. Instead of personal information being sent in the clear, it will be encrypted before actually leaving the user’s computer or smart phone. It then travels over a secure, scrambled tunnel to the trusted endpoint of the virtual private network, ensuring that hackers who snoop it on the way receive nothing useful.
With this relatively simple, transparent kind of upgrade, then, a user can easily improve their security standing and do it without interfering with normal usage. As the drive to improve security heightens even more, options like this one will, therefore, become increasingly popular.
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