Three Ways a VPN Helps Protect You (that you may not know about)
You may know that a virtual private network (VPN) helps protect everything you do online by encrypting your information so that hackers and anyone else on the same network can’t easily snoop on you. After all, data moving across WiFi networks are just like radio waves and anyone with the right equipment can “listen in.”
But there are other, not so obvious ways in which a VPN can help you, such as:
- A VPN stops an ISP from tracking you
Some Internet Service Providers (ISP) want to know everything they can about you and other subscribers, including your surfing history, location data, and app usage, so they can sell this information to third-party advertisers. It turns out your personal data may actually be worth a lot of money.
If the idea of your personal data being sold to the highest bidder concerns you, then rest assured: using a VPN masks your identity so that it’s harder for an ISP (or anyone else for that matter) to track you.
- A VPN blocks websites from gathering your information
Almost all websites gather information about you when you visit them, and some of these websites even track you long after you’ve left their site via cookies left on your computer or mobile device.
While some websites use this information to target you with specific information, such as when Amazon.com displays items based on your past purchases, other websites may really be interested in your browsing history, so they can target you with specific ads.
You’ve probably noticed this when you search for something on a shopping site, and then visit another website, which just happens to be displaying ads for the exact item you just searched. Combine this online information with information gathered from offline data brokers, and the amount of information companies know about you is exponentially multiplied. Data brokers are companies that compile information such as your age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, political beliefs, buying habits, household health, vacation dreams, and more from publically available data. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry.
Does this largely unseen data gathering bother you? It should. Luckily, a VPN like Private WiFi keeps your IP address hidden making it more difficult for websites to gather, store, and sell your personal browsing history and other personal information.
- A VPN lets you access blocked content
Are you visiting Europe and want to watch movies on your movie account? You can’t do it if movie service provider thinks you’re doing this from a foreign country. This is known as geo-blocking, and refers to the process when Internet content is blocked based on a user’s location.
Or maybe you live in a country where certain websites are banned. With a VPN, you can choose the location of the server you want to connect to, making it seem like you are in another place than you actually are.
At the end of the day, VPNs protect your privacy. So while you may only use one because you want to encrypt your data, there’s other ways in which a VPNi is protecting you. Whether stopping an ISP or websites from tracking you, or letting you access blocked content, a VPN helps you even when you don’t realize you need it.