In a fast-paced technological era, the internet has become an indispensable tool in our daily lives, interestingly as technology attains an admirable level of sophistication it also comes along with its own set of problems. The issue of online privacy in recent times has been a major cause for concern among internet users globally and as such must be critically looked at to arrive at plausible solutions for the safety of user data. In this chapter, I am discussing the need for the use of Virtual Private Networks over the internet to ensure an appreciable level of security and anonymity whilst using the internet.
The internet enables people all over the world to share information at the snap of a finger, in accessing this information one’s Internet Protocol address is automatically broadcasted to several computers on the internet. Your IP address contains information which uniquely recognizes one’s computer on a network.
In comparison to our everyday life, this can be said of our thumbprints which uniquely identify each one of us on the face of the planet. Someone may want to find out what exactly might be wrong with having one’s Internet Protocol address out there-in modern times the internet is used for several tasks which may require the entry of sensitive data such as credit card and banking details, patients’ health details and so forth. Owing to this reason, research has found it commendable for individuals and organizations to subscribe to the use of Virtual Private Networks. A Virtual Private Network is a service that may come as “free” or paid which hides one’s IP address on the internet to enable the user to surf anonymously without being tracked down by unscrupulous persons.
It does this by tunnelling all your activities through a different server thereby broadcasting a virtual IP address which isn’t your actual address. This makes it hard for others over the internet to trace your activities, this also comes in handy when it comes to regions where certain services might be restricted.
On the market today there are a lot of VPNs that have different layers of security intensity, there are free and paid versions as well but most of the time the paid versions perform better than the free one
I will caution users to stay away from VPNs that toute themselves as “unlimited free” VPN which are actually and indeed not free because the software can be used in secretly collecting user data and sold to advertisers for targeted ads and spam email, these so-called “unlimited free” VPN’s may end up stealing sensitive data due to embedded malware in its make up. Let us note that there is indeed free VPN software which is legit but consumers should be wary of unpopular VPNs promoting themselves as “free unlimited”. One major reason I will strongly recommend the use of a VPN is that it helps protects one’s identity whilst on a public WiFi network, A free public WiFi network comes with its cons, this is because user data can be easily stolen over an unsecured network, in such a situation all users should employ a certain level of security to be on a safer side.