Seven Reasons Why You Should Use a VPN

Are you a using a VPN every time you log on? Why not?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a piece of software that creates a private, encrypted network for your computer. It creates a secure connection between you and the server, making an encrypted tunnel that data flows through. A VPN can protect you from cyber criminals, the government, or anyone else who’s trying to get a glimpse at your internet activity.

Here are seven reasons you should use a VPN.

1. Accessing blocked sites

No matter where you live, some parts of the internet are blocked. But with a VPN, you can access those blocked sites — including social media, video streaming sites, news from other countries, and mature content — by making it appear like you’re accessing the internet from a different place.

2. Signing in to public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi seems great — easily accessible! free! you don’t have to use all of your data! — but it actually poses a really big risk to users. Basically any network that can be accessed by many people, whether it has a password or not, is open to interception by cyber criminals. Make sure to always use a VPN when you’re accessing public Wi-Fi, so that your data is safe and encrypted.

3. Traveling

A VPN is a great travel accessory, right up there with those doughnut pillows that help people sleep on the plane. They not only allow you to access sites that may be blocked in the country you’re visiting, but also make it easier to locate at-home services like your bank or email, as well as purchase things online in your home country’s currency.

4. Your business deals with sensitive data

Businesses and people that deal with sensitive, confidential data — like lawyers and health care professionals, for example — should use VPNs both when accessing files at home, on devices, out in public, and in the office. A VPN ensures that confidential data stays confidential as it travels through an encrypted tube to get from point A to point B.

5. Safer online shopping

VPNs are great for safer online shopping, because they ensure that everything you send (including all that payment and credit card info) is encrypted. They’re especially important if you’re online shopping while using public Wi-Fi — essential, in fact.

6. To stop your university tracking you

College students, did you know that your school can see everything you do on their network? So if you’re using the school-provided Wi-Fi to access sites you’d prefer your university didn’t know about — or you just don’t like the idea of them spying on everything you do — then you can use a VPN to make it impossible for them to see what you’re doing.

7. To keep your ISP from spying on you

Since 2017, when a new set of online privacy rules were signed in to law, it’s been legal for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to share or sell records of your online activity to advertisers. Yup, you read that right — one more way that corporations are making money off of your private online activity. If you’re not into the idea of advertisers tracking you or you just don’t want your ISP to know everything you do, use a VPN every time you sign on.

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