What You Don't Know About VPNs

September 17th, 2018 by admin

Mobile phone connecting securely through a VPN

Did you know if you run that VPN your IT guy set you up with, in China or Russia you could get a prison sentence? What about what a VPN actually protects you from? Most people have heard of the service, millions use them daily, few know what it really does.

What is a VPN and what does it do?

Virtual private networks hide your internet connection data, by translating it through encryption protocols before sending it out through a proxy server. In plain English, it turns your data into a code that is difficult to crack, and then connects to the internet through a different location.

How to connect with a VPN

Your office or workplace might have a permanent VPN set up on it's network. Or, you might use standalone VPN applications on your laptop or phone. The principles of encryption and proxy are the same in both cases. Configuring a VPN on your hardware is not a practical option for most people, it involves buying expensive things and usually requires expert knowledge. Using a VPN service means installing it and then clicking exactly 1 button.

Once connected to a VPN, everything you do online is now seen as being done from a public proxy server, and your data is all scrambled into code.

Even knowing what a VPN does, it's not necessarily easy to see why it matters, and there is a lot of misconception about what it does and does not help with. Below is a quick breakdown of what to expect from your VPN.

What a VPN Does

  • Protects from hackers
  • Protects privacy

Everything you do online while using a strong VPN service becomes as secure as online banking. Hackers that would get your credit card, name, address or messages from a data breach or personalized attack will just get a coded modge-podge of non-info. A VPN protects your privacy by showing a totally different, public address, that could be anyone, in place of the one that is easily pinpointed as yours.

What a VPN Does NOT Do

  • Protect from Malware
  • Remove your online footprint from times it wasn't running

It's important to realize that a VPN does not protect you from Malware and you still need to have virus protection. Last, a VPN application only encrypts when it is on and you have clicked the connect button. Your data that you left around on websites when it wasn't running, will be stuck out there unfortunately.

- Kender Ostlund

Posted in: Protection, Security, Products, Technology