Digital privacy is something that should concern everyone. Yet many people remain unaware of how exposed they are during their internet usage. Your internet provider, Google, and the websites you visit all monitor your internet activity. The idea is for these companies to use this information to offer a better internet experience. But many people are uncomfortable with the idea of someone snooping on them all the time. Even worse, if you use public Wi-Fi networks, you are at risk of being exposed to cybercriminals. To meet all these problems, the best solution is to use a VPN.
What Are VPNs and Why Use Them?
A VPN stands for virtual proxy network. Using a VPN gives you digital anonymity. Additionally, it offers a secure and encrypted pathway or tunnel from your computer to the websites you visit. VPNs use encryption standards to code information in a way that it becomes inaccessible to third parties. In most cases, a VPN can prevent even your internet service provider from tracking you.
Usually, VPN services have servers in different cities and countries that you can use to mask your IP. To a third party, it would look like you are accessing the internet from those locations. Only the VPN and the current website you are on know what you’re doing. As a result, you are a digital ghost to everyone, which is why VPNs are a part of personal cybersecurity fundamentals.
Here are a few reasons why you should use a VPN with your Cox internet:
- Prevent ISPs From Tracking You
- Access Geo-restricted and Blocked Content
- Safely Use Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
- Encrypt Voice Over IP Calls
- Prevent Search Engines From Tracking You
Let’s take a closer look at these below.
1. Prevent ISPs From Tracking You
Your internet service provider can and does track your browsing history and habits. This can often be a point of worry for people when accessing the internet. You don’t necessarily have to be involved in illegal streaming to want anonymity on the internet. People prefer their digital privacy, and a VPN offers one of the best ways to maintain it. Even your ISP cannot track you if you are using a good VPN service.
2. Access Geo-restricted and Blocked Content
One of the most popular uses of a VPN is that it allows users to access blocked or restricted content. This means you are also able to bypass government censorship. The internet should be a space where everyone has access to the information they need. VPNs build on this philosophy and allow users to access websites that may be blocked in their country. Since a VPN can change your IP location to another country, you don’t have to worry about restricted or blocked content. However, this can also be something to watch out for in case you have kids in the house. Check out this helpful blog for tips on internet safety for kids.
3. Safely Use Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
Public Wi-Fi hotspots can be convenient but they are also a serious risk to your internet safety. Anyone connected to the same hotspot can potentially access your computer. And in severe cases, you may even be at risk of losing your digital identity and personal information. In these cases, a VPN is your best bet to stay cyber safe on a public Wi-Fi network. A VPN creates a virtual encrypted tunnel between your computer and the websites you visit. So, anyone outside the tunnel, including cybercriminals and hackers, won’t be able to snoop on you or steal your identity and information.
4. Encrypt Voice Over IP Calls
Voice over IP or VOIP calls are a relatively new mode of communication. Instead of utilizing conventional phone lines, VOIP calls use your internet connection. VOIP is often used on a large scale by companies in their customer service functions. Unfortunately, since it is over an IP, it is susceptible to hacking by someone who knows their way around the internet architecture. A VPN offers a secure and encrypted way to make VOIP calls without worrying about getting hacked. However, a VPN will likely reduce your usual VOIP speed by a small percentage.
5. Prevent Search Engines From Tracking You
Your ISP is not the only one tracking your internet activity. Search engines like Google map a user’s online behavior. They use this to improve the relevancy of their search results and advertisements. However, many people hate the fact that someone might be tracking them for the entirety of their internet sessions. If you don’t want your search engine tracking you, a VPN is the best solution. The proxy server can encrypt your internet session, making you anonymous and virtually untraceable for third parties.