By Tyler W
May 01, 2023
Increasing privacy through a VPN
One of the easiest privacy solutions to introduce to your everyday digital life is that of a VPN. VPN's still have an unfair reputation of being used to circumvent piracy, or are only needed in larger organisations as a direct tunnel to access work data. While both are true there exists a much wider benefit to a commercial VPN deployment, and that is in additional browsing / device privacy.
The fact of the matter is we share more than we know, and arguably more than we choose to, as a result of the ubiquity of computers on our person, our home, and our office. If you stop to think about how much data you request on a daily basis, and then conversely think about how much data you are sharing by consequence? Is it more than you thought, likely yes?
Does your internet service provider need to know your URL direct entires, and by consequence able to profile and categorise you? Does every site you visit need to know your location and IP address? The answer is an unequivocal no to these 'questions'. A VPN provides you security, and privacy, but seeing as the purpose of this post is about privacy let's stick to this.
A VPN effectively encrypts your traffic, by routing all of your traffic through another server, which is often shared by other users, providing privacy on multiple fronts. First, you cannot be identified specifically through your IP address, which can also mask your location, and secondly your traffic cannot be snooped. The second risk is somewhat minimal, however, is a risk that you need to be aware of. When you are on a shared network, if the traffic is not encrypted (such as visiting a http site instead of https site), then it is possible for someone, to snoop your traffic, to possibly see what you are searching and viewing. Again, this risk is minimal, but a risk nonetheless.
The use of a VPN effectively transfers trust from the ISP to the VPN provider, and that is why it is critical that you do some due diligence on a provider before you jump in. Free providers are often going to be keeping logs of some sort, and probably will be selling off the data as a means to monetise the service. Paid providers should provide additional assurance that this is not the case, but I encourage you to do your own research before settling in on a provider.
These commercial VPN providers also often provide multiple device security and you can protect all of your devices (phone, computers, routers), and potentially other family members too; making the cost of the investment manageable when you consider it from this point of view.
The deployment of a VPN is an easy to achieve privacy measure, but it also has the added benefit of providing you some security too; so what are you waiting for, get a VPN and start protecting your privacy, by protecting your data. Remember, no one ever needs to see what you are doing online except for you. We all have the right to an expectation of privacy when online and we can take active steps to make this a reality. If you have any questions, or need any help in deploying a VPN, please do just reach out.