The Internet is accessible from nearly everywhere you go: the airport, your favorite cafe, the corner bookstore and even in some open spaces like parks or town squares. You sit in the spot of your choosing, open your laptop and start browsing. Have you ever stopped to think about the security in all of this?
Picture your typical day at Starbucks – do you… Check e-mail? Chat with friends? Read the news? Watch movies? Listen to music? Engage social networks? You might not know this, but many of this information is transmitted openly and can be intercepted by others sitting nearby.
While this should be cause of alarm, there is no need to panic. There are many ways to protect yourself against this and the most effective one is using a VPN. VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and what it does – in simple terms – is create an impregnable “tunnel” between you and said network. What this means is that all the information you transmit or receive is encrypted so that no one near you can intercept it.
Virtual Private Networks are used by businesses and schools to enable their workers/teachers/students to connect to their office/campus networks even when they are in a remote location. When you connect to a VPN, you are “virtually” inside the network you want to connect to (as if you were physically there), this means that any website you go to will think you are in that particular location. If you haven’t figured it out – apart from safe internet browsing – this also means that you can use VPNs to view content that is geographically blocked [think: TV Channel websites, Radio Stations, etc] even if you are physically out of that country.
Here is a list of known VPN providers that you can try out:
Do you have experience using VPNs? Share your thoughts in the comments below!