Do you think the Internet is safe? The once portrayed sea of vast knowledge is now plagued with predators. And sadly, we are at the bottom of this food chain.
Information, ISPs, and “Free Web Services”
Websites loom to track your information. Summarize your profile and sell your data. Their advanced algorithms can detect your spending patterns, risk tolerance, and even sexual orientation.
And now, some countries like the United States made it legal for Internet Service Providers (ISP) to sell your data to advertisers.
In addition to Facebook and Google (Because these websites are not free, we pay with our information), the ISPs can now collect and vend info about us.
You may think it’s harmless, but some data collected might be so intrusive that there is even data collected on billboards we pass along the road. Now, they can trace our travel patterns in real time.
The notion of privacy is dying. We are the walking “products” of this digital age.
Hackers: Terrifying Web Predators
At the depths of the Cyber Ocean, another terrifying predator awaits us. These are hackers who criminally steal our credit and bank information to use for pilfering our hard-earned money.
Accessing a public WIFI can make us vulnerable. It is a hacker’s marketplace. Hackers use unsafe connections, phishing sites, and malicious email links to sequester our passwords and details.
Some even go to lengths and use Ransomware. These are programs that encrypt your data with an advanced cipher rendering your computer unusable. Afterward, they demand a “ransom” to sell you the key to decrypt the code.
The ransom can be as much as two Bitcoins, which is worth roughly $3500 in total spot rate as of writing.
Although protected with basic safeguards, some might even fall prey to these advanced robbers.
Virtual Private Network
As the hackers progress, no security is truly 100% safe. But it is in our prudence to put safeguards to hinder them from passing through.
One additional cyber defense is a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A Virtual Private Network is a private network of computers that your personal connection accesses. After access, the VPN interacts by sending and receiving the data with the public websites for you.
Simply put, it’s like a middleman that accesses data for you (whether you send it or receive it). Ultimately, it masks your identity from the rest of the world wide web because they can only track your middleman (VPN), not you.
You will be camouflaged with the number of computers within that VPN. The IP Address that they can see is the VPNs IP, not yours.
This service can protect you from prying eyes like the ISPs and hackers while you safely browse through the net. And you can use this on your all your devices.
Not all VPNs are created equal. The cheapest might not be the safest one. In choosing a VPN service, you must look for reliability, capacity, privacy policies and additional services like changing geolocation.
More than safe browsing, you can even access geo-blocked content in your home country by choosing a VPN. This is especially good for streaming web content.
It is hard to choose which ones are best. Luckily, TechRadar rounded up a guide for July 2017s top VPN deals.
This digital sea of terrifying monsters might be daunting for the comparably small fishes that we are. But now, we can choose to evolve and protect ourselves from their attacks.
But then, even with this cyber protection, it is best to have a skeptic attitude towards what we click.
Did you really win that iPhone from the Banner? Think again.