VPN is great for protecting your online privacy but can it protect your data from exposure to malicious elements?
This question is a highly debated topic in the information and network security field. Does VPN (Virtual Private Network) prevent the breach of personal data, in other words, does it really protect our information while we are using the Internet?
Let us first define what is VPN in short. VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an encryption software that protects your internet experience, data transmit and file share. In fact, you can imagine VPN as a third-party computer on a great scale that performs the encryption and enables users to safely remote control other computers and/or to access the internet via untrusted or public networks.
These functions are the most common purposes of VPN usage for ordinary internet users. However, everything you need to know about VPN including security is explained in this article.
How VPN provides security?
When you connect via VPN, your actions, information, and personal data become encrypted and concealed from the malicious programs and individuals, namely the hackers. How come this is possible? The process works as follows; when you activate your VPN software, it creates an extra secured layer network, like a tunnel, for you to operate.
A VPN utilizes various encryption technologies to create a secure tunnel to use the internet. Some well-known of them can be stated as IP security (IPSec), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/IPSec, Transport Layer Security (TLS). In this way, your IP address is masked and your ISP or third-party platforms cannot monitor your online activities. Your IP address will be visible by only your side.
Secure Protocols and 256-Bit Encryption
Your current ISP company and also many other services you use daily such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft collect, store, and process data by placing cookies and other technologies. These data include your IP address, device, browser information, and your actions through the internet.
Reliable VPN companies use AES 256-bit encryption. This means that your data becomes almost impossible to crack and even a hacker intercepts your data, nothing useful will be obtained. OpenVPN and IKEv2 are the latest security market pioneers and are adopted by successful VPN services.
Secure your IP Address via Kill Switch and Leak Protection
Especially, well-known and trustworthy VPN providers can maintain your data secure via the Killswitch feature even during the Internet disruptions; and by constantly changing your IP address, identification of your IP address, location, and any further information become impossible.
As you learned that VPN masks your IP address and constantly changes it to conceal your location, this function enables you to access many websites that are censored or banned in your regions, e.g.Wikipedia and geography-based services such as Netflix.
If your VPN is working correctly, the IP address displayed should not be yours. You can test data leakage in this way.
VPN No Log Policy
You can prevent disclosure of your personal data and information by using a VPN. New-gen credible VPN providers ensure that your data is protected, encrypted, not monitored, and not viewed. This is their fundamental premise. VPN should not watch, record, or monitor your data.
By deactivating the log recording feature, you can disable any party to watch over you. With today’s technology, these functions do not require a profound knowledge of software or certain technical skills. You can start using VPN by easy-to-use browser extensions and with a few clicks even on your mobile.
Wide Range of Server Locations
VPNs have a very wide range of network and plentiful server points. To ensure security, a good VPN provider would have a broad coverage distributed across a wide variety of countries. By offering you more choices to virtually switch your IP address in this way. Moreover, the more servers accessible at each place, the better the quality of service, since it will not overload and provide fast performance.
Anonymous DNS Servers
The website address you are looking for converts into an IP address for navigating web traffic DNS servers. This process is usually performed by your ISP, by default. But there are DNS services developed for confidentiality and VPN services use them, indeed their own anonymous DNS to help protect your privacy.
Encrypted File Transfer Connection
File transfer is an important part of your life and can turn into a vulnerability in terms of data leakage incidents. Over the internet, there are many file transfer platforms for free, however, these solutions may interfere, save, share, and transmit your information to third parties for various purposes.
Or, even they do not directly perform this action since these websites are open to the public and not highly invested in terms of software characteristics, they can be easily hacked by others to benefit from its users’ information. When you send files via a VPN, like any other action you do, it becomes encrypted and secured.
VPN Provide Security in Public Networks
Another critical point and widely experienced issues are observed when public WiFi is used without any protection relentlessly. Public WiFi networks are open targets for hackers, viruses, and activities such as data theft.
VPN usage is highly demanded and considered requisite when you connect from a public network. Otherwise, all actions, information, and files you are working on may be viewed by this network owner or other third parties who are leaked into this network.
Does every VPN provide the same protection of personal data?
Well, we cannot say they do. This the tricky part. There are many free VPN providers, however, like the example, we stated above, free websites use other means to earn income and appear as less secured from the perspective of a hacker or malicious software.
free VPN services may use ads that will disrupt your experience, or limit the services they provide and offer a low-quality and limited security. Also, your information can be viewed, monitored, and processed by those free VPN companies to gain income.
To sum up, you can use a VPN to prevent exposure of personal data and secure your information. And, this technology really achieves this desired security if you prefer to use it in the right way and through the right providers. You become sure that you choose high-quality, reliable, and well-known technology company for VPN service.
Do not forget to check whether they present the options changing log-recording options, assign you the authority to change user access details and VPN activity report when you ask for it. Also, you should search the company’s references and user comments on the web to avoid any potential problems and misconduct.