The Internet is a dangerous place. Your identity and personal data are valuable to you and to those that want to profit from it. It’s not just protecting your data but also how you use the Internet, what you download, what you search and what you post. Believe it or not your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just a worry to you as the hackers and criminals out there. In a base configuration your ISP can see everything you do. Most ISPs will hand that over to law enforcement on request without informing you.
You can take back control of your privacy and protect everything from your data to your Internet use. The solution is very, very affordable and will pay for itself in value the second you install it.
The solution is your own Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. The same service most security conscious companies use, you can use for your own use as well. What the VPN does is create an encrypted channel from your computer to the VPN service and then to the Internet, hiding your activity from prying eyes, including your ISP.
For the cost of one Light Roast coffee a month you can get your own VPN service. There are many to choose from, you can see a comparison here to make your choice. I went with Private Internet Access from a referral and it works just fine. When I joined they had a special and I paid less than $35 a year, about $3.30/mo. For tightening my personal security it’s a bare minimum cost. Plus I can have 5 devices on the VPN consecutively including my mobile devices.
When it’s installed I can choose to connect to VPN servers all over the world. When the VPN is active when you do a search to trace your IP it will show that you are coming from anywhere but your home and ISP.
Below are traces I ran switching around VPN endpoints within a few seconds of each other. I also verified with firewall logs I have access to and those as well all showed different sources when I accessed through the device.
Here’s a list of reasons of why you need a personal VPN
- Your home IP address can be seen by the public
- Your data is analyzed by your ISP
- Your ISP may and do hand over your personal data upon law enforcement requests, DMCA violations, copyright complaints all without due process or proof other than a log file.
- Your data is logged.
- Marketers aggressively target your computer.
Here are the reasons why you should use a personal VPN
- You hide your IP address and use new ones regularly.
- VPNs encrypt your data securely (review VPN services to ensure)
- Good VPN services do not log anything, therefore nothing to record or hand over.
- Gain unrestricted access to the Internet. I am not condoning doing illegal activities but sometimes VPNs come in hand with certain geographical blackout rules.
Do not assume your data and behavior is secure. Your PC may have the latest anti-virus updates, you lock down your PC, and monitor your email messages carefully. That’s fine for your endpoint. But the ISP is recording all the searches you do on how to launder, make bombs, smack talk your company anonymously. All tied back to your account and the IP address your ISP had you on that ties you to it.
Also with a VPN on your endpoints like your laptop you will keep you exponentially safer when you travel to “free” Wi-Fi networks. You don’t know what those access points are scraping and logging. A VPN will block all those nasty attempts.
A private VPN is a smart and very cheap thing to do. Consider it.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.