The internet and technology have changed the way we do our daily activities. From sharing updates to distant loved ones and friends through social networking sites to watching movies to accomplishing our daily workloads outside our cubicles. We have been also doing transactions in banks and shopping online.
With all the personal and private information being transferred back and forth on the internet, these pieces of information such as credit card details and account passwords have also become available to prying eyes hackers who can use it to their advantage.
The possibility of personal information and identity being stolen is something that we have missed unintentionally. Our security risk could be the cost we pay for the internet’s convenience.
There are several ways to prevent our information from falling into the wrong hands. Most applications and websites provide security and privacy features for their users, but the fact that it is still done using the internet, the promise of protection must still be taken with the grain of salt.
However, tech experts suggested another option to do this other than relying it on web’s security feature – the Virtual Private Network, commonly known as VPN. The VPN is not a new technology as it was originally used by big companies, organizations, and the government to keep their data remain private and oftentimes undetected despite the fact that it passes through the world wide web especially when confidential information needs to be transmitted to and accessed by their colleagues on the field or to the offices outside the city.
Eventually, people who have recognized the possible dangers in the public network like the internet were encouraged to use them on a personal level. You can read it here.
What is VPN and How Does it Work?
It would be difficult to illustrate how the VPN works without the basic understanding of the processes of information sharing on the internet.
To begin with, the internet is considered a public network. This means that you are sharing this network with other people. Thus, the information you send out through online is public or virtually traceable.
When you go to a website like Google and enter words on the search bar, the internet delivers these data to the server. It is then converted by the server and send it back to you in a form of search results and web entries.
However, the data being sent to the server does not only comprise of the words you typed in. It carries with it other pieces of information such as your IP address, your search histories and trends, your email accounts and passwords, contact and personal information attached to these sites.
The experience can be likened to walking amongst groups of people in the street with your phone numbers, birthdays, credit card numbers and passwords displayed on your shirt.
The VPN serves as the private network in the public network. Using the same analogy mentioned, utilizing a VPN is similar to traversing through an unpopulated underground passage so you can reach the other end without other people knowing your bank account details.
How Can VPN Secure My Data?
Similar to the analogy, the VPN creates a tunnel within the internet. The tunnel acts like the passage we earlier established. It diverts your data from the public digital space and covers it in layers of encryption to prevent potential hackers from phishing your information.
Apart from avoiding the public, the VPN also bring your data to another server instead of the server intended by your network provider before it is delivered to the internet for conversion into the desired website, for instance, and back to you. The server can be located in a different city or a country so your place will not easily be identified.
People may be able to know the source of the data or locate where you are because of the IP address. The IP address is a series of number that the internet server can read. It is only translated as letters or the website’s domain name, so it is readable to the users.
Because it functions like a home address, typing Google on your browser is like going to the “Google” house. Your laptops, mobile phones, personal computers (PCs), and other devices also have their unique IP addresses.
It means that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can trace the source of the data sent. In other words, people will know your location. This feature of the VPN has also allowed people to stream the videos that restricted in their home countries since the internet will be prompted by the server from a different place.
This also makes VPN ideal for people who travel a lot for work or those who tend to access the internet through public Wifis. The VPN maintains the privacy of your information by virtually relocating you, covering your data with encryptions and hiding your real identity.
Although, experts warn that it cannot totally protect the information. Instead, it only made hacking and leaking them more difficult. Moreover, stronger encryption may also incur a high price. But the tech enthusiast believed to have a VPN even the cheap ones than to have nothing at all.