Can VPNs Be Hacked
Yes. VPNs are not foolproof and, like any software, can be susceptible to hacks and malware.
Several Android VPNs were hacked in February 2021, leaking data on millions of users. Thats because those VPN services tracked their users data in the first place.
To limit susceptibility to hacks and data leaks, ensure your VPN does not collect your data and that it provides adequate encryption. Free VPNs may not offer the best protection.
Just How Vital Is A VPN At Home
Okay, so having a VPN at home isnt as vital as if you regularly travel and browse the internet on your laptop or phone, but it is important.
While accessing a public Wi-Fi network is where the biggest dangers are, threats are still viable everywhere. By using a VPN at home, youre much safer than before and you know youve covered all the bases.
Crucially, no one wants their ISP to be selling their data, and using a VPN stops that. Most VPNs are available for a very low price too, meaning theres hardly anything to lose in using one.
Most people wouldnt rely on one simple lock on their front door or prized possessions, and that should be the same for your internet connection. It simply makes sense to give yourself an extra layer of security, especially if you regularly browse the internet and use it for work and banking needs.
Throw in the extra benefits like avoiding bandwidth throttling and being able to circumvent geo-restrictions as and when needed, and a VPN is an essential tool. It could even save you money if you regularly buy flights or hotel rooms.
Tell Me Again Why Do I Need A VPN
For the same reasons you need locks on your front door.
A VPN is an essential online security tool even if youre not doing anything that you need or want to hide. The servers that you connect with are encrypted with the latest technology. This will protect the personal or financial data on your computer from hackers even when youre using an unsecured Wi-Fi or hotspot network.
Additionally, a VPN keeps unwanted people or agencies from seeing what is happening with your online life. It allows you to be anonymous online by connecting you with a remote server and assigning you a different IP address, so your ISP cannot track what you are doing.
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How We Rank And Evaluate VPNs
Our team of experts performs rigorous tests on every VPN that we review. We start by purchasing and installing the apps on various devices and platforms to get a first hand look at the features, ease of use, speed, and more.
We connect with servers in different countries throughout the testing process, both close and far away from our physical location, and run speed tests throughout the day. We use this data to determine if a VPN is only good if you need a server close to you or if it can be trusted for a quality online experience regardless of where the server is located.
After going through the user experience, we take a deeper look at the software itself, the online security tools, and the VPN protocols. We run tests to ensure that the kill switch works, the VPN isnt leaking our IP address, DNS, or sharing data with third parties.
We take a look at the prices, but instead of just looking at the price, we evaluate the value for the price. We rank some expensive VPNs over cheaper ones because they have better infrastructure, a variety of servers, and better speeds. So its value is higher and ranked above a lesser VPN with a lower price tag.
Lastly, we contact customer support to ensure that were talking with real people and not bots, and that they can answer our questions.
Avoiding Blocks And Censorship On Websites
Similarly, when you change country, you may find content is censored by the new countrys government. For example, any work trip to China will be without Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even WhatsApp, but not if you have a VPN.
So, what is a VPN? Ultimately, its a way for you to browse the internet with zero stress and total safety. Therefore, it makes sense that now remote work is here to stay, a VPN should be top of the kit list.
Click here to talk to a BITS expert today about a variety of ways for improving your cyber security and your remote working capabilities. Alternatively, why not download our Ultimate Cybersecurity Guide for Remote Working to make sure youve got all of the essentials ticked off.
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Heres Why You Might Want To Use A VPN
So, weve established that actually, for security, theres no reason to use a VPN. Theres no reason to be scared or afraid of using coffee-shop wifi. But there are some reasons why you might need a VPN.
Does The VPN Block Ads
Pop-up ads can be annoying and dangerous. They can slow your browsing speeds and clutter your screen when youre trying to watch videos or read a blog post. Even worse, cybercriminals often use pop-up ads if you click on them to infect your computer with malware.
Thats why ad blockers are so important: They help to keep these ads from showing up on your screen when youre surfing the web. This can improve speed web pages load faster when theyre not bogged down with ads and help keep your devices safe from ads littered with malware.
You want a VPN service that blocks ads, then. Again, most paid services will do this. And you can see that each VPN provider in our list does block ads.
Does the VPN block ads?
- Norton Secure VPN no
- Tunnel Bear yes
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When You’re A Political Dissident
Some countries don’t have the same protections for press freedom, speech, and expression that many Western countries have, and a few regimes even take draconian measures to monitor and take action against those they see as threats to the regime.
It should almost go without saying that for political dissidents, using a VPN is essential for internet use within an oppressive regime. They’re not a catch-all solution, though, and governments are beginning to crack down on their use.
Security When Working Remotely
One benefit of a VPN is its data encryption features. Encryption, or putting data into a coded format so its meaning is obscured, allows you to keep confidential information safe.
If you are an individual thinking about investing in a VPN for your company, one benefit is that workers can connect to your office network and look at sensitive materials on their own devices while away from the office. As remote work seems a possibility even after the pandemic ends, a VPN is a helpful investment to keep confidential material safe off-site.
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To Safeguard Your Online Data And Identity
While surfing on the internet, there might be a lot of trackers or malware which can keep a track of your online data or might store your data and identity. With the VPNs 256-bit encryption, you can avoid the trackers and malware and safeguard your online data and identity.
These reasons will most likely help you decide if you want to get yourself a VPN.If you have already decided so far, then the next step is to help you decide which VPN is best for you.
Prevents You From Being Tracked
Many people are afraid to be spied on. These concerns happen not for no reason. Your device is usually connected to cellular towers and satellites that also screen your personal data. This information is collected by marketers, advertisers, governments, and different swindlers.
Just use a VPN on your phone and stop the threat. Once you are connected through another server , you are totally safe. malefactors wont be able to track your real IP address and your personal data.
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Will A VPN Slow Down My Internet Connection
No, a VPN should connect to your existing Wi-Fi network with no conflicts. The VPN should only affect your virtual network connection and not the actual connection with the phone/broadband line. So, youll still be connected to your original network, though you will appear to be running through your own network. Therefore, your internet connection should still run at a reasonable speed.
Do You Actually Need A VPN
This video is sponsored by NordVPN.
After watching several YouTube videos, its hard not to have seen ads for different companies full of ominous warnings that unless you pay for their service, your private internet data is not safe on public wifi and that your internet provider can track your every move. But is that actually the case?
The short answer is: no, not really. While Virtual Private Networks are legitimately useful for a number of things , most VPNs advertise three major benefits, in roughly this order: hiding your private data from hackers, preventing tracking from your internet provider, and getting around various forms of content blocking. While the third reason in that list is legitimate, the second is a misrepresentation and the first is more or less an outright lie.
Lets examine the biggest reason VPN providers claim you should use their product: to hide your personal information. On their website, NordVPN lists passwords and usernames, medical history, private conversations, online banking credentials, and work emails as examples of private data that can be unveiled, and its heavily implied that anyone can steal your credit card number and bank password just by connecting to the same public wifi as you.
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When You’re Traveling
If you’re traveling to a foreign country , a VPN can help you access services that may not be available in that country.
Often, the VPN will allow you to use streaming services that you paid for and have access to in your home country, but for international rights issues aren’t available in another. Using a VPN can make it seem like you’re enjoying the service just like you were at home. VPN use sees huge spikes from non-U.S. countries during events like the Super Bowl and March Madness. Netflix is always trying to crack down on VPN users, but many VPN providers are continuously adapting their services in response. It’s a bit of a whack-a-mole game, but some VPNs do, in fact, poke through.
Travelers may also be able to find cheaper airfare when using a VPN, as prices can vary from region to region.
Is There A Free VPN
The most effective free VPNs of 2020 are ProtonVPN, Windscribe, TunnelBear, and Hotspot Defend. TunnelBears free trial has no time restrict and helps as much as 500 MB of knowledge per day, and Hotspot Defend additionally has no time restrict on their free trial, though it solely works on one gadget.
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When A VPN Can Help
For some people in some circumstances, VPN services can be a useful part of a plan to improve your online security and privacy.
As described above, VPNs can mask your IP address. Although there are many other ways to track you across the web, an IP address is an easy tool for doing that. Masking it can provide a bit of distance if youre connecting to a site you dont trustespecially when you combine a VPN with additional privacy methods.
Hiding your IP address can offer protection against being easily identified by small sites where administrators look at the logs. And because some sites do use IP addresses for ad retargeting, a VPN is one of several tools that can prevent those annoying ads from following you across the web.
In addition, you might want privacy from the owner of the local coffee shop, or the administrators at your college or a community center. Whoever runs the WiFi network youre using can learn what websites youre communicating with. If you have a personal relationship where you know the name of the person operating your network, you might consider using a VPN, because that level of connection also allows the person to make a connection to you, Guido says. They might know your name. They might want to know what youre doing.
How To Stay Secure With A VPN
A VPN works by encrypting your online presence. The only way to decipher this encryption is with a key. Only your computer and the VPN know this key, making it impossible for your ISP to tell where you are browsing.
Different VPNs will use different encryption processes, but generally speaking, it works in three stages:
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Is Private Browsing Really Private
You might be asking yourself. “Do I really need a VPN when my browser has private browsing?”
Popular web browsers include a feature called private browsing, which enables users to browse the web without saving their history, search information, and temporary local data like cookies. Private browsing is available through top browsers, such as Apple Safari on Mac and iOS, Google Chromes Incognito mode, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edges InPrivate Browsing.
A browser’s private browsing mode will prevent data from being stored on a users local device or computer. However, it does not necessarily prevent information from being shared between the users device or computer and their ISP. Furthermore, third parties may be able to detect users activity through private browsing sessions, which they can use to exploit their operating system.
When You’re A Remote Worker Or Student
Many employers require the use of a VPN to access company services remotely, for security reasons. A VPN that connects to your office’s server can give you access to internal company networks and resources when you’re not in the office. It can do the same for your home network while you’re out and about.
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To Use Free Streaming Apps
Free streaming applications are not always legal to watch since they give you access to unlicensed or copyrighted content. So, it might cause you problems if you are tracked back.
In order to avoid any legal problem, you should use a VPN while using free streaming applications which will make you safe and secure from any trackbacks.
Are You Transferring Money
Transferring money is a little more complicated. If PayPal detects that you are using a VPN, it will lock your account to prevent it from being hacked by cybercriminals. If it happens, youll have to send a copy of your ID to PayPals security team to unlock your account.
Your bank may use similar security protocols, which will make using a VPN for internet banking tricky. However, its still critical to protect your personal information when youre transferring money. Luckily, there are some easy hacks to overcome this without having your account locked.
The most effective way to prevent this is to connect to a nearby VPN server. That way, it wont look like your connection is coming from outside the country. If youve got an Australian PayPal account, for example, and you log in through a US VPN server, PayPals alarm bells will go off.
If youre looking for a good VPN to use with PayPal or online banking, prioritize services that offer WebRTC blocking. WebRTC blocking ensures that your browser wont leak your geolocation. CyberGhost prevents WebRTC leaks and gives you the option to use a dedicated IP so that PayPal wont recognize it as an address that belongs to a VPN company.
For more information, check out our article about the Best VPNs for PayPal.
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What Are The Risks Of Going Online On Any Android Device
Leaving an android device unprotected presents a variety of risks such as:
An internet service provider can control internet speeds through a technique called throttling. If the ISP senses a bottleneck in the network, it will lower the internet speed to reduce congestion. A VPN prevents the ISP from tracking a users activity. Its similar to driving on the shoulder of the road to bypass all the cars in a traffic jam only the car is invisible.
A denial-of-service is a cyber-attack in which a hacker tries to deny access to a network or a machine. The hacker interrupts the service of the host. To succeed at denying access, the hacker must recognize all attempts at a connection. A VPN masks a user activity, allowing them to bypass the DDoS attack. They can get around the hacker.
Tracking All Activity
People often wonder how advertisers, government agencies, or hackers can trace their every move online. The agencies use a machines IP address or to track the user. A VPN masks the real IP address and replaces it with a fake address. Someone may think a user is in Los Angeles when their actual location is London. Masking makes it nearly impossible to track online activity.
Blocking Internet Access in Certain Countries or Regions
It can be frustrating trying to access online gaming services in some countries. A virtual private network can bypass ISP or subscription service restrictions. Users can go almost anywhere to play or download games.