Anything and everything you put over the Internet is subject to being spied upon. There’s no way to avoid this being the case. The way you control whether or not you are spied upon is by controlling what you put over the network.
Ideally, your communications should be encrypted so that they are completely unreadable by anybody spying in. The easiest way to accomplish this is through a VPN.
If you want to achieve total privacy, you have to be smart about how you use a VPN. The following tips will help you to achieve a very high level of privacy that should be enough to give you peace of mind about being able to use the Internet without anyone checking in to see what you’re up to:
Your desktop computers should be protected by a VPN. For most users, the most sensible VPN package is going to be one that offers unlimited bandwidth. This allows you to start up the VPN as soon as you login and to leave it on until you turn the computer off. If you do this, all of your traffic is encrypted. You’ll want to make certain that you’re going with a provider that uses tier 1 servers so that there is adequate bandwidth on the network. Most of them do an excellent job of keeping their connections very fast.
Tablets and Pads
Any type of tablet computer or pad computer is as vulnerable to being hacked as is any desktop computer. Not every VPN provider out there offers protection for these devices; you’ll need to make certain that you choose a provider that does offer this type of protection if you use a mobile device. The mobile devices may require that you configure them manually, which sounds a lot more intimidating than it actually is. Provided you have a decent level of proficiency with your mobile device, you shouldn’t have any trouble setting it up with a VPN.
Internet technology has changed the world so much that tapping a phone no longer requires a pair of wire cutters and a van to sit outside and listen. In fact, smartphones are some of the most vulnerable electronic devices around. Fortunately, they can be provided with a VPN connection.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have a cellular phone contract that grandfathered you in with unlimited bandwidth, you probably have a bandwidth cap on your smartphone. This makes it tempting to hook up to public networks, when the opportunity is available. Make sure you get a VPN provider who offers protection for smart phones. Many of them do these days. There may be some limitations on what types of protocols you can use but, for a smartphone, even the most lightweight protocols, such as PPTP, are vast improvements over surfing the Internet with no protection at all.
One of the real advantages of using a VPN network for protection is the fact that it protects all of your communication, even before it gets to the Internet. You should have your wireless network locked down, of course, but you’re in a much better situation security wise if your computers are also using a VPN connection. This plugs up another hole that somebody could use to get to information they could use to exploit you.
Encrypting communications is the first and, in many ways, most significant step toward enjoying complete Internet privacy. You will also want to make certain that you have good antivirus software, a good firewall and that you watch out for adware and other nuisances. Provided you do this, you should enjoy a very safe and secure experience using the Internet at home or on public networks.
About the author: Michael Maxstead is a big fan of VPN and provides in depth information and reviews on VPN services. Visit VPNReviewz.com for more information on how to use VPN and choose the right service for you.
Image credit: Hanspeter Klasser