VPNs are not just for traveling abroad or connecting to your company’s network anymore. They are quickly becoming a necessity for many internet users. In this article, investor Dan Calugar cites four good reasons you should use a VPN.
1. Improved Privacy
Internet privacy is a big deal, or at least it should be. Remember learning about the nineteenth-century California Gold Rush? Well, personal data is the new gold, and companies, large and small, are rushing to get more and more data about you and your business.
Big companies, like Google, track your every move on the internet. Ostensibly this is done so Google and their partners can serve up more relevant ads – which on the surface seems benign. Because, if you must endure ads anyway, they might as well be relevant to your interests, right?
But, that’s not all that happens with your personal data. It is sold like a commodity – one which you have no control over to whom it is sold. Data collection companies store vast amounts of data in data lakes and then slice, dice, sort, and filter the data to understand what you do online and why you do it. At best, it is creepy, and at worst, it is nefarious.
2. Better Compac
Free WiFi connections are ubiquitous. They’re not just at Starbucks anymore. All this free internet access is great for productivity but not so great for security. As a result, cyber threat actors have devised all kinds of clever ways to gain access to your systems and information using free WiFi.
It should be your hard and fast rule to never use free WiFi without the protection provided by a VPN. A VPN will encrypt your data so that even if the bad guys get ahold of it, they won’t be able to decrypt or use it to their advantage.
3. Avoid Geo-blockin
In many countries, access to what you can and can’t see or do on the internet is blocked in specific locations. When traveling internationally, this can be a bigger problem than just not catching the latest episode of your favorite show. All the accurate news and information you depend on can be censored if you do not use a VPN.
4. Avoid Geo-pricin
In the “old days” of the internet, you could depend on everyone getting the same price for items sold online. That was because marketing folks hadn’t yet figured out how to adjust their prices based on location. Now they can. It is becoming more and more popular for companies to adjust their prices for specific geographic areas. A VPN provides the mask that prevents sellers from determining the location from which you log on. Of course, they can require that you provide that information, but you can give any location you choose.
These are only four of the dozens of benefits of a VPN. In a world where your personal information is like gold and cybercrime is rampant, you should do all you can to protect your systems and data. A VPN is a great place to start.