What does a VPN do to keep your data safe?
A VPN allows you to browse the internet in a securely and anonymously. Is a VPN safe and legal? This is what we look at in this article. In addition, you can select any virtual geo-location that is supported by a VPN service provider. It encrypts your data, which passes through a VPN tunnel. The tunnel restricts access to this encrypted data. Third parties on the internet use your data for financial or political gain.
These include hackers, advertisers, governments, and other individuals who use browsing data to make decisions. Encryption protects your data from these parties. Fortunately, a VPN solves this problem. Provided you use a trusted VPN with the latest encryption protocol, a good VPN keeps your data safe.
You even unblock content from sites like Netflix which restrict some countries or torrent with no problems.
Why is a free VPN not safe to use?
It is not advisable to use a free VPN because you put yourself at a high risk of hackers. Remember, it costs money to run a VPN service, and you pay in cash or in kind. Nowadays, when online, it is crucial to keep your data safe. Free VPNs use the following tactics to take advantage of you:
- They usually have no clear policies on how to handle your data. In the end, they easily sell that data to third parties like advertisers
- Ads displayed when you connect are intrusive and cause poor user experience. In addition, since ads use the internet to be targeted, they use up your data.
- A significant number of free VPNs originate from China and they gather information from specific countries
- Your login credentials are at risk of hackers if you enter them in a free VPN network. This is because there is no security guarantee.
- Free VPNs use inferior encryption protocols that sacrifice security for speed. Watch out if the main strength is speed only because developers cut too many corners.
Can a VPN be hacked?
A VPN safe and legal must be immune to cyber-attacks. There is a continuous evolution of VPN protocols with the latest being Wireguard which promises to surpass OpenVPN protocol. This means there is always a risk of hacking. However, you markedly reduce that risk by using the best, trusted VPNs. To begin with, a free VPN is out of the question as it has the highest risk of being hacked. In other words, most of the free VPNs have questionable security features.
When you sign up for a paid VPN, like NordVPN, ensure that all standard features are available. These features include:
- No logs policy
- No DNS leaks
- Use of the most secure VPN protocol like OpenVPN or Wireguard
- Previous audit results on their websites showing a positive review
- Wide geographical coverage of VPNs. The more the servers, the more the IP addresses that are available
- Use of AES 256-bit encryption
If security policies are transparent, this means the service provider is doing an excellent job in keeping hackers at bay.
Is VPN dangerous?
The quick answer is it depends on the type of VPN you are using. If you use a free VPN then you are putting yourself in danger as it is not safe. A good VPN should keep your data secure while you browse the internet. A VPN provider should not keep your data in their servers or grant access to browsing history by third parties.
Therefore using a VPN is not dangerous if you stick to trusted names. If you don’t find the VPN you are using in any independent review site, proceed with extreme caution.
Are VPNs a waste of money?
If you value online security and privacy, then using a VPN is definitely not a waste of money. Remember that when you are online, your personal data is at risk. Consequently, this can cost you a lot of money if it falls in the wrong hands. You need to take advantage of free trials and money-back guarantees that premium VPN providers offer. That way you get a VPN that suits your needs and your pocket.
As it is highlighted in a previous section, no two VPNs are created equal. They fall into categories, some of which are:
- Overall best
- Best for speed
- Ease of use
- Number of servers
Is it safe to keep your VPN on at all times?
You have to use a VPN every time you go online. This is because attempts to get hold of your private data do not stop. In addition, your ISP views all your traffic if you don’t use a VPN. However, when you access sites like Google Maps, you make sure you are showing the right IP address. Any other IP address shows the wrong results.
Some VPNs use split-tunneling to whitelist sites that you specify. They also route some of the traffic out of the VPN tunnel. This means you can access a restricted site while using your actual IP address for other functions. Be aware of the risks associated with exposing your identity, because once you enable split tunneling you are partially visible.
Is a VPN safe and legal? – Legal aspects
VPNs are legal in most countries. However, in some countries with internet restrictions, a VPN is a gateway to freedom of access to information. This is because a VPN makes it difficult for your ISP to keep track of your online activities. As a result, countries like China outlaw VPNs, serve a few providers with close ties with the government.
This means the network provider logs your internet data. Consequently, any dubious activity on your part will attract litigation. On the other end, some countries allow VPN services to operate under strict conditions. The government has access to user data on VPN servers on demand. Check with your local regulatory authorities before using a VPN. That way the VPN is safe to use and you are not found on the wrong side of the law.
That’s it for now. Leave comments and let me know what you think. Is a VPN safe and legal? Now you know the legal aspects of a VPN.