Whenever you use a public Wi-Fi connection, you run the risk of someone else on that network connection snooping through your browsing activity. They could be doing this to try to capture your passwords or other personal information as you enter it on websites. Fortunately, you can easily protect yourself from these cyber crimes by using a Virtual Private Network, or a VPN.

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network protects your connection by encrypting your traffic. That means that your information and activity are hidden behind the encryption until it gets to its destination; no one else on the network will be able to intercept or snoop on anything you’re doing while on that connection. It turns your connection to a public network into a virtually private one.

If you ever connect to an unsecure and public Wi-Fi network (for example, in a hotel lobby, at a coffee shop, or at a library), it’s a good idea to use a VPN in order to protect yourself, since you have no control over who else is on that network and what they are doing.

Why Should I Use One?

As we have discussed before, cyber security is a big part of personal security and even home security these days because everything is online. Because your home security and home automation account is online, if someone maliciously gains access to your login information, they can control and access your home. Using a VPN allows you to enjoy security even on public, unsecured Wi-Fi connections. It prevents hackers from stealing your passwords, bank account information, and credit card details. It also protects the device you are using from malware and phishing.

VPNs do more than just keep hackers out. They also allow you to safeguard your location and personal details, shielding it from nosy internet service providers and manipulative websites that try to use that information to target you with messages or hiked prices. Because it hides your location, it also allows you to bypass online restrictions based on your geoblocking. You can access foreign websites from home. And if you’re abroad, you can still access websites as if you’re home—even if they’re blocked by that country’s government or your workplace.

Where Can I Find a VPN?

There are many VPN services available. You can find them online with a quick search. They come in a variety of prices with a variety of features. Most VPN providers offer a free trial. Before you decide to pay for a service, use the trial first to make sure that it meets your needs!

Good luck and stay safe.