A new study from AVG Technologies found that digital maturity, when a child’s online behaviors begin to mimic those of an adult, is reached at age 11. Granted, that 11-year-old is probably not on an online dating site or managing a stock portfolio, but he or she is probably spending a lot of time with online gaming and social networks. Even so, how aware is that 11-year-old of malware and phishing sites, and the other security threats that lurk online? Protect yourself and your tech-savvy kids with a VPN.
A VPN, or virtual private network, can be handy for businesses, but regular consumers ought to consider implementing one for themselves and their homes as well. Sending personal information via your Smartphone or computer by email, online chat rooms, and even legitimate storefronts can end up being trouble if that information is sent over an unsecure network and is intercepted.
Smartphones have become extremely easy to hack because of insecure WiFi networks and Android apps that appear to do one thing but actually also steal all your private information including your login information for Facebook and banks. Over 60 percent of people worldwide have been a victim of cybercrime, which includes identity theft and data breaches. Protect yourself by protecting your Internet activity with a VPN.
The purpose of a VPN is to provide a secure and reliable private connection between computer networks over an existing public network, such as the Internet. A VPN won’t prohibit you from visiting your favorite sites or doing what you need to do online. Think of a VPN as a sort of VIP door, where only you and a few select others of your choosing may enter (so the rest of your family and your friends can use your Internet as well).
Through the VIP door, you’re able to get in, but you are also aware of who else is getting in through that door (and who isn’t). So, when you’re visiting those legitimate storefronts to purchase Christmas presents this year, or maybe pick out that great outfit for New Year’s, you can do so without worrying about someone going through the VIP door behind you to watch your every move and steal your credit card information.
A VPN also does more than just keep who’s coming in and out under your control – it encrypts all the data that you transmit over the network. So if someone tries to sneak in through that VIP door, or even just wants to look at you, there’s a bouncer there, the encryption, to stop that person.
Additionally, the VPN for your home doesn’t have to be for your literal home either. It could be something you specifically access on your mobile devices, when you are on the go looking for a good restaurant or checking your email over lunch. So you can have your VIP entrance and bouncer anywhere you go.
One in five smartphone users conduct online banking on their mobile devices, putting their accounts, PINS, and passwords at risk. Having your own personal VPN can protect that information as well, especially since smartphones store that sort of information. If a cybercriminal can get into your phone, then they can get that information. Having your own VPN prevents a cybercriminal from getting in, no matter where you choose to use your smartphone. This is especially important since one third of smartphone users take advantage of public Wi-Fi hotspots, which aren’t always the most secure or the most legitimate Wi-Fi access points out there.
If anything, setting up a VPN is a good idea for security’s sake. It may seem like extra hassle to get it set up and to coordinate who can use the network, but that hassle is worth it when you think about the consequences of identity theft and other cybercrimes. If you are interested in setting up a VPN, visit vpn4all.com or ocshield.com. They are some of the most popular VPN providers out there, and there’s no hardware to install. Adding a VPN won’t even require you to change your Internet provider. After all, you’re not changing or using a different Internet. You’re just changing how you access the Internet and doing it securely.