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October 15, 2020

Are VPNs Completely Secure? The Lowdown on Online Data Privacy

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With modern living as intertwined with the internet as it is, it’s natural for people to have privacy and security concerns. Today, everything a person does daily, from calling for taxi rides to shopping, can be done online. These activities seem relatively harmless. However, consider that many of our jobs, and our online banking are also conducted online, activities which contain a lot of information about us. As society becomes more reliant on internet connectivity for the most basic of daily tasks, the threats to your online data privacy become more and more pronounced.

One way to address these threats and concerns is through the use of a virtual private network (VPN). 

  • How do VPNs work?
  • What are they used for?
  • Can hackers compromise VPNs?

How Do VPNs Work? 

VPNs shield your online activity from prying eyes by encrypting your data and masking your IP address by routing your connection to another server over the internet. This routing makes your connection appear as though it’s coming from somewhere else, which helps keep you and your activities online anonymous. In addition, changing your apparent location online also gives you access to region-restricted websites.

What Are VPNs Used For?

There are several uses for VPNs. For example, VPNs can offer online data privacy and encryption for those accessing sensitive data (like your banking information). In that same vein, businesses use it to securely access and send confidential data while working outside the company network. 

Meanwhile, others use VPNs for access to region-restricted content in streaming services, such as Netflix or Hulu. Many people living in countries with strict censorship laws also temporarily or permanently use VPNs to access websites banned by their governments. 

Can VPNs Be Compromised?

Theoretically, yes. After all, VPNs are nothing more than a collection of servers in several locations, and servers can be hacked. However, since encryption should already have happened by this point, it will likely be of little use to attackers. 

In addition, tracking you will be nearly impossible, because VPNs assign you a new IP address and run your data through different servers. Finally, even if a hacker gains access to a VPN server, a trustworthy VPN shouldn’t store any user information, so there would be nothing for a hacker to find.

It’s worth noting that while VPNs can theoretically be hacked with enough time and computing power, most attackers won’t even try. Hackers typically look for low-hanging and unprotected “fruit” (ie. data) that they can exploit quickly and gather before getting caught. As such, using a VPN will most likely secure your internet access from common threats. 

When shopping around for a VPN for your online data privacy, look for differentiating features, such as a kill switch. This allows you to instantly block outgoing and incoming data if the VPN connection drops for any reason. Other features to look for include military-grade AES-256 encryption, DNS leak protection, and zero-logging. 

Conclusion 

Don’t think that you don’t need VPN protection just because you are not a high-profile personality. Remember that attackers are always looking for the simplest vulnerabilities to exploit. Encrypting your information through a virtual private network will protect you from most common threats today. 

Are you looking for the best VPN that can completely secure your data? HotBot provides robust VPN protection for the discerning internet user. HotBot’s features include access to region-locked content, multi-device use, anonymous browsing, and other robust security features. You can download the Windows version from our website. Our mobile apps are also available for download from the Play Store or App Store!

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