Virtual private networks (VPNs) are becoming more common. Many people use VPNs to establish an encrypted connection over a public network or to add privacy and security.
Think of a VPN as a private tunnel. Connect to the internet using a one, limits the ability of others being able to access the data that you device sends and recevies. Many find this useful when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network at a cafe, airport, or hotel.
People also use VPNs to hide their IP addresses. They may not want internet service providers (ISPs), government agencies, or third parties tracking them online. With a VPN, the websites you visit see the server’s address(es) belonging to the VPN service provider, not your own. This masks your location and helps protect your privacy.
Others use such services to get around access restrictions based on geography. Appearing as if you are in a different than you really are, can enable access to otherwise blocked online content.
So, a VPN can do a lot of valuable things. Nevertheless, it cannot do everything people sometimes expect.
What a Virtual Private Network can’t hide
Yes, a VPN can hide your IP address, geolocation, personal information, and browsing activity. Here’s what it can’t do.
#1 Guarantee absolute anonymity
Continuing the tunnel analogy, if you turn left or right once you’re through the tunnel, that’s up to you. It’s the same with a VPN. It can get you securely to a site, such as Facebook or Netflix, but once you connect and sign in, they’ll know it’s you and still be able to track your activity.
#2 Save you from yourself
If you enter your credit card information on a suspect website, the VPN won’t stop you. Even if you’re using a VPN, you’ll still want to be careful about financial fraud and use a secure payment method.
#3 Stop malware or viruses
Browsing the internet using a VPN does not prevent malicious software. To stay safe online, install a good antivirus program. Then, keep it and your computer systems patched and update regularly.
#4 Hide your MAC address
What’s a MAC address? That’s your device’s Media Access Control address. Your IP address can change, but a MAC address is unique to your computer, smartphone, or other device. If you want to hide this address for extra security and privacy, you’ll have to take added measures.
#5 Get around data-usage restrictions
Using a virtual private network does note hide how much data you’re using in a given month. So, any data limitations from your ISP will still apply.
Use VPNs wisely
A VPN can add privacy and security when you’re browsing. It can help protect your personal data, hide your IP address, and encrypt your Web traffic, but it can’t do everything. You’ll still want to have appropriate security measures in place.
Our experts can help you set up a VPN and antivirus software. We can also keep your devices updated and support your caution online. To find out more Contact Us or give us a call at 604-200-2234.