It’s hard to imagine how we ever lived without the Internet. Not only has it done wonders for education by bringing unlimited information to our fingertips, but it’s opened up a world of instant communication that many never thought possible. As technology continues to evolve, so do the ways in which we are able to access the Internet. No longer do we need to be tethered to massive home computers and dial-up connections. With the advent of smartphones and wireless routers, most of us are connected to the Internet 24-7.
While the benefits of constant Internet access are undeniable, it creates a range of potential dangers that are often overlooked by the average person. Cybercrime is a very real threat to your privacy and anyone using the Internet should be on constant alert for suspicious activity. As a way to stay proactive against cybercrime, virtual private networks, or VPNs, are becoming increasingly popular among Internet users as a way to protect their data and maintain privacy.
What is cybercrime?
Put simply, cybercrime is any illegal activity that takes place over the Internet. What once was considered a mere inconvenience to large corporations and their servers, cybercrime has evolved into a household danger that puts identities and personal property at risk. Cyber criminals, often located far away from their victims, are able to easily steal identities and even large sums of money with very little risk of ever being caught.
Most people think of cyber criminals as bandits stealing bank account or credit card information and using it to make purchases illegally. While this situation is a major problem that every Internet user should be aware of, it barely scratches the surface of what cybercrime truly is.
One of the most popular forms of cybercrime is to gain control over a person’s e-mail or social media account and use it to send spam messages. Usually these messages contain a fake link that when clicked will download malicious software onto the recipient’s computer. That software can be used to steal information or to gain control over that victim’s accounts as well. These types of attacks are often quite successful because rather than receiving the message from a random entity, your friends are receiving the information from a trusted source: you.
It can happen anywhere
Cybercrime is a constant threat and can affect anyone, anywhere. We now live in a world where Internet access is available in just about every public location we visit. Companies often use free Internet access as a way to draw in patrons and coax them into spending money at their establishment. It’s not uncommon to walk into a coffee shop and see dozens of people sitting around with laptops and cell phones connected to a free, often unsecured wireless connection.
Often times it’s our complacency that puts us most at risk of being the victim of a cyber attack. Most mobile devices have an optional setting that allows them to connect to any available wireless connection in the area automatically. You may not even be actively using your device but being connected may put you at risk all the same. It’s usually best to turn this setting off and connect to networks manually. That way, you’re always aware of when you’re connected and can take any necessary precautions.
It can happen to you
It’s easy to assume that because you are aware of cybercrime and you use virus protection software that you could never be a victim. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by this false sense of security. Just look at the recent breaches of Apple, Sony and Home Depot as an example. These companies have massive budgets dedicated to protecting themselves against these types of threats. Still, their systems were manipulated in a way that caused people’s privacy to be violated and personal information to be stolen.
While the average person may not have the security budget that these large companies have, there are things that you can do to further protect yourself from cyber criminals. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure sensitive information never leaves your computer. This is where VPNs become extremely beneficial.
How VPNs can help
VPNs like Newshosting can be an invaluable tool for taking a proactive approach to protecting yourself against cybercrime. When making online bank transactions or sending private e-mails, especially using a wireless network, sensitive information can easily be obtained by individuals with a little cyber know-how. VPNs help to prevent this situation by encrypting any information you send over the Internet. Even if a hacker is able to obtain some of the pieces sent through the network, the heavily encrypted information will be completely useless to them. This extra layer of protection really goes a long way toward protecting your sensitive date. See also: Newshosting VPN Manual Setup Guides
If you send personal information over the Internet without first connecting to a VPN like Newshosting, you’re doing yourself a major disservice and unnecessarily putting yourself at risk. VPNs are very affordable and easy to use, Newshosting’s VPN-only rates start as low as $11.95 per month.
There is no reason for you to not take full advantage of everything the Internet has to offer, but always be sure to keep yourself protected in the process.
Have you ever been the victim of cybercrime? Share your story in the comments below!