You’re old enough to remember when you controlled your data. Right? Everything you did on your computer stayed on your computer. You used floppy disks to control what software and data entered your system and what came out. There were no networks. You were in control. Now, other companies control your devices and your data using intensive systems. For this reason, you must guard your data with a VPN.
Guard your data with a VPN
In many ways, your rights in the Digital Age seem almost impossible to protect. Sensors are everywhere, collecting information about you without either your awareness or consent. So, what’s the use of trying to have privacy?
When you guard your data with a VPN, you create a strong, encrypted, anonymous barrier between your devices that can mitigate the threats that are associated with abusive environments.
Nobody wants my data. I don’t need a VPN!
You’re a solopreneur. You earn a living, but nothing you do seems very exciting. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that nobody wants your data.
To the contrary, there are at least eight threats to your privacy that could compromise your clients, business, and life.
After learning about these, you will understand why you need a VPN. You will also discover some threats that a VPN can’t solve.
Banks, insurance companies and other finance-related businesses don’t respect your privacy. They are desperate to learn about your lifestyle, habits, preferences, interests, and friends. They use this information to profile you in ways that directly impact the premiums and interest rates that you pay.
What can go wrong? First, the websites you visit are nobody’s business but yours. Dittos for your who you associate with. Furthermore, corporations should be honest about what they’re doing.
For instance, All Allstate and other companies have mobile applications that record and transmit your motion, speed, and location. That information is being used to track your driving habits and adjust your insurance premiums.
For the most part, your location information is transmitted through the GPS system in your phone, so it’s difficult to block. However, you can use your VPN to improve your privacy. You can prevent your identity, shopping habits, and other personal data from falling into the wrong hands.
Do you remember the Facebook data scandal when Facebook gave Obama their entire user database to help him win the 2012 election? Then, in 2016, a third party downloaded a fraction of that information for use with the Trump campaign.
NEWSFLASH: You have zero privacy on social media.
Now, think about the political campaigns that involve the 100 U.S. Senate seats, 400+ Congressmen, and thousands of state and local elected officials. Thanks to Big Tech and big data, your data is in high demand.
“So what?”, you might say. Today’s politically charged atmosphere has overtaken the corporate world. So, if your boss is affected, you could get fired for your policial beliefs. To protect yourself, hide your online tracks with a VPN.
What about your car?
Cars are becoming “smarter” every day. Already, many cars have built-in WiFi to which every phone and tablet in your car may connect. That means that whoever manages that system can see all your online activity and report it to the auto manufacturer and the government.
Of course, you also need to worry about hackers breaking into your car and taking control over it. However, right now, a VPN won’t protect you from that (unless you have a VPN-enabled car).
So, that’s just another threat you need to know about.
Guard your data in your car with just as much care as you do your home router and internet service. To preserve your privacy, regularly change the username and password of both the admin and WiFi logins.
Lack of device control
Recent news headlines described how Google’s mobile apps send information to Google even when those apps aren’t running on your phone. Although your VPN may not be able to prevent Google from knowing your location, it can shield your other data from their view.
Meanwhile, new “super apps” including China’s WeChat and other mobile applications are emerging that log practically everything you do. Let’s face it: Your VPN might not stop this type of pervasive data exploitation.
Even worse, new “Smart Cities” depend on the new 5G standard that requires the high-density placement of intrusive sensors. In other words, you can expect to lose control over your device and, consequently, your privacy.
As a mobile worker, you need to have fast internet access wherever you go. Unfortunately, your personal hotspot may not always suffice.
By the way, how secure is your smartphone’s WiFi hotspot?
Anyway, if you use “Free” WiFi at your favorite coffee joint, airport, store, or restaurant, you put yourself, your mobile applications, and your data at risk, because it’s not secure.
Thankfully, when you guard your data with a VPN before accessing the internet, you can safely use “Free” WiFi.
Just remember, when anything is free, especially online, you’re the product. For instance, on social media and search engines, your personal information is being captured and sold.
Corporate and government entities use intensive systems that can collect your data and draw inferences that determine how you are treated. Essentially, you are becoming increasingly vulnerable to discrimination.
For instance, if your online behavior makes corporations think that you are wealthy, that could determine what advertisements you see.
On the other hand, internet users whom algorithms determine to be poor could see a disproportionate number of ads for payday and title loans. Regretfully, in many settings, low-income people are less likely to have access to a paid VPN service.
Ultimately, your data can give away almost every detail of your life and business. As a result, you could miss many good opportunities and be steered into bad ones. So, always connect to your paid VPN service before doing anything online.
Your data can be used against you in many common scenarios. For example, just imagine if you’re trying to sell your photography services to a church and they look you up on Twitter and disapprove of your personal conduct. You could lose that business and never know why.
You could even get doxxed. This happens when someone online who doesn’t like you finds out your name, address, phone number, and other information and publishes it online.
Afterward, hundreds or thousands of people could start calling your phone or visiting your home. Doxxing can also lead to serious threats to your property and physical wellbeing. If you consistently use your VPN, you can stay safe from this threat.
Solopreneurs and freelancers just like you depend on the internet to find at least some of their work. Whenever you accept an online gig, your “clients” can become your overlord. They can grab your IP address, determine your location and monitor your online behavior.
Do yourself a favor by avoiding any gigs that require you to install special software. That simple practice can help keep you safe. Still, even when logging into a website, remember that the site verifies your credentials and knows who you are, even if you’re using a VPN.
In such cases, your VPN can guard some of your data by preventing hackers and snoops from monitoring and tracking your activities. So, go ahead and take online gigs when you have to. Just take every possible precaution.
You’ve just read about eight threats that you face every time you go online. As already noted, a VPN can’t protect you from everything. Some threats require intensive systems that right now are either impractical or too expensive. However, by following sensible practices and consistently using your VPN, you can guard your data and minimize the dangers that you face.