If you asked the average person if they are being tracked when they browse the internet, they would tell you no. After all, how many of us think that hackers would be tracking us? It seems that hackers and criminals would only be interested in people with a lot of wealth or individuals that are high up in a company where hackers can steal trade secrets. The truth is though, all of us are being tracked.
First, your internet comes through a provider. This provider is normally referred to as an ISP. These companies can easily watch what you are doing and also keep logs on your activity. This might not seem like a big deal. After all, most people follow the rules and the fine print.
There are some flaws with this thinking though. The data that you provide with your browsing habits is valuable. Companies will do anything to capture your shopping habits.
How Many Use VPNs Around the World?
Numbers are not exact because of the nature of the study, but as it stands, close to a quarter of people on the internet use a form of a VPN. That is a huge number that shows people want to keep their online behavior private.
This number is just expected to grow in the coming years. Laws have been passed that have stated it is ok for providers to sell the information they have gleaned from users of their product. This was a slap in the face of any citizen that values their privacy and feels strongly about data rights. How can you fight back? What are the most used VPN services that you can use?
Click the above link for ZenMate and you will see that they have your exact location. How can this happen? How does a website know that I am located in Atlanta Georgia and not one of many other cities in America? The answer is your IP address.
Once again looking at the home page for ZenMate, you will see that they can see your IP address. This is like a digital fingerprint that is unique to only you. With this, a script can determine where you are in the world and put you at risk. What can you do about this?
ZenMate is a great service that has servers in over 70 countries. With unlimited connections, you can stay safe from hackers and cyber criminals. When the monthly cost is barely the price of a small coffee, it is easy to see why this is a VPN that is used the most.
Another VPN service that is used a lot is HideMyAss or HMA. Should you use HMA if you are on public Wi-Fi? Absolutely! Wi-Fi is always a danger when you don’t control it. You are at risk for the following.
- Password Sniffing
- Man-in-the-middle attacks
You don’t have to be a computer expert to know that none of these will be good for your personal security. If a hacker is on the same network as you, it can be simple for them to watch your data and then run it through a program to figure out what you are looking at and what websites you are visiting.
Your local Starbucks down the road may not even have the latest updates for the router they are using. This means if you frequently are working from public areas, you need a VPN like HMA.
When do you need to use ExpressVPN? When you travel on business, it is the perfect time to use a VPN service. Let’s imagine a scenario where you go to China. In another country, you might be behind a national firewall. This firewall will restrict what you can do and it will also limit your free speech. Also, when using an access point in a foreign country, you have to think about if they are going to steal intellectual property when you use their connection.
If you are traveling a lot for work, a VPN is a must. Why not go with ExpressVPN? The cost to get started is very low to the point that you won’t even notice the monthly payment. When you consider that your job might be on the line if any secrets get out, the decision is simple. Go with a VPN that has years of experience and round the clock support. You want ExpressVPN which is used by a huge customer base around the world.
Are you wondering when to use ProtonVPN? The answer is simple. When you are streaming content, you should get the right to stream no matter where you live. Media companies often sell rights to other countries and make it almost impossible to see your favorite show if you are traveling. This is a huge downside of global streaming. Unlock all those shows with ProtonVPN. The service is fast and efficient and allows you to browse multiple libraries for Netflix instead of just the one for your country.
5. Atlas VPN
Not many things are better than free. Atlas VPN has a free tier that is perfect for people to try out the product. It is also why it is one of the most used VPN services out then. When should I use Atlas VPN? If you want to see all the latest sports, you want to sign up for Atlas. Say you are out of town and you have waited all year for March Madness, the famous basketball tournament. You don’t have to miss any of the NCAA action when you have Atlas VPN! Unlock content from all over the world.
6. SurfShark VPN
When do you want to use SurfShark VPN? The answer is right now. Users have reported that as soon as they turned on the service, they just left it on. Since this was rated at 4.5 stars on Trustpilot, you can understand why this is a service that is used by so many.
Does SurfShark work with YouTube? Absolutely. Don’t let yourself get limited when you want to watch content from around the world. SurfShark will unlock videos and content on YouTube that you would not normally be able to see. Users from Britain noted that everything that they were interested in over in Australia was blocked. Why go without when it comes to your favorite show or series?
Another huge advantage is that SurfShark can save you money on airline tickets. There have been many different hacks to help people save a bit on their next flight. A VPN is a great way to fool the airlines so it seems like you are coming from another country. Take advantage of the great deals that would be limited to other regions when you use an excellent service like SurfShark.
The Need to Stay Anonymous
When you get an ad on Youtube that relates directly to what you were just searching for, you can tell that someone is tracking you. Things get even more strange though when people began to realize that they were being offered things through ads on subjects they never searched.
Even when you think your phone is off, it is still listening to conversations and compiling information. Many cases have been reported of users talking about a certain subject while within microphone distance for their phone. Suddenly, they are getting ads related to this and they can’t figure out why.
This raises the question, if companies are so willing to eavesdrop on conversations to sell you products, what else will they do with your data?
Dangers of Browsing without a VPN
When your Internet Service Provider is tracking what you like to watch and buy while on the Internet, behind the scenes, they can be selling your data. This may come as a shock to many, but the fact is that an ISP will do whatever they can to make cash.
Once your data is sold off to advertisers, you may find you are now getting more spam emails, pop up advertisements, and junk mail. Advertisers are desperate for an edge in the marketing world and will hammer you with products they think you will be interested in.
The Rise of VPN Services
People noticed more and more there is a rise in advertisers trying to get your data in whatever way they can. This is when a VPN started to become more popular. In the United States, Equifax was hacked. This divulged the social security number for millions of people and put them at risk for fraud.
Equifax is just the tip of the iceberg. If a company this large can be hacked when they are part of the backbone for the American credit system, then there is no company that is safe. While Internet Providers collect information about what you buy, they may also be painting a picture of the users that should be kept private. What bank do you use? What health conditions do you have? Have you spoken out against a suppressive government when you thought you were anonymous?
If any of these Internet Providers were to be hacked, all of this information could be revealed at once and put your identity, freedom, and safety at risk.