How to Get into Cybersecurity

As our world becomes more and more intertwined with technology, there is a growing need for cybersecurity specialists who are skilled enough to deal with the growing threat of hackers, cyber attacks, and insecure data. As pressures mount on CEOs to take more responsibility for their organizations’ cybersecurity, the field is expanding.

Those who can get into it will find themselves handsomely compensated for their skill and dedication.

It’s not all about the money, though—many people go into cybersecurity purely out of an overarching interest in technology. The aim also is to work in a field that’s relevant, upcoming and impacts real change in our digital world.

Why Cybersecurity?

If you are looking for a field with guaranteed job security, look no further than cybersecurity.

While most modern tech-orientated professions are inherently safe, cybersecurity is by far the most secure. Employment Opportunities in the industry are expected to continue rising over the next decade or so, and that’s despite the fact that there is currently a cybersecurity skills shortage.

So not only is demand growing, it is growing alongside a shortage of skilled specialists. As a cybersecurity professional, you will have a job for life and could have the opportunity to diversify and work across lots of different industries, organizations, and government agencies. The possibilities are endless!

Getting into Cybersecurity: A Short Guide

Lots of people don’t consider themselves ‘worthy’ of a career in cybersecurity, either because they don’t think they are intelligent enough or they don’t have a background in tech.

While having a background is certainly advantageous, it is not a requirement—there are plenty of opportunities for people with non-tech backgrounds who want to transition over.

Let’s take a look at both options.

Traditional tech background: education at a good school

Of course, having a tech background and relative education in the fields related to cybersecurity—data science, computer science, and even some law courses are all great examples— are generally favorable, it is not the most important factor.

With a background in IT and tech, you will be able to get to grips with cybersecurity work at a faster pace than those who haven’t got one.

Tech-related skills such as programming, software engineering, and web development are all transferable to cybersecurity.

Start with coding for the web – HTML, CSS, JavaScript

By being able to read, write, and understand code, you will be more likely to pick up on malicious code, technical red flags, and other cybersecurity threats quicker than somebody who has never come across a line of code other than the odd bit of HTML.

Some of the best schools in the U.S. for cybersecurity-related education and training include —

Computer Science should be the default choice at universities

Computer Science is by far the most popular subject for students wanting to go into cybersecurity and it is the most respected by employers. Popular jobs for CompSci majors and other technical backgrounds include —

  • Penetration testers
  • Technical analysts
  • Security engineers
Cybersecurity demand is rising as every aspect of life is going digital.

Remember, an anesthesiologist doesn’t skip his preliminary medical education that all doctors go through; information security is a specialization, not a starting point for a career.

CompSci teaches real in-depth knowledge that is useful for a career in information security. While there are specialist cybersecurity degree programs available, it is CompSci that is most valuable for people going down the traditional education route.

A technical background alone, though, while helpful, is not enough—building on-the-job experience is similarly valuable as it demonstrates that you don’t just have technical knowledge, but you know how to apply it.

That’s is an important aspect too; certainly what cybersecurity employers want to see.

Non-tech background: learning about tech through passion and transitioning

Having a non-technical background isn’t a bad thing.

In fact, it can be beneficial as, often, people from non-tech backgrounds think differently from those with tech backgrounds and this can be good for organizations that value skill diversity.

Although you may not have technical skills such as coding and programming knowledge, at least not to the extent required of technical analysts, for example, these can be learned over time and it is not always necessary to have these skills for certain positions. Popular jobs for individuals with non-tech backgrounds include —

  • Technical copywriting
  • Systems security consultant
  • Auditing and policy compliance

Over time, as you learn more about the industry and build your technical skills and knowledge, it is possible to move onto other job roles such as those mentioned above.

Everybody has to begin somewhere and there are plenty of courses, certifications, and programs you can undertake to put you on the right track. These can often be done online and take significantly less time than a college degree does, with some completable in a few months!

Breaking into Cybersecurity Means Starting in Tech First

Although you don’t need a technical background so far as your education is concerned, it is a lot easier to transition into cybersecurity if you have already worked within a tech-related industry or vertical.

It is easier to transition if you have a tech background, but not compulsory.

If you already have worked within a tech-related firm or job, great! You’re already in a great position to start transitioning and targeting cybersecurity firms by playing to your strengths. If you haven’t, that’s fine—it’s never too late to get started.

Here are 4 tips you can draw inspiration from in getting started…

1. Be well-rounded and have a diverse skill set

Who makes the best cybersecurity expert?

  • Somebody with a broad range of skills and well-rounded experience
  • Somebody who only specialized in security, period.

It’s the first person—the best cybersecurity professionals have a diverse skill set and lots of experience in not just security but other disciplines and areas of life.

Cybersecurity is a great career choice.

If you are already working in a tech company or an IT-related role, learn everything there is to know about your current job and start thinking about the role from the perspective of a cybersecurity expert.

Even the most basic employee in the most basic IT role can demonstrate their skills by learning about network security and becoming their own office’s go-to security guy.

2. Brush up on your IT skills

If you aren’t working in or don’t have any experience with IT, start learning the basics and fundamentals. To get anywhere with cybersecurity, you need to understand the basic IT building blocks.

There are lots of online courses, resources, streamable content, and even night courses at community colleges that you can take advantage of in learning the basics.

Network infrastructure and management, basic programming, and cybersecurity basics such as penetration testing are all valuable skills that you will need to know.

3. Start to earn legitimate certifications

Like we have already said, there is no need for you to have a college degree to break into cybersecurity.

Yes, it helps but it is far from being a necessity.

The resources are available in many places!

There is a massive cybersecurity skills shortage right now. Not having a degree won’t prevent prevent you from securing work within the industry if you can demonstrate in-depth and workable knowledge.

Certifications and other ways for you to demonstrate your skills and expertise help in the long-term.

With basic certifications, you are credible enough to work in an entry-level role. From here, prove yourself and you will soon start rising through the ranks and taking on more technical work. Some great sources for certifications online include —

  • CompTIA Security+
  • Udemy: Cybersecurity for Beginners

These are just two of many examples. Some are more “legitimate” than others. Check out your local education institutions, too!

4. Make sure to do some networking

Given the current skills shortage, making sure the right people know who you are and what you are capable of is one of the most important and lucrative things you can do.

You need to get to know as many people within the cybersecurity and tech industries as possible.

Attend conferences, participate in networking events, have a presence online, get involved in debates.

Anything you can do to make sure your name starts to be known within the cybersecurity community, the better.

Constantly Work on Improving Yourself and You Will Make It

Anybody can get into cybersecurity. It doesn’t matter what your background is, what your grades are, or whether you’re an Ivy League CompSci prodigy.

If you want to make it, you can.

Cybersecurity has a huge skill shortage and firms are crying out for new talent.

Start right now by brushing up on the essential skills; look for entry-level or contractor work, and begin your journey.

Tor vs VPN—Why Not Use Both for Complete Security?

It’s no surprise that internet users are increasingly turning to Tor and VPNs today to guard their privacy and security.

General awareness surrounding all things privacy has grown alongside major data breaches impacting millions of people that have made personal data more valuable than ever.

Image courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation

In this precarious climate, Tor and VPN have become two of the best and most powerful tools that are widely accessible and provide unbeatable levels of protection when used properly.

Although there are some similarities between Tor and VPN, they are two very different tools that have applications to different situations.

We’re going to look at Tor vs VPN and consider when you would use one, the other, or both together.

What is Tor?

Tor—The Onion Router—is a non-profit service run and maintained by volunteers. It was created to facilitate safe, anonymous browsing. It is used by journalists, human rights groups, and government agencies for intelligence gathering and safe communications with sources.

Of course, it’s also highly popular with normal, average people who simply want to remain private online.

Tor operates as a decentralized system where internet traffic is routed and relayed through a series of different network layers–servers run by volunteers–rather than going directly to its destination.

This hides both your identity and location so no single server can know how and why you’re accessing the web. Usually, identifying the server will reveal everything about you from timestamps to location. But Tor makes that impossible since you’re not using a single server to go online, but a minimum of three to establish a connection.

If you think of a server as a digital footprint, you can see why this would be so hard to trace. Imagine you’re tracking an animal in the forest, but all around you, you see different sets of footprints bouncing from one place to the next. Who is this creature, where did it come from, and where is it going?

You simply won’t be able to tell.

Image courtesy of Hotspot Shield

Accessing the Tor network is easy. It’s a piece of software you can install and use through a web browser. It’s like Google Chrome… only not as fast!

Pros and Cons of Using Tor

The most obvious benefit of using Tor is that it hides your IP address from any sites you visit. The Tor Project is also active and regularly updated with safety features—it is by far one of the best tools for achieving anonymity online.

The distributed network also makes it harder for hackers to take down the network. It’s not the same as attacking a centralized network where there’s a single location source.

On the other hand, Tor can be quite slow, and it is notorious for compromising users who are visiting sites that don’t use SSL even though data is encrypted as it passes through each relay node. And because it’s run by volunteers, servers can be unreliable and outdated.

Using Tor is limited to a select few devices. You won’t be able to use it on your router or iOS, for instance.

Pros Cons
Free and easy to use Notoriously slow
Provides the best level of anonymity Volunteer-based
Harder to attack Not compatible with all devices

How to use Tor

It’s very easy, just like installing a web browser such as Google Chrome.

  1. Head to the Tor Project website and select the download that applies to you.
  2. Install it using the installation wizard.
  3. Launch it and begin browsing.

That’s it! Make sure you read the best practices and usage advice for Tor, especially if you are privacy-minded.

What is a VPN?

A VPN—Virtual Private Network—also protects your privacy and identity when you use the internet. It does this by routing your traffic through a secure and encrypted server of your choosing. This causes your IP address to change and encrypts any information and data you’re sending or receiving.

VPN servers can be located anywhere in the world. With the best VPNs, you can choose a server to connect to through an intuitive user interface. Once you’re connected to a VPN and start using the internet, your traffic is sent from your computer to the selected VPN server through a secure tunnel and then from the VPN server to its destination. When receiving your traffic, the same happens but in reverse.

Basically, what you’re getting is a middleman, but you’re also taking on the identity and IP address of the middleman instead of using your own. Want to fool websites into thinking you’re a user from France? Just choose a server in France, even though you’re actually in England–and voila!

Image courtesy of Emsisoft

Using a VPN allows you to use the internet normally without revealing your IP address, physical location, or any information about what you are using the internet for. In addition to this, VPNs can also be used for—

  • Bypassing censored internet content (e.g. YouTube in China)
  • Accessing region-locked content on Netflix
  • Staying safe from hackers on public networks
  • Avoiding ISP throttling
  • Safe torrenting

We highly recommend using a VPN even for general day-to-day browsing. In a world where your data is a valuable asset, you should do everything you can to protect it.

Pros and Cons of Using a VPN

Generally speaking, quality VPNs are a one-stop-shop for all your privacy needs.

They anonymize you by hiding your IP address, encrypting your traffic, and operating a no logging policy. Additionally, VPNs are so much faster than Tor and, in many cases, you get the same upload and download speeds when connected to a VPN as you would when you are not connected.

On the other hand, some VPN providers offer slow services, don’t use the best encryption methods, have frequent software failings, and do log your information. This is why it’s important to keep track of your VPN’s Privacy Policy and jurisdiction to avoid any meddling by the 14 Eyes Alliance.

The biggest drawback when comparing a VPN to Tor is the need to carry out research before settling on a VPN service so that you know it’s the right one for what you need. Although there are free VPN providers they are shady and full of viruses.

Pros Cons
Faster than Tor Good VPNs aren’t free
Everything is handled in one place Not all VPN providers are equal
Cross-device compatibility Potential for bad VPNs to compromise you

VPN vs Tor: How the Two Differ

The primary difference between a VPN and Tor is the way that they handle your traffic.

With a VPN, you choose a premium server to connect to and remain on it until you either finish your VPN session or choose another one. When traffic is sent using a VPN, it is encrypted once before it leaves your computer through a secure tunnel to the VPN server where it is decrypted and sent to its final destination.

In contrast, Tor uses a process known as ‘onion routing‘ that selects at least three random volunteer servers and bounces your traffic between them. Just like with a VPN, your traffic is encrypted several times before it leaves your computer and into the network—hence the name onion, because there are multiple encryption layers—headed for its destination. As your traffic reaches each server, one layer of encryption is removed.

With Tor, you are relatively safe and anonymous within the Tor network. Anything that takes place outside of it, e.g. through IM apps, is not protected.

Unlike a VPN, you don’t need to configure Tor in order to begin using it. There is no manual setup involved like there is with some VPN services.

The major areas where VPNs trump Tor are device compatability and speeds–Tor can only be used on desktop devices or Android whereas many good VPNs can be used on other devices like games consoles and routers.

Fast speeds Slow speeds
Wide range of compatible devices Only on desktop or Android
Ease of use depends on service Easy to install and use
Protects all apps on device Only protects activities on the browser
Anonymity depends on logging policy Anonymity depends on network itself

Using Tor and a VPN Together to Maximize Security

While you can use a Tor and VPN together to maximize security, consider whether you really need to do this.

If you do decide to use them together, you will sacrifice overall speed and performance. It does not matter how fast your download speeds are, Tor is inherently slow and randomly bounces your connection through many servers located across the world. There is no way to speed it up, even with the fastest of VPNs.

Using a good VPN service and using it properly is almost always going to be a high enough level of protection. There isn’t really a need for you to use one alongside Tor unless you are browsing the ‘dark web’ and want an added layer of protection should Tor fail. While it is a safe and secure network, it is not fast enough to be used as a matter of course for day-to-day browsing, streaming, or torrenting.

It’s true that using both Tor and VPN together will boost your security, but is it worth the slow speeds? That depends on what you want to do with Tor.

Which VPN is Best for Use With Tor?

We think that NordVPN is your best choice. By combining both Tor and NordVPN, you ensure that–

  1. Your ISP and government agencies do not know you are using Tor.
  2. Your IP address is protected when your traffic is decrypted.

We chose NordVPN because not only do they provide a fast and reliable VPN service that won’t further slow down what is an already slow service (Tor), but they also have specialized Onion Over VPN servers that you can connect to when using Tor. These servers are optimized for Tor but you’re not required to use them. You can use any server you want with Tor.

Of course, it’s best to test out NordVPN with Tor yourself rather than taking our word for it. Take advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee or start your 7-day free trial!

Try NordVPN

5 Ways to Hide Your IP Address That Really Work

Now… we’re not going to ask why you want to hide your IP address or why you want to know how to hide an IP address. Although most people have a legitimate reason for doing so, not everybody does. We’re big privacy advocates–we leave you to do your business!

When you know what you are doing and which tools to use, hiding your IP address is very simple. That is exactly what we are going to teach you how to do here.

Below are 5 simple methods for hiding your IP address that are guaranteed to work.

What Is an IP Address?

An IP address is a string of numbers unique to your network. They are separated by dots and are used to identify each and every computer or device that is using the Internet Protocol (hence the name IP address) to communicate over a network.

Simply put, it enables a system to be identified and recognized by other systems.

It is not just other systems that can see your IP address, though. Your ISP, government agencies, innocent third-parties, and even hackers can all come across it when it is exposed and there are many ways this can happen.

When the right person gets ahold of your IP address, what they can find out about you is virtually limitless depending on how extensively you use the internet. Your identification, location, what you do on the internet, banking information, and even browsing habits can all be exposed.

Therefore, it makes sense to hide your IP address when using the internet.

How to Check Your Current IP Address

This guide wouldn’t be much use if you had no way of checking if your IP address has changed. Luckily, this can easily be done by performing a quick Google search.

Open Google and type in “What is my IP” and make note of the information that comes up.

Here’s an example of the result you will be shown. You will need to know what your public or unmasked IP address is later so you can check to see if you have done everything right and that it has changed.

But First—Why Should I Hide My IP Address?

Just because somebody wants to hide their IP address doesn’t mean that they are up to no good. In fact, an increasing number of people are turning to IP-hiding tools simply to protect their privacy while they are online or to access geo-blocked content, among other innocent activities such as–

  • Hiding their location from prying eyes,
  • Accessing region-locked content on Netflix or BBC iPlayer,
  • Protecting from attacks,
  • Accessing censored content in countries such as China, and
  • Stopping the collection of data by third-party advertisers.

The thing is, when your IP address is not hidden from prying eyes, there is the potential for your privacy and data to be infringed by a motivated hacker or agency that has an end goal.

By masking or hiding your IP address, particularly when you mask it often with an IP that is always changing, you eliminate the chance of being identified and having your internet activities monitored by third parties.

5 Quick and Simple Ways to Hide Your IP Address

These are 5 methods that anybody can use. Each one is different and has its own pros and cons.

1. Use a VPN service—the best way

The easiest, best, and most consistently reliable way to change an IP address is to subscribe to a good VPN service.

A VPN service not only hides your IP address but also encrypts your traffic and sending it through a secure tunnel. When your traffic ‘leaves’ the tunnel on the other side, it gets decrypted.

To do this, you use your VPN client to connect to one of the VPN’s servers, often located in another country, with its own IP address. This will mask your own IP address by assigning the VPN’s IP to you.

This spoofs your location and anybody watching your traffic will not be able to see what you are doing, and anybody looking at your IP will see the VPN’s IP.

Setting up a VPN client takes but a matter of minutes. In fact, it is choosing one that is often the hardest part.

Luckily, we have you covered with our VPN top list—we have spent lots of time comprehensively reviewing over 100 different providers so that you don’t have to. Many of the best VPNs offer 7 to 30-day money-back guarantees and free trials, too!

Curious? Here is our guide on how to set up & use a VPN.

2. Use public Wi-Fi—there’s risk here

Your IP address doesn’t travel with you, it is unique to your home network.

When you connect to public Wi-Fi, therefore, you are assigned a new, public IP that cannot be traced back to you or your browsing habits. If you spend a lot of time using Wi-Fi in coffee shops and other public places, this is worth knowing.

Image courtesy of Amvia

Be careful, though—public Wi-Fi networks are inherently insecure, and we absolutely do not recommend using them for anything that is private or sensitive.

In fact, we recommend using a VPN whenever you are connected to a public network. Still, this is one of the methods you can use to temporarily have a different IP address.

3. Use the Tor Network—you can even go to the dark web

TOR—The Onion Router—is a free internet browsing client that, when used properly, connects you to a network of servers that anonymizes your web traffic.

So long as Tor is used in line with best usage practices, you can remain anonymous most of the time without having to worry about being spied on or having your information compromised.

Tor is sometimes referred to as the “dark web” (as a misnomer) because it is probably the default go-to browser for illicit activities, but let’s not forget all the people fighting oppression from government censorship. And you can also use the regular “surface web” with it, too.

Image courtesy of Tor

Some people may want to avoid using it because it comes off a bit intimidating.

Using Tor is perfectly legal, and many privacy-conscious users opt for the browser to keep their information out of the hands of marketers. In fact, Tor was launched under U.S. military supervision and still receives government grants today.

For more information about Tor, check out the links below:

4. Use a proxy—relatively slow

Most people are probably familiar with proxies from their days at high school when they were a popular choice for getting around website blocks to access sites such as YouTube.

Although they are not so widely used today, they are still decent tools that can act as an intermediary between your internet traffic and its destination by changing their appearance as they travel through the proxy server.

When visiting a website through a proxy, the proxy server intercepts your traffic and handles your connection to whichever site you are visiting by mirroring your behavior.

So, if you want to visit, say, an American news site in China (something that would probably be blocked by the Chinese government), the proxy server would manipulate your traffic and access the website for you, mirroring all the information from the page back to you.

While proxies are useful, the way they operate—as we just said, by mirroring traffic—makes them quite slow and, in some cases, virtually unusable.

You may think this sounds quite similar to what a VPN does, but proxies lack many of the features that make up a good VPN—

  • Speed
  • Security and encryption
  • Access to certain geo-blocked content such as Netflix
  • Free choice of servers

They don’t even come close to a VPN and we always recommend using one for virtually any situation where you want to hide an IP address, among other things.

5. Tether your computer to your phone’s hotspot—a bandaid solution

This is something you could do as a last resort or if you need to change your IP quickly but only temporarily, particularly if you think you may have been compromised.

Your phone’s IP address will be different from the IP address for your home network. Most smartphones now allow other devices to be “tethered” to them. This creates a mobile hotspot on your phone that allows nearby devices to share the data connection on your phone.

Note: If you do this, though, make sure that you are using your phone’s mobile data and aren’t connected to your Wi-Fi network!

Tethering your laptop or computer to your mobile data is only really useful in an emergency situation. It is definitely not a long-term solution.

Not only are mobile data networks unencrypted (your mobile data provider can see everything you are doing!) but it is very easy to rack up expensive bills if you don’t have an unlimited plan. Data-intensive processes can very quickly eat through gigabytes of mobile data.

Hiding IP Addresses is Simple

All the above solutions will hide an IP address when implemented properly. Remember to always, always double check that your IP address has changed when you try out one of the above solutions just in case. You don’t want to compromise yourself.

Our top recommendation is using a VPN. It is by far the simplest, easiest, and most reliable way to not only change your IP address but encrypt all your internet traffic so that it cannot be collected, spied on, or intercepted by third-parties.

That is, of course, if you use a good VPN.

A good VPN will always do all these things without logging any of your data or usage information (this is known as a “zero-logging policy”). Best of all, they are available at budget-friendly price points.

If you are interested in checking out some great VPNs, these are our top three picks—

  1. ExpressVPNthe best all-around VPN service
  2. NordVPNover 5,000 different servers worldwide
  3. Private Internet Accessvery cheap and has won court cases

All of these can either be tried out for free with a dedicated free trial or by taking advantage of their money-back guarantees.

What is a VPN?

VPN Defined

A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a service that acts as your gateway to a private and safe internet.

VPNs allow you to browse the internet on a secure connection on a different network somewhere else in the world.

What a VPN does in simple terms, is securely connect you to another computer with end-to-end encryption, and effectively use that computer’s internet connection.

Protecting Your Privacy

Everytime you browse the internet, your internet service provider (ISP) receives the request and connects you to whatever website you want to visit.

When your ISP receives the request, all of your online activities are in plain sight.

It’s not uncommon for ISPs to track your browsing history and the content you consume.

More than that, your ISP can hand off your data to whoever they wish (including government agencies).

When you browse the internet through a VPN, all of your online activity is encrypted.

In essence, your ISP will only know that you are connected to a VPN.

Your ISP cannot possibly identify what you are doing since a VPN encrypts all the data it sends and receives.

Securing Yourself with a VPN

In this digital age, it’s hard to live without any internet.

It has become human nature that we connect all of our devices on the internet whether we’re at home, at work, or even in public places.

Without the protection of a VPN, all of your web traffic is just out there in the open.

The absence of a private and secure connection can attract hackers and thieves. Usually, they are well-prepared with the right tools to have access to all of your data.

These hackers can access your files and accounts, know your activity or even steal your identity.

A VPN encrypts point-to-point connection; in effect, it will deter snooping of any kind.

VPN Encryption

We’ve been using the term “encryption” in this article, and we owe it to you to explain what it means.

The idea behind encryption is quite simple: every time you transfer any data, your computer turns that data into ciphertext.

Ciphertext is basically an unintelligible string of characters that a computer generates.

For example, a simple “hello” could possibly look something like “byFFI” after it’s encrypted. Try using tools like this to see how it works.

In essence, anyone who attempts to snoop into your activities will only see gibberish and useless data.

A VPN encrypts your traffic and the keys to decrypt it are only granted to your device alone.

VPN Uses

There is so much that a VPN does to provide access to the Internet in a secure way. The best VPNs meet all the checkmarks and can fill these requirements. From Netflix streaming to bypassing government censorship, this one tool is quickly becoming a must-have for everyone living in this digital age.

Unblock Geo-Restrictions

It isn’t news that some websites and content providers block content to certain regions due to copyright laws or licensing issues.

Since a VPN routes your connection to servers in different locations around the globe, you are granted an IP address from those locations.

The streaming giant Netflix, for example, restricts people living in the EU from accessing US-licensed content.

If someone living in Germany would like to watch The Office on Netflix, it would normally be impossible. It’s because The Office has an exclusive license in countries like U.S. and Canada only.

Now if that person uses a VPN and connects to a US VPN server, it would effectively hide their true location, make them appear like a US-based viewer and bypass Netflix’s geo-restriction.

Note: not all VPNs work with Netflix. Netflix is quick to blacklist VPN servers, so it’s highly recommended you use a premium VPN provider who provides Netflix-dedicated servers.

Peer-to-Peer File Transfers

A peer-to-peer network is a self-organized network, in which users can send and receive data to each other with their own computers acting as servers.

A computer can host a file and will send data over the network when anyone attempts to download it.

The P2P network is most often utilized by torrent clients when sharing files.

File sharing websites are known to have viruses, everyone should be aware of this and take measures to block harmful programs from their devices.

The other problem with P2P is that you are openly sharing your data with random strangers on the internet.

The biggest concern is a copyright holder could be snooping on your file sharing activities right now. They are notorious for going after individuals and suing them to bankruptcy.

Masking your IP with a VPN from the general public is your responsibility and yours alone.

Besides the security threats, there’s another problem. Some regions outright block P2P and torrenting. Like bypassing Netflix’s geo-restrictions, a VPN can also allow you to bypass country restrictions on P2P networks.

Safety in Public Networks

If you visit coffee shops, airports, etc. often and connect your devices to the publicly available WiFi networks, you are already at risk.

This goes for all public WiFi networks. We consider all of them to be risky.

You can never know if there is someone attempting to perform a “man in the middle” attack through a public WiFi connection, or if the person providing the WiFi connection is actually logging & spying the data going through their network. This opens up possibilities where your login credentials can be leaked.

In fact, it’s not that difficult at all for a hacker on the same network to see all your data.

A VPN will protect you from these prying eyes by encrypting your data.

Overcome Censorship

There are some ISPs that block websites on their network whether it’s a government mandate or not.

A classic example of this would be those living in China. The country has banned websites like Google, YouTube, and even Twitch.

Remember we went over how no one can read your encrypted data over a VPN? This applies to your own ISP too. And since they can’t read your data, they don’t know where you’re connecting to – meaning, you could have access to Google, YouTube, and Twitch for example in China.

Save Money on Flights

The reality is websites are able to detect where you’re connecting from with your IP.

Travel sites often use this information to determine the prices that they show you.

If you’re shopping in the U.S., you may see higher rates than a lower-income country like Argentina.

Another way for them to raise prices is if you’ve visited their website before. They will leave a “cookie” on your browser so when you re-visit their website, the cookie tells them you’ve been looking around. At this point, travel sites can bump up the prices knowing you’re ready to pull the trigger.

Airlines and travel sites are notorious for this activity; they know if you’ve been searching for flights they can raise the prices up and you’re still likely to buy them at a higher rate.

To save money on fights using a VPN, your first step is spoofing your location. You can also delete cookies and history from your browser. Make sure to connect to a VPN server in a lower-income country.

The differences are significant, in some cases, you can save hundreds of dollars on flight tickets.

Avoid Restrictive Networks

Restrictive networks behave in similar ways that governments censor websites.

Network administrators blacklist websites, such as adult-related or gambling sites. If you’re connected to a school network or company network, your traffic is most likely restricted.

A VPN will allow you to tunnel out of those restricted networks and access the Internet freely.

More importantly, these networks usually track your activity and monitor the sites you visit thereby taking away your privacy.

Using a VPN will not only give you Internet freedom. It will also protect your privacy.

Hide Your Identity

Let’s say you’re a political activist who covers very sensitive issues such as government scandals and the like.

It’s inevitable for the people you are exposing to try and find you. They will want to know who you are, try to talk to you, or do something far worse.

A VPN masks your identity and your location making you untraceable.

It’s a powerful tool to provide anonymity wherever you are.

Conclusion – The Internet is Not a Safe Place

The Internet is home to people who want to take away your information and steal from you. It’s a place full of trackers and governments will try to limit your freedom.

A VPN serves as your primary defense against hackers and intruders. By browsing the internet on secure, encrypted connections you can ensure no government agencies, employers, ISPs, or hackers are eavesdropping on your packets.

More than that, VPNs allow you to bypass internet restrictions. VPNs grant you a freer and more open Internet without compromising your online safety.

If you haven’t used a VPN yet, the perfect time to start is now!

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