VPN services are becoming very popular outside of the usual business users that once constituted their main subscribers. In fact, a multitude of different VPN services available aimed directly at everyday users is available. If you’re considering getting a VPN service to keep yourself safe online, part of your security concerns may involve social media sites. This is entirely sensible. Social media sites do contain some real threats to your privacy. Let’s examine how VPN protection works and how it may keep you a bit safer on a social media site.
What it does?
A VPN service provides you with encryption. Encryption essentially makes unreadable anything that you are sending or receiving over the Internet. The security implications of this are obvious. In fact, encryption is exactly the type of protection that you get when you use a secure server to communicate over the Internet, such as when you are purchasing something on a shopping site, accessing a government site that requires you to enter credentials or accessing a banking site.
Encryption actually can protect you a bit on a social media site. The protection you get essentially comes in the form of making it useless for somebody to hack into your network and watch what you are sending and receiving to and from the site, including your username and password. This is the main way that a VPN service would protect you on a social media site.
When you hook your computer up to a VPN service, your IP address is replaced with the IP address of the VPN server to which you are connected. This means that, if somebody’s trying to figure out where you are located or what IP address would give them access to your computer, they’re only going to get the address of the VPN server. They cannot get your actual IP address from the traffic you are sending across the Internet.
This has some very important security implications. Quite often, the beginning of a hacking attack on a home network starts with finding out the IP address of that network. When you’re surfing on a VPN connection, that information is simply unavailable. They can try to hack the VPN server all they want, but there’s really nothing there for them to hack. Of course, the VPN server will be set up by professionals and will be extremely secure.
Being worried that your ISP is spying on your Internet traffic is not falling prey to a conspiracy theory. In fact, it has been publicly announced that ISPs in the United States do keep track of user traffic, particularly that traffic that involves peer-to-peer file sharing. It’s important to remember that this is the monitoring that has been announced. Your other traffic isn’t necessarily secure when it goes across your ISPs servers unencrypted.
If you have a VPN connection, your ISP can’t read what you’re doing online. They can’t see what webpages you are accessing, they can’t see anything that you’re downloading and they can’t really determine anything about your connection, except for the amount of bandwidth that you are consuming at any given time. While this is an ancillary form of protection relative to protection on social media sites in particular, it is a valuable type of protection, nonetheless.
If you are worried about some of the most common threats on social media sites, you very well may want to consider getting a VPN account. They’re not expensive, most of them are available with unlimited bandwidth – meaning you can leave them on all the time – and they do a lot to protect your privacy, whether you are on a social media site or anywhere else on the Internet.