Is there such thing as a safe VPN? Ever since the FCC changed its privacy rules, everyone is on the hunt for a VPN. What do the FCC changes mean for you? Essentially, big brother is watching. And they will continue to watch you, including where you go on the internet. Internet Service Providers, or ISP’s, needed your permission to collect certain personal information. But not any more. Well.. that’s not the whole story. But for the sake of this article, it allows the ISP’s to be able to sell your browsing data to third parties. Some of which are likely to be advertisers. Again, not getting into this too much, but this might not be that different from what we see Google do in relation to our browsing data already.
So is there a way around it? The idea of a VPN, or a Virtual Private Network is just that. It creates a way of viewing content on the internet in a private way. Engaget can explain this a lot better than I can, and this is what they have to say about how a VPN works: “With a VPN, the user’s internet connection travels encrypted from computer to VPN server; from there the user’s connection travels unencrypted to their final destination (a website). This way, websites only see the VPN’s IP address and not the user’s, and your ISP only sees you visiting the VPN. The ability of any attacker to spy, intercept, attack or steal information stops at the VPN.”
With the change in the FCC rules, there is bound to be any number of issues. To start, how do you know that a VPN is legit? There are people out there trying to cash in on this, especially for consumers who just don’t understand. An article in PC Mag online compares some of the VPN’s out there. But does that really give the common man (or woman) enough information to be able to make an informed decision? If you don’t think so, have a look at this Torrent Freak article to find out what their privacy policies look like. Will they sell your data? How often do they repair security holes etc.? Regardless, finding the right VPN isn’t an easy process.
There’s also the question of whether or not you need a VPN for your phone. The experts seem to think that you do. After all, you probably have a ton of data on your phone just waiting to be preyed upon. Especially if you’re using public wifi. But again, how do you know which one to choose? Unfortunately the answer is that you just need to do your due diligence. Sometimes it can be a drag to have to research things and figure out the best course of action. I personally would love to have this kind of work presented to me in some kind of binder. But we don’t always have that luxury. What we do have is information out there that we have to decipher for ourselves. Be proactive and do your due diligence. It could save you a lot in the end.