Only around a quarter of people use a virtual private network (VPN) when connecting to the web, leaving everybody else vulnerable to online data privacy risks.
A VPN creates a secure encrypted Internet connection so people can browse online without risking their data privacy.
As a result, F-Secure urges consumers to use VPNs to protect their data and take control of their online privacy.
“Online privacy is a growing concern for many demographics but many people don't know what to do about it. It’s vital that people understand how to protect themselves online,” says Adam Smith, Country Manager A/NZ, F-Secure.
“Despite their reputation for ‘putting their whole lives online’, Gen Y are leading the way in protecting their online privacy.”
F-Secure believes there are four main reasons people should use VPN technology:
1. Secure Wi-Fi connections
A VPN creates an encrypted connection between devices and the web - this ensures that connections on Wi-Fi networks are secure and data is unreadable to potential hackers.
“Free public Wi-Fi is great but risky if you don’t have a VPN to secure your connection,” Smith adds.
“Hackers on the same connection can see what you are browsing and access your data unless you have adequate protection.”
2. Safe surfing
In addition to encrypting data, some VPN products scan for malware and protect the user from harmful sites and applications that want to hijack their personal data - this added layer of protection helps people to dramatically minimise their risk online.
3. Block online tracking
When people use the web, their browsers store basic data that trackers can learn from. Used benignly, this ability lets companies target advertisements at specific users but the information can be also be used maliciously.
VPNs block trackers so that people can browse privately and anonymously.
“Many people aren’t even aware of the existence of online trackers, let alone what kinds of information they can collect, or what companies and hackers can do with that information,” Smith adds.
“Ignoring trackers leaves them vulnerable to loss of privacy as well as being more vulnerable to online threats.”
4. Virtual Location
A VPN allows users to change their device’s apparent geographic location to a virtual location to avoid geo-locking of content - this means they don’t have to miss out on local content when they’re abroad.
“This is essential for frequent overseas travellers who want to remain in contact with what is most important to them,” Smith adds.
By Adam Smith - Country Manager A/NZ, F-Secure