It’s all about the data…and everyone (and I mean everyone) wants to know what you’re doing, where you’re going, what you’re reading, and what you spend you money on when you browse the innanets on your smartphone or tablet.
Let them tell it, they use this information “to provide you with a better experience”. C’mon, Son. We know why they want the data – To either figure out how to sell you more stuff, or to sell your data to make more money while the buyer of your data figures out how to sell you more stuff.
If you’re not really feeling folks all up in your mobile data, deploying a VPN may just keep your data under lock and key.
What is a VPN?
Without getting too geeky, it stands for Virtual Private Network and it’s just that – Keeps your data private while you’re devices are connected to any network. Think of a VPN as a middleman (firewall) between your devices and the networks they connect to.
Connecting to a VPN first before connecting to the world wide web encrypts your data and prevents a myriad of services from learning more about what you’re doing on the web. Now I’m hoping you have set up your home network with at the very least, a hard to crack password. If so, you should be okay and won’t have to use a VPN when connecting to a network you trust.
But anytime you leave your home, a VPN can help you ensure your data remains safe. Here are some examples of where (and from whom) you may need to deploy a VPN to protect your data.
Free Wifi Hackers
I’m a fan of using a VPN on your mobile devices (including your laptop), but I used to only promote them to keep your data safe from hackers. We all love free WiFi and will jump at the opportunity to browse the web free of charge while you
Instagram the fact that the Barista ALWAYS spells your name wrong on the cup get work done while away from the office.
That’s the perfect opportunity for a Hacker to break into a free network connection to siphon data from all devices connected to that WiFi access point. It’s not very complicated to do, and it’s done all the time. So don’t think your local coffee shop has hired an Internet security specialist to come in, set up, and lock down their network because they care for their customer’s store experience.
Your Wireless Carrier
You would THINK that your wireless carrier, the very company that gives you the data to browse the web, would have your best interests at heart when providing a virtual pipeline for your data…
On the low, the most popular wireless data providers have been figuring out what to do with all that precious data that passes through their virtual pipelines for the longest. Particularly, they want to know what websites you visit. That data could be a virtual goldmine to advertisers.
So not only are the wireless data providers raking in the dough on the front-end by charging us ever-increasing fees to access the web via their networks, they could possibly be making money on the back-end by selling our mobile browsing history to advertisers by installing ‘Perma-cookies’ on your devices to track you online.
I’ll let you do the research on which carriers are or were using perma-cookies, but with a VPN (I use SurfEasy…not a sponsor, I just think they are dope), you can keep your browsing history private from even the wireless carrier.
Depending on what VPN service you decide use (and I do think you should use one ESPECIALLY if you’re doing more on the web than slobbering over the Solange Knowles-Ferguson wedding pictures or blasting that turrible Aalyiah biopic by Lifetime), you may have to kick out a couple extra bucks per month to use the service, but if you ask me, that beats folks making more money off your data than you do.
Stay safe and secure out in these [digital] streets
image courtesy of SurfEasy blog