Last Updated: November 17, 2020.
Technology has been advancing at an incredible pace. Unfortunately, this doesn’t only make us better as humankind but also brings threats that we couldn’t have foreseen. Some of them are associated with the Internet, which many argue is the most influential invention of the 20th century.
We’re all aware of the dangers on the web. Still, many think that simple antivirus software will do it all for them, which is absolutely not the case. It will only protect you from certain kinds of dangers and still leave you vulnerable to others. But what are those threads exactly, and how can you protect yourself?
More than just trojans
Trojans are the most popular computer viruses and probably the first thing that comes to mind when we think of cybersecurity. With a lot of variations in existence, it’s one of the favorite tools used by criminals.
Even free antivirus software can deal with it most of the time, but that’s not everything. There are multiple ways you can have your data stolen, and it’s not limited to just one fun-sounding virus.
You’ve probably used a public network at least once in your lifetime. There’s nothing wrong with it – we all do it sometimes. Whether there’s a problem with your cellular provider or you simply don’t want to use it, hotspots are a blessing to many.
Unfortunately, some people don’t want to use them the way it was designed, and their intentions go far beyond going to a coffee shop simply to grab an espresso.
How does it work
If you decide to connect to the Internet using a wi-fi network, you will have to connect to a router. It’s that device that then connects you to the world wide web. That means that the data you send and receive travels between the two devices. That’s how the system was designed because when it was conceived, no one thought of the possible dangers associated with it – until recently.
Because of how this system works, someone could potentially place themselves in the middle of that connection, effectively intercepting everything you send or receive. That can include but is not limited to, your bank credentials and other passwords. In addition to that, criminals can easily add something to the data you receive, therefore infecting your device for good.
How to protect yourself
As mentioned before, your antivirus software won’t protect you from these kinds of dangers. That’s because it’s supposed to detect viruses that are already on your device and with a network attack, there not always is malware present. Of course, the hacker can infect your device, as we described above, but that’s not always the case.
With that in mind, you shouldn’t uninstall your antivirus software thinking it doesn’t protect you well enough – that’s just simply not what it was designed to do. What you need is an additional tool to put yourself one step ahead of the criminals. It’s something you’ve probably heard about but might still not use.
Virtual private network
There’s been a lot of VPN buzz around the media lately. Despite all the efforts, not many people use it which may prove to be destructive in the long run. It’s a simple tool that protects you from people trying to intercept the data you send and receive from the Internet.
By routing a connection through one additional layer, which is a server that can be located anywhere in the world, you will be invisible not only to those using the same hotspot but also to those who claim to have no malicious intentions but still spy on you. Those can be your internet provider, or IPS for short, as well as government agencies.
With the abundance of virtually anything on the Internet, you might find yourself struggling to decide which virtual private software to pick.
They all offer different numbers of servers that you can connect to as well as the various locations of those servers. On top of that, you can also have additional features, such as data encryption, to further ensure safety. The review on nordVPN can guide you with this choice and help you select the best VPN out there.
The bottom line
It doesn’t matter whether you use public networks every day or once a year. Having VPN software can help you stay invisible to everybody, even when you’re browsing the Net at your own home.
With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to have this tool on your device because you never know what you’ll need it and without it already in place, it might turn out to be too late.