Security is of the most paramount concern when it comes to the online world. We think about it all of the time and I am not just talking about the professionals who deal with on a day to day basis. No, I am talking about the average everyday person. And it is a good thing that they think about it.
Most of us people out there have so much wrapped up into our little online worlds that if it ever was to be corrupted then some of us would be lost. The damage would have major effect, at least for a little while. This is why it might be to the advantage of the average person to learn a little bit more about online security than they would normally have to.
While I am not going to talk about the average person going deep inside of the field, I am going to suggest that they take a little more time to read about methods that might help them in the long run. One of the techniques that professionals, or at the very least experienced computer users, use to feel safe when they are on an unknown wireless network is to use a VPN.
In this article I will describe what a VPN is, how you can use it to feel safe on unknown networks and if it might be too much for you to handle. While you do not have to be a professional to use a tool such as this, it does take a little bit more than the average computer expertise.
What Is A VPN And How Can It Help Me?
The letters VPN stand for Virtual Private Network. It is a tool that allows you to create your own private network so that you are allowed to connect to another computer of your choosing. This mini network runs along on top of the internet to allow this connection to happen. You might not know it but you already use networks all of the time – the internet itself is one gigantic network. Also, the router that you have on your home internet connection also allows you to set up a network.
So what we are talking about is no different than that, only this is one that you have to do a little more personal configuration on. A network like this is an advantage to you because it will allow you to set up a tunnel that will connect to you another computer. Through this other computer, you can now visit web sites that might be considered sensitive. The network will then send the page back to your computer that you are using on the public network.
You might be asking yourself why this is better than using the regular WIFI at the place that you are at now; after all, it is still going through the same channels, only to a different computer. Well there is a big difference that I am about to point out. The difference is that the VPN that you set up will also be encrypted as well. That means that not only will you have the encryption that is already on the sensitive web site that you are already visiting, but you will also have the encryption of the VPN as well. This will truly make sure that you are safe to conduct your business.
Most web sites that you have to log into will already have the “https” secure settings set up. That gives you one layer of encryption already. Now with the VPN encryption layer already backing you up, your data should be safe from all intruders.
How Hard Is It To Set Up?
And this is now the part where you figure out if you are able to do this or not. There are many easy ways to implement a VPN on your own. While I might say that it is easy, it is not something that your grandmother would be able to easily do. No, for it to be an effective method for you, either you or someone that you know and trust will have to be at the very least, a regular computer user. Most of the menus for the programs that you find will try to make it as easy as possible but there may be a word or two that you do not understand. In cases like this, Google is your friend – look it up and find out what it means. If that doesn’t help then do not be scared to go on a public forum and ask for help.
Once you figure out how to set it up the first time you should not have problems again. While I also mentioned a proxy in the title, a VPN is a lot better for the goals of security. A proxy is only something that you would use to hide your IP address from nosy people. A VPN will offer you full protection.