These days, most of the human footprint is digital — from our purchases and transactions, to our communication and personal information, to our presidential election. Whether it’s work or play, most of our activity occurs in a browser window or app. Thus, it’s not surprising that according to The Huffington Post, analysts estimate young adults spend approximately “a third of their waking lives on their device.”
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Taking that into consideration, it’s shocking we don’t take increased measures to keep ourselves protected online. More and more users are occasionally using a VPN, but not nearly enough. Studies conducted by British psychologists revealed we spend double the amount of time that we think we do on our phones. That’s double the number of times we send out pieces of information about ourselves — from credit card information, to work and home addresses, even personal information about our family and friends.
We’ve seen malicious attacks from individual hackers and even organized rings take down people and even powerful corporations. Just take a look at the Sony hacking saga — the company was infiltrated more than 10 times, exposing over 100 million user accounts. So what does this growing crime rate mean to the average person?
For better or for worse, if you’re an iPhone user, you’re particularly susceptible to attacks from hackers and malware. That’s because, iPhones are and continue to be some of the most popular smartphones in history. That means the iOS platform is one of the most dominant operating systems out there — meaning that its ins and outs are highly coveted by hackers and hacking groups alike.
Remember how many transactions you think you’re making on your phone? Double that, and that’s not even close to the number of opportunities that exist to steal your data. And don’t think you’re safe if you just purchased a new, from the factory, iPhone 7 — according to CNET, investigators found new malware that, once in a computer, can infect mobile devices and download malicious apps independently. That means that the user could technically not do anything wrong and their device could still be corrupted. And that includes just clicking a malicious link — without taking any action or manually entering in any information.
Sound bleak? Don’t worry — there are definitely options out there to help keep your online identity safe. One of these options is the use of a VPN: a virtual private network.
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What do VPNs do?
A VPN works by extending a private network over the public connections we use daily. VPNs use a series of discrete networks or computers to secure and encrypt communication when using the Internet. A user logging into a VPN would typically access it via a client/browser window, log-in with special credentials (really similar to how you’d log into your email) and voila — once inside the VPN, the user is secure from any eavesdropping or spying.
Any time you’re doing something on the Internet, you’re exchanging and sending data to another source. A VPN ensures that each time you do so, all the data that’s being sent from your end is encrypted, and safe from people seeking to steal it.
Why should I use a VPN?
Back to our point about iPhone users: while Apple’s iOS is particularly robust, that doesn’t mean it’s impenetrable. And that also doesn’t mean that hackers aren’t trying to get into one of the largest user bases of all time. Here are some of the best reasons why you should use a VPN:
- General privacy and security concerns
First and foremost, there’s the issue of all your personal information — credit cards, social security, loan information and more that could technically be yanked from you. Beyond that, hackers can gain insight to information as granular as your location. That’s where online threats go beyond the virtual plane and into the real world: and in that case, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Workplace necessity
You might work in an environment that values the privacy of the people you help service — whether that’s in education, health, law or medicine, there might be strict standards around how you transmit information. A VPN helps ensure that you can do your job a little more effectively, knowing you’ve taken proactive steps to minimize data leakage.
- Downloading materials
We’ll keep this one between the two of us — but if you’re using a torrenting app, you’re making yourself particularly susceptible to hackers. VPNs are a way to stay safe if you’re using something to download materials.
Which VPN is right for me?
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in a VPN to protect yourself online — amazing. Not all VPNs are created equal, although there are always solid options to choose from no matter what your budget is.
We’ve compiled a few of our favorites below — and the best news is, they’re all currently on sale at discounts up to 95% off.
With protected servers in 39 different countries, VPN Unlimited was named 2016 PC Mag Top VPN for its top-notch security. You can use VPN Unlimited on five different devices at the same time – including your phone and your computer – and it’s one of the most affordable deals on the web for just $49.99. Get it now for $49.99 — that’s 90% off.
This is the world’s fastest VPN, with a robust 500+ server network, so you can stay protected and enjoy high-speed connections. PureVPN also has a Zero Log policy, meaning not even PureVPN itself will have a trail of your online activity. Get it now for $89 — that’s 85% off.
Protect your personal data from falling into the wrong hands with a lifetime subscription to VPNSecure for just $39 — a savings of over 91% off the $450 MSRP. Equip your device with an impenetrable “security vest,” allowing you to browse the web 100% at your discretion without worrying about anyone watching your every move.