VPNs protect your public internet connection by encrypting your information and shielding your online activity from cybercriminals and even your own Internet Service Provider, or ISP. The most secure VPNs are likely transparent about their privacy policies, take steps to fix leaks, and won’t keep logs of your browsing history.
The internet can be fun and informative, but at the same time, it’s risky as well. When you’re connected to a less secure network or use a public Wi-Fi, anyone with the password and a little bit of hacking knowledge can eavesdrop on your online activity.
While there are many ways you can defend yourself online, VPNs, or virtual private networks, are the best solution to mask your online activity and location. A VPN works by routing the data you exchange through a secure virtual tunnel between your computer and the VPN server.
Although VPNs are known as protection service that keeps prying eyes off your information from the outside, some users question the VPNs themselves. After all, can’t they simply track your information? Or gather your data and sell it to other companies? Here, we’ll discuss more about that and how you can make sure you choose a safe VPN.
How secure is a VPN?
VPNs secure your public internet connection by encrypting your information and concealing your online activities from cybercriminals and even your own Internet Service Provider, or ISP. When it comes to your online privacy, the most secure VPNs are also likely transparent about their privacy policies, take steps to fix leaks, and won’t keep logs of your browsing history.1
Here’s how your information can be extracted without a VPN. When you visit a website, your ISP taps into your router to forward your internet traffic to that site. Your ISP also assigns a unique number, called an Internet Protocol (IP) address, to the router and the devices connected to it.
Some websites, ad networks, and platforms, such as Google, for example, can use your IP address to track your location or gather your browsing history for targeting advertisements related to your preference.
When you connect to the internet using a VPN provider’s servers, your online traffic passes through the VPN’s internet connection, meaning your private data is hidden from your ISP and the websites you visit, so they cannot keep track of your browsing history and other web activities.
The VPN server mixes your web traffic with others on the same network, hiding your actual IP address. It also changes your geolocation to make it harder for others to monitor and gather information about where you go and what you do online.
The internet privacy solution: virtual private networks
From talks about government spying on your online activities to Facebook data leaks that control data mining, concerns over internet privacy have been growing in recent years. People typically use VPNs to safeguard against cyber snooping and data protection. Additionally, this software could also come in handy when you need to access blocked web pages or mask their online identity and location.
You may not know this, but ISPs can track your IP address to observe and sell your browsing history, and could potentially control your connection as they see fit. VPNs are the top choices to protect your online privacy because they can provide anonymity, prevent ISPs from tracking your activity, and help you defend against cybercriminals.
What factors create a safe VPN?
Not all VPNs provide the same features, and each has its pros and cons. So, How to Know if VPN is secure? The first step in finding the right VPN for your devices is considering the price tag. Free VPN’s may equalize their costs through advertising or from gathering and selling your data to third parties. On the other hand, when you pay for a VPN service, there will be a guarantee of good service as well as additional features with improved security.
Simply put, choosing the right VPN for you might mean paying for one, if you value your online privacy. On average, yearly prices for VPN software can range anywhere from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 5000, depending on the number of devices. Some providers even offer discounts, like Norton VPN, which gives 40-50% off for the first year.
Now that you know the things that makes a VPN safe, you can check for a few must-have features that will ensure you’re using a truly secure VPN. Here’s what to look for:
No IP address leaks
VPNs are meant to hide or disguise your IP address and block others from tracking your online activities. Unfortunately, sometimes there can be security flaws in the VPN, which could lead to revealing your IP location. But you can look for a VPN that specifically works to prevent leaks. And check online reviews to see if the provider has a history of leakage, and also what they did to correct it.
A no-log VPN means the network doesn’t collect or “log” any information you send or
receive on the web. It doesn’t save your personal details, where you go online, what you download, or your search history. This ensures your online privacy, and your anonymity is protected from everybody, including your VPN provider. So, if a cybercriminal does happen to penetrate a no-log VPN, they won’t be able to extract your data.
Before signing up with a VPN, check the company’s terms of service to see if it logs your online activities, whether it keeps logs but periodically removes them, or if the provider would reveal user information in any scenario.
If your VPN connection drops, your internet access downgrades to a regular connection. That’s where the VPN kill switch comes in. It will automatically quit preselected programs if your connection becomes unstable, which reduces the chance of data leaking from sensitive programs. So, look for this feature in the software you’re going to purchase.
This security method prompts users to prove their identity in more than one way before signing in to the program — in this case, your VPN account. For example, after entering your password, you will also need to provide a four-digit code sent via text message or email. The additional authentication helps ensure only you are accessing your VPN and makes it harder for anyone to hack into it.
Norton Secure VPN provides internet privacy and security
Norton Secure VPN uses the most powerful encryption method to protect your personal information like passwords, bank details, and Aadhaar card numbers when using public Wi-Fi, whether on a PC, Mac, or mobile device.
Using the same encryption technologies as leading banks, Norton Secure VPN helps mask your online activities and location with a no-log VPN, ensuring that no one can access the information you deal with online.
Norton empowers people and families around the world to feel safer in their digital lives
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc.