Hide the IP with a VPN It is a measure that more and more people turn to when thinking about safety when browsing the Internet. VPNs are being taken advantage of by consumers who are increasingly aware of the value of their personal data and seek to protect themselves to be less susceptible to scams and attacks.
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Many customers may not want to dive right into making a potentially expensive, long-term commitment like a VPN subscription, so downloading a free service is a great way to get familiar.
The best free VPN services give you a set amount of data each month that you can use as a normal subscription. You may not have access to all the same features, but for basic tasks, it’s a wonderful alternative.
Most of the users in the world know what an IP address is on a very basic level due to the main news stories about “hackers” and “IP addresses”, but not many really know what it is.
Basically, it is an identifying information that connects you and your device to the internet. Your IP address can show anyone on the internet your location, ISP, and even web search history.
Your IP address could also allow a hacker or intruder to obtain extremely confidential information about your credit card, your physical home address, phone number, and the details of your loved ones.
Connecting to the internet through a VPN creates multiple layers of protection between your IP address and the public internet. Think of a piece of straight string that goes into a computer, tangles inside it, and then comes back straight out the other side. All your personal information is lost in the confusion process so you can connect safely.
While IP addresses can give hackers information about your location, an easier way to find that data is to find out which services you have allowed to access your geolocation.
For example, if you have allowed Google Maps to access your geolocation, you have given them free rein to track you wherever you go (unless you specify that you do not want to be tracked outside the application, that they respect your wishes or not, it is in debate).
The command to allow Google Maps, or any other service, to access your geolocation is stored on your device, and if a hacker accesses it, they can see where you’ve been and then extrapolate information to find out where your home is.
Again, a VPN hides your location and sends multiple signals to a tracking service like Google Maps, telling it that you could be in several different places at once. You can change your country or city, for online purchases and, for example, buy plane tickets to find great discounts.
You cannot retroactively use a VPN to delete cookies and search history information. Even if you delete them from your browser or computer, your ISP can store this information about you on its own.
This makes it practically impossible to completely delete your cookies, and your search history in general, but you can do a lot to prevent someone from accessing this information in the future.
First of all, clearing cookies and search history is very important in case of a hack or virus because the hacker would have to go through your ISP to find information about your search history, which is too much work.
Second, connecting to the internet through a VPN means that the IP address the hacker sees is one of the remote VPN servers, so they can’t see real information about you. Not only that, but if they want to attack you, they would have to go through AES 256-bit encryption protection services, which is literally impossible to crack on today’s computers.
Other personal information
When you connect to the internet, you send and receive much more confidential information than you can imagine, such as passwords, credit cards, social security, phone numbers, addresses, names, workplace information, waiting for someone to collect it, what is known as “doxing”.
Companies like Facebook and Google already do this: they package your information in an easy-to-read document for advertisers. To stop this, clear all cookies and search history, change your passwords, and also connect to the internet with a VPN.
That way, your personal information cannot be stored because there would be no way to identify you from your IP address.
Free VPNs are an amazing way to test a specific VPN to see what it has and what it offers. Many are concerned about whether or not free VPNs are safe, which is a valid concern.
Since there are so many options on the market, it can be difficult to research them all to find out if they provide high-quality security and privacy or not. The Digital Trends team was dedicated to researching and selecting the best VPN-related content, so if you want to narrow down your options in a bustling industry, check out our list of the best free VPNs.
Free VPNs give you a certain layer of security. However, the security you have online depends on the integrity of the company. There are companies that swear by a strict no-log policy, so you can feel safe knowing that none of your personal data is stored in their databases.
Others have headquarters located in countries outside the jurisdiction of the 14 Eyes. It’s also quite possible that a free VPN is just a get-rich-quick scheme in which an app developer launches a hasty version of a VPN with a bit of marketing to entice people to pay or watch ads.
These types of applications hardly provide adequate security; they can hide your IP, but it is very easy to detect by any qualified individual. This is why paying for a subscription plan or choosing a reputable free VPN is important.