You’re at a coffee shop drinking a latte, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi and reading the latest article on HowIGrowMyWealth.com. But then you realize you forgot to pay a bill that is due today. So you login to your online banking website and pay your bill. You continue to sip your latte go back to reading the article.
What you just did is risky. Not reading the article of course, but using public Wi-Fi to send confidential information.
Unsecured Wi-Fi in a public place is dangerous to your wealth and privacy. Someone else could have been on that Wi-Fi network and used a “sniffer” to monitor the information being sent and received between your device to your bank’s website. Thanks to HTTPS the most sensitive information from your bank should be secure–but with the right tools bad people would still be able to see the sites you go to and see any emails or instant messages you send.
It’s fairly alarming how much people can see with readily available tools. Eric Geier of PC World was able to view emails, instant messages, logins and websites of people on an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
The Importance of Security
I’ve worked in Information Technology for over a decade. I’ve worked for small businesses, startups, three fortune 500 companies, a non-profit and online-only virtual companies. I understand the importance of security. I also value my privacy.
While websites that use HTTPS to safeguard vital information is helpful–one of the best ways to protect your privacy when browsing the internet on an unsecured network is virtual private networking (VPN). It essentially creates a secure tunnel between you and the website you’re accessing and prevents malicious hackers from intercepting the data you’re sending and receiving.
As more and more of what we do is conducted online it becomes more and more important to take steps to protect your digital life.
LifeHacker.com has this to say about VPN:
The most important thing you need to know about a VPN: It secures your computer’s internet connection to guarantee that all of the data you’re sending and receiving is encrypted and secured from prying eyes.
TechHive does not mince words about the importance of VPN:
One of the most important skills any computer user should have is the ability to use a virtual private network (VPN) to protect their privacy. A VPN is typically a paid service that keeps your web browsing secure and private over public Wi-Fi hotspots. VPNs can also get past regional restrictions for video- and music-streaming sites and help you evade government censorship restrictions—though that last one is especially tricky.
To that last point, if your government is censoring information it is probably illegal and thus not advisable to use VPN to circumvent any laws.
VPN means Serious Security
The best security comes in layers. Any online banking webpage worth anything will have an HTTPS that secures your most sensitive information. But that won’t stop hackers from spoofing fake site and exploiting vulnerabilities in the HTTPS protocol. Even if you’re accessing an HTTPS site, your ISP and hackers can still tell what sites you’re going to, even if they can’t see all the data being sent back and forth.
A VPN provides an extra layer of security on top of HTTPS sites because not only does it encrypt the information you’re sending and receiving, but it also prevents anyone, whether it be your internet service provider or a malicious hacker, from viewing the sites you’re going to.
I’ve been using a VPN to secure sensitive data while on public networks for years. There are many VPN providers but I use TorGuard. They are fast, affordable and they don’t keep any logs. You can sign up for TorGuard here: https://torguard.net/aff.php?aff=3596
And for a limited time you can sign up for 2 years of secure browsing for just $49.99 by using the above referral link and then using the following coupon code: TGLifetime50.
Protect your Online Wealth with VPN
Banking sites, brokerage accounts, email accounts: these are all at risk if you access them on an unsecured connection like an airport, library, hotel or coffee shop. Using a VPN in these high risk places ensures your valuable personal information is safe.
You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to educate yourself on Virtual Private Networking (VPN) and reduce the risks you face when accessing confidential information in via public Wi-Fi.
TorGuard is one such VPN provider that I use and recommend. Take a look at their services and if you decide to sign up be sure to use the coupon code TGLifetime50 to get 2 years of secure browsing for under $50.