Chances are you heard about VPNs before but you might’ve never wondered “Why do I need a VPN?”.
There’s a misconception that only hackers and people who got something to hide online are using VPN services.
Hackers do, indeed, use VPNs to hide their traces online. But it doesn’t mean that a VPN service is only useful for internet users who are trying to hide something. A VPN can be of great help for individuals, too. Especially for those running online businesses like a blog.
It’s all about protecting your PRIVACY
In today’s world, VPNs are becoming more and more popular.
You may think the only reason to use a VPN is if you’re doing something illegal and want to cover your tracks.
But in reality, lots of individuals that are living a completely legal life would be better if the used a VPN service.
A VPN is not just about hiding, it’s about protecting yourself.
There are lots of people out there, which you may call hackers, that are continuously looking for ways to score some money online. And they do this by stealing others identity, their bank information, and using their data for scams. There are lots of ways in which you could be subjected to a theft.
Especially if you’re someone who conducts an online business, like a blog, a Youtube channel, or an Amazon business.
Scammers are everywhere and it’s better to avoid them.
Luckily for us, the internet is full of resources to protect ourselves against being hijacked.
VPN services are one of the best methods.
I’ll first give you some insights on what a VPN is and then I’m gonna give you the reasons why you should use a VPN for internet connections. You can also find answers to the most common questions you might have about VPNs at the end of this post.
What do VPNs do?
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. And, in easy terms, a VPN is a service that encrypts the data you send online so your IP and location won’t be visible to the website you’re accessing.
A VPN creates a secure and private connection for your device so your online moves can’t be tracked. The ISP (Internet Service Provider) won’t be able to read the data either.
For more details on how VPN work go through our dedicated guide about Understanding VPN connections.
What is VPN used for?
The most common cases in which people use VPNs (excluding illegal purposes) are:
- When working with confidential data.
- For services that are restricted in certain areas (e.g. Netflix).
- When working from places with public networks (e.g. hotels, coffee shops Wi-Fi).
- When using torrents.
- Businesses with multiple locations so employees can access the local network connection.
As a blogger, the first three points are solid reasons to use a VPN connection. And you’ll learn more about it in a minute.
Who can track your moves online when you’re not using protection from a VPN?
- Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) – They can see everything you do online and actually sell your browsing history to third parties. Selling of data usually occurs for advertising purposes. But your data can also land into the wrong hands.
- Hackers – Hackers can steal your identity and use it for their own gains and even hack your accounts. As a blogger, whose business revolves around the internet, you have a lot of accounts you should want to protect from attacks.
- The government – They not only can spy on your every move online, but they can also censor the things you have access to.
So, why do I need a VPN service?
1. You use public Wi-Fis
This is the main reason why a blogger should use a VPN service.
As a blogger, you may often connect to third-party networks like coffee shops internet or Wi-Fi from public spaces. Being it on your laptop or phone, you may find yourself connecting to a Wi-Fi you don’t know just so you check your email.
This can be a threat to your security.
If you know nothing about the network or about the owner, then you should know that the network owner can access your data if he really wants to do so.
Connecting to an unknown network is the easiest way to expose your data to hackers.
What are the risks when you connect to an open network?
- Packet Sniffing – A hacker who has access to a router can easily phish data from the devices connected to that router.
- Fake Wi-Fi networks – Sometimes hackers use this method where they set up a Wi-Fi connection near a popular place. They use that place’s name so they trick customers into connecting to that network. Say you go to a coffee shop and connect to a network that has the coffee shop name on the Wi-Fi. The thing is, it can be that that connection doesn’t come from that coffee shop but it comes from a hacker who now has all your data.
- Auto-connecting to networks – You can set your device to auto connect to known networks. It saves a lot of time, don’t we all do this? The danger here is that it’s not hard to duplicate a Wi-Fi connection. So someone with bad intentions might create a duplicate of the Wi-Fi you’re auto connecting to and you might find yourself connected to the wrong network. And there goes your privacy and data.
- If one of the above happens, it can be bad – Meaning that if a third party managed to get into your connection, it can also steal your accounts, passwords, credit card data, personal information.
And just because a Wi-Fi network is password protected, don’t assume it’s also safe to use.
2. Some websites are not secured or can be hacked
Nowadays, more and more websites are HTTPS meaning they are partially secured and safer to use. But for those HTTP sites, security is not the strongest aspect as it means the website is unencrypted.
If someone is connected to the same network you use when you log in to a not secure website, he may sniff your credentials. And even on the HTTPS websites, a hacker can tamper the initial login and change it to HTTP. See more about this here.
3. Keep your content safe
For bloggers and content creators, it’s super important to have their content protected at all times. It’s not hard to be subjected to theft when you are a blogger.
When you don’t use any tool to protect yourself, hackers might come in and steal your work.
A VPN service will make you invisible across the internet.
4. Protect your identity
Another thing that you wanna keep away from the public is your identity.
There are many reasons why hackers would want to have access to your identity. One of them is for scams. But as a blogger, another reason for having someone steal your identity is to hurt your online reputation.
This may end up with you losing followers and customers and having to fight to get back up.
5. Keep the transactions safe
As a blogger, there are money transactions taking place.
And, of course, hackers are always looking for ways to get some cash. A VPN creates a solid encryption for your bank transactions and secure communications.
6. You can get through regional restrictions
Some websites, or even some Youtube videos, are restricted in certain countries. For a blogger, this can pose a problem because it may limit your blog’s growth.
Also, if you’re a travel blogger you may find yourself in a country that restricts the content on certain websites.
By using a VPN service you can bypass the regional limitations and have access to any website or service you want no matter wherever you are in the world.
7. Protect your files exchange
As a content creator, you are uploading and exchanging a lot of content in a day.
The files you upload and transfer can get hacked.
A VPN server creates a secure connection where you can transfer files without worrying about someone hijacking your content.
8. Avoid being spied on
You know that the government can put you under surveillance even if you did nothing wrong?
I know that it may not sound like a big of a deal. If you’re doing nothing wrong, why hide?
But is it ethical or comfortable to be spied on? Not so much. And even though we don’t know how often this happens, it’s still better to keep yourself protected from third party eyes.
With a VPN service, you can browse, download, shop…just do anything, all while being invisible to other eyes. Doesn’t it sound comforting?
9. Get better deals
This is the gold reason for travel bloggers to use a VPN service.
If you want better deals for your travels, you need to get a VPN. Why?
Companies are targeting and showing deals based on your location and the information they gather from your internet behavior. So there are great deals that you never get to see because they are designed to show to people in a different region.
With a VPN you’ll be hiding where you are and who you are so you can get access to deals you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to see.
Most common questions about VPNs
Does VPN make you anonymous?
While using a VPN will hide a lot of your connection, it won’t make you completely anonymous. VPNs are about privacy, not anonymity.
How secure is a VPN?
If you use a solid VPN provider, it’s safe to connect through a VPN.
Still, there are lots of VPN services out there that are not legit and secure. Some things you should consider when looking for VPN services:
- The VPN protocol that’s used by the service. How secure a VPN connection is dependent to a higher extent on the protocol. Each VPN protocol has a certain level of encryption.
- If the VPN service keeps logs. The best VPN providers are not keeping records of your data, including payments.
- The location of the VPN server. Server owners in certain jurisdictions are required to keep logs of your data.
Is it legal to use VPNs?
In most countries, there’s nothing illegal in using a VPN to connect to the internet. Still, there are countries with stricter laws. You can find a detailed list here.
Does VPN cost money?
You may wonder how much is a VPN. And in your research for VPN services you might come across lots of free VPN services online, but…
NEVER use a free VPN service!
A free VPN provider will most likely gather your data and sell it to third parties like advertisers or even worse, people who will be trying to control you.
So, how much is a trustworthy VPN service?
The prices vary somewhere between $6-$13 / month depending on the features supported by the provider.
Ready to use a VPN?
I hope this post gave you enough insight on how much importance a VPN service can carry in your online journey.
Protecting your privacy is a must. Especially when you are a blogger or you run any kind of business online.
Hackers are everywhere and their aim is to make money by stealing other peoples’ information.
To recap a few of the benefits of VPN:
- Keep your content safe
- Protect your banking information
- Use Wi-Fi networks without exposing your data to strangers
Do I need a VPN? The conclusion is – YES, you do.