Does Using A VPN Keep You Safe From Internet Spies?

By Carlos Howell

August 10, 2013 Computing No comments

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are what many people use to protect their personal information while they are browsing the web. However, certain big-name entities are privy to technology that the average Internet user simply does not have; the National Security Administration (NSA) is one example of an organization that has used its technological advantage to gain access to data that many U.S. citizens consider private, leaving Americans to search for security solutions that really work. Does using a VPN really keep you safe from Internet spies? Well, that depends on how sophisticated the spies are.

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How VPN Works.

Just as the name suggests, a VPN is private–meaning, it is subject to private management, functionality, and security policies. VPNs can be used as umbrellas–or, covers–over public networks (like the Internet, for example). This means that anyone accessing the public realm of the web via a VPN is protected by the private safety and security measures of the VPN. A great example is to think of a business computer network: That network’s infrastructure and data is safely passed from computer to computer within the network, without threat from public entities using the web at the same time. In a VPN, data is secured by way of encryption, tunneling, and user authentication.

The Ordinary Spy.

Most of the web predators you have to worry about are just average, ordinary people who have a hankering for Internet hacking. While they may know a lot more lingo than you, and are plenty adept at breaking into unsecured data streams, they don’t likely have an advantage over VPN technology. This means that if your main concern is with fending off common scammers, you can rest assured that a VPN should offer the protection you need.

The Sophisticated Spy.

Unfortunately, today’s web surfers are not necessarily as worried about amateur hackers as they are about Big Brother. The recent NSA Internet privacy invasion scandal really shook the American public to the core, and the scary truth is that VPN technology is not impenetrable to the NSA. Reports reveal that the NSA has its own, very sophisticated system of Internet spying that allows it to gather even personal user data that is protected by a VPN. Basically, according to experts at The Guardian, the NSA is capable of tracking your every move on the web, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it . . . yet.

While it’s undeniable that you can never assume your information is safe on the web, it is also evident that concerned consumers will continue to demand new protective measures as long as they feel threatened. What can you do? For now, use a VPN download when you surf the web . . . and don’t share or do anything that could make you vulnerable to Internet predators.