Cyber Attack Prevention
Computer operating systems have become far more effective at blocking cyber-attacks. The newest release of Windows 11 requires TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chips on existing and new devices. The Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) is a chip either integrated into the PC motherboard or added separately into the CPU. The purpose is to protect encryption keys, user credentials, and other sensitive data behind a hardware barrier limiting access to malware and attackers.
Many computer and smart phone internet users have access to tools to limit exposure. One simple risk reduction is the use of VPN, or Virtual Private Network.
What Is A VPN?
VPNs are a straightforward method for protecting yourself online. Many browsers come with them, or you can purchase software, where the companies set the VPN up for you.
The main reason to use a VPN is it prevents monitors from tracking or watching what you access online. While you browse the internet through a VPN, your traffic is encrypted. No one can see what you are doing online, nor interfere in any way.
When using a VPN, instead of your browser directly linking to a page or a link, it first connects to servers provided by your VPN, then routing to the page you wanted to visit. VPNs don’t make you anonymous online: Facebook, Amazon, or any other site you log into will still be able to track your activity on those sites, even with a VPN.
People use VPNs for three principal reasons:
1. Public Wi-Fi is regularly used
A VPN is your best friend when using public Wi-Fi. Criminals use many methods to steal your data on public hotspots. With a secure VPN connection over Wi-Fi, you can browse online in full privacy.
2. Users want to encrypt data
Even when browsing the internet from your home, using a VPN is a good idea. VPN encryption protects your internet traffic and keeps you from leaving online footprints. This way, your ISP won’t be able to sell your entire browsing history to the highest bidder. Encryption secures digital data using one or more mathematical techniques, using a password or “key”, which is used to encrypt and decrypt the information..
3. Avoiding government surveillance
Government agencies track and collect your browsing activity, messages, social posts, and other private data. They even share this information across country borders. A VPN will make it difficult to do by encrypting digital traffic and hiding your computer’s IP, or Internet Protocol, the unique string of characters identifying each computer communicating over a network.
Be aware, adding a VPN can also have a negative impact on your browsing speed, as there is an additional hop now in going to a website. This is not normally a large impact, and most users believe their privacy and security to be worth the extra time.
Putting a virtual private network (VPN) between you and the internet doesn’t give total anonymity, but it makes it much harder for anyone else to break into your data stream.
How To Get a VPN
There are many VPN providers, who will set up the VPN service for you. A partial list includes:
- Hotspot Shield
Another option is using a browser with an integrated VPN. Having a VPN inside your browser eliminates the need to have multiple or separate settings to configure.
It is not difficult to find a browser with an integrated VPN, search for “browser VPN” to come up with a list. A partial list includes:
- Mozilla Firefox
VPNs are cheap, easy to install and use and can be installed on Apple, Windows, Android computers and smartphones. Experiment with different approaches and products and decide which approach is best for you.
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