Why VPNs Are Essential for Protecting Your Online Data in 2023

Cyber attacks are becoming more frequent, posing a major threat to online security and privacy. Not to mention, government surveillance, online tracking, data harvesting, and other threats raise a lot of red flags. Luckily, there is a way to prevent these problems. You can use a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN) to stay private and keep your online data secure.

Why VPNs Are Essential for Protecting Your Online Data in 2023

In this article, we will closely examine VPNs and how they work. You’ll learn about the benefits of using a VPN for online data protection and how to choose the right one. Lastly, we will tell you about the best practices and things to avoid when choosing a secure virtual private network. So, let’s see why VPNs are essential for protecting your online data.

What is a VPN and how does it work?

A VPN is a technology that creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. The main purpose of a VPN is to keep your data safe and your information private. Plus, it makes it difficult for malicious actors and other third parties to intercept and monitor your online activities.

Essentially, a VPN encrypts and routes your traffic through a secure server, and then it reaches the intended website or online service. By doing so, it safeguards your data, hides your IP address, and masks your actual whereabouts. The cherry on top – the best multiple device VPNs you can protect as many gadgets as you want. So, keeping all of your devices secure will be easy as pie.

Benefits of using a VPN

Now that you know what Virtual Private Networks are and how they work, it’s time to look at the benefits of using a VPN.

Enhanced data security

The internet is full of dangers that are hard to avoid if you’re not taking extra precautions. Malicious actors, hackers, and cyber snoopers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities and ways to exploit you and your data. If you ever run into them, the consequences might be dire, as you might get your data, finances, or identity stolen.

You should be especially vigilant when using public wifi. These networks are often unsecured, so it’s like a honey pot for malicious actors.

Luckily, a VPN will make it basically impossible for anyone to get to your information wherever you might be. The best virtual private networks use sophisticated encryption methods, such as AES-256 encryption. That way, cybercriminals can’t crack the cipher and gain unauthorized access. Thus, your passwords, financial information, personal details, and other sensitive information will be safe and sound.

Privacy protection

Whatever you do online, you are constantly monitored. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see your online activities and notify the authorities if you’re doing something naughty. Besides, there are also online snoopers, advertisers, and other third parties that constantly breach your online privacy.

Not to mention, governments in some countries pay close attention to what their citizens are up to and prosecute them for innocent activities, such as expressing opinions on social media.

But a VPN can change that and keep you incognito online. By encrypting your data, masking your actual IP address, and swapping your location, a VPN will make you virtually invisible online. So, you won’t have to worry about being tracked and hunted on the internet.

Safe remote access

While working remotely has its perks for people, it poses many threats to companies and their data. If a worker is accessing sensitive data through an unsecured network, chances are it might be intercepted by malicious actors. And the consequences of that might be fatal.

Thankfully, VPNs can be used to securely access home or office networks remotely. With top-tier encryption, you won’t have to worry about snoopers getting a hold of your precious files. Additionally, a VPN can be used for accessing home devices, such as security cameras or smart home systems, while away from home.

How to choose the right VPN to protect your online data?

There are loads of VPNs that claim to be the best at protecting your online data. However, not all of them are fit for the job. Therefore, before choosing a virtual private network, pay close attention to these things:

  • Security features. At the very least, a VPN should offer robust encryption, a reliable kill switch, and IP & DNS leak protection. Even better if the provider adds ad/malware blockers to amplify your safety.
  • Privacy policy. A reliable service should have an independently-audited zero-logs policy so none of your information is stored or leaked. Plus, a VPN should operate from a privacy-respecting jurisdiction and not a 14 Eyes alliance country.
  • Servers. For more possibilities and better connectivity, a VPN should have plenty of servers globally. For maximum security and privacy, the pieces of hardware should be RAM-only and self-owned.
  • Performance. A VPN should offer secure and fast tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard or OpenVPN. Plus, they will ensure fast speeds and the best connectivity.
  • Compatibility & device support. Ideally, a VPN provider should offer apps for all major OS and streaming devices. Additionally, the more connections you have, the better. So, pick a VPN with multiple or infinite connections.
  • Reputation & trustworthiness. Look for reviews, ratings, and testimonials from reputable sources, and ensure that the VPN has a good track record of protecting user privacy and security.

Will a free VPN protect your online data?

You might think that using a completely free VPN is excellent for protecting your online data, but you're mistaken. Free VPNs are only good for saving money, but in return, you pay with your information. You see, free virtual private networks are notorious for collecting and selling information to the highest bidders. Moreover, some go as far as injecting malware into your devices and taking advantage of your trust.

Furthermore, free VPNs are a big disappointment when it comes to performance and features. In most cases, they offer very few servers, sloth-like speeds, and no possibilities to bypass geo-blocks. Plus, most of them operate from shady jurisdictions and have extremely outdated security features.

Therefore, if you want to protect your information and keep your privacy intact, choose a freemium VPN, get a cheap yet reliable service, or grab a premium VPN with a lengthy free trial.


All in all, you need to put in extra effort to protect your online data and privacy. There are plenty of online threats that are hiding in plain sight and waiting to take advantage of your information.

The best tool to keep yourself and your devices safe is a reliable VPN. It will safeguard your precious data and make you almost completely anonymous online. Of course, you need to be picky when choosing the right VPN. So, pick the best one out there and stay safe while venturing through the digital landscape.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • Identitytheft.gov: If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at www.identitytheft.gov. This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

Why VPNs Are Essential for Protecting Your Online Data in 2023