You hear too many stories of cyberbullying nowadays, and how it affects our children’s mental and eventually physical well-being. The sad truth is that’s only a small part of the dangers they face online. Even if you aren’t a parent yourself, there are many cyber threats that could affect your livelihood. Luckily, you can protect yourself against them with the right VPN, or Virtual Private Network.
If you’re looking up houses for sale in College Station or the nearby Bryan TX, I can’t recommend one enough. Here’s what a VPN is and how it will enhance your safety in this warm, small-town Texas community.
What Is a VPN?
Think of your online data (emails, passwords, bank accounts, etc.) as a shipment of cash. That’s definitely how valuable your data is to cyber criminals, and there are many ways in which they try to get their hands on it. Now, think of a VPN as the armored car that transports that cash between two banks (or other such secured locations, like retail companies).
Bank A is you, and Bank B is where your data is supposed to arrive. The armored car is the VPN’s encrypted tunnel through which that data passes towards its destination. For example, your email account and password reaching your provider’s servers safely. Obviously, those armored cars make return trips, so the data those websites send back to you is also safe from unwelcome eyes.
One of the main and most useful features of a VPN is its ability to hide your IP address, which can leak some fairly private info about you online, including:
- Your city
- Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- Your ZIP code
This might seem unimportant, but to experienced cyberstalkers and identity thieves it could be just what they need to find your physical location. Maybe even credit card details if you tend to pay your bills online.
Why Your Home Needs the Right VPN
Any College Station real estate agent will tell you that the area has a low crime rate, and the inviting community shows exactly that. Look no further than the Aggieland restaurant scene and you will find a wholesome tale of Katrina survivors becoming community pillars – and serving good food to boot!
But online, it’s a different story. Everyone wishes this sense of warmth could extend there, but that simply isn’t the case. There are almost 5 billion Internet users at the moment, so there’s bound to be some bad apples in there.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop with cyberbullies and criminals. You may have heard that the FTC has been investigating Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, and a host of other ISPs. They believed the providers were selling their customers’ browsing and location data, which spells bad news for you and your children’s privacy.
Another example is the intrusive way online advertisers and social media giants use your IP address for location-based targeted advertising. Not only is it unnerving by itself, but we’ve seen a complex version of it used for more sinister purposes, like the infamous Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Obviously, with the right VPN, this is no issue. Since your physical location is hidden and your data is protected against hackers and other online snoopers, you can enjoy the comfy Aggieland atmosphere in peace.
How to find the Right VPN
Your best bet is to see what online reviews are saying, but here are some quick pointers if you only have time to scan through one on your break:
- Fast speeds – even if you don’t browse the Internet much, you certainly don’t want it to slow down to a crawl when you do.
- Great customer support – reviews will most likely point out slow service or other red flags.
- No-logs policy – ISPs are currently logging everything you do online, make sure your VPN provider isn’t doing the same!
- Read the fine print on free trials and money-back guarantees – check for how much you can use the VPN to be eligible for your money back if it’s not to your liking.
- Most importantly, use this tool to make sure your VPN actually works as advertised. A good quality VPN will have protections in place and never leak your IP address.
Having put up houses for sale in College Station and the surrounding areas for many years, I can tell you right now that being a realtor and taking care of family life doesn’t leave me with much free time. So naturally, I needed the quick ins and outs of finding a good VPN. Hopefully, my pointers will lead you in the right direction!
We want to make your stay in the area as stress-free as possible, so don’t hesitate to contact us today for the latest in College Station realty.
Brazos County Realty, LLC
Myke Leatham Broker/Owner