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Is Your Firewall Enough? The Truth May Surprise You

When protecting information on a computer, the use of a firewall or antivirus software is quite common. These tools are a great way to ensure that your computer doesn’t get invaded by prying eyes or malware.  However, every moment spent online opens up an entirely new set of dangers. Hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to “phish” information from computers on public networks.  Further, internet service providers continue to compile the browsing information of everyone using their service.  With government agencies tracking this information at an increased rate, the dangers of an unencrypted internet connection are growing exponentially.

Protecting Local Data

Firewalls are great when looking to block remote access to your computer.  But, did you know that every time your computer communicates with a website, all of the information passing between the connections is easily accessible?  Once this information has been intercepted, you are at the mercy of whoever has compiled it.  If you have been using an online “bill pay” feature with your local bank, there could be financial ramifications.

To prevent such a contingency, encryption protection on the connection itself can ensure that gathering your information is impossible.  Sure, they may access your connection and believe that they’re getting information, but ultimately, it’ll only show up as useless gibberish.  That’s the beauty of encryption!

Unless encrypted you traffic is susceptible to data sniffers and hackers that use a man-in-the-middle type attack. Also, this process will also keep your ISP or company from seeing what sites you visit or what conversations you have when online with your friends.

International Considerations

Encryption is quite important when traveling abroad, as well.  Governments across the globe have begun cracking down on international travelers who utilize their domestic connection points.  For example, China blocks several popular websites in the United States to prevent “an organized uprising” among its citizens.  Visiting these sites could cause your virtual location to be “flagged”, leading to an interrupted connection, and in some extreme cases, prosecution.

When online via a Virtual Private Network, you would be able to access any sites you choose without restriction.  This might be a very useful if you are a frequent traveler, as more and more countries have implemented censorship laws and have blocked access to many popular websites like Facebook or YouTube.  And, because the ISP that you are using to access the internet could not compile any details regarding your browsing history or habits, your privacy remains intact!

Online security has become one of the largest tech industries in the world.  With so many dangers lurking on public “hot spots”, and a widespread crackdown on particular sites by government agencies, the use of VPNs has become a necessity for many.

Hackers have found a lost paradise in these public networks, as they are so easy to crack. With simple to use tools, such as Firesheep, even amateour hackers can get access to your Facebook or Gmail account.

The next time you log onto a public network, be sure to ask yourself:  “Am I protected?”

If you aren’t, you should be.

Author Bio:- Tammy is a PR specialist and a technology enthusiast. She works for SunVPN, a top VPN service provider. Tammy also enjoys writing and is a regular contributor to the SunVPN Blog.

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