By NordVPN

[Sponsored] Since the mid-1990s, the internet has been a place where you could exchange files, practice your freedom of speech, meet new people, learn new skills, etc. The free press relies on the notion that news can be uploaded directly to the web without censorship. It does sound perfect on the surface, but the internet could be a dangerous place.

Cybercriminals recognize its potential too. They target users for personal data and financial information. They are easy to obtain with the help of malware and other harmful software. So if you want to turn your computer into an impenetrable fortress, you have to take action. Antivirus software sounds like the most logical solution, but it will not give you complete protection.

It is where a VPN comes into play. It doesn’t matter if you are a business owner or a casual user of the internet – a VPN is a cybersecurity must-have in today’s world. The network encrypts your data and protects your identity as you browse the web. Users can connect to a VPN regardless of their location. For instance, if you live in Hong Kong, you may use the local Hong Kong VPN.

Are you still on the fence regarding VPNs? Let’s dive a bit deeper into the subject and learn why you need this tool.

Staying anonymous

With the ever-changing privacy laws, staying anonymous on the internet has never been more necessary. Some might think that the incognito mode in their browser will keep their data hidden from everyone. Unfortunately, this is a myth because every web provider has access to the web pages you visit or videos you watch. A VPN can allow you to share information and browse various websites without revealing your identity.

Assuming you will not be trolling someone anonymously, using a VPN for protecting your identity could be useful in today’s political climate. For instance, Hong Kong did impose a new security law practically overnight. It lets the government monitor anyone they suspect is involved with the protests in any way. Political dissidents tend to use VPNs when going against oppressive regimes because it gives them the anonymity they need.

Online security

Antivirus software does somewhat secure your computer, but a VPN will add an extra layer of protection. Some antivirus software already features a VPN as a part of a subscription. Besides keeping your private information and passwords safe, antivirus software with a VPN can detect malicious websites with a history of spreading malware or phishing. Not to forget that Torrent users connect to VPNs to make themselves anonymous while downloading files.

No more content filters

If you find yourself in a country that actively bans access to certain websites by using filters and blockers, a VPN can allow you to view that content. Internet censorship is a real thing. It might sound like a dystopian novel, but governments do have the ability to restrict the web content for their citizens. A VPN is an important tool for freedom of speech because it lets users shape their opinions based on the free press.

For instance, VPNs are popular in China. People use them to bypass the Great Firewall of China. The Great Firewall is the perfect example of internet censorship since it blocks a good portion of the web. While there are other ways to get around this firewall, a VPN is the easiest and most accessible one.

Remote connection

A VPN is a network that can be accessed regardless of your location. There are servers around the globe, and a user can select the one they want to use. So if you are anywhere in East Asia, you can, for instance, connect to the Hong Kong VPN server. The accessibility of VPNs could be convenient for companies that rely on remote work to stay afloat.

Employees can use a VPN when on their computers, keeping the work data away from cybercriminals. It is an excellent way to amp up the security measures and protect your company’s financial information, as well as other documents.

Secure file sharing

A VPN can encrypt all the traffic that passes through the network, including the shared files. You can keep the information away from cybercriminals and prevent other prying eyes from intercepting your communication. It is suitable for users who tend to use public Wi-Fi often.

Free Wi-Fi networks are not as secure as your home Wi-Fi. Everything you do on non-HTTPS websites will be visible to everyone nearby. If that person wants to access your information, they can do so easily. When you connect to a VPN, all the traffic will go through it, keeping your data private. Not even your internet provider can keep tabs on your browsing history. With that said, some VPN services do create their logs, so be mindful of that.

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Guest Contributor

Guest contributors for Hong Kong Free Press.