3 Products To Help You Hide Your Gross Internet Activity

If you've ever had a suspicion that your internet activity is vulnerable to hackers and spies, you're absolutely, 100 percent correct. Covering your tracks online shouldn't have to entail wrapping your walls in tinfoil and torching your router whenever a pop-up ad appears, but it also shouldn't stop at just deleting your browser history. Seriously securing your connection in the cyber mess that is 2017 requires a Virtual Private Network (or VPN). But do you really need all of that protection, even for casual browsing?

Here are five reasons you absolutely do:

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1
Your Connection Broadcasts Your Location

Fun fact: Whether you agree to allow any tracking or not, your location is revealed by your internet connection. Yes, the internet, your most trusted companion, has betrayed you. Any websites you access have a log of your visits, and that history can be used with geolocation software to determine your general region, down to your zip code.

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Pretty terrifying, right? Thankfully, a VPN keeps your IP Address (and all location-trackable metadata associated with it) anonymous by masking it with a dummy address. You are still able to access sites normally, but you appear to be somewhere else entirely. PureVPN, for example, lets you choose from 141 different countries. Hackers will pull the mask off your computer identity and find a shirt full of straw and old fruit. "Noooo!" they'll shout into the night sky as you binge-watch Gilmore Girls in peace.

2
Browser Traffic Is Unencrypted

Unless the website you are visiting explicitly secures your connection with HTTPS -- which many administrators have been too lazy to implement -- any data you share with them is publicly visible, including browsing history and login info. For anyone who has ever reused passwords on multiple online accounts, this can open up a major security hole for data thieves to exploit. I bet you didn't think that sticking with "batmandude07" for the past ten years would come back to bite you so hard.

DC Comics
You know the big man would never want his name attached to such careless use of your secret identity.

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When you are connected to a VPN, a lack of security measures on the sites you visit becomes irrelevant. Since all of your public activity is obscured, you don't need to take additional precautions when accessing sensitive information like financial and medical records. So "batmandude07" can stay, but maybe think about changing it up to "batmangrownadultwithajobandamortgage07" next time, just for kicks.

3
Public WiFi Networks Aren't Remotely Safe

Free WiFi is everywhere. It's like the Force, if the Force gave you Amazon access. But using it risks sharing your personal information. When you travel and use hotel networks or do work at the coffee shop, details about your identity can be discovered by anyone on the network, shady hacker or not. And public networks will even inject obtrusive advertising into your browsing session. Locations lure you in with delicious caramel frappuccinos, and then render your info as ripe for the picking.

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Complimentary WiFi should be a courtesy, not a honeypot for user data. With a secure tunnel for connection, a VPN lets you take advantage of the convenience without compromising your privacy.

4
Regional Restrictions Are A Thing

Ever try to stream Game Of Thrones while travelling abroad? You quickly learn that you can't automatically summon entertainment at will when the content you want to watch hasn't been licensed in that region. Since the network doesn't care if you have a Netflix subscription, you can easily find yourself without anything to mindlessly engorge. And it's considerably more serious in places with stricter censorship laws; you might even be blocked from basic resources like Google or Wikipedia.

Vicki Burton/flickr
We didn't build a global information network so you couldn't search for cats in boxes at a moment's notice.

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As mentioned before, a VPN can make it seem like your device is somewhere it isn't. In addition to making your location untraceable, it also allows you to circumvent geographic content restrictions to ensure access to information anywhere. VPNSecure even has a special SmartDNS feature optimized for bypassing entertainment blockers. You will be able to watch Jon Snow And His Amazing Friends anywhere you go.

5
Your Service Provider Knows What Files You Download

It would be naive to think your ISP or cellular data provider stops at reading your browser history. All those music and movie files you got from file-sharing services like BitTorrent are definitely accounted for, and intellectual property holders can use this information to take legal action against unlawful copyright infringement. You're gonna spend years paying for the fact that you just wanted to see what all the Suicide Squad fuss was about.

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If you are a regular media downloader, using a VPN should be a no-brainer. Simply put, if you don't take steps to hide your download activity, it's just a matter of time before you get a cease-and-desist letter. Private Internet Access VPN comes recommended by Torrent Freak.

Which VPN Provider Should I Choose?

Though there are a myriad of other benefits to using a VPN, such as facilitating private business communication and safeguarding journalists in "compromised environments," the above reasons should be more than enough to convince you to upgrade your digital defenses.

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While there is no shortage of VPN services available, the following offer a healthy mix of features for a good price.

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VPNSecure

With their SmartDNS feature, it's easy to spoof your location to access streaming services like Hulu and Netflix with unlimited bandwidth. They provide a secure, encrypted connection without logging any of your info on up to five simultaneous devices (as they say, laptop in the streets, but a tablet in the sheets), so you can browse safely anywhere you go. For a limited time, get a lifetime subscription to VPNSecure for just $39, 91 percent off the usual price.

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Private Internet Access VPN

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Private Internet Access is another great all-around VPN offering, with an added bonus to make it worth consideration. Aside from masking and securing your browser, their MACE feature takes an active role in blocking ads and malware to keep you safe from additional threats. Although a little pricier, the added protection from a common threat vector is essential. Reduced from $166, get a two-year subscription to Private Internet Access for just $59.95.

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PureVPN

For unparalleled server availability, PureVPN is the way to go. Available in over 140 countries, they have the widest reach out of any of these picks, ensuring that you will be able to securely connect to a nearby node quickly, no matter where you are. With one-click activation, this one is great for newbies as well as more advanced users. Usually $597, pick up a lifetime subscription to PureVPN for just $89.

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