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The technology needed to secure user privacy exists. But sadly, Internet companies are more likely to concede to sharing data when powerful entities request it. More users have signed up for VPN accounts to anonymize their online activities in the wake of perceived privacy violations. But how much can a VPN account really help?
What Users Fear
Ever since we read the news about government spying, we have all been concerned about what pieces of personal data they are looking at, and how much of it they have access to. Privacy is very important to people, and they are now all looking for ways to preserve it in the face of these new threats. Many users have moved over to using private search engines and email services in place of the services that were revealed to have been sharing user data with government agencies. But they fear that other online companies may also be involved and want to find a way to protect their data from being shared without their knowledge or permission. VPN account sign-ups have peaked since the news of massive online surveillance surfaced. But some users still fear that VPN accounts cannot protect them from snooping.
How VPN Accounts Can Help
It is important for Internet users to understand what a VPN account can do for them so that they can avoid disappointment. VPN accounts are not magical solutions to online snooping and network hacking. But they can be useful if used properly in combination with other online security measures. The question is whether a VPN account can really protect users from government snooping. Not all VPN accounts and services are alike, and the technology in general is not unbreakable with the right tools and other resources.
VPN accounts honestly can be hacked. But it takes a great amount of money and technology to do so. In most cases, it is too much trouble to do so. This is why agencies went after online services for data gathering rather than trying to get all the data from ISPs or individual users. So having a VPN account can be effective in preventing data snooping. But it depends on which VPN provider we are talking about. Some providers are truly privacy conscious while others will lull users into a false sense of security.
Some VPN providers have been known to share data with the authorities for different reasons. Others have been known to share user data with advertisers and data brokers as well to augment their income so they can continue to provide free services. Choosing a reliable VPN provider is then what spells the difference between true online anonymity and just another false sense of privacy. Just like other services such as Skype, Gmail and Facebook, the security of user data on VPN servers depends on what data is stored there and how resistant the VPN company is to sharing that data.
Check also what data, if any, from your VPN account the VPN provider might share with third parties. If you cannot get a straight answer as to how and where they are using your data, you should be wary of signing up with them. Many websites also share advertising data, so check what websites you visit and what services you use. They may be the culprits causing the leak in your personal data. A VPN account is useless even if it keeps your activities anonymous if your personal data is being shared by the websites you visit and the online services you use.
Protecting online privacy has never been more necessary nor more difficult that it is today. But it is still possible is users take care. Choose your online services carefully and do not share personal data freely.