Posted August 30, 2013 by TopDog in Articles

How You Can Prevent Identity Theft With a VPN

vpn prevent identity theft
vpn prevent identity theft

The greatest threat facing internet users in America and Europe is no longer viruses, spam, and spyware like it was a decade ago. Now the most real threat online is the danger of Identity Theft.

Every year, a greater percentage of shopping is done online. I personally make nearly all of my purchases online, excluding food and clothing. I bought my last 5 computers and my last 2 cars online. We have credit card information stored on multiple sites and we type sensitive information like credit card numbers and billing addresses for one-time purchases at dozens more websites.

While most of these sites have firewalls and encryption to protect your data once it’s stored on their servers, what about while the information is in transit? You probably don’t give a second thought to buying a pair of sunglasses on your laptop at starbucks, but you should.

How Thieves Steal Your Identity Online

Sure, sometimes major websites are hacked and thousands of credit card numbers are stolen at once, but these breaches are reported and affected users can take instant action. Much more dangerous is the digital theft that you aren’t aware of, and while you’re going on about your life, the thief may be trashing your credit profile, running up debt, or even hijacking your identity as a whole.

Some thieves choose to hack into computer networks to steal sensitive data, but this method is highly dangerous and requires a great deal of technical skill. The much easier method is to target unsecured wireless networks and harvest data from unsuspecting computers sharing the same wifi network.

Data transmitted between your computer and an unsecured wireless router can be easily intercepted by anyone with the right equipment and software. This can include personal information like addresses, birthdates, passwords, credit card numbers, and even social security numbers. Just think how often you type this information online without giving it a second thought. If you are doing so over wireless networks, you are leaving that information accessible for the taking.

Just an email address and password is enough to hijack your email account, which in turn can allow a hacker to get passwords to financial accounts like your internet bank, your credit cards, and even your brokerage accounts. The damage they could cause could be all but irreparable.

A VPN is a simple way to stop Identity Theft

Before you spend hundreds a year on credit monitoring and identity lock subscriptions, you should first consider one of these easiest and most affordable solutions that targets the root cause of identity theft, not the aftermath.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is an encrypted data connection to a private server. All data transmitted between the server and the user’s computer is heavily encrypted, meaning it’s almost impossible to decipher by anyone snooping on the connection. This VPN server acts as a buffer between your computer and the internet, ensuring that all data you transmit and receive is safe and encrypted.

A VPN works even on unsecured networks, meaning even though the network itself is not encrypted and protected, all the data you send over that network will be encrypted.

How does a VPN help stop identity theft?

A VPN encrypts all data transferred between your computer and the internet, which allows you to keep your sensitive information safe from prying eyes.

How Do You Use a VPN?

In the early days, VPN’s required some technical know-how to set up and use. Nowadays, all the most popular VPN providers offer custom VPN software with a 1-click connection option. Basically you just install the software, type in your login info, and click connect. Many VPN providers even allow you to choose to have the VPN automatically connect when your operating system loads, so your connection is always protected.

How much does a VPN Cost?

There are high-quality VPN services available at prices as low as $3.10/month. Even there more expensive consumer-grade VPN’s are still available for less than $15/month. When you consider the financial cost of having your identity stolen (It could be 10’s to hundreds of thousands of dollars) getting a VPN is a no-brainer. Check out our list of the best low-cost VPN’s for some solid options.

Which VPN Provider is the best for stopping identity theft?

The truth is, any of the biggest VPN services will help you avoid identity theft. They all offer at least 128-bit encryption tunnels for your transmitted data, which will stop anybody from reading your data on-the-fly. So your VPN choice really comes down to your personal needs and what your typical internet uses are. Here are some good options to help you get started.

Great Cheap VPN’s

These VPN’s offer high level encryption at rock-bottom prices. Don’t let the price fool you, these VPN services offer the same VPN protection with a few less bells and whistles (that most people don’t need anyway)

  • Private Internet Access ($3.33 per month with a 1-year purchase)
  • IBVPN – (as low as $3.08/month with 1-year purchase for USA-Canada or EU VPN)

Fast VPN’s for Video Streaming and High bandwidth users

  • HideMyAss VPN (More servers than any VPN, Great Software)
  • PureVPN – Great software, super fast speeds.
  • IPVanish – Lot’s of server locations, very fast

VPN’s with Mobile Apps for Android and Iphone

Your home computer isn’t the only place you’re at risk for identity theft. Many of us spend as many hours online with our smartphones as our home PCs. These VPN’s include access to great mobile apps for one-click mobile VPN protection with no manual setup required.