How VPNs Can Defend Against the Threat of Hacking

Posted on August 28, 2023 at 7:15 AM

How VPNs Can Defend Against the Threat of Hacking

As our reliance on the internet grows, so does our exposure to a myriad of online threats. Malware, DDoS attacks, DNS spoofing, and Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attacks are just some of the hacking techniques cybercriminals use to exploit the internet’s vulnerabilities and gain access to our most sensitive data. Hacking has emerged as a prominent threat, capable of wreaking havoc on personal, financial, and even national levels. If we want to protect ourselves from cybercrime, using a robust VPN is our best line of defense.

What Is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a technology that acts as a secure conduit between our devices and the internet. VPNs are available in hardware (router) and software (apps and online subscriptions) variants, but the latter is the more common option because you can install them on your smart devices and use them on the go. When you use a VPN, your internet traffic is fed through a secure portal that shields your online activities from potential hackers, cybercriminals, and other malicious entities seeking to intercept your data. As such, you’ll get secure VPN for torrenting, online shopping, online gaming, and online searching, giving you greater peace of mind.

How Do VPNs Defend Us from Hackers?

Although the process of routing your internet traffic through a secure channel may sound simple, there are a lot of things VPNs do to ensure the connection stays secure. Here are some of the things VPNs will do to protect your online sessions:

Encryption and Data Protection

VPNs use robust encryption protocols to safeguard the data transmitted between your device and the internet. This encryption creates a secure tunnel that blocks hackers from intercepting and deciphering sensitive information during your online sessions. Even if hackers were to gain access to your network, they’ll have a difficult time breaking into the VPN’s secure channel. This is because the encrypted data remains incomprehensible, securing your personal and sensitive data like your passwords, credit card details, and personal messages.

Masking IP Addresses

One strategy that hackers use to search for potential targets is by tracking their IP addresses. By using IoT search engines, as well as through session hijacking and Bluetooth hacking, hackers can trace their targets’ IP addresses and pinpoint their locations. To mitigate this risk, VPNs mask your actual IP address with that of the VPN server you’re connected to.  Hackers will never know your exact location, deterring them from exploiting your online vulnerabilities.

Securing Public Wi-Fi Connections

While public Wi-Fi networks seem convenient, they can be hotspots for hacking attempts. This is because public Wi-Fi connections aren’t as secure as private ones, exposing your device to cybercriminals who can inject your laptop or smartphone with viruses and malware. When you use a VPN, however, your data traffic will be encrypted even while it’s connected to a public Wi-Fi network. As a result, you can use public Wi-Fi with greater peace of mind because your VPN will shield your session from hacking attempts.

Preventing DDoS Attacks

One way that hackers can inconvenience your internet usage is by launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. They do this by flooding your network connection with superfluous communication requests, causing your internet speed to slow down. In severe cases, DDoS attacks can prevent you from connecting to the internet or even completely crash a website’s servers. To protect you from DDoS attacks, VPNs can redirect your traffic through their secure servers. This enables them to mitigate the impact of DDoS attacks and keep your connection safe and stable.

Other Security Features

To further protect you from online threats, the best VPNs will provide you with additional security features. When you’re looking for a VPN provider, make sure to choose one that offers the following features:

  • Kill Switch: A kill switch is a crucial feature that instantly cuts off your internet connection if the VPN connection drops. This prevents any data from being transmitted outside the secure VPN tunnel, safeguarding your information from potential exposure during connection disruptions.
  • No-Logs Policy: Reputable VPN providers adhere to a strict no-logs policy, which means they don’t store any records of your online activities. This prevents hackers from accessing your browsing history.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Some VPN services offer MFA, which requires you to perform an additional authentication step beyond simply entering your password. This way, it’ll be more challenging for hackers to gain unauthorized access to your VPN account.
  • Split Tunneling: Split tunneling allows you to direct some of your traffic through the VPN while sending other traffic directly through your ISP. This can be useful for maintaining access to local resources (e.g. printers) while still benefiting from VPN protection for sensitive activities.

There’s no question that the internet has drastically reshaped our daily routines, and most of the changes have left a positive impact on our lives. Nevertheless, the internet isn’t perfect. It’s filled with vulnerabilities that expose us to hacking threats. Fortunately, with a robust VPN, we’ll have the means to defend ourselves from cyberattacks.

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