Staying secure online becomes more difficult every day. New threats are discovered faster than old threats are eliminated. There are a variety of risks every time someone connects to the Internet. These risks range from personal data theft to dangerous viruses. It doesn’t matter what device is being used or what operating system is supported, the Internet isn’t always a safe place. Crafting an effective Internet security solution isn’t difficult. The key is to understand what security elements must be combined in order to create a safe Internet browsing environment.
Virtual Private Networks
The biggest risks are related to the data being transferred between a user’s device and the Internet. Fortunately, VPNs provide a simple solution. A VPN is a secure connection between the user’s device and the VPN server. This is often referred to as the VPN tunnel. The VPN tunnel is a secure connection in which no data can enter unless it originates from one of the two end-points. The end-points are the user’s device and the VPN server. This prevents hackers from injecting dangerous code into the data stream.
VPNs also encrypt all of the data being sent and received. Data encryption is particularly important when connected to the Internet via an unsecure Wi-Fi hotspot. Data sniffers utilize hotspots to find personal data such as usernames, passwords, and profile information. Since all of the data is encrypted, data sniffers won’t be able to see what information is being transferred. Even if they could spot it, they wouldn’t be able to view the actual data – only the encryption.
While a VPN can protect the integrity of the data stream, it is up to the user to decide what enters it. This normally happens when a compromised piece of software is installed. A solid anti-virus program will monitor any file changes and alert the user before a virus is let loose. This will give the user an opportunity to delete the software without installing it, which eliminates the threat. In many cases, anti-virus software is combined with anti-malware or anti-spyware programs for maximum protection.
A firewall creates a barrier of protection between the user’s device and any malicious infiltration attempts. The primary purpose is to control incoming and outgoing traffic across the router or modem. It analyzes all of this traffic and decides whether or not it should be allowed to continue moving to its destination. In some cases, a VPN connection and firewall won’t play well together. To remedy this, quality VPN service providers include an additional NAT firewall which is compatible with their service.
By combining all three of these security strategies, any device can safely access and browse the Internet. The German VPN establishes a secure connection and encrypts all of data being transferred. The anti-virus program will prevent dangerous viruses from attacking the device. The firewall will prevent any malicious connection attempts.