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Are Online Privacy Tools As Secure As You Think?

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We've been talking about privacy tools for some time now and all of them are supposed to help us restore Internet freedom and protect our online privacy.

In 2018, we need to protect ourselves more than ever considering all the dangerous cyberthreats, privacy breaches and the increasing government Internet restrictions.

In order to guard ourselves against these online threats, we tend to stock up on various tools such as antivirus software, adblockers, proxies and VPNs. But, are all these privacy tools really as secure as we think?

Let's review some of the most popular online privacy tools and decide.

Anti-Spyware Software

Spyware is a type of malicious software that intrudes your computer without your knowledge and can read and collect information, slow down your processor and even redirect your online activity. Anti-spyware programs are designed to recognize and block spyware from entering your computer and jeopardizing your privacy.

However, anti-spyware programs are not a comprehensive solution against all the online threats lurking on the world wide web. They are specialized only for removing spyware, but other types of threats can still compromise your personal information.

Another concern about this type of protection is that we often opt for free anti-spyware. These programs usually come from unreliable resources and can turn out to be exactly what we're trying to prevent – malware or spyware.

Proxy

Proxy is a server that acts as the intermediary between your computer and the Internet. It changes your IP address and makes it seem like you're accessing the Internet from a different location.

When using a proxy, all your traffic is redirected to your proxy server and can't be traced back to you. This means that you can freely use streaming services from all around the world, bypass geo-censorship and privately use BitTorrent.
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Proxy is extremely useful when you just need to connect to a certain service. For example, stream something on Netflix, download a Torrent or play an online game. But proxy has numerous downsides worth considering.

Proxy just changes your IP address, but it doesn't encrypt your connection. This means that anyone who tries to intercept your connection can still spy on your online activity and steal your sensitive data.

Those running the proxy server would also be able to monitor your traffic and even share it with the third party if they so choose.

And finally, you can only configure one app at a time to a proxy server, not your whole device.

VPN

A while ago we talked about the difference between a VPN and a proxy. Both of these privacy tools hide your IP address and connect your device to a different server, but that's where the similarities end.

One of the most important differences between a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and any other privacy tool is that a VPN encrypts your whole Internet connection thus hiding all your online activity. Just like a proxy, a VPN redirects your online traffic to another IP address but unlike a proxy, it makes that traffic unreadable by anyone who tries to intercept your connection.

Using a VPN has numerous advantages but its main purpose is allowing you to use the Internet freely and privately while providing the ultimate online safety for all your devices.

Once you start using a VPN service you can:

• Use public Wi-Fi spots, which are often unsafe
• Bypass geo-censorship
• Enjoy streaming your favorite TV shows and movies no matter where you are
• Use BitTorrent privately
• Ensure your online communication stays private
• Share and download files securely
• Stay safe from hackers and government monitoring
• Connect multiple devices at the same time
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However, VPN is not a flawless form of protection either. Depending on the provider, your Internet connection will slightly slow down, the design is not always user-friendly for the beginners and VPNs can be pricey.

Furthermore, you should be careful when choosing a VPN because not all VPN providers are equally reliable. You need to learn how to recognize and avoid a bad VPN.

If you're looking to save a few bucks, you might opt for a free VPN, but you should know that free VPN services are rarely as reliable and secure as they claim to be.

Since they offer a free service, they need to make a profit in other ways so they might sneak ads into your connection or worse, sell your data to a third party. For these reasons, free VPNs are best to avoid.

The Verdict

Even though there is a plethora of online privacy tools out there, only a handful of them is truly secure. Tools like anti-spyware and proxies offer a superficial protection layer and cover some aspects of online privacy and safety. They also have many downsides that could cost you more than just money.

A trustworthy paid VPN service is a comprehensive form of protection superior to all others. Being an all-around privacy protection system with numerous advantages, a VPN is an investment you will be happy you made.

Don't wait another day to claim back your privacy and enjoy Internet freedom. Sign up for our free trial and see for yourself why SwitchVPN is one of the best privacy tools on the market.


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