AirVPN Warns of Misinterpreting Anonymizing Services

Not every company that says it can give you anonymity on the web can really guard your identity. Others can, but keep logs of their customers’ information. To protect themselves, they will share these logs with ISPs, government and other agencies when asked. Sometimes users assume that a VPN service will give them complete privacy as they define it, but it is prudent to take a closer look at what online privacy really means.

Your IP Address

Your IP address is your address on the Internet, a unique mark that your computer needs to access any information online. Your computer leaves this mark everywhere it goes, and it is attached to everything you send – instant messages, emails, posts, uploaded photos, et cetera. And this data often contains more information like your birthday, full name, relationships and connections, and so on. Your IP address also contains other identification as it is attached to your Internet service account. Many companies, government agencies, and online criminals use IP addresses to identify, track, monitor and profile users because it is such a great identifying mark. Not allowing anyone to see you IP address is the solution to this problem. And so, anonymizing services were born out of the need for users to hide their IP addresses.

Hiding your IP address actually means connecting to another IP address so that is the one that is seen. But don’t assume that your real IP is automatically undetectable. Hiding your IP address means using a proxy. But don’t assume that all proxies are equally secure. A proxy simply means the IP address that your traffic is rerouted to. All anonymizing services use proxies, but simple proxy services do not provide the additional security required to make sure your IP address is kept safely hidden. Free and cheap proxy services are easily traced, and they often log your information to keep the law off their backs. Sometimes they sell this information to advertisers as a way to keep the service free so many people will continue using it.

Good VPN services charge a fee because they secure their subscribers’ information. But again, don’t assume that because it’s paid, that you are safe. Some VPN providers also keep logs of their users’ information and activities. And they may have deals with different companies and government agencies for the sharing of that information. This can be under copyright protection laws, or for advertising purposes. Either way, your data may be leaked out. Always carefully check a service’s privacy policy and what the service actually gives you before signing up.

Complete Online Security

There is no anonymizing service that can by itself completely protect a user. Every Internet user must be careful what information they share online, and where they share it. If you use your real name, birthday, and telephone number on your Facebook account, no proxy or VPN can keep your identity hidden. If you have a limited and detailed list of contacts on your Google account, and you have shared personal and identifying information in your emails, you can be profiled. Then no matter what IP address you reroute to, you are found.

Aside from your IP address, personally identifiable information can be sent over the Internet in the form of the metadata that goes along with everything you send. Your photos, documents, emails and more all have metadata, or descriptions of the data you are sending. For example, your phone or camera can have GPS identification, accounts that store information about you, and other data that can be used to build a picture of who you are. Even with a different IP address, a “fake” Facebook account, an anonymous email service, et cetera, this metadata can lead others to you.

Anonymizing Services Still Essential

But this does not mean that anonymizing services are useless. This is far from the truth. With a little care about what information you share on the Internet, a good anonymizer like AirVPN can protect you from government snooping, ISP monitoring, hacker attacks, greedy advertisers, and all others who challenge your privacy and security online. Choosing a reliable VPN service can safely open up the Internet so users can again enjoy the freedoms it offers while remaining safe from intruders.

Good VPN services additionally give users security against malware and other online threats. Cyber criminals are getting craftier every day, and it’s not just your money they are after. They can gain control of your computer and use it to attack other people or websites, and you are implicated. They can use your computer to store and spread illegal data and sensitive files, and again, you are holding the bag. They can steal your identity and use it to apply for accounts that you pay for and that are used for illegal activities. They can then also sell it to the highest bidder. Whether for moral reasons or to stay out of trouble, you need a good VPN service to protect you from being misused this way.

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