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The more that we have invested into online presence, the more important it has become for us to safeguard our information in the digital landscape. Our ever-increasing reliance on the digital landscape to provide us with unadulterated access to the whole world through a device screen, has resulted in the necessity of cybersecurity measures to keep our activities online private and secure. Every time we type something into Google, enter a password for a website, or even just browse through the worldwide web, we are essentially embedding more of our digital selves into the digital landscape at hand.

So, it goes without saying that we must be taking active and ongoing measures to protect ourselves online. Cybersecurity is a genuine issue, and one that must be taken seriously always. The first defence against threats to cybersecurity is the use of a VPN (virtual private network). The question: “how does a VPN work?” is not an uncommon one. In short, a VPN allows an individual to create a secure connection to other networks over the internet. The VPN shields the user’s browsing activity, their location, and their access to otherwise-restricted websites.

VPNs are becoming more and more popular in this digital age, and it is not at all difficult to understand exactly why that is. In this modern age, data is the digital equivalent to a fingerprint. Because every time we do something online, we are integrating more of ourselves into the digital landscape at hand, we are becoming increasingly aware (and about time, too) that our insistence on being active and present online always also inevitably results in more potential for risk. The magic in a VPN is that it effectively puts up a virtual shield that protects the user from outside interference.

This is especially important when one considers the fact that the digital landscape that VPNs navigate is practically global, meaning that there is no shortage of potential threats to cybersecurity. With so much potential for access, there is certainly just as much – if not more – potential for threats to find their way in amongst the cracks. It is practically impossible to be 100% secure online, but the VPN is the best way to secure ourselves as tightly as possible. At every turn, every click, there is the potential for risk. We should be doing all we can, all the time, to prevent or minimise that risk as best we can (at the very least).

Data protection should always be top of the mind for everyone, any time they are browsing online or using a new website for the first time. But human nature ensures that it isn’t – we just want to get things done. One of the biggest failings of privacy law online is that it puts too much accountability on the shoulders of the individuals using the system, in an environment where they do not understand the risks well enough, or are unwilling to go out of their way to understand them.