Browsing the web is always fraught with risks. If not the hackers or other online scamsters of which there is no dearth of in the virtual world, there is always the risk of your ISP prying on your online activities. The above holds true even if you are using the private browsing mode that almost all browsers provide.

The best that private browsing will do is prevent your browser from storing the information about the sites you have visited or the username and password you have used to log in somewhere. Cookies too don’t get stored when browsing the web privately. However, since all of your online traffic passes through the servers at your Internet Service Provider, they can always have a ringside view of all the sites you have visited or the info you have shared.

The best cover you can have in such a scenario is being mingled in the crowd. With the sheer volume of traffic passing through the ISP server, it wouldn’t be outright simple for anyone to single you out and go through all that you have done online. That said, it isn’t impossible either and some unscrupulous staff can always pull off such an act.

Further, the ISPs often have to furnish government requests and hand over to them the online records of any individual with whom they might have a fault. However, that is a different matter altogether though the underlying fact is, there is no way you can be sure of the security and privacy of your information online, that is unless you are using a VPN.

Short for Virtual Private Network, VPNs like PrivacySharks can be the answer to all your worries regarding the safety and security of anything that you exchange online, including the all too important banking information that is always at the mercy of the IPS. The one thing it does to keep your online identity under a cloak is encrypted your internet traffic, making it virtually impossible for anyone to have an idea of what’s going on. In fact, anyone trying to track you down won’t have any idea of where you are from in the first place.

To understand how VPN can help you achieve in having the highest levels of safety while online, you got to have an idea of how things work when you log in to the internet in the first place. So, basically, what you do is log in from your computer to get online. The ISP, on its part, assigns you a particular ISP which happens to be the address of your PC so long as you are online.

It is this IP address that uniquely identifies your computer and since all web traffic passes through the servers at the ISP, they can log in and track you down with the help of your IP address. This way, they can see everything that you have done online, and view all information you have exchanged, what sites you visited, what are the thing you searched for, and so on. Now imagine if the IPS servers get compromised, which sure is an extremely difficult thing to pull off but is never impossible.

However, with the VPN, it is your IP address that gets changed so that your online identity remains obscure. The VPN does this by redirecting your IP address via a remote server that is operated by the VPN host. This way, technically, it is this server that becomes the source of your data while your real location remains off-bound. Further, all the data your share online is encrypted, which means even if someone gets access to it, those won’t be of any use to them.

Essentially, the first and most important thing that the VPN does, or a good VPN should do is mask your online identity. The ISP only gets the IP address of the VPN host server and is therefore not able to track you down. Your real IP address remains masked, which makes you anonymous in the online space. The other important thing that the VPN does is encrypting your online info, which includes both your internet and search history as well as the cookies.

Another important differentiator for a good VPN is the presence of a kill switch. The importance of the kill switch is often underestimated though it has a very vital role to play in providing all-around online security. What it does is exists the programs you have marked as sensitive the moment it detects a sudden downtime in VPN connection. Else, with the VPN coverage gone, your private data would have been exposed.

All of this should be enough to highlight the importance of VPN and how we can be at the mercy of online hackers or even our ISP with our personal data, banking info, and almost everything else that we do online. The next data breach could just be waiting to happen.