The internet has become significantly more secure in the last decade, enhancing privacy for users globally.
HTTPS, once uncommon, is now ubiquitous, leading the Electronic Frontier Foundation to phase out its HTTPS Everywhere plugin, which was designed to prevent users from inadvertently accessing unencrypted connections.
They declare, “HTTPS is everywhere,” signaling a mission accomplished for this particular privacy tool. However, for VPNs and similar technologies offering a broader range of benefits, progress continues. Security experts maintain that VPNs are still advisable for everyday internet usage.
Browsers and apps still harbor numerous risks.
Despite improvements, HTTPS is not yet universally adopted, leaving many websites without fundamental encryption. Utilizing a VPN protects your data with robust encryption as it traverses a secure tunnel.
“As not all online platforms or apps reliably implement HTTPS, a VPN serves as a prudent additional safeguard,” states cybersecurity specialist John Opdenakker on his site.
Moreover, even with HTTPS, there persists the threat of man-in-the-middle and downgrade assaults, where attackers deceive your browser into erroneous connections or into reverting to HTTP. While HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) mitigates this, few sites employ it.
Compounding this, a significant portion of internet activity originates from mobile apps, which lack the visual security indicators like padlock symbols provided by browsers such as Firefox or Chrome.
Recent incidents, such as the Bank of America and HSBC apps not correctly verifying hostnames, Tinder transmitting images via HTTP, and Clubhouse exposing user information in plaintext, highlight the risks. It’s challenging for users to evaluate each app’s security measures.
Instead of relying on each app’s traffic management, an overarching encryption layer offered by personal VPNs affords comprehensive security for all app and browser traffic, delivering enhanced assurance to users.
Maintaining online privacy.
Despite universal adoption of HTTPS and encryption protocols, ISPs and Wi-Fi network operators can still discern the websites and apps you access. This visibility is due to the unencrypted nature of DNS and SNI (TLS Server Name Indication) used in website connections.
A VPN, however, shifts the responsibility of safeguarding this data from ISPs to the VPN provider. Dedicated VPN services prioritize user privacy and security. As cybersecurity expert Troy Hunt posits, “I’d much rather trust a reputable VPN to keep my traffic secure, private, and not logged, especially one that’s been independently audited to that effect.”
VPNs offering private, encrypted DNS, such as ForestVPN, ensure your online activities remain confidential. ForestVPN additionally takes proactive steps to enhance your privacy and security.
Streamlined Security for the Everyday User
Despite advancements in online security, numerous internet users cannot evaluate the safety of applications and web browsers. A tool that simplifies enhancing their security is crucial, given the importance of digital privacy today—a personal VPN represents such a tool.
We have consistently underscored the significance of VPN protection when accessing unprotected, public Wi-Fi networks found in locations like hotels and airports. However, with the rise of remote work and E-learning—the demand for secure connections has surged.
Many now depend on potentially unsafe Wi-Fi networks more than ever. According to the Center for Democracy & Technology, environments where networks are susceptible to surveillance by inquisitive onlookers, malicious entities, or prying employers highlight the necessity for a VPN. For those required to connect to these networks, the effortless activation of a VPN with a single click has never been more pertinent.