Organizations have been using proxies for security purposes for a long time, nearly since the inception of the internet itself. Because the proxy server limits communications to a single point of access, a logical next step is to encrypt all communications passing through that server, known as a proxy. Today, the most sophisticated proxy solution is a series of private encrypted networks known as a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. But does this apply to the individual user? More and more, the answer is a resounding yes.
Your Privacy Online
Concealing your identity has inherent security implications, even when using a web proxy that offers no encryption. Several types of malware seek out specific vulnerabilities in their potential targets. By browsing the web via proxy server, these malicious applications see only the information relevant to the proxy server, and nothing about your personal hardware. In this way, hiding your identity also protects your devices.
If you use any personal identifying information, however, you want to take higher security precautions. Identity theft is on the rise with shoppers sharing all sorts of personal and financial information in order to make online purchases. Anybody who uses the Internet for personal and business services such as shopping, banking, managing credit, and paying bills should be sure they are browsing with the utmost security. If this sounds like you, you should be using a VPN!
When the personal computer first began to populate family homes, people soon realized installing a reliable antivirus software was an absolute must in order to responsibly use a computer. Now, the same is true for anybody browsing the Internet, especially those who do so for shopping online. The VPN is the new antivirus: if you browse online, you need one.
We will tell you a bit about how VPNs work, but if you shy away from technical explanations, feel free to skip ahead to Setting Up YourProxy ServerAccount.
The Beauty of Encryption
The heart and soul of a VPN is encryption. Humans have been using cryptography to send encoded messages for at least as long as we have had written language. These days, computers use sophisticated algorithms to generate encrypted code that can only be decrypted by specific keys.
Asymmetric or public key encryption uses both a public and a private key to encrypt data. Only the sending device knows the private key, while sharing the public key with its intended recipients. The recipient needs both the public key and another private key to decrypt the information. Device A uses one private key to encrypt its data, and then encrypts that key with the public key. Device B uses its own private key to decrypt the public key, and then uses the public key to decrypt the information. On the scale of Internet encryption, websites acquire digital certificates (SSLs) from certificate authorities who share the appropriate public keys between authorized senders and recipients.
VPNs use a combination of public key encryption and authentication to ensure all the information passing through their channels is consistently protected at the highest levels. They have been around long enough now that there are numerous protocols used in tandem with one another for the best possible results. See How Does a VPN Work? to learn more about encryption and security protocols.
Setting Up YourProxy ServerAccount
Does all of this talk about encryption and algorithms have you thinking this isn’t for you? Not to worry! Fortunately, ProxyServer’s ProVPN was designed to be simple and user-friendly. We will have you enjoying secure and private browsing in a manner of minutes.
That’s seriously it: all you have to do is download, install, and login to get started. Check out How Easy Is It to Set Up YourProxy ServerVPN? for screenshots and step-by-step instructions.
Selecting a Region
VPN servers work by routing your traffic through a number of servers before reaching the host server. This flow of traffic from one server to the next is called a “hop.” In order to maximize your connection speed, you want the fewest hops possible. If you do not have a specific reason to connect through another country, your best course of action is to connect to the server nearest your current location. For many, that means selecting their home country (and nearest city, if you are in a country with multiple VPN servers available). For others, that means selecting the country nearest your own.
Enjoy Your Secure and Private Online Shopping
Once you get the hang of using yourProxy ServerVPN, you can shop online with ease anywhere in the world. Now that you know how to use ProVPN, check out all of the other ways you can get the most out of your secure and private connection. Check out our How-To articles for a full list of our capabilities.