In this day and age, when almost everything is done online, ensuring privacy and security is considered essential. That’s why many security tools are now used in both personal and business settings. One of the most known security tools on the internet is a virtual private network (VPN).
People utilize VPN services to secure their internet connections. However, it still doesn’t eliminate the risks of being attacked by hackers because the incredible security features of a VPN are not enabled automatically. It means that you’re going to have to combine other measures to achieve optimal security with a VPN.
Here, we’re sharing with you some steps you can take to make your VPN connections more secure.
Use The Strongest Encryption
A VPN is designed to hide or disguise your IP address and block others from tracking your online activities. To do this, it transmits your information through an encrypted tunnel. It is the VPN protocol that determines the method of encryption. But since various protocols offer different levels of security, your VPN might have different speeds and vulnerabilities.
Thus, you must ensure that your VPN uses the best protocol to provide you with the strongest encryption and secure connection. In terms of security, the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is the last thing you would want to use since it has the weakest encryption. But the most secure protocol that offers the highest level of encryption is OpenVPN.
Note that there are VPN apps that don’t allow you to see what protocol is being used. Others also don’t let you pick the protocol you prefer. Do thorough research, and ensure your VPN provider offers the best protocol.
Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication
Although VPNs offer excellent security, they do come with their fair share of risks. Most VPNs require a traditional username and password combination, which hackers can easily guess or steal. In fact, 81% of data breaches involve weak or stolen credentials based on Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigation Report.
Like any other application, it is essential to secure your VPN with multi-factor authentication. It can add a second layer of defense to your primary authentication by validating a user’s identity. Through utilizing multi-factor authentication, you can better prevent attackers from accessing your account even if they guessed or stole your username and password.
Activate Kill Switch
VPN services are not perfect. You may experience problems with your VPN connections occasionally. As a result of this, your internet access will downgrade to an unprotected connection. Your computer will then default back to the public IP address provided by your internet service provider. In effect, your online activity can be easily tracked by attackers.
But the worst part is, you may not even know that it’s already happening. Fortunately, you can prevent it from happening with a kill switch. When your VPN connection fails, a kill switch will completely block your internet connection, shutting down all your preselected apps. With that, the probability of data leaking from sensitive programs will be minimized.
Therefore, you must look for this feature on your VPN. Many VPN clients have a built-in kill switch into their software. But usually, you’ll find that they are switched off by default. Make sure that you activate this kill switch or look for an automatic one.
Enable DNS Leak Protection
Domain Name Service (DNS) is a mapping technology that allows you to locate any website by its name without needing to remember the IP addresses. When you browse a website, your local computer asks your internet service provider DNS resolvers to identify its IP address. The ISP returns the data, and you can start browsing on that website.
However, using such DNS resolvers provided by your internet service provider can put your privacy and security at risk due to a DNS leak. A VPN server is usually used to avoid this from happening. But the problem is many VPNs are also vulnerable to DNS leaks.
Note that leaking your DNS reveals your online activities to your ISP even if you use a VPN to hide them, that’s why DNS leak protection is important to secure your VPN connections. Since not all VPN services are equal, ensure that your VPN can protect you from leaks. If you’re already connected to a VPN that has a DNS leak protection feature, always double-check if it’s enabled by default or not.
Choose The Best VPN Server
Having the best VPN server is essential to make your VPN connections more secure. It is your VPN server that acts as an intermediary between your computer and the internet. Thus, only the IP address of your VPN server can be logged by malicious websites. It wouldn’t be a problem except when your connection is interrupted.
Remember that connection issues can also significantly affect your security online. Again, your identity will be exposed on the web when your VPN connections will drop. Although poor service can cause connection issues, they happen most of the time due to an undesirable VPN server. To prevent this from happening, you must choose the server that’ll work best for you.
There are different categories of VPN servers, and it all depends on your needs and resources. If you’re in a country where VPN use is heavily restricted, using obfuscated servers might be the solution. With VPN server obfuscation, you can bypass internet restrictions and have better privacy and security online.
Find A Reliable Provider
Besides the services and features, finding a reliable VPN provider is also vital to secure your VPN connections. No matter how promising the VPNs’ features are, some providers may fail to deliver their services. Therefore, always check the reputation of a VPN service provider before signing up to them. Take your time to do some research, read their reviews, and ask queries.
VPN is indeed an excellent security tool. But like any other applications or tools, it also comes with potential flaws. The good news is there are ways you can do to achieve maximum security. By equipping yourself with the right features that you should look for in a VPN, you can better protect yourself online.
Whether he’s researching the latest mobile hardware specifics or diving deep into the world of software development technologies, Zachary loves to stay in the know. His talent at simplifying and explaining complex technological concepts makes his blog posts easy to read but very informative. Few people are as enthusiastic about mobile technology as he is, and he’s always ready to analyze a new trend.