VPNs, something we have all seen online, and recently they have made their way into TV commercials, promoting their “one-click security” software; however, this could not be further from the truth.
The basic goal of a VPN is to change your IP address; though, this is easy to detect. If you use an online account, you will still be tracked online, as that account may have your real name, email address, or even more information attached to it.
I’ll go over the main points of what a good VPN does and does not do:
A good VPN will:
- Hide which websites you visit
- Hide your actual IP address from the website
- Change your “location” to make it seem as if you are in a different city, state, or even country.
For this website, TempMail.lol, you are connected securely. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can see you are connected to
https://tempmail.lol/, but cannot see anything after the slash; all of that information is encrypted before being sent to our servers. You can distinguish encrypted websites from non-encrypted websites by seeing if they start with
HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) or
HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure). Note: just because a website has HTTPS, it does not mean that the website is trustworthy. Anyone can get a certificate to encrypt their connection for free. For more information, see the following post: HTTPS – Secure Websites are not Always Trustworthy.
Now, a good VPN WILL NOT do any of the following:
- Make you completely anonymous
- Hide all of your Internet activity
- Make your Internet or computer more secure
- Completely protect you from viruses
Additionally, the government of the VPN company may issue a gag order, telling them to start logging information, such as websites users visit, their original IP address, and even website data for unencrypted connections.
How do I have Better Online Security?
There are basic tips to staying secure online, here is a list of some of those.
- Do not give out your email address to random websites.
- Watch out for websites that may ask you to install extensions. Websites will not require you to enable notifications to use the site; only enable notifications for websites you trust.
- If you are signing up for a website which you are not going to use in the future, try using a temporary email provider, such as TempMail.lol, which will generate a temporary email address with no ties to you.
Of course, the most important rule is to make sure that you, the person reading this text, do not interact with things that seem sketchy, or at the very least, be more skeptical of what you download online. As part of our blog, we have articles about scams in the Scam category on different types of scams and how you can avoid them.