As technology progresses and smaller computer parts are available, the line between smartphone and computer becomes thinner and thinner. Often people will no longer bring laptops around with them, as their basic tasks can be accomplished with their phones. Of course, as this technology progresses, so do the opportunities for criminal activity, as the data held on smartphones can be captured for identity theft and other cybercrimes.
This requires a greater level of security inside the phone, as well as a user who is savvier about what to do to protect themselves. This is why, among other measures, you should think about using a VPN on your smartphone, just as much as you would your laptop or tablet. A Virtual Private Network (or VPN) is a service that allows you to create a secure connection over a public network.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider using one on your smartphone:
You will be Able to Travel without Fear of a Loss of Service
If you find yourself traveling a great deal, then a VPN would be the exact thing you are looking for. Often a service such as Netflix works by region, meaning you may not be able to get the same content (or any content) that you would be getting in the United States. A VPN will allow you to bypass this unfortunate eventuality, and thus you’ll be able to do everything you want on your smartphone while waiting for your plane at the airport.
In addition to this, a VPN on your smartphone is an excellent protection against censorship, such as the blocking of Facebook in China and some other countries. If you use certain sites that are known to be censored, and you are commonly traveling, you’ll want to try and create some way to access them.
You will be More Secure on Public Networks
This should be your main concern when considering whether to use a VPN. Public networks, such as those found in cafes, libraries, and some other stores, are often not protected very well and your data isn’t secure on them. If you find yourself doing financial transactions, or other activity involving your personal information on these networks, you absolutely need the encryption a VPN provides.
Another thing to consider on this note is that some smartphones will automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks that are in range to save data, bypassing some of the security steps. This leaves you wide open, and some of your data can be scooped up by a hacker with the right equipment and sold to the highest bidder. You should have your settings adjusted to require your permission before connecting to these networks.
Your Job Might Need it
If you find yourself using your phone for work, and you have a profession that requires the protection of sensitive or confidential information, you will want to protect any emails or data that comes in or out of your phone. And remember it is not necessarily the data you consciously send that is only at risk. Think about what would happen if a person with ill intent got ahold of the password to your work email?
Less People Watching You
Were you aware that on public networks it isn’t that difficult for people to know what you are reading or watching on your smartphone? This invasion of privacy is unacceptable to many, and a VPN on your smartphone would mean that others would only see you using a VPN at best, with all of your requests going through the VPN. If you are worried about privacy, this might be a good way to sleep easier.
More and more smartphone operating systems are actively supporting the use of a VPN, and there are other apps available to nearly all of them. You will likely want to do some comparisons, but any VPN on your smartphone will be better than none, and your future self will thank you for getting one every time you hear of another data breach in the news.