A VPN can provide protection against hackers when using unsecured public WiFi networks. Hackers mostly try to access or interfere with your internet-connected devices, such as your computer or smartphone and use them as per their interest.
However, it’s important to note that a VPN isn’t a foolproof defense against all types of hacking attempts. Although a VPN is an effective tool for protecting your online privacy and security, it may not always be enough to protect you from all cyber threats. We’ll discuss when and how VPN protection can be used to help prevent hacking incidents.
What is a VPN?
This problem is resolved by software called VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN keeps your data and information safe, secure, and protected and prohibits the access of any online trespasser.
Today’s world has made these VPN services necessary, and many companies now provide them.
A reliable VPN is a crucial resource for enhancing your online security and safeguarding your privacy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a VPN primarily guards against certain types of online threats.
Encryption of Your Internet Traffic With VPN Protection:
A VPN’s main function is encryption. It securely encrypts all the data from your device, which makes it invisible to your ISP, mobile network, or public WiFi provider. Moreover, it also encrypts your DNS requests, so your online whereabouts cannot be traced by your ISP or any other organization.
Thus, if you utilize VPN protection while accessing public WiFi, any cyber-criminal who breaches the network won’t be able to keep an eye on your online activity. However, many websites and applications nowadays employ HTTPS – a secure way to exchange data- which significantly reduces the danger posed by public WiFi hackers, as described below.
Concealment of Your IP Address with VPN Protection
When a VPN is connected, your initial physical IP address becomes invisible to the public eye. Instead, your virtual server-assigned IP address is displayed upon checking, which indicates the address of the VPN server you’re connected to.
By concealing your real IP address, VPN protection can block hackers from exploiting it to hack into or attack your device remotely. Let’s now explore in further detail the various kinds of hacking that a VPN protect you from.
How does VPN protect you against hackers?
The primary situation in which a VPN protects you against hackers is on unsecured public WiFi networks because a VPN encrypts all your internet traffic and masks your physical IP address. Certain free public WiFi networks are still susceptible to attack because they use weak passwords or insecure encryption. In such cases, hackers can access the network and spy on your digital activity.
With a VPN, an encrypted tunnel between your device and the destination point is created. The VPN shields your online activity from hackers’ observation and reduces the chances of vulnerability.
A connection is secured due to the addition of an extra security layer with the help of a VPN. When the VPN is enabled your internet connection is routed through the VPN server before reaching the destination website. In this way, hackers cannot access your device or gain access to your sensitive information.
When a hacker intercepts the traffic between your device and the WiFi router, it is known as a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. In this situation, the hacker can eavesdrop on your internet activity and can utilize the information for their own benefit, such as stealing your personal details or impersonating you online.
A VPN can help to protect you from these types of attacks by masking your internet activity. Some common examples of MITM attacks include evil twins, WiFi sniffing, and DNS spoofing.
Evil twins (malicious hotspots)
An evil twin is a malicious hotspot created by a hacker to access your data. These false hotspots might be challenging to discover, but if you connect to one by accident, a VPN protection can shield your data from any attack.
Hackers can use specialized software to “sniff out” data packets and examine them to monitor your internet traffic. They could even misuse your cookies to impersonate you online and gain access to your sensitive information. However, with a VPN, your data and real IP address are encrypted and hidden from sniffing attempts.
DNS requests can expose your browsing history, and if a hacker spoofs or “poisons” your DNS requests, they can redirect you to a malicious website. A reliable VPN service encrypts all your DNS requests, making it difficult for hackers to tamper with them.
Other Remote Attacks
With VPN services enabled on your device, you are protected from various attacks that exploit your IP address, such as port scanning and denial-of-service (DoS or DDoS) attacks. As a VPN mask your real IP address, hackers can’t target you with these attacks.
VPN limitations in preventing some types of cyberattacks
While VPNs are effective at protecting against certain types of cyberattacks, there are still several other ways hackers can access or harm your devices online. Here are some common threats that a VPN is not equipped to defend against:
Hackers can use various types of malware, such as spyware, rootkits, and remote access Trojans, to gain access to your device. While some VPNs offer some protection against malware, they are not designed as the primary defense against these threats.
A VPN cannot prevent hackers from exploiting software vulnerabilities in your apps or operating system. It is recommended to keep your operating system, apps, and antivirus definitions up-to-date to minimize the risk from known vulnerabilities.
Hackers can take advantage of human errors, such as weak passwords or social engineering tactics, to hack your device. Using a VPN is not a defense against falling for phishing emails or downloading malicious software from unauthorized websites. It is important to secure your online accounts with strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication where possible.
In technical terms, it is not possible for hackers to breach the standard VPN encryption. It would take millions or billions of years to crack the current AES-256 encryption standard through a brute-force attack. AES-256 is renowned for being almost impenetrable and is an excellent choice for ensuring the safety of your online activities.
While no single method can fully safeguard you from being hacked, a VPN can be a valuable option to consider in addition to any other security measures you may already have in place.
In conclusion, a VPN is an essential tool for safeguarding your online privacy and security. By encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your IP address, it can protect you from a range of cyber threats, including those posed by hackers on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
While a VPN can’t defend you against all types of cyber attacks, it is a crucial component of a comprehensive online security strategy, along with antivirus software, strong passwords, and safe browsing habits. With the right VPN service and a commitment to staying vigilant, you can keep your online activity safe from prying eyes and protect your sensitive personal and financial information from being compromised.