VPNs weren’t originally designed strictly as a privacy tool. Rather, they were created so that remote workers could have access to their company’s network. Over time, they evolved into a great way to protect your data on insecure WiFi networks.
In a recent article on ITProPortal, James Longworth, a security expert at Insight UK, argues that as we move forward in a world where less and less privacy is the new normal, the future of our privacy and VPNs are inevitably linked.
Our new world order of less and less privacy
We live in a golden age of Internet surveillance. The last decade has seen a huge drop in the price of storing information, so companies (as well as the government) have invested billions of dollars in huge servers that store vast amounts of information about us. Almost everything we do online is being stored in these servers.
Data brokers and advertisers also gather information about your online activities by installing cookies on your computer when you visit websites. These cookies track you as you surf online, recording which websites you visit, what you buy, and what your interests are. They use this information to put together a detailed dossier on you that they can sell to other companies.
More of more of the things we use every day, such as cars and appliances, are now connected to the Internet (which is known as IoT or the Internet of Things). This means that all of these connected devices are susceptible to viruses and hackers, just as your computers and mobile devices are.
Many of us bring our own mobile devices and computers to get work done at our jobs, which means sensitive company information is at greater risk of being exposed.
As a result of all of these changes to our technological landscape, our inherent right to privacy is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. And while some understand this, most people are not taking steps to protect themselves and stopping this gradual erosion of our privacy.
VPNs are the future of privacy
In his article, Mr. Longworth argues that because of these trends, VPNs are now more focused on protecting a user’s privacy than simply allowing us to connect to company networks. Almost everyone now uses a firewall to protect themselves from viruses.
Likewise, over the next decade or so, more and more people will come to understand that the best way to protect their privacy is to use a VPN.
Which future will we choose?
Of course, it’s always possible that we won’t realize or fight for our privacy and will completely forget about it. Privacy could very well be condemned to the dustbin of history if enough of us don’t take it seriously.
The other possibility, and the promise that VPNs offer, is that our privacy is important and worth protecting. Right now, most of us know the importance of antivirus software and firewalls.
In this much brighter future, VPNs will be added as the third pillar that everyone knows is vital to our online privacy.