Congress Killed Your Privacy, What Next? Step 1 – Get and Use a VPN

So Congress just killed your internet privacy.

What next?

The first – and perhaps most important – step is to learn about and use a VPN.  What’s a VPN?  As Lifehacker put it:

The most important thing you need to know about a VPN: It secures your computer’s internet connection to guarantee that all of the data you’re sending and receiving is encrypted and secured from prying eyes.

Not only is this something you should be doing with your home computers, but it is definitely something you should be doing with your smartphone and laptop.  Aside from ISPs snooping on (and selling) your private information, there’s plenty of tools to snag information from others who are connected to the same public wifi point.  This has been the case for a while – I wrote about it in 2012 – but it’s even more urgent now.  Even if you don’t care about your privacy (though I do), you want to make sure that you stay safe on public wifi points.

I personally use Private Internet Access.  I’ve found the service to be excellent, and like that they not only offer OpenVPN access (and apps for Android and iOS), but also support IPSec/L2TP, PPTP, and SOCKS5.  And the price is right – as low as $3.33 a month.

Yes, those are all affiliate links – but that’s because I use the service.  If you don’t want to use their app, the support guides are clear and well written for all the operating systems I’ve used.  They also have sites to test your VPN – regardless of what service you use.  You can see if your DNS is leaking your IP address, if your IPv6 settings are telling everyone where you went, or even if your e-mail tells others where you’re connecting from.

Again, getting a VPN service you can trust – and using it – is one of the single most important things you can do to protect your privacy.

Check out the comparisons at PCMag and the roundup of privacy guarantees at Torrentfreak to see what services work best for you.

If you need to know why this is a big deal, check out this post:

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