This post is sponsored by Hotspot Shield

It goes without saying that people want to stay connected at all times. Whether it’s staying on top of stocks or the latest trends in tech to staying in touch with old friends via social media, we are more or less always online. As a result, we’re posting more personal information then ever and this opens people up to an array of risks in terms of both privacy and vulnerability to threats such as Identity theft. Hackers and scam artists are getting smarter by the day and now more than ever it’s critical to make sure that your data stays secure and out of the hands of these criminals. While you might be thinking that you’ll have to learn to program to keep your information private, the truth is much easier than you might expect.

Look at a typical day.

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Let’s say you stop at the local coffee shop for a pick me up and while you’re there, you decide to respond to a business email and post a couple of photos from your weekend trip to social media. Regardless of if you’re using the in house network or your own, if you’re not protected, you’re leaving your data and information open to anyone who decides to look. Your bank information, contacts, spending habits can all be easily collected by advertisers, government agents or identity thieves. Unless you’re using encryption software, it’s hard to keep this information from potentially falling in the wrong hands.

Your home isn’t as secure as you think

Even though you might think your secure with your home network, the truth is that you’re not. The scary fact is that despite how complex the fifteen character alphanumeric passcode on your home network might be, most home wifi routers have absolutely no security protocols at all and will leave you vulnerable to hackers using basic software to get in and gain access to your system. Since most people don’t know this, they tend to make easy targets but this is easy to prevent by using Hotspot shield to protect your home network with military-grade encryption software. Without protection, you might as well leave your personal information posted on your front door.

Just think about how much you use the internet at home for a second. Do you want total strangers having access to your browsing history? Do you want to let them use your Amazon Prime account or be able to read emails and look through your files?

Ever feel like someone’s watching you?

Have you noticed how good online advertising has gotten over the past few years? It’s because your information isn’t secure and companies are able to take this data and market their products to you nearly instantly. Without taking advantage of encryption software, you’re letting anyone who wants to know, everything they need to know about you. From what sites you visit, how long you stay, what you watch, what you like, everything. Do you really want total strangers looking in on your personal life like this?

Privacy and freedom go hand in hand

When we think of our basic human rights, we tend to forget things such as privacy and how it relates to our individual freedoms. Without unrestricted access to the internet and the information available, these freedoms will slowly erode over time. Not only is it key that we are to obtain the information, but it’s also important that we are able to do so anonymously. It’s not just companies such as Amazon and Facebook that are watching you online, it’s also the Government and internet providers. As we spend more of our lives online, we need to pay attention to how much of our lives we expose to who. We should be the ones in control over who knows what about us and be able to make the choice to stay out of sight from the prying eyes of those who may not always have our best interests at heart. We should also be the ones in charge of what we have access to, not the Government and certainly not the internet providers. It’s critical that we make sure that we not only stand up for our rights to both privacy and free access to information, we must also take steps to exercise them.  

Is it worth the risk?

While the idea of getting “Hacked” might sound like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, the truth is that cyber crimes and identity theft are rising every year as criminals get more sophisticated. Hackers and scam artists go after the easy targets and often these people don’t even know that their data and information are at risk. With the rise in these types of crimes, you have to be proactive if you don’t want to fall victim. Using encryption software makes sense due to the fact that it’s a lot easier than dealing with the hassle of the consequences. No one wants to spend what might take hours on the phone with customer service to sort things out if your credit card or banking information is compromised, not to mention having to wait for a new card.

So how do you protect yourself?

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With as risky as it sounds to be online, it’s tempting to get rid of your phone and go back to using cash. The good news is that you don’t have to go to this extreme to safeguard your information from scammers, hackers and government entities. While criminals are constantly looking for new ways to gain access, software companies such as the makers of Hotspot Shield are always staying ahead of the curve by providing military-grade encryption to over 600 million people. This allows you to safely and securely access the internet without having to worry about your personal privacy or important data being viewed by hackers and other groups. In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant and proactive so that you don’t fall victim to these criminals.

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