People are increasingly becoming dependent on the internet for almost everything – from finding relevant information about a specific subject to streaming movies and videos, sharing pictures and files online, shopping, booking flights and hotels, and much more. But spending a lot of time online makes you vulnerable to prying eyes, hackers, and other malicious attacks. That’s why you should use security options to stay safe online and even protect your confidential information from falling into the wrong hands or being viewed by people with malicious intent.
Antivirus is perhaps the oldest amongst all security options available today that offers protection against various types of attacks, be it triggered by someone looking to cause widespread damage, perform some fraudulent activities, or just hack into a computer for the thrill of it. With a good antivirus program installed on your machine, you can get protection against viruses, malware, spyware and bots (used to take remote control of a computer or trigger automated spamming). Apart from getting alerts when you try to access potentially dangerous sites or receive emails and other messages that include hazardous/fraudulent links or attachments.
If like a majority of web users these days; you too use the Chrome browser, you can install several chrome extensions to ensure your online sessions stay private and protected. For example, with Avast Online Security, you can stay protected against phishing attacks since it scans web page elements to authenticate it and gives you instant warnings if you are accessing a fake page. Again, with HTTPs Everywhere that tries to connect you to a website’s HTTPS version, if possible, you could stay protected against stealing of your private data or prying on your online browsing sessions.
VPN and Proxy
But when looking to secure yourself online, VPNs seem to be the clear winner though proxies come a close second. Though both of them hide your IP address and keep you anonymous, they work differently. A proxy only hides your IP address – one application at a time. So, when you browse the web or download torrents, your entire traffic gets routed through the anonymous proxy server (without any encryption) to reach you. This means anyone won’t see your actual IP address but that of the proxy server. They can snoop on your traffic if they have access to your data stream. Also, since proxy server connections aren’t configured computer-wide but work on an application-by-application basis, they are right when you want a single application to connect to the proxy, but not wise when you aim to redirect your complete internet connection through it.
With a VPN, your complete internet connection has protected the instant you connect to it. Thus, from your web browsing sessions to torrent downloading, your online activities remain disguised since the VPN establishes a virtual network using its servers to reroute all your DNS and traffic. And that’s precisely why in most debates about Proxies vs. VPNs, the later emerge a clear winner.