But what if you have nothing to hide? You don’t care who knows you binge the Great British Bake Off every night or use your lunch hour to read up on how to grow the best peppers in the county. And if you’re using a business computer, could anyone really tie that activity to you anyway?
Even if you don’t have anything to hide, you may not want private and public organizations having as much information about your internet habits as they do. Companies collect an astounding amount of data, including:
- When and in what location you access information and the internet
- What websites you visit, how often and what you do while on the site
- What links you click online and which social media profiles you follow
- What you buy online and what you put in your shopping cart and never buy
These are just a few of the data points being gathered by advertisers, websites, the government and even criminals. Sometimes, the tracking is even more invasive. For example, some websites collect data about how long you stay on various aspects of the screen and draw conclusions about how you interact with the content there. AI is able to connect your habits and log-ins across various IP address, so even if you use a business computer, a home computer and a mobile device, your use might still be tracked to you.
What do organizations use this data for? Many use it for marketing. Have you ever visited a site on a specific topic — for example, engagement rings — and then realized that engagement ring advertisements have started following you around the internet? That’s the result of your behavioral data — what you looked at or searched for online — being tied to your IP address and used by marketers.
And it’s not even the one jewelry website that has this info now. Jewelry sites you never even visited can use data gathered by Google and other ad platforms to target you now.
A VPN gets rid of that capability and cuts down on ad targeting. Here are a few other reasons you might want VPN protection even if you have nothing to hide.
- You may be confident in your own actions online, but you never know when or how information can be used against you. VPN cuts down on what organizations, including the government, know about you.
- You aren’t the only one using your networks. Do you want every employee’s internet browsing history to be laid bare to investors or used in any future investigation of your business? Probably not.
- Unknown organizations aren’t the only ones who can track you online. Other people can too, and you don’t always want your business partners or social circle knowing everything you do online.