Will a VPN Protect You?Robert Crain
Now, this is a little off-topic with regards to WordPress Development and Management, but it is important.
I received an email, after my last post about the ToR Browser. In it, I was asked if I believed that using a VPN will protect users’ anonymity – Well, the short answer is No.
Everybody that is up to no-good, wants to protect their identity online, I get that. What I don’t get, is that if you were to use a VPN and you visit an online store and buy something, your identity is no longer anonymous – I stated this in my last post.
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) has its’ pros and cons, like using the ToR Browser.
For those that are asking how or why a WordPress Professional would know anything about ToR Browser or the use of VPN’s, it’s very simple. Some of us place an emphasis on website security.
When dealing with eCommerce websites, for example, we need to know how to trace hackers, and other undesirables. Knowing how to secure a website is one thing, but actually helping law enforcement with the information they need to track down and take action against these criminals, is just another part of ‘the job’.
Another example, is that someone may send a threatening message through your website. We have the knowledge and tools available to track them down – even if they use ToR or a VPN. It can take some time, but it’s definitely something that we can do. Some ‘criminals’ are pretty stupid as well, so they make it easy for us to trace them. Quite simply, if you use a VPN, you are almost instantly traced back to the VPN, then it’s just a matter for us to find out through an ISP / Hosting company, who owns the VPN.
*I didn’t want to get right into this today, as I’m busy with something else, but I will get into more detail about using a VPN within the next few days.
Okay, I said I’d post in a few days – as it turns out. I lied – it wasn’t deliberate though.
As I mentioned previously, “Why would a WordPress Professional know anything about ToR Browsers or the use of VPN’s?” – It’s because the stage where I’m at, I probably help to protect more WordPress websites through security, than I do customization, and I (for one) need to know how to do that. The only way to protect against a threat, is to get as much knowledge about that possible threat, and act on it.
There are tools (read code, if you like) that prevent ToR Browsers and VPN’s for example, from accessing your WordPress website. The implementation of these tools are extremely quick and easy.
Why would you want to protect yourself from people using ToR Browsers and VPN’s? Well, think of a bank robber. They wear balaclavas, right? Well, the only reason people want to protect themselves from being ‘seen’ online, is because, as I mentioned in another post, there are a select few types of ‘people’ that use these tools to be ‘anonymous’ – one of those types of people are petty common criminals, hoping to steal data, such as credit card details and email addresses from your website / backend.
On the flip side, you have the very genuine person who is paranoid about being seen doing things online, such as looking at porn.
The thing people need to remember, is that even if you do use a browser, such as ToR, or a VPN for that matter, the information can AND WILL be traced back to them. It slows the process down, but it’s most definitely doable.
And, for the record, when these individuals are caught, charged and found guilty of committing the crime (and they will), whilst being sentenced, the courts will take into account the fact that they tried to hide their identity, and that sentence will be a lot worse for them.
Anybody using a browser such as ToR or a VPN that uses these tools to commit crimes, may in fact commit several crimes whilst the ‘original’ crime is being investigated, leading to further charges when ‘found’. To me, there’s a certain level of comfort in that fact. They get caught, 99% of the time.
This is where people like me come into the equation. We can, and will, assist law enforcement.
Concerned about your website security? You should be. Tech is constantly changing the way we operate online. Hackers laugh at people who think VPN’s will protect them. Don’t become a victim. Usually, the one’s using VPN’s or browsers such as ToR, have something to hide – they are the people being targeted.
You don’t have to use my services, there are plenty of WordPress Professionals (not to mention cyber security experts) out there dealing with website security, but if you would like to contact me, simply click the contact me link at the top of this page, or click here.
Thanks for visiting!