Buying online is not a risky activity, a good example of this is that millions of people buy through the Internet every day. However, what you should do is take precautions before entering any banking information on the different shopping websites, in addition, you should also check what wired or wireless network you are connecting to, otherwise a cybercriminal could capture all your data. and impersonate you to steal your card details.
When to use VPN when shopping online
There are several scenarios where you should use a VPN when buying online. Within the fact that it is advisable to use a VPN whenever we are away from home, we can divide this recommendation to use a VPN into two very different types:
- VPN server at home: if we have a NAS we can configure a VPN server easily and quickly, so that if we connect from abroad via cable or WiFi, all the traffic reaches our house and goes out to the Internet with the public IP of our connection.
- Use VPN services: If we do not have our own VPN server, then we can choose to use public VPN services such as the popular Cloudflare VPN which is completely free, and guarantees top-notch privacy and security. Other possibilities are to use paid services such as PureVPN, Surfshark, NordVPN and many other alternatives that are paid, but that will allow us greater versatility and configuration options.
Once we are clear about the two types of VPN that exist and that we can use, we are going to explain in which scenarios you should use a VPN to maintain your privacy and information security:
- if you are at home, and you don’t know very well if you have intruders on the wireless network. In principle, you should not have intruders on your WiFi network, but if you suspect that you do, it is highly recommended to use a third-party VPN service such as Cloudflare, with the aim that all traffic from our PC to the purchase website flow through an encrypted tunnel. In this way, you can add a layer of security to your connection. However, if you are in this chaos, you should check the devices connected to the network and avoid these intruders.
- If you are away from home, and you are connecting to any restaurant network, hotels etc. In this case you should always use a VPN service, or connect to your own VPN server at home where you can access the Internet safely. This is the most common scenario that we are going to find, and it is critical that whenever we are on a WiFi network that is not ours, use a VPN service.
- If you are away from home, but connected to a WiFi network of friends or family. In this case, although our friends or family are not going to steal our bank details, it is possible that there are intruders on their wireless networks, so it is advisable to use these virtual private networks in order to add a layer of security to our connection. In this case we can also use our own VPN server at home, or use a third-party VPN service.
As you can see, in these scenarios is where you should always use a VPN to make your purchases and that your connection is secure.
However, it is not always necessary to use a VPN when shopping online. If you are connected to a trusted local network, either via cable or WiFi, and you are certain that there is no intruder who can capture all your information, you will be able to connect without any problem to any web page without the need for a VPN.