“Your greatest security and privacy risk relates to data in transit, as it passes to and from your devices. In a coffeeshop, airport, or other public space using Wi-Fi, your information passes in the clear between your hardware and the network’s hub,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld. “You may not be sure how and whether the hotspot secures access to the wired side of its routers, either.”
“Even if you’re using a secure Wi-Fi network at home, work, or school — or even wired Ethernet — your bits still pass across a broadband modem and through intermediate points on the Internet before reaching the destination server and vice-versa,” Fleishman writes. “(Cellular networks are generally considered quite secure unless you are being either individually targeted or swept into a government-backed interception project.)”
“Imagine the Internet as a series of pipes — seriously. And then imagine that you could thread your own thin, flexible, impenetrable stainless-steel pipe from your house through all the water mains to where the water comes,” Fleishman writes. “That’s a virtual private network (VPN). It’s a secure end-to-end tunnel between your device and some far-off destination.”
Read more in the full article here.