The holiday season is a great time for families and friends. They come together for fun, they roast chestnuts on an open fire, and exchange gifts.
Another notable activity during the holiday season is the sheer amount of shopping almost everyone does.
Online shopping is without doubt the easiest and most convenient way of buying your Christmas gifts. In this digital age, no one wants to brave the weather and crowds like people did in the pre-Internet days.
However, with the growing number of hackers and scammers out to get your hard-earned money, online shopping is fraught with danger.
In this post we look at the benefits you get when you do your online shopping with VPN this Christmas.
Personal and Financial Risks Associated with Online Shopping
Thanks to technology and the Internet, Christmas shopping no longer involves walking through several malls until your feet are sore and ears ringing with Christmas music blaring from retail stores.
You can easily do all the shopping you need from the convenience of your home or office via your computer or mobile device. However, the most important thing you should always do is to ensure that you’re shopping through a secure and encrypted Internet connection.
If your Internet connection is compromised, scammers, hackers, and other snoopers will easily know what you bought. They will know where the items will be shipped to, your account’s information including passwords, your credit or debit card information, your billing address, and even your IP address and physical location. That isn’t the kind of information you want to broadcast to the public if you value your privacy and security.
Most of the public networks you use at the café, airport lounge, and libraries are extremely vulnerable and dangerous. A skilled hacker only needs a few easily available sniffing tools to grab your password and other financial details as you place your order on any merchandise website.
Your home network isn’t as safe as you think either. You may be changing your passwords every month or week. But that won’t stop your ISP from seeing what, where, and when you shop online and sell the information to advertisers.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the number of stolen credit card numbers rose by 88% between 2016 and 2017. The cases are even higher today as more and more people turn to online shopping especially during the Christmas season.
The good news is that there are simple and effective steps that you can take to enjoy the freedom and convenience of online shopping while keeping your personal and financial data secure. You should always ensure that you’re only shopping from HTTPS certified websites. Remember to set up two-factor authentication in all your online accounts.
However, the most reliable security measure is to ensure that you do all your online shopping with VPN. A reliable VPN not only keeps you secure but helps you to find the best deals and prices whenever you shop online.
How Does Online Shopping with VPN Help?
Virtual Private Networks or VPNs act as secure tunnels between your computer or phone and the websites you visit. Basically, all websites categorize visitors using the user’s physical IP address.
Your IP address is provided by the Internet service provider (ISP). It’s used to pinpoint your exact location or the location of the connecting device. You can, however, hide your real IP address and exact location using a VPN. This allows you to connect to the Internet through a secure server in another location.
For example, if you’re doing your online shopping with VPN in New York, you can browse the web using an IP address located in the UK. This not only helps to hide your location but can also give you discounts and offers restricted to shoppers in specific countries or locations.
What makes a VPN even better is that it automatically encrypts the network you’re using. For example, if you’re connecting to the Internet from an insecure location such as a public Wi-Fi hot spot in a coffee shop or airport lounge, the VPN instantly encrypts and secures your connection.
This way, you can send and receive your data without fear of your connection getting logged or spied on by hackers, government agencies, or your ISP.
Attention: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble.
Currently, the following information is visible:
- Your IP: 18.104.22.168
- Your Country: United States
- Your City: Ashburn
- Your ISP: Amazon Technologies Inc.
If this is your real information, you need to use a VPN to protect your identity.
We strongly recommend you to get a good VPN and hide your identity so that your online experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
We use IPVanish which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. IPVanish also runs a limited time offer where you can save 76% on your VPN and they allow you to use one account on unlimited devices.
This is a flash sale that can expire at any time!
Benefits of Online Shopping With VPN
Here are some of the key benefits of online shopping with VPN:
• Get the Best Prices and Deals When You Shop Online via a VPN
If you didn’t know, a majority of online stores and websites have a biased approach in the way they treat customers from different locations. This is especially true when it comes to the prices they provide for customers visiting from different locations.
Location is an important factor in pricing. Most websites have an exploitative technique. This is known as dynamic pricing which ensures that prices are often higher for shoppers visiting from affluent countries, cities, and ZIP codes. Some sites will even charge you more based on the device you’re using to access their online store.
Fortunately, a VPN obfuscates your real location by giving you the option to connect via any of their servers located in different places across the world. The VPN will help you to check the price an online store offers to customers in different locations. This is all before you choose the best location to buy from. It saves you money while helping you to find the best deals available during the holiday season.
To find the best deals online using a VPN, start by clearing cookies on your browser or device before you start every new search. Most websites today place a tracking cookie on your browser that monitors your online behavior and location. You can then open your VPN application, choose server location from the available countries, states, and cities.
Make sure to connect to the store using a private browsing or incognito window for a more stealth approach. Check the prices and deals in different locations and choose the one with the best deals.
• Use a VPN to Save Money on Flights and Hotels
A VPN also helps to hide your identity and location when completing transactions such as hotel reservations and paying airfare.
Airlines are known for using cookies to track and overcharge passengers from specific locations they consider to be more affluent than others. With a VPN, you’ll be able to check prices from different locations before you finally find the best location to book your flight from.
You can use the same approach when making your hotel reservation. Check the prices offered for guests from the locality of the hotel. In most cases, visitors from surrounding areas often have cheaper deals.
What is the Best VPN for Saving Money During the Holiday Season?
Any good VPN will help you to save money and secure your transactions. However, there are several things you need to consider before you choose a truly reliable VPN service.
For instance, a good VPN should have a good number of servers spread across different locations worldwide. This is to give you a more diverse selection of countries and cities to connect from.
One of the best VPNs that we highly recommend is IPVanish VPN. IPVanish has over 1,400 servers spread across more than 55 locations worldwide. They give you a wide range of server locations to choose from.
They also have very affordable pricing that includes a monthly subscription of $10 and cheaper quarterly and annual plans. For instance, the annual option costs you just $2.91 per month. This gives you 250GB of cloud storage free of charge.
The IPVanish app is also compatible with most of the devices used today including Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and Amazon Fire TV. You can even manually set up IPVanish on your Wi-Fi router, Linux, or Chromebook, and Windows phone. Alternatively, you can purchase a router that has IPVanish VPN already pre-installed. The VPN is extremely easy to use too.
In terms of security and privacy, IPVanish gives you a lot of options to ensure that your data is completely encrypted and safe from the prying eyes of hackers, scammers, and other agencies.
The VPN doesn’t keep logs of your online activities. It accepts anonymous payment methods such as Bitcoin and comes with features such as a Kill Switch, DNS leak blocking, and Obfuscation. They have all the top military-grade encryption protocols including OpenVPN, which uses 256-bit AES encryption.
A good VPN should also have reliable speed, ping time, and connection time. Keep in mind that the encryption and server shifting activities of any VPN will cause a drop in your connection speed and increase ping.
The best VPN should give you the closest speed to your actual network speed. In this regard, IPVanish is not only fast but gives you a stable and reliable connection. This is regardless of the server you choose to connect from. Connection drops with IPVanish are extremely rare.
Hackers and scammers are naturally more active during the holiday season. This is when people tend to shop a lot more with little care about data security.
To be safe and find the best deals and prices, we highly recommend that you do your online shopping with VPN.