The Internet has become such an integral part of our lives that, in many countries, connection to it is a human right. The reason behind this is the people’s right to freedom of expression and opinion. Websites like Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram are all great outlets to achieve this. But not everyone respects their fellow users. Some people use it as a means to – either as an individual or a group – cause people a lot of distress. While it can be mild and meaningless, it can also be very targeted and severe, ruining people’s lives.
But you don’t have to be the target to become a victim of trolling. Some organized groups go for large companies, which leads to popular services like Xbox Live, Spotify and Twitter becoming inaccessible. Even the NHS, and other important organizations, have had their systems shut down at the hands of malicious web activity. The fact that these major companies, with such solid security infrastructures, can be exposed, just goes to show the capability of today’s hackers and web trolls.
While you might be a smaller fish, as an Internet user, you’re still in the pond. And as such, you also need your own line of defense. A solid VPN (Virtual Private Network) will boost your online safety and privacy exponentially. You’ll be able to connect to their private servers over the public network, which means your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can’t log your activity.
In other words, your browsing is anonymous and untraceable. VPNs don’t just have the benefit of anonymity though – connecting to servers in different locations means you get to access all the Geo-specific content that you can’t access otherwise. This applies to everything from console marketplaces to Netflix. It’s also a way of getting round a ban on Omegle, should you find yourself stuck with one.
Most Common Types of Attacks that Can Affect You
There are a lot of ways that trolls can attack you and bring down the website you use. Some of them can be found below.
DDoS/DoS Attacks: One of the most common attacks that you may be affected by is a denial of service attack. The attackers flood the chosen website’s servers with an obscene amount of traffic, which ultimately leads to the service being brought down, or genuine users being unable to access it. You can learn more about them, and how to protect yourself here .
Malware Attacks: A malware attack occurs when a user inadvertently downloads a malicious program to their computer. Whether it’s in the form of a virus, a Trojan horse, a worm or a rootkit, the outcomes can range from giving away admin access to your device to losing your most important personal information. Downloading software from an unfamiliar website is one way to catch malware.
Phishing: Some hackers out there are really crafty, and they’ll put together a like-for-like version of a website that you frequently access in order to steal your login details. This is often accomplished by the hacker sending a fake company email to users requesting they follow the link in the email to change their password. They can see your login information once you’ve inputted it, and they’ll use it to steal what they can – your personal information, which can be used against you, or your bank details, for example.
Ransomware: If hackers manage to take down private servers with malware, they very often demand a ‘ransom’ to release access restrictions. The organization faces the hardship of trying to combat the malware, or consider paying the ransom. This affects us common users, because not only will it prevent us from accessing the website, but there’s a chance your user data could have been stolen.
Adware: Websites for illegally streaming movies and TV shows are a hotbed for adware. You’re hammered with tons of strange, and seemingly always pornographic, adverts. Well, most of these are just strange pornographic adverts, but hackers are known to hide spyware within them with the aim of taking your personal information.
Best VPNs for Protection
Having a good VPN will mean your chances of being attacked, or of having your service interrupted, decrease significantly. These are just a few of the best names out there at the moment.
ExpressVPN offers serious security against hacking. It comes with a 256-bit AES encryption, as well as a robust DNS/IPv6 leak protection. For anyone with access to a shared private network, ExpressVPN also offers reliable split tunneling. It comes with an easy-to-use interface across multiple platforms and devices, so protection is simple to set up even for beginners. Plus, with more than 2000 servers in over 140 cities, they’re able to provide unlimited bandwidth without any throttling.
Cost: 1 Month - $12.95 (billed monthly) / 6 Months - $59.95 (billed biannually) / 12 Months - $99.95 (billed annually)
VyprVPN has a great reputation – not only for its performance, but for its independence. It runs entirely on its own hardware and network, so there are no third parties involved in your service. Its Chameleon technology uses a 256-bit protocol which combats sites with effective VPN blocking. It provides multiple protocols for encryption, and has servers located across six different continents. Like ExpressVPN, it also offers an easy app for all devices, with unlimited bandwidth.
Cost: Basic VyperVPN Plan: $60.00 (billed annually) / Premium VyprVPN plan: $80.00 (billed annually)
The CyberGhost network is a trusted one, with real focus on security as well as speed, it’s known as one of the best all-in-one privacy apps. It has more than 1200 servers worldwide, and always offers a consistently high level of speed. With a 256-bit AES encryption, multiple protocols, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection, your activity remains private without a loss of performance .
Cost: 1 Month - $11.99 (billed monthly) / 12 Months - $71.88 (billed annually) / 24 Months - $84.00 (billed biannually)