If you value your online security, you may have looked into both cryptocurrencies and virtual private networks (VPNs). Both value your online privacy and security, and when coupled together, they make a great pair. Don’t start making cryptocurrency transactions without a secure VPN to back you up. Here are four reasons you should be using a VPN with cryptocurrencies.
1. It Adds Anonymity to Purchases
If you use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, then you know that one of the attractive benefits of digital currency is that it’s anonymous. But is that really the case? Turns out your transactions may not be as anonymous as you think.
As Bitcoin.org explains:
“All Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network, which means anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. However, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until information is revealed during a purchase or in other circumstances. This is one reason why Bitcoin addresses should only be used once.”
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are only semi-anonymous. The way Bitcoin works is that you use a single-use token made up of letters and numbers to send or receive payments. They’re considered anonymous because they don’t require identifying information for the transaction to take place. However, that doesn’t mean the Bitcoin token can’t be traced back to you, such as through your IP address. If one transaction is connected to you, anyone would be able to trace all the transactions you’ve made in the past since they’re public.
The good news is that a good VPN service can help improve security of your transactions by hiding your true IP address. Instead, the VPN will assign your data packets an IP address from one of their servers. A good VPN service that values your privacy as much as you do won’t log your true IP address. This makes it incredibly difficult for anyone to trace the purchases back to your computer or location.
2. It Hides Your Traffic from ISPs
Along with hiding your IP address, another benefit of VPN services is that they encrypt all your Internet traffic. Without encryption, your Internet service provider (ISP) could monitor everything you do online. That means they could view your cryptocurrency transactions as well as your wallet balance.
With a VPN, however, the only thing your ISP will be able to see is that you’re connected to a virtual network. All activity beyond that, such as cryptocurrency transactions, is hidden from prying eyes.
The same goes for other agencies that might want to spy on what you’re doing with your cryptocurrency, such as governments or the NSA.
3. It Keeps Your Wallet Safe From Hackers
Encryption isn’t just good for hiding your Internet activity from your ISP or government agencies. It also adds a layer of security when browsing over public Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, public Wi-Fi is not safe. In fact, it’s a hotspot for hackers because it’s so easy for them to eavesdrop on the data people are sending over the network.
There are numerous ways hackers can get ahold of this information. A common method is by hacking into the network itself and eavesdropping. Another is by setting up their own legitimate-looking Wi-Fi hotspots to lure people into connecting, only to easily eavesdrop that way.
That means that if you log in to the free Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop to do a bit of shopping over your lunch break, hackers could get ahold of your financial information. For example, when you open your Bitcoin wallet, hackers will be able to see the password and other identifying information you’ve entered and literally rob you of your cryptocurrency.
Using a VPN over public Wi-Fi helps reduce the risk of this type of cyberattack. That’s because the VPN service will tunnel your information to their servers and encrypt it before sending the information onto the rest of the Web. Hackers will no longer be able to see what you’re up to in order to get ahold of your passwords.
4. It’s Affordable
Don’t let the cost of VPNs scare you off. For as little as $10 or less per month, you’ll add extra security and anonymity to your cryptocurrency transactions. Not only that, but you’ll be able to enjoy the other benefits VPN services offer as well, such as online anonymity, enhanced security, and the ability to access blocked websites or bypass Internet filters.
What’s more, there are a number of VPN services that accept cryptocurrency payments, such as Bitcoin. According to TheBestVPN.com, NordVPN and AirVPN both accept Bitcoins. That adds even more security to your online activity since no identifying personal information is needed to use the VPN service. This just goes to show that VPNs and cryptocurrencies work hand-in-hand.
If you’re using cryptocurrencies to stay anonymous online, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be using a VPN to add even more security to your transactions. What’s are you waiting for?