VPN Downloads Spiked After Congress Rolled Back Privacy Rules

Last month, after Congress rolled back Obama-era FCC protections meant to stop Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from harvesting your private data without permission, consumers quickly hustled to find other ways to protect their privacy. New data reveals that many of those consumers turned to virtual private network (VPN) software, which effectively extends a protected network over a public network like the internet.

For consumers, the best line of defense is to install VPN software on their web-connected devices. And that’s exactly what’s happening: According to data from Google Trends and App Annie, interest in VPN apps spiked significantly in late March as the privacy protections were repealed.

According to Google Trends, searches for “VPN” and variations like “best free VPN” maxed out on Google’s 0-100 scale March 29, the day following the House’s vote to repeal the broadband privacy rules (which virtually assuring passage of the measure). Trump signed the measure April 4. Details may be found in an article by Mark Sullivan in the Fast Company web site at: http://bit.ly/2p4MFZd.

If you haven’t yet installed a VPN on your desktop, laptop, tablet, and cell phone devices, the time to do so is NOW.

When selecting a VPN software, experts say, it’s wise to lean toward ones that cost money and that don’t keep logs of your browsing data. Free and very low-cost VPNs make their profits sometimes by packaging and selling browsing data to third parties. Remember the old adage: “If you’re not paying for the product, you’re the product.”

I have written about VPNs in past articles. See https://privacyblog.com/category/vpn-virtual-private-networking/ for a list of those articles.

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