Using an encrypted VPN makes your connection safer if you’re using public Wi-Fi. The VPN hides your originating IP address. The encryption stops people nearby pulling information and files from your data traffic. The VPN can also protect your device against malware file sharing attacks from other devices on the public Wi-Fi network.
However, a VPN doesn’t protect against many malicious cyber attacks.
This is because:
- Most online payments will be encrypted using HTTPS by default anyway – meaning that someone can’t simply use a listening device to steal your credit card information while you make an online payment.
- Many cyber attacks don’t need your IP address. Phishing, malware, and spoofing attacks are extremely common – and none of these need your IP address or immediate access to your device. Instead, they attack your online accounts or trick you into installing malicious software.
Some VPNs do include protective software to help you avoid falling victim to cyber attacks that rely on you to let the attacker in.