It is impossible to ignore the internet now. In the digital age, you must use the internet for a variety of tasks, and online privacy has become a major concern when connecting to the internet. Since we share personal and financial data and leave digital footprints, there are many chances of getting hacked or exploited by cyber attackers.
VPNs, or virtual private networks, have become popular tools for digital security. Many people use popular USA VPN services such as SurfShark, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN as they hide users’ IP addresses and provide an extra layer of protection by encrypting the internet traffic to protect them against potential risks such as government watchdogs, cyber-attacks, and online tracking from advertisers.
However, the fast-paced nature of technology development means that new threats and technologies are constantly emerging, and VPNs will need to adapt in order to remain effective. In the next decade, we can expect to see VPNs integrate with new technologies. Let’s discuss the future of VPNs.
Integration with 5G
The advent of 5G is set to revolutionize the way we interact with technology, but it also poses new challenges for online privacy. 5G technology promises to offer faster internet speeds and increased connectivity, making it possible to connect a vast array of devices and systems. But this increased connectivity also means that more personal information will be shared and stored online, making it a potential target for cyberattacks and other forms of online tracking.
VPNs can be integrated with these technologies to enhance privacy. For example, VPNs could be integrated into 5G networks to encrypt data and protect against eavesdropping. However, the high speeds and low latency of 5G networks could make it difficult for VPNs to keep up and maintain secure connections.
Internet of Things
The “Internet of Things,” which refers to the interconnectedness of everyday smart devices, will also create new opportunities for data collection and sharing. These devices make and collect a lot of data, which can be used to make a detailed profile of a person’s daily habits, preferences, and location.
In such cases, VPNs can be integrated into such IoT devices to secure communication between devices. But VPNs might not be able to cover all IoT devices because there are so many of them and they are all different.
VPNs in Smart Cities and Critical Infrastructure
“Smart cities” have become an urge in every nation. Many governments are working to develop such cities, and several projects are in development. Smart cities have the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work, but they also pose new challenges for online privacy. Smart cities, for example, rely on the collection and analysis of large amounts of data from various sources, such as traffic cameras, weather sensors, and social media. This data can be used to optimize city services, such as traffic flow and emergency response, but it can also be used to create detailed profiles of individuals’ daily habits and movements.
VPNs can be used in smart cities and critical infrastructure to enhance privacy. For instance, VPNs could be used to encrypt data transmissions and protect against eavesdropping or to secure communication between devices. However, the sheer amount of data generated in smart cities and critical infrastructure could make it challenging for VPNs to provide coverage across all devices.
Work from home and remote work have become common terms since the pandemic. Now the need for flexibility and advances in technology have boosted remote work. However, this new trend comes with a risk to online privacy. Remote employees often access sensitive information and systems over unsecured networks, making them vulnerable to cyberattacks and other forms of online tracking.
VPNs have the potential to be used in the context of remote work to enhance privacy by encrypting internet traffic and hiding a user’s IP address, making it difficult for cybercriminals to access sensitive information and systems or track the user’s location. They can also be used to secure communication between remote workers and the organization’s network. However, the need for remote workers to access organizational resources from different locations and the use of personal devices could make it more difficult for VPNs to ensure secure connections.
VPNs and Other Privacy-Enhancing Technologies
VPNs are not the only privacy-enhancing technology available; other technologies such as Tor and encrypted messaging can also play a role in protecting online privacy. Tor, for example, is a network of virtual tunnels that allows users to browse the internet anonymously by routing internet traffic through a series of relays. Messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp encrypt messages from beginning to end, making it hard for other people to read them.
VPNs and these technologies could be integrated to enhance privacy in various ways. For example, VPNs could be used in conjunction with Tor to encrypt data transmissions over the Tor network and protect against eavesdropping. Additionally, VPNs could be integrated with encrypted messaging apps to secure communication between users or to encrypt files and documents that are shared through messaging apps. However, the use of multiple privacy-enhancing technologies could increase their complexity and make it more difficult for users to understand and use them.
The need for VPNs will surely increase in the future as dependence on internet-powered technologies increases. Moreover, potential risks will also increase, but there are positive indications that VPN technology will adapt and integrate with the emerging technology for extra protection.