This question revolves around whether or not you want or need to head out into the wild, wild web wilderness exposed. By “exposed” I mean letting anyone within 300-500 feet of your device peek at the wireless data packets floating through the airand seeing all your raw data, or revealing who and where you are, what you like and don’t like, or revealing your IP address if you decide to comment on a blog or news article.

Most people feel they have nothing to hide or don’t think anyone’s really paying attention. But, in fact, we are all being stalked to a certain degree. Advertisers are watching so they can send you targeted ads; governments are watching to see if you are plotting to take them down or conducting illegal activities; your internet service provider is definitely monitoring your usage and wondering if you are downloading pirated movies, music and software; your employer may be similarly vigilant and criminals are trying to steal your identity or the identities of all your clients.

So, to VPN or not to VPN? I VPN specifically when I’m on my portable wireless devices. If I’m on my PC laptop, iPhone or iPad and I’m traveling on business, I know I’m going to be connecting to various free public WiFi clients at the airport and in my hotel. Before I connect to any WiFi, I launch Hotspot Shield VPN. It’s a free VPN, but I prefer the paid version; the expanded paid option is a little quicker and offers a cleaner interface. Either way, it’s agreat option that will protect your entire web surfing session, securing your connections on all your devices.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was StolenSee him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.

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