VPNs & Why You Need One

Out of all the concerns I have for practicing BDSM online safety is my number one focus. Keeping yourself protected and difficult to track down is so valuable and risking this even slightly can be putting yourself in a significant amount of danger.

Connecting and facilitating sessions or interaction through such programs as Skype, Discord, etc. is commonplace in this industry. But how safe are you in doing this? How easy could someone get your personal information and narrow down your location?

It’s frighteningly easy and can take literally seconds to do so.

Fortunately there is a way to protect against this and disguise your location to others online. A program which will connect you to a different server location and make it near impossible for anyone to effectively track you down. This solution is called a Virtual Private Network or VPN.

A VPN is a private network extended across a public network allowing the sending and receipt of data privately. Applications will benefit from this additional security. A VPN allows for connectivity to proxy servers to protect your personal information such as your IP address.

Your IP address can be found through widgets installed on certain websites or when someone is using a packet sniffing program such as Wireshark. A VPN creates a virtual point to point connection through tunneling protocols or encryption. The resources available within a VPN can be accessed remotely. Note there is a difference between a VPN and a Proxy server.

A Proxy, in this case, is known as a web proxy which facilitates access to content on the world wide web and used to bypass IP address blocking and offer IP anonymity.

A Proxy can protect you when surfing the world wide web and your TCP connections but wil not protect against UDP necessarily meaning who you are connected to via Skype. A reverse proxy is most often used for site encryption and SSL acceleration. Simply put, if a website you are using is wanting your personal information it should have an SSL which is seen by “https://” as part of it’s URL. Do not use websites which do not have this!

Suggested VPNs & Proxies

E-mail with end-to-end encryption: https://www.protonmail.com/

There are free to use VPN services but many of these lack the features necessary and don’t function nearly as well as the paid options. A VPN is a minimal expense at around $5/month and will protect multiple devices. There is absolutely no reason to not have one.

It’s worth $5 to protect yourself.

One thought on “VPNs & Why You Need One

  1. Tobias Reply

    Cyberbullying is the same problem, once I came out on social media regarding my sexuality I have received threats, some even stating they have my real IP address and can find me, I was terrified. After that I started reading about online privacy and right now use Surfshark to mask my IP address. I’d like to see internet providers put more effort to secure our privacy online, but I’m not taking any risks until they do that. Now if I participate in any sexual activity online I always use a VPN, thank you for writing about this huge problem and how to solve it.

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