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I have been using PureVPN for 2-3 years.  I was becoming growingly alarmed at the way the internet was apparently spying on me.  I hated the targeted adverts.  I found it unsettling that everything I seemed to think about or chat about on forums, or mention on Facebook for that matter, resulted in adverts geared to catch my eye in regard to these utterings.   I found it downright creepy to be honest with you.  I then did some background research on just how companies were tracking my movements and became increasingly concerned as to the privacy of both my internet browsing habits and my private data. 

Cookies

I have years of experience in the shopping industry so I knew all about cookies and the like - little bundles of code, downloaded onto a computer, enabling information to pass from your computer to those who can use the data in various ways - primarily where you go and what you do whilst shopping online.  They are important, superficially, in a lot of cases as they remember menu choices and the like - login data, etc.  But it also how companies like Facebook track your movements - by cookies downloaded without your knowledge, whereas Google will track your browsing habits and history through the Google Search Engine (and by cookies, no-doubt) - or by information with regard to your android or phone - by apps using your location for instance.  So, you can see, the way to break free of all this tracking is either to block any cookie download, to use a different search engine and, or, to limit your app usage to non-tracking services.  I have experience of the former 2 but not mobile phone or android apps as I very rarely use either.   Logging into any Google Service will also aid Google to track your movements - your Youtube selections and the like.

Paranoia?

You can undoubtedly go overboard with the thought you are being spied upon form on high.  The steps I have taken have definitely stopped the targeted adverts, and there have been added benefits too, such as unlocking regionally blocked videos on YouTube (by logging into my PureVPN service through an unbanned country proxy) and I've also noticed websites open faster, owing to the Google adverts failing to find any user data in all probability.  You can go way overboard with security measures though,  I know, I tried them, but they invariably lowered the quality of my internet browsing experience - certain pages or websites wouldn't load, etc.  I figured I wanted to stop Google in the main - oh, and Facebook from tracking me, as these seemed to me to be the worse culprits.  After a fair bit of investigation it was apparent a VPN service was the way to go.

VPN Service

There are free services out there.  I tried a few, but they seemed a bit hit and miss, difficult to set-up or slowed down my broadband.  It became apparent after a while I needed to try out the services of a professional outfit.  After carrying out the obligatory GOOGLE search I came across PureVPN.  The Trustpilot Reviews were favourable - very much so, so I decided to give them a try.  There was a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee available so I figured I had little to lose.  On top of this there was a special offer for a 5 YEAR Premium Service for very little money.  I think it was for around £50 all in.  PureVPN run lots of special offers of this money-saving type.  I now have full cover for just £10 a YEAR - less than £1 a MONTH!  Maybe I was lucky and was able to take advantage of a quite unique offer, but, who knows, maybe they will run similar offers in the near future.  Every time I visit their website there is a promotion running anyone can sign up for.

Service Use?

Once signed up you gain access to your PureVPN account.  You can download their software OR add their service as an extension to your browser - Chrome, Firefox and Opera are covered.  At first I downloaded the software.  I found it a bit unreliable.  At times I would need to restart the software to continue browsing, or logging into various servers was problematical.  This was when I was using a Windows 8 computer though.  I now use a Mac, so maybe I wouldn't experience the same problems.  What I eventually did was to install the Firefox App.  This arrangement works perfectly and is the one I recommend.  I can switch effortlessly between any countries' server or simply disconnect quickly (some website services will not allow a VPN to run in the background, such as Amazon Prime Video).  I suppose you will need to try out the download, but the way Windows 10 runs these days, with all the bloat, adding another background service won't help matters I shouldn't think.  For me the extension is the way to go. 

Friends - 1 Month FREE?

In your account there is a method of inviting up to 12 of your friends to try out PureVPN for FREE for one month.  A great way for your family and friends to try out their service beforehand.  Of course, there is the money-back guarantee anyway for peace of mind.  Either way you can find out whether the service works for you.  It is a competitive market and there are lots of others out there so to be able to try before buying is invaluable. 

Account & Support

Everything is clear and laid out to be easy to hand. No unwanted clutter to confuse you with. When you are new to all this VPN 'stuff' the last thing you want is to have to read through pages and pages of technicalities - you simply want to be up and running with as little fuss as possible. You download their software (or add the browser extension - works for me) and armed with your name and password you can be up and running in no-time at all. Support can be found in your account and can be activated by creating a Support Ticket. Sorry to say (or I'm glad to say) I haven't had to raise an issue so can't really describe the level of support offered. Reading through Trustpilot (see below) should shine some light on this though.

Search Engines & Facebook

It seems so obvious to me now that to use an alternative Search Engine was a wise choice to make - step in DuckDuckGo. I now use DuckDuckGo as my default search engine instead of Google. It states it doesn't track you. On top of this there is an extension you can install in the Firefox Browser called DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials (blocks all sorts and can be switch on and off to suit - some images or certain parts of a website might not load), which adds further protection. I sometimes return to Google Search just to make sure I am not missing anything, but generally I only use DuckDuckGo these days.

DuckDuckGo ...
is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. Wiki.

Summary

It is becoming apparent on-line privacy is something to really consider all the more. Who knows what information is out there regarding what you have looked at - what you have said and so on? There is no need to become ill with the thought of it all, but there are steps you can take to lesson the impact of all this intrusion - because it is intrusion whichever way you look at it. Everyone and their dog wants your data. By making it easy for these concerns to get hold of it in the first place you are only helping them in ways that could backfire on you - on all of us. These big corporations are unscrupulous - and so are the people who they work with too. To me it makes sense to limit the information out 'there'.  PureVPN helps me achieve this and no-doubt such a service will help you too. Bear in mind though it isn't the only way to keep prying eyes away. The other methods I have mentioned are also helpful. I for one will continue to use PureVPN AND bypass Google and Facebook spying techniques as long as I am able. Might be worthwhile for you too.

 

 

 

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