Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online security has become a hot button for millions of users who have been forcefully thrust into a newfound online lifestyle. Whether you’re working from home, learning remotely, or simply a digital nomad, keeping your online activity safe and secure is more important than ever.
Thanks, in part, to increasing awareness of online privacy, VPNs(Virtual Private Networks) have seen explosive growth over the past two years. In the early stages of the pandemic, Statista reported that VPN use in the United States alone increased 124% in a matter of only two weeks in the month of March. While a solid VPN provider like NordVPN goes a long way in protecting you online, there are added layers of security that can make your web experience better and more secure.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to tools that block ads, web trackers, and other online threats. Things like intrusive popups that force you to click through an ad to view content can occasionally be the result of characters with malicious intent that may be attempting to compromise your device and your personal data. Other examples included web trackers that overreach what is necessary to provide a well-rounded user experience by tracking your activity long after you’ve left a given website.
Don’t get me wrong. I have long defended platforms such as Google Adsense because, at the end of the day, it’s about serving me relevant ads based on generalized information but that’s not what I’m talking about when I use the words “Threat Protection.” I’m referring to elements on the web that access your data with malicious intent. That could be as simple as taking more data than needed for the purpose of marketing and reselling your demographic info or it could be as nefarious as someone trying to get any and all personal information from you as they can without your permission and worse yet, your knowledge.
Threat Protection comes in various shapes and sizes. For example, my Internet Service Provider has “xFI Advanced Security” and it is supposed to add an extra layer of protection to my home internet connection. While it intends to protect your home computers, phones, and IoT devices from attacks and keep you safe from sites with malicious elements, it isn’t exactly cutting edge and I’ve never actually seen it block or protect me from anything.
Other examples include ad blockers and web extensions like Ghostery that either block ads and trackers or at least give you a visual interface to see what trackers and activities are happening when you visit a website. Even Google has gotten in the mix with its own Ad Transparency Extension that shows you what data is being used to personalize ads on web pages. All of these tools can be useful in their own right but don’t offer a ton of proactive action when it comes to Threat Protection. Thankfully, there are better options out there and NordVPN just launched its all-new Threat Protection that comes included with any VPN plan at no extra charge.
What is Threat Protection?
Building on the popular NordVPN Cybersec, Threat Protection from NordVPN protects you from intrusive popups, popunders, and other types of potentially malicious ads while simultaneously safeguarding your devices from web trackers, malware, and suspicious file downloads. What’s more, you can enable Threat Detection even when you aren’t actively using your VPN.
With the addition of this new feature, NordVPN has evolved into a versatile cybersecurity tool. Combining the privacy protection a VPN provides with a suite of other cybersecurity features makes for a robust and secure network. Threat Protection has a variety of uses and each one has unique security benefits, but at its core, Threat Protection was made to make your browsing experience a smooth one.
Avoid website trackers
Some websites employ trackers to monitor your behavior and browsing habits. Not all website trackers are malicious in nature, as they can be used to create better user interaction. However, other sites might have the goal of creating a digital profile of your activity and selling it to third parties.
Threat Protection plugs the holes that a VPN can’t. With Threat Protection active, it blocks website trackers as you browse online, allowing for a much more private online experience.
Reduced Malware Risk
Malware comes in many forms and unfortunately, even legitimate websites can fall victim to malware-infected ads or scripts. In recent years, some of the most popular kid-friendly sites for playing games or watching videos have become notorious playgrounds for malware attacks. These are sites that you would expect are safe and before you know it, you have pop-ups and redirects coming out of your ears. NordVPN Threat Protection aims to help you steer clear of web pages that may pose a risk of malware attacks. When a threat is detected, the app will prompt you to avoid the site before you even get there to prevent the risk from ever being an issue.
Suspicious File deletion
Some websites may try to infect your devices by injecting malware or viruses through content or executable downloads. Sometimes, this could be a file that you are actually trying to download. Other times, the download can happen automatically simply because you’re clicking around on the page. Either way, Threat Protection now scans any files over 20MB and will automatically delete anything that is suspected to be a threat.
Intrusive ads and Malvertisements
Before we go any further, let me be clear. Threat Protection from NordVPN IS NOT AN ADBLOCKER! I say that because I am not a fan of across-the-board adblockers. There are thousands of great websites, like our own, that offer content entirely for free and we depend heavily on native advertising to pay the bills. That said, there are a lot of malicious ads out there and that’s exactly what NordVPN aims to squash.
Pop-ups, popunders, redirects, and even ads with malware can find their way onto legitimate websites through advertising platforms. It’s unfortunate and it is damaging to the countless content creators out there that are just trying to make a living. Even if an ad isn’t malicious, it can disrupt your web browsing experience if it is intrusive or diverts you from the content you’re trying to consume. Threat Protection by NordVPN creates a smoother experience by blocking those types of ads that are deemed “intrusive.”
For now, Threat Protection is available for Windows and macOS but you can still access some of the great features on Chrome OS and Android by enabling Threat Protection Lite. If you’ve ever hopped on your phone and navigated to a webpage just to find yourself redirected to a popup congratulating you that “You’re the 100th visitor” and you’ve one a gift card or perhaps “your phone is infected. Download this app,” I’m sure you’ll appreciate the added security that comes with Threat Protection.
Threat Protection, combined with the industry-leading NordVPN platform is a sure-fire way to ensure that your web browsing is safe, secure, and private. Here are a few great features offered by NordVPN’s plans.
- Encrypts your online traffic and hides your IP address, keeping your browsing habits safe from prying eyes.
- Has over 5,400+ servers worldwide and unbeatable coverage. Smooth and private internet can be yours no matter where you are.
- One subscription can cover up to six devices. NordVPN is also available on all major platforms.
- Servers for specific needs — like double VPN servers for higher security.
For a limited time, you can save up to 66% on a NordVPN plan for all of your devices. Whatever your use case or your personal needs, every plan comes with Threat Protection at no additional charge. Find out more and take advantage of this offer with the link below.