Can you still be tracked when using a VPN?

can you be tracked with a vpn

Can I be tracked if I use a VPN? No, your web traffic and IP address can’t be tracked anymore. … A premium quality VPN encrypts data and hides your IP address by routing your activity through a VPN server; even if someone tries to track you, all they’ll see is the VPN server’s IP address and complete gibberish.Can you still be tracked when using a VPN?

Please note that using Tor or a (secure) VPN-Server is not all you have to do for protecting your identity. Escpecially on platforms like Twitter or Facebook you should be very carecully which information you share. You can get identified for posting private infos. This can happen by mistake, for example by posting an which has your GPS data in the EXIF-Infos.

A VPN isnt therefore likely to protect you from an adversary like “Anonymous” unless they happen to be on the same local LAN as you.

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Tracked by who? Some 16 year-old who wants to troll you? Then I doubt it. Government? Yes.

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What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. What a VPN essentially does is it makes a private network that you can use when accessing the internet.

Once you’re connected to a VPN, you become an anonymous user of the internet.

Your IP address becomes hidden from websites and other search engines that are trying to collect your information. With your IP address hidden, not only do third parties not know who you are, but they also don’t know where you’re located. You can’t be identified or tracked like you can if you don’t use a VPN.

On top of hiding your IP address, VPNs also encrypt your traffic. This added layer of security further protects your internet traffic from those trying to see what you’re searching.

With the combination of a hidden IP address and encrypted internet traffic, you can be confident that your internet searches are private and your location is hidden while using the internet.

Virtual Private Network usage has been growing at a significant rate, which highlights the value they provide. According to a study performed in 2019, the usage of VPNs is expected to grow 11% annually until 2024.

With more people working remotely and more devices connecting to the internet than ever before, it poses significant security risks to companies and individuals. It’s obvious from the expected growth rate of VPNs that this is viewed as a technology that’ll help you use the internet in a safer manner.

How does a VPN work?

Ok so when you’re using a VPN your IP address will be hidden, but how does the VPN service do that?

Let’s dig a little further into the details.

Can VPN Be Traced?

VPN usage can be detected. Your ISP can trace a VPN by IP address, Port Number, or other technical parameters. Some services have features that make VPN traffic undetectable or less traceable. These can reduce the chance that a VPN is seen.

VPN obfuscation techniques help to circumvent VPN blocks. This is often the case in countries where VPNs usage is restricted. These countries include China, the UAE, or Iran.

Let’s have a closer look at how ISPs can trace a VPN.

Can You Be Tracked If You Use a VPN?

No, your web traffic and IP address can’t be tracked anymore. The VPN encrypts your data and hides your IP address by routing your connection requests through a VPN server. If anyone tries to track them, they’ll just see the VPN server’s IP address and complete gibberish.

Yes, there still are some ways your online browsing might be tracked even if you use a VPN:

Malware is malicious software and code that were programmed to take over a network or device. Unfortunately, VPNs can’t protect you from malware infections. They can only protect your online data, not your hardware.

The best a VPN can do is offer a firewall-like feature that blocks connections to malicious domains. But even that’s not enough to stop malware infections. You might just accidentally download a malicious file from a legit site or interact with a phishing email, for example.

If that happens, hackers can use the malware to track everything you do – what you browse online, what passwords you type, what files you save to your hard drive, what you talk with your friends, etc.

The best line of defense against malware is a strong anti-malware program (also called anti-virus software). If you’d like some recommendations, try Malwarebytes or ESET.

Besides that, do the following to further protect your data from malware attacks and phishing:

Cookies are small text files that websites place on your device whenever you visit them. Most cookies are harmless and necessary to help sites run well. However, some persistent cookie and third-party cookies are pretty bad for your privacy since they let sites and advertisers track your online preferences and behavior.

Due to how cookies work, VPNs can’t protect you from them. They’re not programmed to intercept files that download to your device, after all.

On the plus side, VPNs should protect you from ISP supercookies – tracking files that are stored on your ISP’s servers, and get inserted into your data packets when you go online. Since a VPN encrypts your traffic, your ISP shouldn’t be able to insert supercookies into it anymore.

Besides that, VPNs should theoretically stop hackers from intercepting your cookies and creating forged ones over unsecured WiFi by encrypting your traffic.

Clear your cookies whenever you use a VPN. Here are some guides for the most popular browsers:

Besides that, you should also use incognito/private mode in your browser (it automatically deletes cookies when you close a tab), the Cookie AutoDelete (Firefox, Chrome, Edge) and Self-Destructing Cookies (Opera) browser extensions, and CCleaner (a cool tool that removes cookies across all platforms, and only costs around $25 per year).

3. Browser Fingerprinting

This is a tracking method websites use to monitor visitors by linking behavior patterns to them. Browser fingerprinting does that by assigning a unique identifier to you every time you visit a site. Said fingerprint can contain a lot of data – your time zone, screen resolution, web browser and OS version, system fonts, etc.

For a complete list of all the data browser fingerprinting collects about you, check out Device Info.

Unfortunately, browser fingerprinting is a pretty accurate tracking method. According to the EFF’s research, only one in 286,777 other browsers will share the same fingerprinting with a different user. So, your own fingerprint has a very good chance of being unique and standing out.

Because so much data is collected, a VPN can’t stop websites from tracking you with browser fingerprinting. The most it can do is hide your IP address, but that won’t really make your fingerprint less unique.

Due to how it works, you can’t completely protect yourself from browser fingerprinting – unless you were planning on going off the grid and living in the woods any time soon.

Still, there are some things you can do to make your fingerprint less unique: