Virtual private networks, or VPNs, allow people to send and receive data over a public network as if they were connected to a private one. VPNs allow people to protect their internet data while using public networks. They also allow people to access all functionalities associated with connecting to the private network; for example, students can use VPNs to access their library network while off-campus.
By analyzing data on where people use one type of VPN software, Hotspot Shield VPN, to secure their internet connection, encrypt their data on public WiFi, and protect their IP addresses, we can get a rough estimate of where people care most about their online privacy and security. Here's the breakdown:
Which Cities Use VPN Most Often?
Four of the cities with the highest per capita VPN use are in Florida. The Sunshine State also happens to be a major tourist destination boasting the highest cyber fraud and identity theft rates in the United States. Seven more of the top 20 cities are state capitals, and Washington, D.C., also makes the list, presumably because government employees are required to use VPN to protect sensitive work-related information.
Why Are VPNs More Popular in Some Cities and States than in Others?
VPN use is most common in areas with high cybercrime risk and in areas visited by many business travelers and tourists. Some of VPN use also comes down to values: people in some areas value their privacy in a way that others don't. It's also worth noting that the cities where VPN use is most common are some of our country's busiest cities. With densely packed populations and plenty of businesses, these cities seem to attract a population that pays particular attention to online security.
Which States Experience the Most Identity Theft?
Florida, Georgia, and California make up the top three states for identity theft followed by Michigan, New York, Nevada, and Texas. Though these states are scattered geographically, population may be one reason for the high rates of identity theft there. Of the six states listed above, only Nevada is absent from the 10 most populated states in the U.S.
VPN use rose steadily for the past two years as people have started paying more attention to online security. Are you using VPN or other tools to protect yourself online?