At its core, a VPN is software that secures your internet connection and better secures your device. It’s a buffer against the ills of the Internet, and you’re sure to be better off with an iPhone VPN than without. But will it protect your Apple smartphone from hackers?
We explain below the ways in which a VPN can – and cannot – protect against hackers and the different types of cyber attacks you may experience when being hacked.
What hackers can a VPN protect your iPhone from?
A VPN works by changing your IP address and encrypting your online activity. There are certain forms of hacking, so the best VPNs are trusted to protect you from where hackers demand your IP address. These include:
- Remote Invasion: Trying to gain access to your system through all devices connected to your Wi-Fi, this is done through your IP address. However, when connected to a VPN, your IP address is hidden with all your browsing data, instead linked to another server, leaving you untraceable.
- Man-in-the-Middle Attack: Targeting you at the point before connection, here a hacker passes through the network you are connected to, bypasses weak encryption and intercepts your data.
- DDoS Attack: Commonly mentioned when it comes to gaming, a hacker will flood your network to slow down and even get you kicked out of your network. Again, the hacker needs your real IP address to do this.
It’s worth noting if, for whatever reason, a hacker already knows your IP address, a VPN cannot protect you from these types of attacks, and you should instead speak to your ISP.
What hacking attacks are VPNs least equipped for?
It’s fair to say that hackers can be frighteningly sophisticated these days – whether targeting iPhones or any other internet-connected device – and a lot of internet security can come down to common sense and extra vigilance. This is true when it comes to malware and phishing, where the fundamentals of a VPN’s IP spoofing abilities don’t offer the same domain of protection. That’s because it comes down to the websites you choose to visit and avoid clicking on certain links in dodgy emails or downloading dangerous files.
That said, many VPN providers go out of their way to equip users with features that can address these security concerns. For example, NordVPN has their Threat Protection package that works to detect websites that could host malware, as well as scanning every file you download, and it’s available in Nord’s iPhone client.
Other services offer similar features that can help lessen the possibility of being hacked by phishing and malware, including Surfshark. Its CleanWeb tool allows you to “sail a clean cyber ocean without ads, trackers, malware and phishing attempts”.
Likewise, Proton VPN has its own ad blocker called NetShield, a DNS filtering tool that not only blocks ads but also detects malware and prevents website trackers from tracking your online behavior.
Can a VPN on my iPhone protect me from hackers?
While a VPN can certainly offer a stronger connection that makes you less susceptible to specific hacking approaches, it is not a foolproof way to protect your iPhone from outside dangers that infiltrate your device. For more complete protection, you should equip your devices with antivirus and firewalls for more comprehensive protection against online threats.