Unfortunately for Ethiopian citizens, the country has some of the most significant online censorship in the world. The country was rated “not free” on the Freedom on the Net online freedom score in 2011, 2012, 2014, and in 2015. The country uses intrusive restrictions to prevent political and social discussions on the web. The country’s government aggressively seeks to prevent online dissent, and works to block websites and arrest individuals that it deems breaking these rules. Ethiopia blocks a large variety of political sites, blogs, and news websites in order to stop citizens from viewing certain information. Many Ethiopian internet users have moved to using virtual private networks, or VPNs. VPNs allow Ethiopian internet users to access the web without the kinds of state restrictions that prevent users from viewing certain types of content. They are making the internet freer for users in Ethiopia and in other countries that restrict internet use.
VPNs offer a number of different features that are attractive to Ethiopian internet users. The first feature is the ability to view websites that are blocked by geographical location. Without a VPN, Ethiopian internet users find that they can’t access certain websites, especially websites that deal with political dissent. However, VPNs give users a separate IP address from their internet service provider, allowing them to access sites that the government has blocked. VPNs also offer secure, private connections with end to end encryption. This prevents the government or other third parties from being able to view your online activities or access your device from your internet connection. VPNs are invaluable tools for Ethiopian internet users who are looking to get more out of their online experience.
Making your online experience more private and secure is one of the biggest positives of VPNs. Virtual private networks are a great way to keep your online activities and your communications private. Not everyone who utilizes VPNs wants to hide their online activity from the government. Although VPN users fearing political retribution from government actors are significant in number, there is also a significant number of users who want to keep their personal and private information protected from hackers. Hackers are becoming more complex and sophisticated than ever, using a number of tactics to try and get into your device and access critical information. Often, hackers and identity thieves wait in public places, using public Wi-Fi to get into unsecured internet connections. The easiest way to avoid hackers is to make sure that your internet connection is secure. VPNs use secure connections and encryption in order to prevent hackers and identity thieves from being able to get into your device. Even if they could access your data, the encryption prevents them from being able to read any of it.
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