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It’s International VPN Day, but why should you care?

Illustration of a man being surveilled on his laptop
(Image credit: NordVPN)

It’s August 19, which means the long-awaited International VPN Day has finally come around! OK, we’ll forgive you for not having this one pencilled in the diary, but this event – the start of NordVPN’s VPN Awareness Month – might be more interesting than you think.

Focusing on personal online security, International VPN Day aims to raise the profile of the best VPN services beyond the techiest of society and into the mainstream. It hopes to encourage everyone from IT pros to the most dedicated Luddites to consider what risks they face online, and how to mitigate them.

It’s also worth noting that since the global lockdowns took place early last year, cybercrime has sharply risen. This, along with ever-more intrusive ad tracking and the prevalence of working from home, has meant VPNs and other security software has been thrust more into the limelight. VPN Day is here to celebrate that.

Why has International VPN Day been set up?

“The primary goal of International VPN Day is to bring more attention to privacy, security, and freedom on the internet and educate people around the world about the importance of having a VPN,” says NordVPN. “We want more cybersecurity brands and enthusiasts to join us in this celebration.”

We think this is a great opportunity for those not engaged with cybersecurity to take the leap and see what VPNs can offer them – and that’s not restricted to just NordVPN, either. This is echoed by NordVPN itself, which claims, “this celebration is not about NordVPN in particular. It is about the importance of cybersecurity in general, and VPN is a very important part of a private and secure internet.”

How can I get involved?

While it’s not the most interactive of celebrations, we highly recommend taking the time to read up on how to stay safe online, perhaps investigating some of the more interesting VPN uses and taking part in things like the National Privacy Test (opens in new tab).

If you’re really going to get into the spirit of things, we'd also recommend doing some general digital housekeeping – things like making sure you’re not using repeated passwords, that your social media accounts aren’t linked to any shady face-swapping apps, and even ensuring your devices are fully updated with the latest software.

In short, we think improving cybersecurity should be higher up on most people’s to-do lists, but it’s understandable that it’s not. International VPN Day is a useful reminder that it’s worth taking the time to make sure you’re fully protected online.

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Mo is VPN Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity content, and also undertakes independent testing of VPN services to ensure his recommendations are accurate and up to date. When he's not getting stuck into the nitty-gritty settings of a VPN you've never heard of, you'll find him working on his Peugeot 205 GTi or watching Peep Show instead of finally putting up those shelves.