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Twitter ban: All you need to know about VPN

By Lois Ugbede

Discussions around virtual private network (VPN) have been on the rise since the announcement of Twitter suspension by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Since the ban, some Twitter users have considered the use of VPN as a way to keep accessing Twitter. This has made VPN a thing of interest at the moment for Nigerians. In this article, we describe what VPN is and what it entails. 

What is VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is a network that gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address so your online actions are virtually untraceable. 

VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.

Importance of VPN

Without a VPN, your internet service provider can know your entire browsing history but with a VPN, your search history is hidden because your web activity will be associated with the VPN server’s IP address, not yours. 

Because VPN service providers have servers all over the world, your search activity could appear to originate at any one of them. Although these search engines track your search history, your information will be associated with an IP address that’s not yours.

So VPN is important if you are concerned about privacy and security; it secures your private information and browsing habits. The encryption and anonymity that a VPN provides helps protect your online activities be it emails, shopping online, or paying bills etc.

How Does It Work?

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Tip Of The Week

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There’s precious little that we can do about the barrage of misinformation that we see daily, but there’s a lot we can do together if we learn to identify suspicious claims in the news and refrain from fuelling the fire by spreading them! Here are our top picks of likely-to-be-false news which [sadly] couldn’t be fact-checked.

CLAIM: Twitter Again Blasts Buhari – SOURCE: A circulating screenshot on WhatsApp 

Recall, in April, Twitter opened its headquarter in Ghana, a decision which raised questions as to why the Bird App would choose Ghana over Nigeria. Barely two months after, Friday, June 4th, the Nigerian government banned Twitter from operating within its country. Following these incidents, A circulating screenshot of an unidentified website claims Twitter referred to President Muhammadu Buhari as the only president who never grants live interviews or holds media chats since 1999 when Nigeria returned to DEmocracy. But how true?

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While it is understandable why anyone would want to believe this news, it should also be known that mis/disinformation thrives on trending topic/debates. 

Questions to ask yourself: Who is the source? Which credible news platform has published this??

What you should do: Verify before sharing. 

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