Why Many Nigerians Are Using VPN

With the indefinite suspension of twitter operation in Nigeria, one concept that has become very popular is VPN. This is an approach which many Nigerians now use to continue using twitter and successfully bypassing the suspension of this social media platform in the country. You might have heard this before without really understanding what it means or how it works. To understand why many Nigerians are using VPN today you first need to know the meaning of this concept and how it works. Here is a quick explanation of what VPN means, as contained in an article thoroughly researched, packaged and published by kaspersky.com.

How it started

Nigeria’s government announced on Friday, June 4, that it was suspending Twitter “indefinitely” after the deletion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Tweet, which violated Twitter’s “abusive behaviour” policy. After this announcement, users in the country began to look out  for ways to access the social media platform and this word ‘VPN’ became popular. The volume of online search conducted on the word “VPN” showed its popularity during the week according to the search tracking site, Trends Map.

Numerous social media users who generally express their views on Twitter and other social platforms opted for VPNs to conceal their IP addresses, keeping internet service providers (ISPs) in the dark about their online activities and locations. The word ‘VPN became popular but it was obvious that many users were hearing it for the first time and needed to understand what it means and how it worked before making use of it.

What is VPN?

VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and describes the opportunity to establish a protected network connection when using public networks. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and disguise your online identity. This makes it more difficult for third parties to track your activities online and steal data. The encryption takes place in real time.

How does a VPN work?

A VPN hides your IP address such that your online navigations cannot be seen.  First of all, what is an IP address? An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. It serves two main functions: host or network interface identification, and location addressing. So VPN hides your IP address by letting the network redirect it through a specially configured remote server run by a VPN host. This means that if you surf online with a VPN, the VPN server becomes the source of your data. This means your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties cannot see which websites you visit or what data you send and receive online. A VPN works like a filter that turns all your data into “gibberish”. Even if someone were to get their hands on your data, it would be useless.

Finally!

You you have an idea of what VPN stands for and how it works. May be you can try it out just to confirm whether it really works, if you’re within Nigeria and you had problem using twitter after the indefinite suspension of this social media platform by the Nigerian government. This is probably why many Nigerians are using VPN today.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *