From Carnival to the Amazon and everything in between, Brazil is full of magic and wonder. But internet users be warned: to protect yourself online, you need a VPN while in Brazil.
Threats to your digital privacy come from all angles in Brazil: hackers, website owners, ISPs, network administrators and even the government. But a VPN is so powerful that it can protect you from all of them and more.
Here are the 10 biggest reasons why a VPN is so important in Brazil and beyond.
Top 10 Reasons Why You Need a VPN While in Brazil
1. Brazil Has Begun Censoring the Internet
The battle against so-called “fake news” is becoming a worldwide one, and it’s officially reached Brazil.
In 2017, the Brazilian government announced that in order to combat fake news, websites would be required to remove political content at the government’s demand.
And in 2018, the government followed up with another threat: anyone caught creating fake news would face punishment by law enforcement.
These measures are highly concerning, suggestive of a government that defines “fake news” as anything that disagrees with those in power. If this censorship continues, you’ll need to use a VPN to continue accessing banned content.
2. In Brazil, ISPs Retain Your Connection Logs for a Whole Year…
Your ISP can see everything you do online, and that makes it one of the biggest threats to your online privacy.
And in Brazil, not only do ISPs keep track of what you do online, they log your information and are legally required to store it for a whole year after the fact. These logs include your account information, IP address(es) and connection timestamps.
ISPs must hand these logs over to law enforcement upon legal order. That means that everything you’ve done on the internet over the past year can be used against you by law.
But if you use a VPN to change your IP address and encrypt your data, the usefulness of these logs drops to near zero.
3. …And Private Websites Must Retain Your Data for Six Months
ISPs aren’t the only entities logging your web activity. The websites you visit and the applications you use are also legally required to store your connection logs, this time for six months.
So if the government wants a log of your activity on, say, Facebook, all it needs to do is ask — and Facebook will be ready to hand it over.
But changing your IP address with a VPN breaks the link between you and your usage logs, helping you retain your privacy.
4. The Brazilian Government Wants to Expand Surveillance
In 2015, an alarming revelation about government surveillance in Brazil came to light. The Federal Police, unhappy with their current surveillance capabilities, wanted telecom companies to purchase spy software capable of intercepting internet-based messages on WhatsApp and other apps.
Unsatisfied with the ability to intercept phone calls and text messages, the authorities tried to demand that private companies help them spy on private chat messages.
If these efforts continue, your private conversations will be at risk. But you can beat surveillance software by encrypting all of your traffic with a VPN.
5. ISPs in Brazil Are Pushing to Loosen Net Neutrality Rules
Net neutrality is codified in Brazilian law, but that doesn’t mean ISPs are happy about it.
Following the US’s destruction of net neutrality in 2017, Brazilian ISPs teamed up to ask the government to loosen its net neutrality rules and allow it to throttle or block certain types of traffic.
If the ISPs get their wish, they’ll be able to slow your connection down depending on the apps you’re using. And they could even block entire websites if they don’t approve of their content.
Should this happen, a VPN will help you keep your full speeds and retain access to the whole internet. By encrypting your data, a VPN prevents your ISP from seeing what you do, thus preventing it from blocking or throttling your traffic.
6. A VPN Protects Your Identity When Torrenting
Copyright trolls have a love-hate relationship with torrents. They hate them because they’re a pipeline for pirated content — but they love them because they reveal the IP addresses of torrenters.
With your IP address in hand, a copyright troll can try to extort or sue you. But a VPN hides your real IP address so you can torrent in peace.
7. VPNs Let You Access International Streaming Libraries
Netflix’s Brazilian library is vastly different from, say, its US library. Licensing restrictions mean that depending on the country you’re in, you’ll only be able to access certain movies and TV shows — the rest will be blocked.
But you can easily change your location with a VPN and get access to any content you desire. Just pick a new server and you’re all set!
8. You Can Use Public WiFi Without Worry with a VPN
Concerned about hackers on public WiFi? You should be — it takes just a few seconds for them to connect to a network and intercept all traffic passing through it, including yours.
However, even if your data does get stolen, it’ll be useless to hackers if you encrypt it with a VPN. Your passwords, financial information and private messages will be safe and sound.
9. A VPN Can Help You Get Better Prices when Shopping Online
Hotels, airlines and rental car companies alter the prices they show you based on your IP address. Using an IP address from Brazil could result in higher prices than if you used one from, say, Argentina.
The solution? Change your IP address with a VPN and take advantage of the lower prices given to shoppers from other countries.
10. You’ll Be Able to Unblock Websites at Work with a VPN
Chances are that your workplace WiFi network imposes various limitations on you. You’re probably not able to access social media or streaming sites, for example, and your traffic is likely monitored by a network administrator.
But you can use a VPN to overcome both of these obstacles. Its encryption hides your activity from your IT department and unblocks any websites that get filtered out by your boss.