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Privacy vs. Security: Some Eyebrow-Raising Differences You Must Know

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PUREVPNAwarenessPrivacy vs. Security: Some Eyebrow-Raising Differences You Must Know

Are you thinking whether privacy and security mean the same thing, or are they completely different? The answer is that in the industry, both of these terms are different and we will explain the reasons in this article. 

But before we start the privacy vs. security article, we would like to explain why we, the PureVengers, truly care about online privacy and data security. Some time ago, one of our team members was working on a piece about how hackers can easily steal your personal information using phishing attacks, compromising Gmail or cryptocurrency passwords, to use it to transfer your hard-earned money to their accounts. 

Turns out some hackers weren’t happy to see this news because we were actually putting their vicious plans out in the open. And they did what any hacker would do: they started threatening our guy. First, the hackers sent an email to take down the article but our guy refused. Second, they sent screenshots of our private conversations on Skype but we still refused to remove the piece. 

Finally, they hacked our guy’s cell phone, his laptop, and invaded his online privacy. All he could do was stay quiet and hope the hackers wouldn’t exploit his private data like his Gmail, his family pictures, and his bank account details. On that day, we made it our mission to help the online community stay safe from hackers who can actually threaten you by hijacking your online data. 

Although this happens everywhere and we follow cybersecurity protocols (which you should do as well), and we certainly have defense systems in place, hackers can penetrate any one of our devices if we are sloppy. Our motto is: better be safe than sorry.   

Besides greedy hackers, the government agencies, Google, Facebook, and ISPs may also track your data and use it to show multiple ads (or even leverage their prowess to win elections). This is the reason why we focus on security and privacy of Internet users, no matter the country you are living in and the devices you are using.  

Difference Between Data Privacy and Data Security

If you are convinced that your online privacy and security is valuable or may be at risk, continue reading.

What is Privacy?

Privacy = (Protect + Hide) your information

Data privacy means protecting and hiding your personal information from unauthorized sources, government agencies, Internet service providers, or hackers. You are boosting privacy by hiding your online identity by using a VPN, blocking websites, and not allowing third-party apps to use your data. 

What is Security? 

Security = (Protect) your information

Data security means only protecting your personal information. You are boosting security by using two-factor authentication and changing passwords more frequently. But being secure may not necessarily hide your data from servers or third-party apps.    

Can Encryption Secure my Private Data? 

Encryption is a process in which you transform private data into unreadable text, and you can only access the hidden information with a key. The purpose of using any type of encryption is to secure data, and more importantly, privacy. There are technically two kinds of encryption: Server-side encryption and client-side encryption. 

  • Server-Side Encryption

You can automatically encrypt information by storing it on a server, but the company or provider offering a server has the encryption key. In short, the key holder can access your information on a server whether it is a private file or picture.

  • Client-Side or End-to-End Encryption

In this type of encryption, your information is safe and only your device has an encryption key. You can’t access the information even if you try to log in to the server or application using another device. On the plus side, the company or provider can’t access the information either because they don’t have the key. 

See, it’s rather complicated.

Which one is better? 

Client-side or end-to-end encryption is definitely better, because no one can access or intrude upon the files you transfer. Intruding means a person can take over your data, change your cryptocurrency or Gmail password, save personal pictures, send unknown messages, or spread malware. In simpler words, you don’t want this to happen, so we always prefer end-to-end encryption.  

Is Hashing Similar to an Encryption? 

Hashing is different from encryption because it is a one-way process. When you transform a data file into a unique and irreversible message, this is called hashing, in simple terms. There is no way to reverse the hashing process. Once you finish the hashing process, you can only access the original file and data by trying all the inputs until the output file appears. In this way, anyone can look at the hashed file. 

But can the government access your data if you are under suspicion or surveillance? Whether you are using hashing or any type of encryption, some government agencies can look at your private data, with some limitations, of course, so hashing doesn’t necessarily keep you safe.  

a hashing explanation

5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, & 14 Eyes Alliance Countries 

After the Cold War in 1947, the United States and United Kingdom decided to share intelligence information to defeat their enemies and predict their next moves. From just two countries, this information partnership started building up, and now the tally is 14. 

This means 14 countries in the world share intelligence information (your private data) based on the alliance pact. This news was a secret until an NSA employee leaked sensitive documents and told the whole world about this secret alliance.

(Edward Snowden has left the chat.)

Current Country Participants Include: Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Holland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.  

If you are living in any one of these 14 Eyes alliance countries, then we are sorry to tell you that your data is under surveillance. However, you can hide your online identity with a Virtual Private Network and protect your private Internet life from the government as well. 

Are You Really Safe Online?

No, because your data is worth a lot in this century and most companies can access it. Advertising companies spend a fortune to gather their customer’s data and display ads in this way. That’s why a person is unsafe when he or she is browsing the Internet. Our advice: focus on being as secure as you can. Security-mindedness is an imperative.

For instance, imagine your bank and Facebook both know about your current credit score. Do you think it is safe and secure? Will your information remain private? You can trust the bank with your credit score information because they have solid rules for accessing customer’s information. However, Facebook does not have such protocols. 

The best way to avoid becoming an online target is to keep your information private, use a safe Internet browser, use a VPN all the time, set 2-factor authentication as much as you can, avoid responding to unknown emails, and always log out of your accounts before turning off the device.  

Looking for the Easiest Solution? 

We, the PureVengers, are the flag bearers of online privacy and security, and that’s why we encourage you to have some rock-solid security in place to prevent hackers and even government agencies from accessing your data. This is where a VPN comes in for the rescue. 

You can try our VPN app that uses 256-AES bit end-to-end encryption and have a dedicated Scurity mode to hide your online identity. As an additional benefit, we are a no-log VPN provider, which means we have no idea of your browsing history and Internet searches. 


  1. How is privacy different from security?

Privacy and security might be different in terms of definition but they are interrelated in a way. When it comes to privacy, you can control how someone can view your private information, be it your email address, name, profile, pictures, or contacts. Security, on the other hand, means how you are protecting your data online.

2. Should we give up privacy for security?

You can enhance security as well as privacy at the same time without giving up one for the other. Giving up your privacy means handing over your private information to a server or company that may not leak data but use it to put ads on your profile, or worse, sell it to advertising companies. 

3. What is data security and privacy? 

Privacy is a component of security. In short, privacy is how you manage data, and security means how you protect your data. For example, your Facebook data is secure until a hacker finds out your email address and password, and this affects your online security. But if Facebook protects your data and tries to sell your information to advertisers, this affects your privacy. We hope now you understand the difference between security and privacy.

4. Can we have security without privacy? 

Yes, you can have security and protect your data without privacy, but this doesn’t work the other way around. When it comes to online privacy, you have to secure and protect your data first and make sure no one can view that information. 

More from PureVPN: 

  • How to secure your in-home Wi-Fi on your own
  • All you need to know about a VPN in 2020


Sameed Ajax


November 24, 2022


2 years ago

6-Feet Tall Tech writer.

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