My inbox is full of people asking how to stay out of the reach of big tech.

It starts with the services you are using. Yes, they are mostly free, but remember what you are paying with: your data. Tap or click to view services that you can use that are not under Big Tech’s control.

You also need to pause to wipe away what these companies already know. Tap or click here to see the steps you can take to delete what Google has collected about you over the years.

For years I have been encouraging my listeners and readers to use a VPN. With just one click, you can keep online snoops, including Big Tech and your ISP, out of your digital life. Let’s examine how it works.

What is a VPN and what does it do?

Let’s start with the basics. A VPN, or virtual private network, is a layer of protection between your devices and the Internet. It hides your IP address and your location. It also encrypts your data after it leaves your device and gets to the website you are visiting.