Interview: We spoke to NordVPN on the importance of International VPN Day

Cartoon of a woman using a laptop with NordVPN logo
(Image credit: NordVPN)

International Axe Throwing Day, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, International Ninja Day - the calendar is run amok with slightly dubious 'International Days' to recognize the weird and the wonderful.

But today marks the first ever International VPN Day. That's thanks to the world's most popular VPN provider, NordVPN, and its decision to launch the inaugural edition today - August 19.

A noble endeavour to raise awareness about the multifarious VPN uses and staying safer and more secure online? Or a shameless avenue to sell a few more VPN subscriptions? TechRadar Pro spoke with Nord Security CTO Marijus Briedis to tell us a little more about why the company has decided that now's the right time for an International VPN Day.

Why have an International VPN Day now?

"Virtual private network (VPN) was invented in 1993 and since then has become an essential cybersecurity tool for anyone who cares about their cybersecurity. In fact, at the moment, there are 142 million VPN users in the US alone and, according to Google Trends, the demand is growing constantly. In fact, over the past eight years, interest in VPNs has doubled.

Naturally, we wanted to create an event for everyone to celebrate a product, which is becoming more and more mainstream among users and helps them stay private and safe on the internet.

Another reason to have this event now is the rising number of cybercrime. In March 2020, when the first lockdowns came into force, hackers started taking advantage of the confusion (and lowered security protocols connected to people working at home) to cause all kinds of harm. So, we think that it would benefit all of us to review our cybersecurity knowledge and learn more."

What is the goal of International VPN Day?

"The primary goal of International VPN Day is to bring more attention to privacy, security, and freedom on the internet and educate people around the world about the importance of having a VPN. We want more cybersecurity brands and enthusiasts to join us in this celebration.

What’s the rationale behind having one company pushing for it instead of a coalition?

"This celebration is not about NordVPN in particular. It is about the importance of cybersecurity in general, and VPN is a very important part of a private and secure internet. We hope that next year more cybersecurity brands will join us in this celebration."

Cartoon of man using a laptop while under the gaze of security cameras

(Image credit: NordVPN)

What is being done to make this event a growing, yearly happening?

"This year, we are preparing educational content on our social media and website for anyone interested in the celebration. We also want to establish a tradition of taking the National Privacy Test once a year on this occasion so users could evaluate their knowledge and then learn more about cybersecurity.

If this year’s event is successful, we plan to organize more educational activities next year."

How would International VPN Day be a success?

"The success could be measured only long-term, as the main goal is to educate people around the world about the benefits of VPNs and cybersecurity in general. So, only time will tell if the event contributes to the goal of a more digitally aware society."

How does International VPN Day differ from other privacy days?

"Data Privacy Day is a day to bring awareness to users’ privacy online. International VPN Day is not only about privacy, but security as well. A virtual private network is one of the best ways to fight for online freedom and security. It protects internet users from surveillance, censorship, and cybercrime."

How do you see the VPN sector evolving over the next decade?

"Seeing the constant growth of VPN products, we think that, in the future, using a virtual private network will become mainstream. Also, big names like Google, CloudFlare, or Firefox entering the VPN arena suggests the solidity and importance of the market.

So, as people educate themselves and understand the value of privacy and a secure internet more and more, they will use VPNs to the point when it becomes as commonplace as having an antivirus."

  • Also check out our complete list of the best VPN services

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NordVPN is super straightforward and easy to use (even if you're a tech novice). It boasts a range of features, too, such as P2P-optimized servers, malware blocking and Bitcoin support. Ideal for heavy streaming, it successfully unblocked foreign Netflix catalogs in our tests, too.