Terms and conditions: the never ending saga

Photo Credit: Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013) documentary visual

“Terms and Conditions May Apply” is probably the most enigmatic phrase that you will encounter when reading the privacy policy of virtually any site. It’s also the name of a Netflix documentary that goes on exposing the truth behind pages upon pages of uninviting text that we usually give a swift scroll, followed by a vacant “I agree” click.

Produced in 2013 by Cullen Hoback, the film is relevant today as online service providers everywhere, starting with the biggest, most popular names, are proving ambiguous practice when collecting user and customes information. Today, we simply expect our data to be used without our knowledge or consent when surfing a website, installing a software or purchasing goods online. It has become so much of a given that keeping track of all privacy policies of all the sites we use on a regular, would consume enormous attention, the grey matter we seemingly are using less and less, while online or at least on definite, short spans.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Users and service providers alike are now trying to adjust to the new online environment which is still far from being appropriately regulated. For users, the solution is more in the direction of setting protective measures in place and some of the service providers are trying to limit credibility loss by doing the same. However, most of the so called “protective measures” taken by service providers still sound like liabilities instead.

Take Facebook ‘s new menu item called “Protect” — the blue shield icon that takes you to Onavo, a VPN service owned by the company. Onavo is basically the same piece of machinery as most VPN services out there, but here’s the catch though: it’s owned by Facebook. Without making a point that Onavo is not trustworthy in absolute terms, but simply stating the obvious that in there lies a possible conflict of interest, one that we would not recommend you gamble, it’s probably for the best that you get your VPN service elsewhere.

Photo Credit: Maurizio di Iorio Photography

No longer an exotic tool, VPNs are now entering the mainstream and given the context it’s easy to understand why. There are tons of VPN providers, but one should probably be aware of their business affiliation. The painless solution here is to go with an independent provider, free from such affiliation and/or partnerships.

And as we already know by now, it’s not just Facebook that keeps track of your browsing data, it’s your cell phone provider too, most apps, operating systems, and other services do the same. Smartphones with preinstalled tracking software, secretly bundled with tracking files are sold everyday, while some companies try to leverage the very problem they created by charging extra for privacy. Setting yourself with Facebook’s Onavo could not only mean that Facebook is keeping track of your activity when you use the app, but also when you browse away from the social network, stretching the net even further.

Having a VPN in place is the smart approach to getting around all this. Think at a VPN as the middleman between you and the internet, where your ISP can only see a bunch of encrypted traffic. And since your VPN knows as much as your ISP would, it’s very important to choose a reliable one with a zero log policy and a strong encryption. These 2 benefits are not in the cards for Onavo, which has a very slippery way to explain the way it stores user’s information in the following:

“We may use the information we receive to provide, analyze, improve, and develop new and innovative services for users, Affiliates and third parties.” Customer information is also stored according to “applicable laws and assist law enforcement.” which is not exactly music to our ears, considering net neutrality recent repeal. Services like MyIP.io offer privacy focused VPNs and can not store personal information of their users by design. Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.

On the other hand, Onavo’s statements on data collection are far from being focused on user’s privacy unequivocally: “The app may collect your mobile data traffic to help us recognize tactics that bad actors use. Over time, this helps the tool work better for you and others. We let people know about this activity and other ways that Onavo uses and analyses data before they download it.”

All in all, online data privacy has never been more present on the public agenda than in the past few months, when news about Facebook data misuse broke as the Cambridge Analytica scandal unfolded. Whether the scandal is purely political, having the can-not-be-ignored Trumpian element attached to it, or the billion dollar pixel empireof Sillicon Valley ( as Wired describes it), there is a certain collateral that goes much deeper than politics or the Valley. And that collateral element is how easy we ourselves give away personal data in our idealized, highly curated virtual identities we create.

Stepping aside from the Facebook scapegoat, since we all know it’s not just Facebook that allows public data collection, but many more, let’s think about the positives in the wake of recent events. We are now more aware than ever before about the consequences of our online activity and how easy that data can be manipulated if given the chance. It’s time we should all be more responsible about our online footprint and take ownership of our data, take charge of our own protection. In all of the above, the no brainer is to set ourselfs up with a VPN service, one that is reliable and free from aforementioned affiliation.

Using their users as servers by converting them into a botnet, some VPN providers have been revealed, while others admit in their lawyer-eese terms of service, they can sell your bandwidth to other companies.

In other words, by searching a bargain you can be faced with two main issues:

  1. Slower computer and internet connection: as you’re sharing your bandwidth and processor with others;
  2. Higher Security Risks: assuming responsibility for what other users do online, that can be tracked down back to your IP.

A good VPN will have its own servers and encryption protocols designed for it, reducing possible security failures to a minimum. Free VPN services are often an open door to malware and can be easily used by scammers.

In the FREE vs. PAID matter, its is important to understand that most legit businesses will offer 7 days of free trial, but a free connection on a indefinite period of time is sure to get its profit elsewhere; in ways that can harm your security and defeat the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

We suggest you do yourself a favor and invest a good 5 bucks for a reliable VPN like the dedicated VPN you can get from My IP.io or from another reliable provider.

In need of an honest VPN Review? Check Out This Review Platform!

Choosing a VPN service can be a very tiresome task, considering that you are choosing a middleman between you and your ISP, so going with a reliable provider is of the essence.  However there are shortcuts to every tiresome task and working smart rather than working hard proves true in the case of VPN review platforms also.

There’s a multitude of reviews for every VPN product out there and no shortage of vpn review platforms, moreover every major technology site seems to have a dedicated section for reviews and vpn reviews in particular.

However, being passionate about data security as we are, we recently discovered a new site, countryvpn.com,that contains all the good stuff in terms of VPN reviews with dozens of reviews for  every popular VPN service and a bunch of new comers and new names in addition to  the most coveted.

 

They also give you a  guide to the best VPN services depending on  the features you are most interested in like:

best VPN service for TV for:

or the most relevant for your preferred device:

All good stuff, no nonsense . They also do a bunch of articles on VPN related issues such as: “how to set up PS4 VPN” or “how to fix Netflix proxy error on VPN“, so they focus both on the educative and the lucrative. If you too are looking to set yourself up with a VPN service checking their reviews out first is probably for the best as you can get a tone of information about a lot of VPN providers, all in one place. You can also expect to get a good VPN deal with their affiliate links.

RESIST FALLING FOR A FREE VPN DEAL

Beyond reviews, it is important to chose a paid VPN service as going with a free one might defeat the purpose of having a VPN service in the first place by harming your computer.

“When the product is free. You are the product”

Credits: Xiaolin Zeng

VPN service implies having servers in various countries, so the maintenance or renting costs can amount a few figures, depending on volume.

While most legit businesses will offer 7 days of free trial, a free connection on a indefinite period of time is sure to get its profit elsewhere; in ways that may harm your security and defeat the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

Even more compelling evidence on the security risks one might face when exposed to a FREE vpn surface once you start doing research. Take the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) the federal government agency for scientific research of Australia. In a study performed a few years ago, they analyzed no less than 283 VPN services only to find that 75% of the free ones contained tracking possibilities. You can read the entire CSIRO white paper here.

We list the most common of these corrupt practices that some VPN providers have been revealed to apply, while others admit as comme d’habitude use in their lawyer-eese terms of service or in very fine print.

SELLING USERS BANDWIDTH

using their users as servers by converting them into a botnet, some VPN providers appropriate their user bandwidth as their own and are resellling it through third parties or sister companies.

In other words, by searching a bargain you can be faced with two main issues:

1. Slower computer and internet connection: as you’re sharing your bandwidth and processor with others;

2. Higher Security Risks: assuming responsibility for what other users do online, that can be tracked down back to your IP.

DATA COLLECTION

In depth analytics of your use data can be sold to third parties companies also. In this case, your FREE VPN becomes a data collection machine that can use your browsing history and online habits to target you with spam, ads and may even compromise your banking accounts or hold you for ransom. Choosing a VPN provider, like My IP.io, that goes on a “no log kept” policies is the best approach to the matter.

ADS

modifying the web code to show ads is a common practice for “free” VPN services.

CSIRO identified FREE vpn apps “actively injecting JavaScript codes using frames for advertising and tracking purposes, while the static analysis of source code revealed apps that actively use up to 5 different third party tracking libraries.”

TRACKING LIBRARIES

The same study examined through ApkTool “the presence of embedded third party libraries (in the form of external hat files) for analytics, tracking or advertising purposes in the source code of free android apps. […] Since most VPN apps intend to provide online anonymity, the lower presence of tracking libraries is actually meaningful. However, we identified the presence of at least one tracking library in 75% of the FREE VPN apps claiming to protect user’s privacy” is stated in the same study.

POOR ENCRYPTION OR LACK THERE OF

The CSIRO research revealed worrisome aspects regarding encryption: “18% of the VPN apps implement tunneling protocols without encryption despite promising online anonymity and security to their users. In fact approximately 84% and 66% of the analyzed VPN apps do not tunnel IPv6 and DNS traffic through the tunnel interface respectively due to lack of IPv6 support, misconfigurations or developer-induced errors. Both the lack of strong encryption and traffic leakage can ease online tracking activities and by surveillance agencies.”

MALWARE

According to the CSIRO study “38% of the analyzed VPN apps by CSIRO have at least one positive malware report according to VirusTotaagencies.”

The Paid vs. The FREE VPN Issue

A good VPN will have its own servers and encryption protocols designed for it, reducing possible security failures to a minimum. Free VPN servicesare often an open door to malware and can be easily used by scammers.

In the FREE vs. PAID matter, its is important to understand that most legit businesses will offer 7 days of free trial, but a free connection on a indefinite period of time is sure to get its profit elsewhere; in ways that can harm your security and defeat the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

We suggest you do yourself a favor and invest a good 5 bucks for a reliable VPN like the dedicated VPN you can get from My IP.io or from another reliable provider. You can check reviews for MyIP.io too on Country VPN. com here.

As a general rule, mundane but so incredibly important, reading the company’s Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy, before buying a vpn service is a thing you should really consider. Ideally, these documents are in plain English and not lawyer-eese.

All in all, when choosing a VPN service one should check reviews and avoid free VPN deals beforehand. Country VPN is the this month’s finding in terms of vpn reviewing platforms. Go give it a try, browse through and make an informed decision when setting yourself up with bullet proof VPN protection

 

 

Net neutrality repeal — what it means and what to do when the world seams to be going backwards

Net neutrality broadly means that all content available on the internet should be equally accessible, it’s a philosophy that puts big ideas and big money on equal grounds- preventing providers like Comcast and Verizon to block some data while prioritizing others. In other words big companies shouldn’t be blocking users from accessing services like Netflix in an effort to sell their own cable package or for the purpose of making users buy a streaming video service bundle sold by your ISP.

In more elevated terms, net neutrality is a principle against discrimination by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment or method of communication. Enforced through government mandate under the Obama era, net neutrality found itself on shaky grounds at the very start of Trump’s presidency, when Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and longtime opposer of net neutrality regulation, was picked to head the agency.

As found on a simple search on Wikipedia “a widely example of a violation of net neutrality principles was the Internet service provider Comcast’s secret slowing (“throttling”) of uploads from peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) applications by using forged packets.

In another minor example, The Madison River Communications company was fined US$15,000 by the FCC, in 2004, for restricting their customers’ access to Vonage, which was rivaling their own services. AT&T was also caught limiting access to FaceTime, so only those users who paid for AT&T’s new shared data plans could access the application. In July 2017, Verizon Wireless was accused of throttling after users noticed that videos played on Netflix and YouTube were slower than usual”.

.gif Credit: thehackernews.com

The repeal of the Obama era net neutrality rules have sparked movements of protest like last year’s “Day of action” or “Red Alert” a similar campaign which was enabled earlier this month. Big names like Google, Amazon, Facebook and many others are invested in the fight against blocking, throttling and discriminating against lawful content. What they support is a cause that has discrimination and ultimately innovation at stake. Advocates of net neutrality argue in the favor of keeping an unobstructed online field as a vital part of innovation. Their concern is very valid and should be a cause worth fighting for all of us. Otherwise, if broadband providers start picking favorites, new technology might never see the light of day. To understand that assertion, imagine you had your ISP blocking or limiting access to video streaming when services like Youtube came to shape, 18 years ago. Had that been the case, Youtube might not even exist today or would only be accessible upon paying extra fees to your ISP. A very unpleasant prospect, we agree.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Setting yourself up with a reliable, robust VPN service is a real solution to overturn the effects of net neutrality repeal.

Photo Credit: radiobruxelleslibera.com

Under the new FCC regulation, an ISP has the liberty of charging you more if you watched Netflix instead of Hulu, creating “fast lanes” and unfair advantages to preferred partners. Don’t think your ISP would do that if given the chance? Well, it’s already happened as stated before, since 2004, coming up to AT&T’s Facetime ban and again in 2014 and 2017 when Verizon slowed down Netflix traffic.

While California’s S.B. 822 is becoming the poster child for states looking to keep net neutrality in place by voting its own rules, not all states have the luxury to do so.

Photo Credit: dreamhost.com

To make matters even worse, you can expect your ISP to sell your data to 3rd parties. An inglorious attempt to block online privacy regulations to go into effect was made in April this year by the US Senate and House decision. Rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission or FCC to ask for permission before selling your browsing data, even though passed in October of last year, under the Obama administration, had not yet gone into effect. Data collection and data selling is nothing new under the sun for your ISP, so continuing business as usual, selling your data to the highest bidder without bothering to ask you first, is a real privilege your ISP might be abusing. One very particular privilege that sounds more like stepping on one of our most fundamental rights: the right to privacy.

All in all there is no doubt that the online environment is becoming increasingly politicized and the concept of a open but safe internet is in the midst of powerful forces of antagonistic interests fighting each other. A balance between these forces is a desiderate for a healthy environment that we’re not sure how or when we’re going to achieve.

In the meantime, people are turning to VPNs to preserve access and to reclaim online freedom and privacy and we strongly advice that you should do the same.

No longer an exotic tool, VPNs are now entering the mainstream and given the context it’s easy to understand why.

Simply put, when you’re using a VPN, all your data travels through a tunnel encrypted from end to end. In other words, your ISP will not be able to block access or make sense of your data, since you’ll have all your online data happen elsewhere, not going through your ISP servers and encrypted all the while.

But it’s not just your ISP that keeps track of your browsing data, it’s your cell phone provider too, most apps, operating systems, and other services do the same.

Smartphones with preinstalled tracking software, secretly bundled with tracking files are sold everyday, while some companies try to leverage the very problem they created by charging extra for privacy.

Having a VPN in place is the smart approach to getting around all this. Think at a VPN as the middleman between you and the internet, where your ISP can only see a bunch of encrypted traffic. And since your VPN knows as much as your ISP would, it’s very important to choose a reliable one with a zero log policy and a strong encryption.

Services like MyIP.io will offer you a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service , The platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions:Personal,Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time.

Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.

The repeal of net neutrality rules is expected to go into effect as of June 11.

Photo Credit: illustration by Guillaume Kurkdjian, “Should we dismantle Google?”

Beyond the politics of the Facebook scandal, Trumpism and the billion dollar pixel empire of Silicon Valley.

5 ways to secure your account now.

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Online data privacy has never been more present on the public agenda than in the past few months, when news about Facebook data misuse broke as the Cambridge Analytica scandal unfolded. Whether the scandal is purely political, having the can-not-be-ignored Trumpian element attached to it, or the billion dollar pixel empireof Sillicon Valley ( as Wired describes it), there is a certain collateral that goes much deeper than politics or the Valley. And that collateral element is how easy we ourselves give away personal data in our idealized, highly curated virtual identities we create. Before pointing the finger at anyone, perhaps we should take a moment and think about what any public post or action we take inside a social media platform implies and the consequences that every such action can have on the digital environment, when done collectively.

Stepping aside from the Facebook scapegoat, since we all know it’s not just Facebook that allows public data collection, but many more, let’s think about the positives in the wake of recent events. What is it that we can draw from the precedent and what can we do to ensure that we are taking our data security into our own hands.

As data security enthusiasts, we take online privacy seriously and like to focus on what we can do to create a safe haven for ourselves when online. In the following, we compiled a few things that you can do right now to secure your Facebook account. Some of the features we are going to tell you about were already there before the scandal erupted and some were added as a result of the event (et voila!)

1.Check if your information has been shared with Cambridge Analytica

First things first, you can actually check wether your account was affected during the Cambridge Analytica data collection or not here. Hopefully you will get a message like this one:

2.Manage your privacy settings

Find it in the Privacy Settings and Tools page. Here you can chose if you want to make your profile information, including your friend list, phone number, photos, posts, etc) visible only to your friends or to everyone. You can also hide your entire profile from search engines.

3.Manage Ad Preferences

Since you don’t have the option to avoid ads completely, you can make changes that would enable the network to serve you better. You can learn everything about what options you have in the Ad Preferences section

4.Remove apps you no longer use

In the App Settings page (that you can access by going to the Settings menu and then by clicking Apps), you can check what data you are providing to apps and remove the data you no longer want to share or simply delete the apps you no longer use altogether

5.Soon to be implemented: Access your information data management feature

Facebook is rolling out a new feature over the next weeks hat will allow users to have more control over their profile and timeline information, such as old posts, tags, searches, likes, comments, etc. here’s a sneak peak of how the page will look like.

6.For more security while online 
make sure you set yourself up with a VPN and browse the internet uncharted.

Adding an extra hop to the route between your PC and sites like Facebook, your location data, for example, can be easily camouflaged.

Across the world, businesses use VPNs to connect to remote data centers, or for employees to connect remotely to the physical network of their workplace, while individuals can use VPNs to get access to network resources when they’re not physically on the same LAN (local area network), or as a method for securing and encrypting their information from the potential liabilities that lie ahead once exposed to unsecured networks such as public WiFis or hotspots.

MyIP.io is a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service , designed with the professional focus in mind. Our platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions:Personal,Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time.

Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.

MyIP.io is the result of the craftsmanship of our engineers, with many years of experience supporting large-scale, custom deployments for businesses , telecommunications companies, multi-service operators and enterprises.” Dave Wilson, CEO My IP.io

Resist falling for that free VPN deal, hazards lie in fine print

Photo Credit: digital photography by Juan Antonio Zamarripa

“There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

Popularized by Milton Friedman back ’75 the phrase “There is no such thing as a free lunch remains of great economic relevance today in describing things like “opportunity costs”.

However enticing, free VPNS are more often than not the origin of many security hazards and in some cases data collection machines, hence defeating the purpose of what a Virtual private network should be.

“When the product is free. You are the product”

Credits: Xiaolin Zeng

VPN service implies having servers in various countries, so the maintenance or renting costs can amount a few figures, depending on volume.

While most legit businesses will offer 7 days of free trial, a free connection on a indefinite period of time is sure to get its profit elsewhere; in ways that may harm your security and defeat the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

Even more compelling evidence on the security risks one might face when exposed to a FREE vpn surface once you start doing research. Take the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) the federal government agency for scientific research of Australia. In a study performed a few years ago, they analyzed no less than 283 VPN services only to find that 75% of the free ones contained tracking possibilities. You can read the entire CSIRO white paper here.

We list the most common of these corrupt practices that some VPN providers have been revealed to apply, while others admit as comme d’habitude use in their lawyer-eese terms of service or in very fine print.

SELLING USERS BANDWIDTH

using their users as servers by converting them into a botnet, some VPN providers appropriate their user bandwidth as their own and are resellling it through third parties or sister companies.

In other words, by searching a bargain you can be faced with two main issues:

1. Slower computer and internet connection: as you’re sharing your bandwidth and processor with others;

2. Higher Security Risks: assuming responsibility for what other users do online, that can be tracked down back to your IP.

DATA COLLECTION

In depth analytics of your use data can be sold to third parties companies also. In this case, your FREE VPN becomes a data collection machine that can use your browsing history and online habits to target you with spam, ads and may even compromise your banking accounts or hold you for ransom. Choosing a VPN provider, like My IP.io, that goes on a “no log kept” policies is the best approach to the matter.

ADS

modifying the web code to show ads is a common practice for “free” VPN services.

CSIRO identified FREE vpn apps “actively injecting JavaScript codes using frames for advertising and tracking purposes, while the static analysis of source code revealed apps that actively use up to 5 different third party tracking libraries.”

TRACKING LIBRARIES

The same study examined through ApkTool “the presence of embedded third party libraries (in the form of external hat files) for analytics, tracking or advertising purposes in the source code of free android apps. […] Since most VPN apps intend to provide online anonymity, the lower presence of tracking libraries is actually meaningful. However, we identified the presence of at least one tracking library in 75% of the FREE VPN apps claiming to protect user’s privacy” is stated in the same study.

POOR ENCRYPTION OR LACK THERE OF

The CSIRO research revealed worrisome aspects regarding encryption: “18% of the VPN apps implement tunneling protocols without encryption despite promising online anonymity and security to their users. In fact approximately 84% and 66% of the analyzed VPN apps do not tunnel IPv6 and DNS traffic through the tunnel interface respectively due to lack of IPv6 support, misconfigurations or developer-induced errors. Both the lack of strong encryption and traffic leakage can ease online tracking activities and by surveillance agencies.”

MALWARE

According to the CSIRO study “38% of the analyzed VPN apps by CSIRO have at least one positive malware report according to VirusTotaagencies.”

The Paid vs. The FREE VPN Issue

A good VPN will have its own servers and encryption protocols designed for it, reducing possible security failures to a minimum. Free VPN servicesare often an open door to malware and can be easily used by scammers.

In the FREE vs. PAID matter, its is important to understand that most legit businesses will offer 7 days of free trial, but a free connection on a indefinite period of time is sure to get its profit elsewhere; in ways that can harm your security and defeat the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

We suggest you do yourself a favor and invest a good 5 bucks for a reliable VPN like the dedicated VPN you can get from My IP.io or from another reliable provider.

As a general rule, mundane but so incredibly important, reading the company’s Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy, before buying a vpn service is a thing you should really consider. Ideally, these documents are in plain English and not lawyer-eese.

Photo Credit: digital photography by Juan Antonio Zamarripa

The antivirus paradox:  Why an AV is not enough in 2017

Photo Credit: www.cuded.com

Antiviruses and hacking go hand in hand. Some might even go as far as saying that the same camps are involved in making both virus and antivirus software and that there is a true conspiracy, a vicious circle that helps sustain both parties in what might be a very lucrative and obscure behind the scene industry. Add government intervention to the mix and you are on the path to being seen as a believer of conspiracy theories, some sort of a whacko.

However derogatory or condescending it is to find yourself in such a position, evidence shows that there might be more to the virus-antivirus ordeal than what meets the eye and that even the most peculiar of these conspiracy theories might in fact be true.

The common narrative of conspiracy, often based on the concept of rivalry, and even more often than not leading to one of the world’s superpowers, be it Russia or the US, it’s a cultural given in today’s world. We are constantly bombarded with news, but more then anything else speculation about what one power is doing to conquer the other. All of these culminating with appropriating a rationale in which we can all understand that the lines between real and fabricated are more blurred than ever before.

Rather than resigning to the idea that there’s nothing we can do about it really, we suggest a different, more empowering kind of approach. The one in which protecting yourself from “the protector” is not something that is unheard of, but rather an a priori condition for true freedom.

Let’s shed some light on some recent events in the case of cyber espionage between [Russia –US] and [North Korea — South Korea], alleged to have infiltrated malware into antivirus software for the purpose of stealing classified data and military files. The common denominator in both cases? Antivirus tools (Kaspersky for the alleged Russian attach against the States and Hauri in the case of North Korea against South Korea).

However, there are many who argue the validity of these allegations, seen as another PR move amid an alleged American campaign trying to discredit Kaspersky, a premeditate cover up that targeted Kaspersky Labs just because it can detect NSA and CIA’s spying tools. Feeling in more danger at home, having to deal with a pretty robust Surveillance apparatus inside the state, many argue the veracity of it all.

AN AV IS A PANOPTICON BY DESIGN

Photo Credit: www.designspiration.net

Beyond the speculation, the two hacking incidents reveal “a troubling truth either way” as observed by Wired. “Antivirus software can pose major risks, whether you’re an intelligence service or an everyday computer user.” states the online mag.

And if we think about the nature of an antivirus, it’s easy to understand why this is. To put it bluntly, an AV is a system-wide omnipotent software. It can track everything and has unrestricted access in order to function, which also make it the perfect bugging device. The utilitarian philosophy of a panopticon (a circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners could at all times be observed) is probably the best comparison.

“AV is pretty much the perfect bugging device on every computer it’s sold on,” says Bobby Kuzma, systems engineer at Core Security. “You’ve got this piece of software that’s in a position to see everything on your computer.”[…]
“We know that the US government has solicited participation from technology vendors in the United States in the past, whether through official channels or more covert mechanisms such as National Security Letters,” says Kuzma. “There’s no reason why other foreign governments cannot compel the same type of cooperation from companies that are based in their territory.”

A VPN TO ENCRYPT ALL YOUR ONLINE DATA, the only way to Zion

Having a robust VPN to encrypt your personal data is nowadays, the only way to Zion.

And as we’re not looking to exhaust the “hide everything I do” reasoning; we mainly believe that a VPN is not paramount to activity that borders on illegal, but the very symbol of our right to the privacy acumen. My IP.io stands for data security and flexibility in the professional VPNunderstanding.

Across the world, businesses use VPNs to connect to remote data centers, or for employees to connect remotely to the physical network of their workplace, while individuals can use VPNs to get access to network resources when they’re not physically on the same LAN (local area network), or as a method for securing and encrypting their information from the potential liabilities that lie ahead once exposed to unsecured networks such as public WiFis or hotspots.

Adding an extra hop to the route between your PC and sites like Facebook, your data location can be easily camouflaged.

REASONS YOU SHOULD START USING A VPN APP. NOW:

· PROTECTS YOUR DATA

your internal data, sites, git repositories, banking credentials and all information will be coated in multiple layers of encryption;

· REMOTE ACCESS

as IT is being challenged to enable safe access to employees remotely by providing mobile VPN, secure email, encrypted containers and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), living outside the data security paradigm is simply not smart anymore, whether we’re talking about corporate or personal data;

· IP CAMOUFLAGE

A simple VPN download gets you a new location identity so that you can use geographically dispersed resources;

· BYPASSING FILTERS AND GEORESTRICTIONS

Bypassing Internet censorship in countries where censorship is applied;

· SHARING FILES

You can share files and sensitive information inside a secured group away from prying eyes;

A common misconception goes to say that US VPN services are legally required to log activity on their network. While required to cooperate with US law enforcement, as opposed to other countries, the location of servers is often more important.

LOGGING POLICIES

Not compliant with DMCA are a lot of server locations outside the US.

DEDICATED IPs

Very useful when playing online games or logging into services such as banks, Paypal, e-mail providers, etc., a static IP is an underated asset, than not many VPN providers, big names (surprisingly enough), offer.

The ones that do offer a dedicated IP will charge the service as add on and will not always be that transparent about prices.

At My IP.io you can get your own static IP address for as little as $5/ month.

Many times, a dynamic VPN service can be rejected by services like gmail, for example. By using a shared VPN IP, Google may flag your account and require 2factor authentication.

For the record, http://64.233.187.99/ is Google’s.

This is their dedicated IP address and no one else’s, the unique address on the web that has been attached to the domain name google.com.

To have and to hold, a pretty alluring thought!

By Purchasing a Dedicated IP your site is the only one on the Internet that will be using that unique IP address.

Apart from the alluring sound of it, with a dedicated IP address, processes are allowed to run for more than 10 minutes as long as they aren’t consuming too much of the server’s memory, which would result in a CPU throttling. Moreover, certain voice chat programs require a dedicated IP address before they can be setup and used or if you have a program that sends out emails every so many seconds, such as from a mailing list program like DaDa Mail, then you would need to get a dedicated IP address, if it’s going to take more than 10 minutes to send out the emails.

MyIP.io is a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service , designed with the professional focus in mind. Our platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions:Personal,Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time.

Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.

MyIP.io is the result of the craftsmanship of our engineers, with many years of experience supporting large-scale, custom deployments for businesses , telecommunications companies, multi-service operators and enterprises.” Dave Wilson, CEO My IP.io

In need of a VPN service? Start here.

Photo Credit: www.zedge.net

For a $5.99 monthly price point, this VPN subscription with MYIP.io will give a lot of other VPNs, on the market, a run for their money, considering it will get you a dedicated IP in one of the best locations, as well as a pretty robust encryption, among other features.

Designed as a self-managedVPNnetwork platform, MyIP.io delivers fast, secure and reliable VPN services and comes with eye-watering offerings on three main layers of demographic:The Personal VPN — starting at $2.49/mo.

The Dedicated VPN — starting at $5.99/mo.

The Business VPN — starting at $29.99/mo.

In other words, these three channeled VPN products make for a wonderful choice both in terms of personal or corporate use. You will also enjoy a bunch of enterprise level perks and benefits such as the robust encryption or the multitude of simultaneous connections and users that can reach up to 50 users per account for the business VPN, since the platform itself was designed with the professional focus in mind.

It is why My IP.io’s sparked a new growth on the 2nd and 3rd quarter this year, being a trusted brand by thousands of happy members and business owners. Slowly but surely MyIP.io is becoming a smart community, the platform of choice for many agile businesses and you too can join.

We engineered MyIP.io as a global platform and committed to developing applications and services that preserved an open and secure Internet experience while respecting our users privacy.

Regardless if you are going to go with our service or another, not wanting to sound like boasters, we skip presentation and get to the technicalities of where to start and what to look for when in need of a VPN service.

First things first, let’s shed some light on what the internet is really made of from this blogger’s wisdom:

Photo Credit: harvardmagazine.com

“The internet is simply a series of computers connected through wires. The computers are owned by everyone — you, me, companies, and governments. When I access a website, my computer routes a signal through my Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) tubes to the website’s computer. Naturally, the middleman keeps a log of all the traffic that goes through their property. And naturally, the middleman is always looking for new opportunities to grow richer. In a capitalistic economy, can you fault the middleman? The question is: why did we not think this was inevitable?” (you can read the full article here)

Skipping the middleman is exactly the kind of luxury that a VPN connection will afford you.

One little amendment though, you should avoid free services as a these providers are sure to make their profits elsewhere. The phrase “when the product is free, you are the product” is an honest representation of what really happens when you enroll to a free service.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch” another wise phrase made popular by Milton Friedman back ’75, remains of great economic relevance today in describing things like “opportunity costs”. However enticing, free VPNs seldom defeat the purpose of what a Virtual private network should be.

  • IT AIN’T A FREE LUNCH

VPN service implies having servers in various countries. The maintenance or renting costs can amount a few figures, depending on volume.

  • SELLING USERS BANDWIDTH

using their users as servers by converting them into a botnet, some VPN providers have been revealed, while others admit in their lawyer-eese terms of service, they can sell your bandwidth to other companies.

As a general rule, mundane but incredibly important, reading the company’s Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy, before buying a vpn service is a thing you should really consider. Ideally, these documents are in plain English and not lawyer-eese.

Long story short, we recap 10 reasons you should look for when looking for a VPN connections (you can read article in full here)

№1: PRICE

Photo Credit: wikiart.org

When it comes to free versus paid, there is no debate really. Going with a free VPN service could defeat the very purpose you’re using such a service.

In other words, by searching a bargain you can be faced with two main issues:

  1. Slower computer and internet connection: as you’re sharing your bandwidth and processor with others;
  2. Higher Security Risks: assuming responsibility for what other users do online, that can be tracked down back to your IP.
  • Data Collection: In depth analytics of your use data can be sold to third parties companies. Choosing a VPN provider, like My IP.io, that goes on a “no log kept” policies is the best approach to the matter.
  • Ads: modifying the web code to show ads is a common practice for “free” VPN services.
  • A good VPNwill have its own servers and encryption protocols designed for it, reducing possible security failures to a minimum. Free VPN servicesare often an open door to malware and can be easily used by scammers.

In the FREE vs. PAID matter, its is important to understand that most legit businesses will offer 7 days of free trial, but a free connection on a indefinite period of time is sure to get its profit elsewhere; in ways that can harm your security and defeat the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

We suggest you do yourself a favor and invest a good 5 bucks for a reliable VPNlike the dedicated VPN you can get from My IP.io or from another reliable provider. Prices are raging from $7 to $12 depending on the subscription time commitment, so going with My IP.io is a no brainer considering the unrivaled cost to features ratio.

№2: TEST SERVICE TIME

To test the service most providers allow 7 days money back guarantee and of course My IP is no exception when it comes to letting users try the service out.

№3: COMPATIBILITY

Compatibility with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices are a given for most VPN products out there. Stepping up a notch come browser extensions and compatibility with Kindle/eReader, TV or gaming systems.

All My IP.io products are compatible with all major OSes (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android) plus Routers and Linux.

№4: ENCRYPTION

Photo Credit: tumblr.com

They say that a VPN is only as good as its encryption capabilities, but encryption in itself is not the simplest of topics. The terminology used to determine how secure a VPN connection is, can get very confusing, very quickly.

Before getting familiar with security standards and encryption protocols, let’s just focus on this pretty impressive feature for a VPN to have, the Open VPN Cipher: AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys — also known as the AES-256. This security standard is basically the same encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government and used by security experts worldwide to protect classified information.

Right below we have AES- 128, the Open VPN Cipher used by My IP.io, which remains secure as far as the AES in general is regarded. The mathematics of the 128 bit AES goes to show that a billion billion years are required and a supercomputer for a brute force attack to crack it.

Pretty impressive, huh?

Of course AES is not perfect, but hey! math doesn’t lie.

My IP.io comes bundled with a variety of VPN encryption protocols, supporting all the latest security protocols including SSTP, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSTP and 128bit –AES, OpenVPN cipher.

When you use the MY IP.io app, you can easily switch between protocols, although it’s recommended that you stick with defaults.

№5: LOCATIONS

Generally used to epitomize how the right or wrong location can determine the outcome of a property sale or a new business venture, the phrase “location, location, location” acquires new meaning when referenced in Tech. Just as sometimes access to venture capitalists is somewhat more difficult, if you’re not in Silicon Valley, Alley or Prairie, often digital access requires geographical variables to wire.

Ok, but what’s the right location for you, right?
Long story short, if you’re in east Asia try to connect to Singapore or US; or if you’re in the Middle East, try connecting in Europe. The first thing to consider is the nearest location to yours.

№6: LOGGING POLICIES

A common misconception goes to say that US VPN services are legally required to log activity on their network. While required to cooperate with US law enforcement, as opposed to other countries, the location of servers is often more important.

Not compliant with DMCA are a lot of server locations outside the US.

MyIP.io is a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service ,with servers located in France, Romania and Canada, hence is not subjected to Ministry of Industry and Information Technology or DMCA compliance.

№7: SUPPORT

Most VPN providers offer support centers and entire achieves of How Tos or FAQs, but let’s face it, having a reliable support features means more than that. You want to be able to talk through live chat or with a live representative at times.

A VPN with My IP.io will give you access to one of the most diverse support system a VPN provider could give you. 24/7 Support through live chat or by phone, a comprehensive video gallery of how tos, ticket or email support and even remote desktop support, where the case.

№8: DEDICATED IPs

Very useful when playing online games or logging into services such as banks, Paypal, e-mail providers, etc., a static IP is an underrated asset, than not many VPN providers, big names (surprisingly enough), offer.

The ones that do offer a dedicated IP will charge the service as add on and will not always be that transparent about prices.

At My IP.io you can get your own static IP address for as little as $5/ month.

№9: BUSINESS PLANS

Photo Credit: John Holcroft illustrator

VPNs are often the communication platform of choice for virtually any business that takes itself seriously, as they enable site-to-site connection with a service provider managing the end-to-end network. A VPN enables a computer that is located outside the corporate network to connect to that network as if it were inside the building, allowing access to internal resources such as file shares, applications, and printers. Beyond connectivity a VPNimplicitly means that a secure bridge has been created between any given device using that connection and your business server, which can be on your premises or in the cloud.

With our business VPN suite comes strengthened security, as the service is not limited to encryption. We also support all the latest security protocols including SSTP, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSTP, and OpenVPN.

The level of sophistication depends on the number of accounts and/ devices: our business VPN solution can consolidate all your team’s accounts into one master account, a convenient scenario in terms of having control, management and payment. We can allocate a whole subnet, so that you won’t be constrained as to having to whitelist multiple IPs or we can engineer a custom solution for your, in which we install a LDAP server. You will be given a password manager and VPN server and you’re free to run your own network to your preference. The business VPN solution allows multiple people to be logged in and proxying through a single IP address at one time, simultaneous connection for all on multiple devices, editing and monitor access, from a single, easy-to-use central admin area.

My IP.io Business VPN Benefits:

Multiple VPN Accounts

Dedicated Suppot

One Master Account

Discounts

To get started in full big business connectivity way, just connect with My IP.io and we’ll assign an account manager that will guide you through the whole installation process and assist you each step of the way for the whole period of your subscription. Once the number of accounts and connections are defined, we can set things in motion for you and your team.

VPN APPs: What are the most important features to have?

— -5 actionable tips that work for all — -

Photo Credit: Asaf Hanuka illustrator

Using an internet connection without a VPN in place has its shortcomings. Ranging from security issues to data throttling and data selling without consent, using a VPN to overcome these threats while online has become increasingly popular nowadays. It is safe to say that VPNs are a thing of mainstream culture today, rather than an exotic tool for all the right reasons.

A few years ago, adopting a VPNwas not the simplest of tasks for IT managers for a number of reasons which included: deployment, compatibility or interoperability issues and the expense of these systems. Things have changed. VPNs are now entering the mainstream, and many companies view them as a telecommunications necessity from both security and cost perspectives.

Originally designed to reduce the costs of connecting branch offices to the main office of a business, VPNs addressed the concern of high costs of leased lines and dedicated connections. The next matter-of-course step was to adapt VPNs to individual remote use, for internal network access and secure operations across the internet.

Widely used by companies to protect corporate data, Virtual Private Networks took over the personal data arena, as well, to such a degree that the use of a VPN has become an almost inalienable, “basic right”, for virtually any kind of private data exposed to the internet.
Beyond connectivity a VPN implicitly means that a secure bridge has been created between any given device using that connection and your business server and that can be on your premises or in the cloud.

FEATURES TO LOOK FOR:

Photo Credit: Gabriel Silveira illustrator

However, there is still a level of abstract that goes into a VPN connection, especially the ones designed via cloud, since it’s an intangible product and often little know in terms of what aVPN connection should offer as features. As VPN providers ourselves we listed some of the most important features that make the whole VPN concept a bit more streamlined. When choosing a VPN provider we also recommend reading reviews for specific feed back from people who already tried that VPN app.

* ENCRYPTION*

They say that a VPN is only as good as its encryption capabilities, but encryption in itself is not the simplest of topics. The terminology used to determine how secure a VPN connection is, can get very confusing, very quickly.

OPEN VPN CYPHERS

AES- 128, the Open VPN Cipher used by My IP.io, remains secure as far as the AES in general is regarded (AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard- right above AES-128 is the 256-bit keys — also known as the AES-256, which is basically the same encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government and used by security experts worldwide to protect classified information.)

The mathematics of the 128 bit AES goes to show that a billion billion years are required and a supercomputer for a brute force attack to crack it. With this in mind we say that 128 is pretty impressive on its own.
PPP

In a remote- access VPN, tunneling typically relies on Point-to-point Protocol (PPP). When searching for VPN apps you should come across one of these three protocols based on PPP:

  • L2F (Layer 2 Forwarding) — Developed by Cisco; uses any authentication scheme supported by PPP;
  • PPTP (Point-to-point Tunneling Protocol) — Supports 40-bit and 128-bit encryption and any authentication scheme supported by PPP;
  • L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) — Combines features of PPTP and L2F and fully supports IPSec; also applicable in site-to-site VPNs
Credit Photo: Adrià Fruitós — illustrator

SECURE SHELL — SSH

SSH, also known as Secure Socket Shell, is a network protocol that provides administrators with a secure way to access a remote computer. SSH also refers to the suite of three utilities that implement the protocol: — slogin, ssh, and scp — that are secure versions of the earlier UNIX utilities, rlogin, rsh, and rcp.
My IP.io comes bundled with a variety of VPN encryptionprotocols, supporting all the latest security protocols including SSTP, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSTP and 128bit –AES, OpenVPN cipher.

*AUTO-RECONNECT AND PORT FORWARDING*

One exciting feature is also port forwarding that enables you to connect to considerably more seeds/peers. The disadvantage of port forwarding is having an open port in your firewall, which always carries some security risk, so as a rule, it is best to have as few ports open as possible.

*TRANSPARENCY*

Always go with the VPN provider that is most transparent about things like: logging and the privacy policy they have in place.

*KILL SWITCH*

This is a feature that will make sure your IP Address isn’t accidentally exposed in case of a dropped connection with the VPN server. It can react virtually instantly, block your internet connection before your computer has a change to reconnect to the internet outside of your secure VPN tunnel.

*LOCATION SWITCH*

If you are more of the globetrotter typology than the security oriented one or a combination of both, then watching the Olympics live while they happen is a thing for you. For bypassing geo restrictions that your local networks might have for remote gaming or remote working, or listening to location-restricted streaming internet radio a good VPN means a location diverse server list you can chose from.

Geared with brand new locations from California to Florida, from United Kingdom to Germany or Australia to Japan, My IP.io comes with brand new locations to chose from.

Introducing a much more location diverse dedicated VPN service, our latest server acquisitions are located in:

  • USA California
  • USA Oregon
  • USA Ohio
  • USA North Virginia
  • USA Florida
  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Japan

Now that you know how to address the “location” aspect of a VPN, remember that My IP’s latest server locations were hand-picked to deliver the most reliable speed. We continuously update our server locations by analyzing numerous data points, among which: Connection success rate, Customer usage and Speed.

*SPEED*

It is a known fact that major mobile network operators purposely curtail the speed of your connection in order to limit the amount of data you consume. Sometimes as low as 32 kbps.

Using a VPN hides the kind of traffic you’re using, so ISPs can’t discriminate against high-bandwith ones — Netflix and possibly other streaming services like Hulu or YouTube can fall into the same category. Major companies like Verizon or Comcast have previously used these practices.

When choosing a location it is also important to check things like: Speed Index, Latency, and Download Speed, as these are all important factors.

This is what they mean:

Speed Index: shows how fast the VPN server is; the higher the number, the better the server.

Download Speed: it tells you how fast your VPN server is able to download information; also the higher, the better.

Latency: it’s the time it takes for a data packet to go from your device to reach the VPN.

You can also check the speed of your VPN here.

All in all, we can’t really imagine or sometimes even function outside the online paradigm, from accessing sensitive data at work, to hailing a cab, to social media, to online shopping, we’re putting a lot of corporate or personal data out there in what has become a too easy to be felt routine.

All this data is subjected to government snoop, hacking and “hacktivism” and evensimple browsing can be susceptible to data trawling. You don’t have to be a security advocate to understand the necessity of using a VPN while online, but simply a privacy minded person in a strictly monitored environment or in a completely open one, it makes no difference, really.

Credit Photo: John Holcroft illustrator

My IP.io, the platform of choice for many agile businesses, trusted brand by thousands of happy business owners.

MyIP.io is a self-managed VPNnetwork platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service , designed with the professional focus in mind. Our platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions:Personal,Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time.

Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.

WannaCry Ransomware Attack crippled a lot of data. Guess who’s not crying? VPN users

Photo Credit: www.behance.net

Last Friday, WannaCry “ransomware” cyber attack struck globally in what has become one of the fastest –spreading extortion campaigns on record. The virus infected more than 300,000 machines in 150 countries since Friday and the victim numbers continue to grow. In this very moment, someone could be clicking a link or activating macros in a malicious document. A few seconds later, the entire hard disk content, personal files and sensitive information, everything including cloud storage accounts synced with PCs could be locked for good. Or for a good tidy ransom. A pop up in bad graphic could then appear on screen asking for “cold hard cash” in return for a decryption key.

Photo Credit: egbudiwe.tumblr.com

If this is what you’re experiencing, well then tough luck. You’re device has been infected with WannaCry. Guess who’s not crying? All those people who are using a VPN. That thing you could never quite grasp the importance of. But wait! How is this even possible, how frequent these things can happen and could they happen to me? you ask.

Ok, let’s give some context and background to the story for clarity.

The first ransomware attack struck in 1989, almost 3 decades ago. It’s hard to fathom now, but the virus spread via floppy disks and involved sending $189 to a post office box in Panama. AIDS Trojan was the WannaCry ransomware from back in the day.

But ransomware attacks are believed to have broader implications in much more than just making money, as they have been used as tool in cyber battles of political substratum, the attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment — in retaliation for the comedy film “The Interview” is a telling example. The hacker attack was aimed at Sony Pictures for the satirical comedy directed by Seth Rogen, that involved a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Who knew a Seth Rogen film could get this “inflammable”, right?

Photo Credit: thehackernews.com

Well if we think that the attack is believed to being launched by Lazarus Group, allegedly a North Korean run hacking operation is starting to make sense.

Technical clues found in the code of WannaCry ransomware by researchers could link to the same North Korean group. However, no conclusive proof have been found for a clear conclusion in any of the aforementioned attacks.

Photo Credit: lobalriskinsights.com

If in the case of Sony Pictures cyber attack, the goal was to prevent the release of The Interview, a film that mocked a North Korean leader, in contrast WannaCry was wildly random infecting everything it could.

WannaCry didn’t seem to have a pecuniary goal, with more than 200,000 machines infected and around $70,000 paid in ransoms, it’s a terrible return.

Analysts are now turning to another hypothesis, maybe the ransom was a distraction for a political goal that has yet to clearly surface.

And here’s were things get really confusing and could take a really steep turn for the left so brace yourself for what I will reveal in the following of what the political implication could be

Photo Credit: www.ft.com

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft Corp, confirmed in a blog post on Sunday that WannaCry attack made use of a hacking tool developed by the NSA (US National Security Agency) that had leaked online in April. This pours fuel on the long running debate over espionage and cyber warfare conduct and software flaws best kept secrets.

Elevating the subject far beyond the immediate need to improve a computer defenses, the WannaCry attack has turned into a political debate in Europe and the United States with discussion of the role national governments play.

Since China was among the worst hit, it seemed unlikely to some that Lazarus was behind all this, as antagonizing North Korea strongest ally would not hold as a good strategy. Having been speculated as having an implication, Russia denied all accusations, but Putin did not waste the chance to draw attention on the NSA in the light of Smith’s revealing on the topic.

If this story is not in the realm of a true Matrix scenario unfolding, then I don’t know what is. But just as Neo is looking for a way to Zion, you too could be wondering for the same path.

Photo Credit: www.redbubble.com

These days data that is a day old can usually be recovered, but potentially losing real time data for even 24 hours can produce massive damage for a company, for example, just like a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Unless you have a back up, which companies usually have, but most people don’t, you can be faced with a cyber attack that could damage tones of done work, memories stored on picture or film or well put together playlists that took years to build.

Here are the most common infection methods used by cybercriminals.

· Spam email campaigns that contain malicious links or attachments

· Security exploits in vulnerable software;

· Internet traffic redirects to malicious websites;

· Legitimate websites that have malicious code injected in their web pages;

· Drive-by downloads;

· SMS messages (when targeting mobile devices);

· Botnets;

· Self-propagation (spreading from one infected computer to another)

SOLUTION:

Photo Credit: imgur.com

In all cases prevention is the best thing you can do. Considering how intricate these attacks are in the large scheme of things is better to take the matter into your own hands and not wait for government to regulate. Besides, do you really trust the government with your personal data? Just a question.

Remember we talked about VPNs at the beginning. Did you know that having a VPN in place can protect your computer from remote attackers? All attacks will stop into the VPN vendor.

Having a robust VPN to encrypt your personal data is nowadays, the only way to Zion.

Across the world, businesses use VPNs to connect to remote data centers, or for employees to connect remotely to the physical network of their workplace, while individuals can use VPNs to get access to network resources when they’re not physically on the same LAN (local area network), or as a method for securing and encrypting their information from the potential liabilities that lie ahead once exposed to unsecured networks such as public WiFis or hotspots.

Photo Credit: fliwave.com

REASONS YOU SHOULD START USING A VPN APP. NOW:

· PROTECTS YOUR DATA FROM REMOTE ATTACKERS

your internal data, sites, git repositories, banking credentials and all information will be coated in multiple layers of encryption;

· REMOTE ACCESS

as IT is being challenged to enable safe access to employees remotely by providing mobile VPN, secure email, encrypted containers and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), living outside the data security paradigm is simply not smart anymore, whether we’re talking about corporate or personal data;

· IP CAMOUFLAGE

A simple VPN download gets you a new location identity so that you can use geographically dispersed resources;

· BYPASSING FILTERS AND GEORESTRICTIONS

Bypassing Internet censorship in countries where censorship is applied;

· SHARING FILES

You can share files and sensitive information inside a secured group away from prying eyes;

MyIP.io is a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service , designed with the professional focus in mind. Our platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions:Personal,Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time.

Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.

MyIP.io is the result of the craftsmanship of our engineers, with many years of experience supporting large-scale, custom deployments for businesses , telecommunications companies, multi-service operators and enterprises.” Dave Wilson, CEO My IP.io

Congress sold you out, what now?  Simple guide to online data privacy

statue of Cain by Henry Vidal, fragment, Tuileries Garden, Paris, France.

Privacy is a fundamental human right, declared so by the United Nations but don’t rest assured Congress is about to shake that up.

An inglorious attempt to block online privacy regulations to go into effect was made last week by the US Senate and this week’s House decision. Rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission or FCC to ask for permission before selling your browsing data, even though passed in October of last year, under the Obama administration, had not yet gone into effect.

Data collection and data selling is nothing new under the sun for your ISP, so continuing business as usual, selling your data to the highest bidder without bothering to ask you first, is a real privilege. One very particular privilege that sounds more like stepping on one of our most fundamental rights: the right to privacy.

#WHATSTHEDRAMA

Photo Credits: simplyclassywatches.tumblr.com

If you’re anything like me, the whole ordeal sounds a bit exhausting and futile since you don’t have “state secrets to hide”. But having nothing to hide doesn’t make a good case for allowing the abuse here, does it? nor does it set the premise to influence change for the better in a digital world becoming less and less private.

Your exact physical location from minute to minute, the constant monitoring, all the websites you visit, your banking details or social security number, clicks, searches, app downloads and video streams, shopping hobbits, porn preferences and even the content of chats and emails fall under the above litigious case. Sure, you’re going to appear as an ID, a long sequence of numbers, but isn’t that just the coldest of comforts? More, isn’t the social profiling that’s the most dangerous, not to mention annoying? And to add to the conundrum, how is it not having to give consent over sharing this information ever going to lead to a greater good? Can we still talk about thinks like the right to privacy then, when our boundaries have shifted so much we can no longer see where we took the left turn?

Rollback of FCC regulations could mean creating a loophole, to put more “in the gray” a matter that’s already debatable, so the next logical thing is to expect those who will take advantage of these loopholes. Even if we step aside from the bias of politics, regardless if this is a matter of democratic or republican enforcement, where do we, as individuals, draw the line?

The upcoming rule of FCC was going to make it slightly more difficult for your ISP to collect and sell your data to third parties like advertisers, by requiring a customer opt-in. This new privacy rule was set to take effect in December of this year, had it not been for the recent House and Senate vote to remove it.

Already passing the Senate, the companion legislation raises legitimate privacy concerns and President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill.

But how was this even possible and who’s benefitting off of it, you wonder? Passed in 1996 to allow Congress to overrule regulations created by government agencies, The Congressional Review Act (CRA) had been used prior to 2017. Once. With the new administration however, that took over in January, CRA has proven to be very lucrative, being successfully used 3 times to overturn things like environmental regulations and this time online privacy regulations.
Benefitting at the end of the scheme the rollback creates, stand four big companies as speculated: AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and Comcast, all proven to have previously used “in the grey” practices of online personal data collection.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OPT IN AND OPT OUT

Photo Credits: leckte.tumblr.com

there will be voices that will say, there’s no big difference between the opt in policy proposed by democrats versus the opt out advocated by republicans. Don’t believe them, there’s immense difference between the two.

Requesting people to opt in for the collecting and selling of their data to advertisers is reasonably expected to bring infinitely less people volunteering for such a cause, than collecting of data by default. Having to go through exhausting opt out processes will surely make a lot of people put up with the abuse, simply because let’s face it, we have better things to do with our time than constantly monitor our ISPs privacy policies. I would rather get myself a VPN then set a google alert for my ISP’s name and privacy.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Photo Credits: mashable.com

No longer an exotic tool, VPNs are now entering the mainstream and given the context it’s easy to understand why.

Simply put, when you’re using a VPN, all your data travels through a tunnel encrypted from end to end. In other words, your ISP will not be able to make sense of your data, since you’ll have all your online data happen elsewhere, not going through your ISP servers and encrypted all the while.

But it’s not just your ISP that keeps track of your browsing data, it’s your cell phone provider too, most apps, operating systems, and other services do the same.

Smartphones with preinstalled tracking software, secretly bundled with tracking files are sold everyday, while some companies try to leverage the very problem they created by charging extra for privacy.

Having a VPN in place is the smart approach to getting around all this. Think at a VPN as the middleman between you and the internet, where your ISP can only see a bunch of encrypted traffic. And since your VPN knows as much as your ISP would, it’s very important to choose a reliable one with a zero log policy and a strong encryption.

REASONS YOU SHOULD NOT GET A FREE VPN

The phrase “There is no such thing as a free lunch” made popular by Milton Friedman back ’75, remains of great economic relevance today in describing things like “opportunity costs”. However enticing, free VPNs seldom defeat the purpose of what a Virtual private network should be.

· IT AIN’T A FREE LUNCH

VPN service implies having servers in various countries. The maintenance or renting costs can amount a few figures, depending on volume.

· SELLING USERS BANDWIDTH

“When the product is free. You are the product”-

Photo Credits: violettinder.com

using their users as servers by converting them into a botnet, some VPN providers have been revealed, while others admit in their lawyer-eese terms of service, they can sell your bandwidth to other companies.

In other words, by searching a bargain you can be faced with two main issues:

1. Slower computer and internet connection: as you’re sharing your bandwidth and processor with others;

2. Higher Security Risks: assuming responsibility for what other users do online, that can be tracked down back to your IP.

A good VPN will have its own servers and encryption protocols designed for it, reducing possible security failures to a minimum. Free VPN services are often an open door to malware and can be easily used by scammers.

In the FREE vs. PAID matter, its is important to understand that most legit businesses will offer 7 days of free trial, but a free connection on a indefinite period of time is sure to get its profit elsewhere; in ways that can harm your security and defeat the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

We suggest you do yourself a favor and invest a good 5 bucks for a reliable VPN like the dedicated VPN you can get from My IP.io or from another reliable provider.

As a general rule, mundane but incredibly important, reading the company’s Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy, before buying a vpn service is a thing you should really consider. Ideally, these documents are in plain English and not lawyer-eese

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • HTTPS : -makes it harder for your ISP to see what you’re doing on any web site, as they can only see that you’re on YouTube, for example, but not what video you’re viewing.
  • Disabling cookies or installing an ad blocker: — prevents tracking by conventional ad networks;
  • Opting out your ISP
    use a different ISP. Not all ISPs want to sell their user’s data. In fact, a list of some of the smaller players — including Sonic, Cruzio Internet and Etheric Networks — wrote a letter opposing the repeal of the FCC’s privacy rules. The only problem is that they’re not as wide-spread as the big players and you might not have the luxury to chose a smaller company.

Having a robust VPN to encrypt your personal data is nowadays, the only way to Zion.

And as we’re not looking to exhaust the “hide everything I do” reasoning; we mainly believe that a VPN is not paramount to activity that borders on illegal, but the very symbol of our right to the privacy acumen.