Android, Apple, Enterprise, GDPR, Internet Security, iPhone, Mobile, OS X

Do I need a VPN for 2018?

With a growing concern for privacy on the internet – many users are asking the question, “Do I need a…

With a growing concern for privacy on the internet – many users are asking the question, “Do I need a VPN for 2018?”. In this article we aim to give you some basic knowledge of VPNs in relation to your privacy and security online.

 

What is a VPN?

VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network.

A VPN creates a secure network connection over a public network such as the internet.

Corporations, Government agencies and Schools use VPNs to create a secure network over the internet to allow users access to resources as if they were physically at the main office location.

As it is a Private network, users need to authenticate with a unique identity and password for extra security.

In the context of this article a VPN is a 3rd party provider that allows you access to their network to appear as if you are accessing the internet from their location.

 

So why do I need a VPN?

There are many reasons why an average user should make use of a VPN.

The most common reason is people who simply want the privacy of knowing their ISP is unable to see what they are doing online. By using a VPN for everything they do online, this user knows that no one is able to pry into their communications.

Bit torrent users are big advocates of VPN usage. Whether they are downloading legal or illegal content (such as moves/tv shows) many Bit torrent users don’t want to become part of an ISPs list just because they have a bit torrent client active.

Another reason would be if you are making extensive use of free/paid wifi locations around the world. By making use of a VPN you are ensuring that any data that you transmit is securely encrypted and can’t be accessed by unscrupulous hotspot operators.

An increasingly more common use for VPNs is spoofing your location for geo-locked content. Many Netflix users are using VPNs to access content from other countries, e.g. a UK user spoofing their location as the US to access a much larger content library.

Some VPN users do so because it allows them to evade censorship by networks, such as schools, work or even your ISPs. Using a VPN allows the user to bypass any restrictions that these networks may have with standard content filters.

 

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a VPN?

Simply put, instead of accessing the internet directly through your ISP, you access the internet through an encrypted/secure VPN tunnel.

Without a VPN, when you access any information online it goes through your ISPs servers. This allows your ISP to see anything and everything that you do online.

With a VPN, you connect to a server run by the VPN provider. This is done through an encrypted connection. By doing so the only information your ISP can see is fully encrypted. This makes it impossible for them to monitor any of your activity.

When connected to a VPN server, your web browsing/activities all appear to be done from the IP address of that VPN server. As mentioned previously, this means that your physical location is also hidden as well as any data you access.

A major disadvantage of using a VPN is that your internet speeds will slow down due to the encrypting/decrypting of all the information you access online. This does use some extra processing power but nothing too noticeable on modern technology.

Using a VPN also adds extra hops on your data’s journey through the internet, this simply means your data has to travel further and therefore slows down your connection slightly.

Probably the biggest concern for users who sign up for a VPN service is that the VPN provider can access their internet activity instead. This moves the privacy concern away from their ISP to another company. This is why users should be very careful when selecting a VPN provider as we detail further on in this article.

 

Is using a VPN legal?

The vast majority of countries have laws in place that mean users have the legal right to privacy. Therefore VPN services are very much legal in these countries.

Very few countries, such as China and Iraq, have banned usage of VPN services.  Some countries such as Iran have made it a requirement that the only legal VPNs are those registered and approved by the government, therefore making them virtually useless.

 

Free or Paid?

It is widely believed that using a free VPN is a bad idea for security. Running a VPN service is not free and therefore most free services will not be as secure as a well-reviewed paid service. A free VPN service has to pay their bills somehow and this is likely through handing off users browsing data for a price!

Just because a VPN provider offers a paid service does not automatically mean they are secure and trustworthy.

 

How do I choose a VPN for 2018?

Choosing a VPN means considering all the things a VPN service can offer. As always, doing your own research on all of these subjects is highly recommended, there is no such thing as a perfect VPN that does it all!

Below are some topics to consider when choosing a VPN for 2018.

  • Price – How much do you want to spend?
  • Speed – Many VPNs offer a free trial where you can speed test the connection.
  • Privacy – Does the VPN provider keep logs?
  • Support – Is the customer support quick to respond, do they provide good answers?
  • Software – Do they offer a VPN client for all platforms (Windows, OS X, Android, iOS)?
  • Servers – Is there a large geographical selection of servers to choose from?

 

Recommendations for a VPN for 2018

Here are some recommendations for reputable VPN providers. As mentioned above you should always do your own research with your specific needs to find the most suitable VPN!

 

PrivateInternetAccess (PIA) – https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

  • No logs
  • Accepts Bitcoin payment for anonymity focused users
  • Kill switch and DNS leak protection

 

ExpressVPN – https://www.expressvpn.com/

  • Offers 94 geographical locations
  • 256bit encryption
  • Excellent rated support

 

NordVPN – https://nordvpn.com/

  • 61 countries
  • Excellent rated support
  • No logs policy

 

PrivateVPN – https://privatevpn.com/

  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Well rated mobile apps

 

That One Privacy Site (www.thatoneprivacysite.net) offers a tool that allows you to compare a massive selection of VPN providers – https://thatoneprivacysite.net/simple-vpn-comparison-chart/

Be the first to write a comment.

Leave a Reply

Android

Zuckerberg’s Privacy Manifesto is Actually About Messaging

A Privacy-Minded Vision for Social Networking” and thought it was either a deathbed conversion, a cynical ploy to avoid regulation and reassure users, or even just an absurd musing that the company has no intention of carrying out (much like the “Clear History” feature it announced almost a year ago, which has yet to materialize).I…


A Privacy-Minded Vision for Social Networking” and thought it was either a deathbed conversion, a cynical ploy to avoid regulation and reassure users, or even just an absurd musing that the company has no intention of carrying out (much like the “Clear History” feature it announced almost a year ago, which has yet to materialize).

I know I thought, at various points, all three of the above, and lots of other things to boot.

It’s even possible that you took Mr. Zuckerberg at his word, as former Microsoft wunderman Steven Sinofsky did, and credited him with realizing which way the winds are blowing and moving there with thoughtfulness and haste.

In fact, Zuckerberg’s essay was likely about none of those things, nor was it about privacy at all (more on that later).

It was about WeChat, WhatsApp, and iMessage.

Zuckerberg’s post, minus the PR, was a product road map. It’s aimed at adapting his business to counter one of the only remaining competitive threats to Facebook and Instagram: messaging. And it was a clever way to dress up that pivot as a consumer-friendly privacy play. Win, win!

Molly Wood (@mollywood) is an Ideas contributor at WIRED and the host and senior editor ofMarketplace Tech, a daily national radio broadcast covering the business of technology. She has covered the tech industry at CNET,The New York Times, and in various print, television, digital and audio formats for nearly 20 years. (Ouch.)

Facebook, the core product, is collapsing. I know that seems like a strong statement given the company’s 2 billion users, but, in fact, the News Feed is a wasteland of reposted memories, divisive propaganda, and the occasional baby picture. US users are abandoning it by the millions, user growth is flat, and personal sharing has been on the decline for years.

Regulation and even antitrust investigations are looming. Even a handful of advertisers are starting to move on, and the company’s brand reputation is sinking fast—a recent Axios poll put it at 94 out of 100, ahead of only the likes of the US government, Trump.org, Phillip Morris, and Wells Fargo.

Yes, Instagram looks like the next best hope for the empire, and certainly a lot of users leaving Facebook are landing on Insta. But it’s still a distant second in terms of usage, and while Facebook is bullishly pushing advertisers toward Stories, they bring in far less revenue than News Feed ads. Also, as Instagram’s product roadmap starts to look more and more like Facebook’s, the app could get a lot less appealing.

And if you really look at what teens, in particular, are doing, itincludessocial media, but by almost every measure, they’re texting. The biggest threat to Facebook and Instagram is messaging, and that’s why, if you strip away all the window dressing about privacy, this is the paragraph that matters most:

“Today we already see that private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication. There are a number of reasons for this. Many people prefer the intimacy of communicating one-on-one or with just a few friends. People are more cautious of having a permanent record of what they’ve shared. And we all expect to be able to do things like payments privately and securely.”

China’s WeChat is the model that Zuckerberg almost certainly has in mind. It has about a billion users; combines messaging and calling with apps, payments, communications, and commerce; and essentially functions as a proxy for the internet for its users—who spend well over an hour a day us

Read More

Continue Reading
GDPR

Data intelligence: why Data Protection Day is becoming increasingly important

The problem with data, whether it’s a report, an email, a spreadsheet or any other file type, is that internal personnel have to deal with it, typically through the uses of multiple applications in different locations with no real control. This raises significant questions around how this data is stored, shared and analysed.Every business must…


The problem with data, whether it’s a report, an email, a spreadsheet or any other file type, is that internal personnel have to deal with it, typically through the uses of multiple applications in different locations with no real control. This raises significant questions around how this data is stored, shared and analysed.

Every business must consider where and how their data is stored and shared, and make sure their processes are GDPR-compliant.

  • Satya Nadella calls for global GDPR
  • Majority of companies still aren’t GDPR-compliant
  • Tim Cook praises GDPR, warns about “weaponised data”

Managing data

The first aspect to look at is the encryption level. Low standards of encryption make it easy to hack sensitive information. However, even a system that has bank-level security encryption is only as strong as the permission levels assigned to the people who need to handle the data. For example, even if there are platforms preventing spreadsheet data leakage, one can still take a picture of a computer screen.

Accountability and data governance are becoming more and more scrutinised. Consider this case: British bank Barclays sent an offer to purchase another firm in 2008 that hid—instead of deleted—nearly 200 spreadsheet cells, resulting in unneces

Read More

Continue Reading
Internet Security

Can predictive analytics be made safe for humans?

Massive-scale predictive analytics is a relatively new phenomenon, one that challenges both decades of law as well as consumer thinking about privacy. As a technology, it may well save thousands of lives in applications like predictive medicine, but if it isn’t used carefully, it may prevent thousands from getting loans, for instance, if an underwriting…


Massive-scale predictive analyticsis a relatively new phenomenon, one that challenges both decades of law as well as consumer thinking about privacy.

As a technology, it may well save thousands of lives in applications like predictive medicine, but if it isn’t used carefully, it may prevent thousands from getting loans, for instance, if an underwriting algorithm is biased against certain users.

I chatted with Dennis Hirsch a few weeks ago about the challenges posed by this new data economy. Hirsch is a professor of law at Ohio State and head of its Program on Data and Governance. He’s also affiliated with the university’s Risk Institute.

“Data ethics is the new form of risk mitigation for the algorithmic economy,” he said. In a post-Cambridge Analytica world, every company has to assess what data it has on its customers and mitigate the risk of harm. How to do that, though, is at the cutting edge of the new field of data governance, which investigates the processes and policies through which organizations manage their data.

You’re reading the Extra Crunch Daily. Like this newsletter?Subscribe for free to follow all of our discussions and debates.

“Traditional privacy regulation asks whether you gave someone notice and given them a choice,” he explains. That principle is the bedrock for Europe’s GDPR law, and for the patchwork of laws in the U.S. that protect privacy. It’s based around the simplistic idea that a datum — such as a customer’s address — shouldn’t be shared with, say, a marketer without that user’s knowledge. Privacy is about protecting the address book, so to speak.

The rise of “predictive analytics,” though, has completely demolished such privacy legislation. Predictive analytics is a fuzzy term, but essentially means interpreting raw data and drawing new conclusions through inference. This is the story of the famous Target data crisis, where the retailer recommended pregnancy-related goods to women who had certain patterns of purchases. As Charles Duhigg explained at the time:

Many shoppers purchase soap and cotton balls, but when someone suddenly starts buying lots of scent-free soap and extra-big bags of cotton balls, in addition to hand sanitizers and washcloths, it signals they could be getting close to

Read More

Continue Reading
Internet Security

Atrium, Justin Kan’s legal tech startup, launches a fintech and blockchain division

Atrium, the legal startup co-founded by Justin Kan of Twitch fame, is jumping into the blockchain space today. The company has raised plenty of money — including $65 million from a16z last September — so rather than an ICO or token sale, this is a consultancy business. Atrium uses machine learning to digitize legal documents and develop applications…


Atrium, the legal startup co-founded by Justin Kan of Twitch fame, is jumping into the blockchain space today.

The company has raised plenty of money — including $65 million from a16z last September — so rather than an ICO or token sale, this is a consultancy business. Atrium uses machine learning to digitize legal documents and develop applications for client use, and now it is officially applying that to fintech and blockchain businesses.

The division has been operating quietly for months and the scope of work that it covers includes the legality and regulatory concerns around tokens, but also business-focused areas including token utility, tokenomics and general blockchain tech.

“We have a bunch of clients wanting to do token offerings and looking into the legality,” Kan told TechCrunch in an interview. “A lot of our advisory work is around the token offering and how it operates.”

The commitment is such that the company is even accepting Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash for payments through crypto processing service BitPay.

While the ICO market has quietened over the past year following huge valuation losses market-wide, up to 90 percent in some cases with many ICO tokens now effectively worthless, there’s a new antic

Read More

Continue Reading