Items tagged with VPN

Is your VPN truly private? A recent study revealed that many VPN services are owned by companies that are based in China and Pakistan. User data could potentially be shared or sold to governments with notoriously poor privacy laws. VPN Pro recently investigated the VPN market and uncovered quite a bit of hidden information. At least 97 VPN services are owned or operated by only 23 companies. Their findings are concerning for a variety of legal, personal, privacy and security reasons. First, 29 or roughly 30% of the world’s top VPN services are owned by companies based in China. Another 7 VPN services are owned by Gaditek, a Pakistani company. Many national governments could potentially... Read more...
One year ago today on April Fools’ Day, Cloudflare launched its1.1.1.1 DNS service that was aimed at helping to speed up DNS requests, improve privacy, and give users an overall boost in internet performance. The 1.1.1.1 DNS service is still operational, and has become the second largest public DNS service behind #1 Google, while offering half the latency. Back in November, Cloudflare launched its 1.1.1.1 app to bring its speedy and privacy-centric DNS service to Android and iOS users, and today it is expanding the app with the addition of Virtual Private Networking (VPN) functionality. The company is calling this VPN “Warp”, and it encrypts all of your data, not just traffic... Read more...
Android users that are looking for a browser other than Chrome and are concerned with privacy may want to try Opera 51 for Android. Opera for Android adds  a free VPN service to allow users to mask their location for more privacy and to thwart web tracking tools. Opera VPN, a standalone VPN app for Android and iOS, launched in 2016, but the app was discontinued last year. Bundling the VPN into the Android browser means that Android users who have used the dedicated VPN app in the past can go with the browser and take advantage of the Opera VPN again. A VPN is also wrapped into the desktop version of Opera. The VPN feature is baked into Opera 51 for Android and was available in the beta... Read more...
Facebook just can't put itself in a good light lately. A new report has shined a bright light on a Facebook policy that was paying people to install something called the Facebook Research VPN. Facebook allegedly paid teens and and adult users to install the VPN, which allowed the company to collect all the user's phone and web activity at all times.  Facebook had a similar app called Onavo Protect that was banned by Apple last summer. The new Facebook Research VPN app is said to potentially violate Apple privacy policy, and was available for Android devices as well. Facebook admitted to TechCrunch that it was running the research program and had since 2016. The social network was paying... Read more...
Netflix is a textbook example of a company pivoting to stay relevant with a changing landscape. At one time solely a DVD-by-mail subscription service, Netflix is now much more popular in the streaming video space, and had even spun off its DVD-by-mail business into Qwikster. It operates in more than 100 countries, though the same selection of movies and TV shows is not available in each location. That is where virtual private networks (VPNs) come into play. VPNs are primarily used to enable a more secure connection and are particularly useful when sending and receiving data over a shared or public network. The short explanation is that it uses encryption to keep a user's data away from prying... Read more...
There was once a time when the thought of someone vying for anonymity online may have seemed a little silly. Some may have even accused those folks of being conspiracy theorists or perhaps a card-carrying member of the "Tinfoil Hat" brigade. However, time and the march of technology sure has a way of changing opinions, especially when it comes to security and privacy. Today, it's a well-established fact that governments, and others, snoop on citizens. It doesn't matter if you think you're the most uninteresting person on the planet; you're likely being spied on, even if just incidentally, for marketing purposes, though hackers and cyber criminals are very much also on the rise as well. If you... Read more...
Internet privacy is kind of like a VCR or CD player, in that one day our kids will ask us “you used to have that?” It’s staggering how much of our online activity is tracked, catalogued, and used for a wide array of purposes, most of them related to commerce. But if you’re a dissident, journalist, someone who lives in a country where the Internet is restricted, or just want to browse the web without being tracked, your options are becoming increasingly limited. It’s likely the situation will only get worse in the future, as companies devise more sophisticated ways of tracking our every move online. The Tor project was designed to combat this scourge. Tor is a freely accessible network of global... Read more...
Netflix spread its wings earlier this month, expanding its global footprint with an additional 130 international markets. While that news can be seen as a big win for overseas customers that have long waited for the ability to stream Netflix content, there are new restrictions being handed down to ensure that Netflix keeps its content providers happy. With that huge global expansion comes a big crackdown on people that are using unauthorized methods to gain access to Netflix content that wouldn’t otherwise be available in their current country due to licensing restrictions. That means people using a VPN or proxy to access a Netflix account (even if a U.S. user is accessing his or her account... Read more...
As most subscribers will attest, the HBO Now app is pretty awesome. It's easy to use, isn't saddled with bugs, and offers access to all of HBO's content, including Game of Thrones. However, only paying customers living in the U.S. are eligible to play. Some people in other countries have found ways around the territorial restriction by way of using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), but HBO is savvy to the situation and is attempting to crack down on the practice. Not to be confused with HBO Go, a complimentary add-on to HBO cable and satellite subscribers, HBO Now became a standalone app earlier this year. That open the floodgates for ineligible subscribers living outside the U.S.... Read more...
One of the contentious issues that's swirled around the NSA since whistleblower Edward Snowden began leaking information on the organization's capabilities is exactly what it can -- or can't -- do. Snowden has stated that as a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton, "I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President if I had a personal email." The NSA has strongly denied these claims,  arguing that it had neither the technological capability to engage in such monitoring nor the authority to do so. The authority question may be up for discussion, but new leaks from The Guardian today have blown gaping... Read more...
Verizon's Risk Team has published a blog post on a mind-boggling security adventure (it's the only term that really fits) detailing just how poorly some IT workers -- including those working for "critical infrastructure" companies -- understand the meaning of the term. The saga began when a US-based company contacted the VRT, asking for their help in tracing a puzzling VPN connection. The company had conducted an audit of its own VPN and found a sustained, regular connection being maintained from Shenyang, China. That's bad. Worse, the company had deployed a two-factor authentication system that used physical RSA keyfobs. Someone was logging in to their system despite this precaution. The developer... Read more...