Smart Living How One Click Can Keep Your Information Safe on Public Wi-Fi

02:30  06 december  2019
02:30  06 december  2019 Source:   rd.com

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For more information about virtual private networks, refer to the How to Use VPN on Your Mac tutorial. You can use a cheap virtual private server like DigitalOcean as I used my own server on DreamHost (see below) and the app asked for my password when I clicked Test Connection to Your Server!

Connecting to a public Wi - Fi network can put you at risk. Here's how to minimize the damage. You can access Wi - Fi in more places than ever, enabling you to keep in touch or catch up with work from wherever A public Wi - Fi network is inherently less secure than your personal, private one , because

Technology brings us a lot of amazing things. Connection to people on the other side of the world, the ability to shop for anything we could ever possibly need from our smartphones, and even the opportunity to manage our finances, pay our bills, and transfer money from our banks. And we can do all of it within seconds. But with those benefits comes some serious risks. Doing so much online opens us up to potential attacks—including theft and the abuse of personal information. That's where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) comes in. Learn these other ways to protect yourself online, too.

What is a VPN?

"A VPN is an online service that allows consumers to encrypt all their web traffic as it comes and goes from their devices," says Ray Walsh, a technology expert at ProPrivacy. "This secures the data in an impenetrable tunnel that stops anybody from being able to analyze or steal their data and web-browsing habits." In short, it's the key to maintaining your privacy and safety.

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Public Wi - Fi networks—like those in coffee shops or hotels—are not nearly as safe as you think. First , let's start by talking about what settings and apps can keep you safe . Make sure these are enabled anytime HTTPS Everywhere Keeps Your Personal Information Safe on Over 1 ,400 Sites

Before you send personal information over your laptop or smartphone on a public wireless network in a coffee shop, library, airport, hotel, or other public place, see if your information will be protected. Many establishments have Wi - Fi connectivity.

Invisible surfing

According to Amy Smith, a senior technology analyst at Fit Small Business, a VPN is a bit like a personal cloaking device. "When you use a VPN, it encrypts your data, so it's like you're surfing the web invisibly," she explains. "Your IP address is masked, too. So if there are any local network attacks with the purpose of stealing data, you're much more protected." Speaking of going incognito, just how "private" is private browsing mode?

Who should get a VPN?

There are three main reasons a person might want to consider getting a VPN, according to Austin Norby, director of cyber initiatives at Blue Star Software.

  1. For connecting geographically distributed networks into a virtual/private network.
  2. For those who don't want their Internet Service Provider (ISP) to be able to see their Internet traffic. "This does not prevent someone from eventually seeing your traffic, only those in between the two VPN endpoints," says Norby. "This may or may not be a legal use of a VPN, depending on where you are in the world."
  3. For those whose ISP prevents access to certain sites or content but allows for VPN traffic. "This can be used to fake a geographic presence somewhere else in the world," he notes, adding that this may be another gray legal area in some locations.

Because the last two possible uses are potentially illegal, depending on where you live, Norby says of both points: "This is not legal advice or permission. Please consult with a lawyer in your area before attempting this kind of usage."

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Using public Wi - Fi has inherent risks that are greater because of the ease in which compromises can occur. Any activity that requires you to type in a The very best way to stay safe in public places is to use your own cellular connection by turning your smartphone into a hotspot. Be sure you turn off your

Before you send personal information over your laptop or smartphone on a public wireless network in a coffee shop, library, airport, hotel, or other public place, see if your information will be protected. Many establishments have Wi - Fi connectivity.

What can a VPN protect users from?

"A VPN can protect people against badly implemented public Wi-Fi hotspots and purposefully set up 'evil twin' hotspots designed to help steal people's data," Walsh explains. "A VPN also stops local network administrators that are hosting Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, hotels, airports, or elsewhere from invading your privacy by monitoring the websites that you visit."

And you're not just being paranoid if you want that extra privacy protection while surfing on public networks. "It is possible for Wi-Fi-hosting venues to collect data about consumers, which is later sold in bulk to third parties such as data brokers," says Walsh. "This means that any data amassed about consumers while they use public Wi-Fi could potentially be sold on for profit and end up in a database." A VPN can prevent that.

Additional protection

Some VPNs can provide a little extra protection, if you know what you're looking for. "Some VPNs might provide a service that scans for known malware or exploitation attempts in the traffic and removes that code or content and blocks those connections," says Norby. But you can't expect that from every VPN. "This is not inherent in VPN technology and requires that the VPN service provider is scanning your unencrypted traffic, which does tend to violate the principles some users are looking for when using a VPN—namely privacy," he explains.

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5 Tips to Keep Your Data Safe on Public Wi - Fi . - Transactional information about how you interact with us, including purchases, inquiries, customer account information , billing and credit card information , organizational details, transaction and correspondence history, and information about

Free Wi - Fi is a windfall, especially if you’re working from the library or airport, or if you just want to Public Wi - Fi networks have been known to inject ads while you browse, and we all know how bad Chrome/Firefox/Opera: Using HTTPS is essential for keeping your personal information safe

How expensive is a VPN?

"While there are free VPN offerings, many are capturing all your information and are barely more than thinly veiled malware," says Dave Hatter, a software engineer and cybersecurity consultant who currently works for intrustIT. If you want a VPN that will truly protect you, he says it's best to stick with software from well-known, reputable vendors such as Symantec and Nord. "You can get solid, quality VPN offerings very inexpensively, and it's much less expensive than the cost of identity theft or having your bank account drained," he adds. Currently, Nord has a VPN deal for $3.49 per month for three years. By the way, make sure you know these 12 signs someone just stole your identity.

VPN limitations

"There has been a lot of hype recently about VPN services and exactly what they can or cannot do," Norby says. And that's why he thinks you need to know about the following claims and limitations:

  • Traffic is only encrypted from VPN-endpoint to VPN-endpoint. This means that if you use servers to create the VPN tunnel and you must direct traffic through the VPN server in order to travel the tunnel, all traffic between your computer and the VPN server is visible. All traffic after the VPN destination server and the actual destination is visible (unless other precautions are taken).
  • When using a VPN service, the VPN service provider has the technical ability to read every single packet that traverses their network and log it for later consumption or distribution to ad services and/or local law enforcement. Whether or not this will happen is usually stated in their legal documents...which few people read. If privacy is of high importance to you, make sure to read those documents and understand exactly how your data will be used as it traverses the VPN service provider network. And remember that even if they say they won't use your information, they have the ability to do so. Factor such possibilities into your risk calculation.
  • Antivirus or anti-malware services offered by the VPN service provider require them to scan your traffic. They can remove the malicious content from your traffic and that's great. However, if they can remove content from your traffic, they can also add it back in, including malicious content, custom ads, custom tracking, and so on. Again, include that in your risk calculations.

How can the average person find the right VPN?

"The best way to get a VPN is to visit a legitimate privacy advocacy website that reviews and tests VPNs like ProPrivacy.com," says Walsh. "Here, consumers can access honest information and guides designed to help them find a VPN provider that is suited to their needs and get it up and running problem-free." Of course, if you've got children, you'll want to take additional steps to keep your kids safe online.

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Here’s what you need to know about using free public wi - fi and how you can keep yourself safe . In your eagerness to get an internet connection, it can be tempting to click through whatever welcome A big chunk of wi - fi networks are set up in public places by marketing firms who are willing to give

Public Wi - Fi can be found in popular public places like airports, coffee shops, malls, restaurants You may think you’re selecting the correct one when you click on “GoodNyte Inn,” but you haven’t. The best way to know your information is safe while using public Wi - Fi is to use a virtual private network

Going international

While there are several VPN providers with servers in the United States, if you're worried about the U.S. government's prying eyes, you can choose a VPN with servers located in other countries, says Smith. "NordVPN is in Panama, CyberGhost VPN offers servers in 112 different locations, and VyprVPN Services has jurisdiction in Switzerland," she notes. "For the best security of your data, do a bit of research into the location to ensure that your data is locked down thanks to specific privacy laws."

A few final notes

"VPNs are popular all over the world because their advantages are universal to all people," Walsh explains. "Online freedom and privacy are considered two of the most fundamental human rights in modern society, because the ability to access news and educational materials—as well as the ability to communicate freely both locally and globally—are vital to maintaining autonomy and self-determination both politically and within civil society."

Plus, he adds, "VPNs are one of the few online services that allow consumers to escape tyranny, political oppression, and unfair corporate surveillance by actively protecting their data and therefore their digital footprint from unwanted surveillance. For this reason, privacy advocates consider VPNs one of the primary tools for gaining and maintaining a healthy online presence." Next, check out these everyday things that pose huge security risks.

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A public Wi - Fi network is inherently less secure than your personal, private one , because you don’t know who set it up, or who else is connecting to it. These Wi - Fi networks are likely less suspect because the people and companies operating them are already getting money out of you.

Using public Wi - Fi is like having a conversation in a public place: Others can overhear you. If you don't take precautions, information your devices send over a public Wi - Fi network goes out in clear text — and anyone else on the network could easily take a look at How to stay safe on public Wi - Fi .

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