There are many cyber security issues today. Some of the concern focuses on Governmental snooping, as though these things apply to the majority of everyday citizens. However, to be perfectly honest, if you’re not doing anything illegal — such as terrorism, hacking, media piracy — then government oversight is the least of your problems in relation to surfing the World Wide Web (www).
Politicians argue over things like the Feinstein / Burr backdoor, yet using the Web has far more local security issues over which the average user has to be worried, like their personal information being intercepted and used against them. The most damaging of all these is your email account. From that, the level of fraud against you is unlimited.
It is a myth that you can use the www anonymously. In fact, anyone who claims anonymity services, run, do not walk, away from them. There is no such thing as online anonymity. Not even Tor, a browser used to access the dark web, can make you anonymous.
Unsure what a VPN does? Don’t worry; most people have no idea.
VPN’s do not make you anonymous online. They encrypt your connection between you and everything you do online, scrambling the information from prying eyes. They add a true level of privacy many think is present yet is not without a VPN. VPN’s are an essential tool for protecting yourself online for today’s growing electronic crime.
Think about it like this. If you use Google or Facebook, any free service online, then you’re the product. Did you really think you were getting to use these services for free? You are the product. Social media, search engines, email, apps and websites are all tracking information of some degree. Have a read of this article, 5 places you’re being tracked online, to understand just how much is being gathered about you.
Using a VPN stops all of this happening.
VPN’s have added benefits in bypassing your Internet Service Provider (ISP) logging, throttling speeds, email restrictions and more. VPN’s open your connection to the www without limits or imposition. ISP’s in Australia log your www activity for 2 years; the US and UK log 1 year. These are active data retention periods happening right now. Use a VPN and you remove all of this.
How do hackers access my connection?
It’s called Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), a networking technology that inspects the content of data packets as they travel over the web. It can filter or throttle your connection based upon the data content. DPI is similar to a wiretap on your telephone, but it occurs over the Internet and is automatic.
Hackers tap into this underlying mechanism. They don’t need to know/write programming code or traditional networking language, they only need know how to use the dark web, then buy the software and use it. Did the penny just drop for you? This is why electronic fraud is so prevalent, in that anyone with a computer and access to the web can become an overnight criminal.
Public Wi-Fi networks are often “open,” or not secure, meaning your communications are not being encrypted. These hotspots are an easy target for hackers trying to steal your login passwords, credit card information or other personal details.
By default most mobile phones will automatically connect to wi-fi when available. This means as you walk browsing on your phone, your phone may be connecting to public, free, unsecured wi-fi points, sending personal data across them. When using a VPN from your mobile device, you can select that the VPN automatically connect for untrusted networks (anything outside your home wi-fi), and thus you benefit from free wi-fi without the security issues.
Ever checked your email at a cafe, McDonalds or Starbucks? Logged into your Paypal account? Gone shopping online? If you answered yes, the chances are you have given away private information to scammers at some point.
It isn’t just hackers. Corporations also use public wi-fi connections as points to inject their ads into your browsing. Why? Because they can. Because its so easy to do.
What apps do you use on your phone that access your geo location service? Think about that question for a minute. Do you take pictures and upload them to your social media account? Those pictures contain your exact location in the meta data. Basically, you’re often unknowingly sending your home, work, and favorite hangout locations to lots of people around the world. With a VPN, geo-targeting is removed.
Have a quick read about the most common 10 myths of VPNs. You really want a company that is honest and trustworthy. The only company that controls their DNS is GoldenFrog (VyprVPN), who own all their DNS equipment and therefore control exactly what is logged, what is not and when it is deleted (every 30 days). This is why MyPTSD recommends this company alone to our users.
As a person who has worked online for close to 25 years now, I have tried the majority of VPNs available, and not one stacks up to its claims when I went digging into their legal and privacy policies except for GoldenFrog. Speeds were not as promised, logging was not as promised and quality was not as promised. You may think VPN recommendation services would recommend the best VPN for you, but in fact they recommend the one that pays them the highest affiliate payout and not the best one for you, the end user.
MyPTSD is happy to endorse GoldenFrog (VyprVPN) for our users, so you expect the same level of honesty from a VPN that our users get from our service. We aren’t here to be popular but to provide honest information and recommendations. As a result, GoldenFrog offers MyPTSD readers 40% off their standard Pro package, which is the minimum level you want, as you need OpenVPN and Chameleon to be the most secure online. Just click on one of our ads for them here to receive the discount.
The aim is not to scare you about being online but to inform you. Nowadays, most people don’t understand the real depth of online privacy, nor do they understand how much information they give away, all by doing something as simple as using their social media account.
Written by Anthony, who founded MyPTSD in 2005. He is a veteran, writer, and web designer. He lives with his wife and two heinously cute puppies in Melbourne.
Edited by Simon, who earned her writing degree in 2011. She hopes to one day garner a doctorate in composition. You can find her on MyPTSD, where she talks (too much) about her dogs, life, the multiverse, and Everything.