January 02, 2020
Too Many VPNs Put Our Privacy And Security At Risk
private networks: they help you sidestep geographical media
restrictions, and they keep your web browsing private, right? Well, not
always, because even if the best VPNs add a welcome layer of security to
our web setups, cybersecurity experts are warning that there are just
as many VPN applications that expose their trusting users to
surveillance and cyberattacks.unblock websites
According to a broad range of specialists, many free and mobile VPNs on the market use unsafe protocols and log user activity, while even good virtual private networks can't always guarantee to protect their users from the prying eyes of a jealous government or its intelligence agencies. That's why it's vitally important that we not only choose the most reliable and robust VPNs available, but that we also learn how to configure and run them to their full potential. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in a similar situation to users of Fortigate and Pulse Secure, two VPNs which were targeted by cyberattackers last month.
VPNs are very useful and dependable tools, with 30% of all internet
users employing a VPN at least once a month. "Generally speaking, a
modern online VPN is a service that is designed to encrypt your entire
computer's traffic and at the same time hide your identity by routing
your (now encrypted) traffic through one or more anonymous routers,"
explains Yaniv Balmas, the head of cyber research at Check Point.
"Assuming that the VPN provider uses up-to-date encryption methods and
frequently changes its routing points, this service should provide a
secure and robust service."
However, Balmas adds that "the devil lies in the details," with poorly implemented virtual private networks causing "more harm than good for its users." In fact, the scale of the problem is actually more extensive than most people realise, because in many cases VPNs–and particularly free and/or mobile VPNs–not only don't work as advertised, but also leave users open to viruses and privacy violations.
"We tested the top 150 free VPN Android apps and found
that many had serious security flaws and performance issues," warns
Callum Tennent, a VPN expert and the site editor . Referring to a study
his website conducted in February, Tennent alarmingly reveals that 18%
of the tested VPNs contained potential malware or viruses, 85% featured
excessive permissions or functions that could put a user's privacy at
risk, and 25% exposed a user's traffic to DNS leaks and other leaks.
And it's not just free Android VPN apps that have a problem, because a companion study examining the top 20 VPN apps for iPhones and Android devices also turned up very similar results. Most disturbingly, Tennent points outs that "59% [of the tested VPNs] had links to China, despite its strict ban on VPNs and its notorious internet surveillance regime. Many of these explicitly shared data with Chinese third parties."
Some of the most well-known VPNs covered in the two studies include apps that have been downloaded anything from a million to 50 million times, such as Hotspot Shield Free, SuperVPN, Hi VPN, Turbo VPN, Snap VPN, X-VPN, and VPN Proxy Master. For instance, despite having witnessed five million downloads as of February, a VPN called Ultrasurf tested positive for potential malware, as well as for risky functions, such as taking the last known location of the host device (although Ultrasurf's developers denied the validity of these detections).
In other words, a large number of free or cheap VPNs may be doing the exact opposite of what we expect from them, collecting and exposing our data rather than hiding it.
In some cases, a VPN isn't simply inadequate, but rather actively malicious. As Avast's Jonathan Lemmonier notes, "Fake VPN services, especially the free ones, can also be set up as honeypots to collect all of a user’s data, to deliver malware, and to spy on people (see Facebook’s Onavo VPN service). Remember: a VPN, in many cases, is just an ISP that you choose. They now have access to all of your online data."
Of course, it would be bad enough if only free and untested VPNs had severe privacy issues. But the thing is, even when we're using a highly reputable and well-developed VPN, we're still not entirely safe from intrusions into our virtual privacy. And this will be of particular concern to journalists, dissidents, radicals, whistleblowers or anyone else who doesn't want a national government keeping tabs on them.
"Your ISP can see you connecting to an IP
address owned by a VPN service and the fact that your software is
connecting to ports associated with VPN activity," says Jake Moore, a
cybersecurity specialist for ESET. "Therefore, the government will be
allowed access to this data via a warrant if necessary, but not be able
to decipher any that is encrypted."
When comes to the issue of online privacy and security, we suggest to use a VPN, and our recommendation is RitaVPN.Qwer432
Netflix responds to the VPN ban backlash
in January that it would be increasing its efforts to block users from
circumventing region blockades turned out not to be an empty threat,
with hosts of popular VPN services being rendered useless for this
purpose overnight.VPN service
There was uproar from customers, some of which simply use VPNs to protect their privacy, with a petition calling for the ban to be lifted attracting over 40,000 signatures.
But it seems Netflix, which generally cherishes its user experience, doesn’t seem fussed by this uprising.
"It’s a very small but quite vocal minority,” CEO Reed Hastings said during this week’s earnings call. "So it’s really inconsequential to us, as you could see in the Q1 results.”Discussing the streaming service’s crackdown, a VPN operator told TorrentFreak: "They are now coming from a few hundred different possible subdomains.
"This makes it much more expensive for us to circumvent because we would basically need to forward all Netflix traffic through our servers instead of just the packets that do the geolocation.”
While Netflix isn’t willing to turn a blind eye to/is under pressure not to allow VPN use, it does understand the urgent need for borderless content.After Netflix announced on Twitter recently that it was now "everywhere”, a follower replied: "and same content everywhere…?”
"Still prisoners of territorial licensing,” Netflix responded, "moving quickly to have global availability of all content on Netflix.”Hastings previously expressed the same sentiment, saying: "The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there’s no incentive to [use a VPN].
"The VPN thing is a small
little asterisk compared to piracy. [It] is really the problem around
the world."The key thing about piracy is that some fraction of it is
because [users] couldn’t get the content. That part we can fix."Some
part of piracy however is because they just don’t want to pay. That’s a
harder part. As an industry, we need to fix global content.When comes to
the issue of online privacy and security, we suggest to use a VPN, and
our recommendation is RitaVPN.Qwer432
Best VPNs: our top 6 recommendations
A VPN service (Virtual
Private Network) has become an essential tool to keep your online
activity and information safe and private. Be it to stay secure when
using a public Wi-Fi network, to unblock social media and streaming
sites, or to block online tracking, there are numerous reasons why you
should use a VPN. There are hundreds of VPN services available, and it
isn’t always easy to pick the right one.Buy VPN
If price is of particular concern, VPNs don’t come much cheaper than Ivacy. It’s getting even cheaper over the Black Friday shopping season! BF might not officially kick off until the 29th, but this deal is live now — offering up to 90% off on service. For an upfront cost of $60 you get five years of service. That comes to just $.99 a month!
The Ivacy app comes with different modes for you to choose from, depending on what you are looking to do. You get all the key features you’d expect, as well as a few extras like split tunneling. Ivacy’s server count isn’t as robust as the others on the list, but it has a good list of locations around the world, including India. The speeds are good enough to allow for media streaming and torrenting without any issues. Their recent partnerships even allow Netflix unblocking in seven regions encompassing the US, UK, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe, Germany, and France.
ExpressVPN is considered one of the best VPN services around with good reason. It offers everything you would expect from a great VPN, like a zero logging policy, impressive connection speeds, a large number of servers across the world, and necessary security features like the Network Lock, DNS leak protection, and more. The apps are easy to use but don’t compromise on settings and features.
ExpressVPN also doesn’t skimp on what the VPN is capable of. Everything from P2P file sharing to media streaming, including Netflix, is possible using ExpressVPN. Easy to install apps are available for all major platforms, and helpful guides can be found to set up ExpressVPN on routers, gaming consoles, media streaming devices, and more.
ExpressVPN can be
more expensive than other providers, but it is certainly one of the best
VPN services around and worth the cost.
NordVPN is all about providing the best security features possible. Your online activity stays completely private with its zero logging policy, IP and DNS leak protection, and the best encryption protocols. Beyond that, you can take advantage of specialty servers for P2P and Anti-DDoS. For even more security, you have the option to enable Double VPN that runs everything through two servers.VPN download
While a network kill switch is standard, the service also comes with an App Kill Switch which lets you set certain apps to automatically close if the VPN connection drops. The apps also recognize if you are in a restricted location and load obfuscated servers. Finally, you can request a dedicated IP service, which will set you back an additional $70 a year.
Despite the heavy security features, NordVPN manages
to offer excellent speeds and low latency. NordVPN features specialty
servers for torrenting and Netflix works via select servers as well.
NordVPN is also one of the few premium VPN services to offer a free
7-day trial along with a 30-day money back guarantee. NordVPN is also
quite affordable considering all that it has to offer.
When comes to the issue of online privacy and security, we suggest to use a VPN, and our recommendation is RitaVPN.Qwer432
How can Using a VPN Service Backfire on You?
It's also worth
pointing out that if a VPN server was ever compromised, any and all
communication between you and the VPN server can be sniffed and
potentially decoded. So if you ask the question "is using a VPN [server]
secure"? I would say, "only if the server itself is secure," which is
likely impossible to prove. Servers are managed by human beings, and
human beings are prone to error, so it stands that there is a
possibility that the server may not be secure. Also, servers, just like
PCs are prone to exploits, and if not patched in a reasonable period of
time, can be compromised.unblock websites
(and perhaps most importantly), if you try and connect to your bank
using a VPN server located in China, I am guessing that your bank is
going to throw up some major red flags (no pun intended), and possibly
prevent you from logging in. The way the banks sees it, someone (a
computer, or server) from China is trying to access your local bank
account. Is that a good thing? Probably not.
Now, if you repeatedly use random VPN servers to anonymize your traffic (which happens to be another feature offered by VPN services), AND you try and connect to your bank on a regular basis, then I'm guessing the bank is going to throw up some more red flags. The way the bank sees it: a computer, or server located somewhere in the world keeps trying to access your bank account - and it keeps happening from different places around the world. Is that a good thing? Definitely not - at least, not the way the bank sees it, because cybercriminals often use VPNs to anonymize their web traffic as well. It would be a safer bet if you just stick to using your local IP address when accessing your local bank.
As for saferweb's statements regarding VPNs, let's take a look at those now that we have a little bit more knowledge about how VPNs work:
They say: Safer Web gives you an extra layer of security against Internet hackers. I say: using our examples above, that is only true if the entire connection is secure and the VPN server is also secure. Also, a hacker can 'hack you from the inside' if your system in infected with malware, so a VPN will not prevent you from being "hacked".
They say: By hiding your IP, we keep your online activity anonymous and private. I say: yes and no. If you are worried about being spied upon locally by governments, or are otherwise paranoid, then using a VPN is probably a good idea. That said, you should also ensure that your antivirus, antimalware, operating system, and web browser are all up to date and infection free in addition to using a VPN, otherwise you can still be spied on because your information will still propagate outward somewhere onto the Internet whether you use a VPN or not.
say: Using a VPN keeps your browsing activity private and secure. I say:
yes and no. This is really only true if the connection is 100% secure.
Even so, if someone was to compromise a website you were previously
connected to, they could still access information about you. A VPN won't
protect against that type of an attack.When comes to the issue of
online privacy and security, we suggest to use a VPN, and our
recommendation is RitaVPN.Qwer432
China cracks down on VPN vendors
Five websites, including shopping giant Alibaba, have been asked to remove vendors that sell VPNs.fast VPN
It is the latest in a series of measures from the Chinese government to maintain strict control over content.
Apple has previously been asked to remove VPN apps.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) uses servers abroad to provide a secure link to the internet. It allows users in China to access parts of the outside world like Facebook, Gmail or YouTube, all of which are blocked in the country.
China's cyber-regulator the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has ordered the websites to carry out immediate "self-examination and correction".
"The CAC has ordered these five sites to immediately carry out a comprehensive clean-up of harmful information, close corresponding illegal account.. and submit a rectification report by a deadline," the regulator said in a statement.
Authorities in China have already taken down popular celebrity gossip social media accounts and extended restrictions on what news can be produced and distributed by online platforms.
As well as clamping down on dozens of local VPNs, the authorities have ordered Apple and other app stores to remove foreign VPN apps that allow users to access websites censored by the Chinese government.When comes to the issue of online privacy and security, we suggest to use a VPN, and our recommendation is RitaVPN.Qwer432
Which is the Best VPN for Netflix?
There are a few best VPN
services for Netflix that can help you watch all the media content
without worrying about the common restrictions. The best providers
available are those that assure you of enough security as you access
Netflix. Plus, the provider must put in place protocols that avoid being
detected by Netflix though these will not always work all the time.VPN service
Once in a while, the VPN you are using might fail to offer total protection when accessing Netflix. Here, you might get caught by Netflix. The streaming company will detect that you are using a VPN, and there you will receive a proxy error. The best way to be safe and prevent being detected by Netflix is to switch the servers occasionally whenever you are accessing Netflix from a restricted area.
For that, a good VPN provider must have more than one server to let you access Netflix. You simply have to access the VPN’s main menu and select the server of your choice. Since Netflix doesn’t offer full library to most countries, ensure that the VPN has servers in the US and Europe. This way, you can be sure of getting the best by accessing the online library.
Don’t just focus on security. Instead, ensure that the provider has fast connections with their servers. You will be streaming HD content on Netflix, so you need to have a server that will be fast enough with its connections.
If the provider of your choice is too expensive, then you can opt for a more affordable VPN that doesn’t compromise on the service delivery. However, it is better to pay a little more money but be sure of getting the best services from a VPN provider.
forget that the VPN provider you choose must have a good track record
with its clients. Also, they must be available whenever you need their
help. Avoid working with unknown brands whenever you are looking for a
VPN provider. If you have never heard of a specific provider, make sure
that you do in-depth research and only choose it if people are talking
positively about them. Other than that, stick to the renowned and
reputable providers.When comes to the issue of online privacy and
security, we suggest to use a VPN, and our recommendation is
What is a no-log VPN?
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, allow
people to use public Wi-Fi hotspots safely by encrypting the data sent
or received during the user’s online session. This shields users’ online
privacy and anonymity and helps protect the personal information they
transmit while on public Wi-Fi.VPN
What does a VPN without logs mean?
A no-log VPN means that the virtual private network provider does not collect, or "log,” any information transmitted through the network. They don’t save information about your personal details, where you go online, what you download, or what you search for. Therefore, your online privacy and anonymity are protected from everybody — even your VPN provider.
What’s so great about no-log VPNs?
Why do VPN service providers do this? If you’re entrusting a company to encrypt and protect what you do online, shouldn’t you fundamentally trust that business to follow the same practices? Most VPN companies believe the answer is yes. They don’t log any of your information because they don’t want it. These no-log VPN service providers won’t build databases of your personal information to sell to third parties.
Does the Norton VPN keep logs?
stated in the Norton Privacy Notice, Norton Secure VPN collects
subscriber information for communication purposes, mobile device data,
and aggregate bandwidth usage. Norton Secure VPN does not log
information about where you go on the internet.Remember: All VPN
services are different. Not all VPN providers operate logless networks,
so you should choose your VPN service carefully if this is important to
you.When comes to the issue of online privacy and security, we suggest
to use a VPN, and our recommendation is RitaVPN.Qwer432
Ten high school teams and six middle school teams from schools across Beijing and Tianjin competed for cash prizes and stipends for overseas travel in the contest organized by BCIS students and faculty and sponsored by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
The two-day competition saw student teams hone their business plans in sessions with Beijing-based business mentors and pitch in front of a panel of three seasoned professionals who rated them on their plans.The senior high division was won by BCIS students who developed a plan for an internet-enabled pillbox designed to help senior citizens remember to take medicine on time.
Second place in the high school division was awarded to a team from Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), with their pitch for an online platform that matched digital artists with buyers.
A team from BCIS placed third with their company that designs logos, posters, and graphics for students and commercial businesses.In the Junior division, the top prize was awarded to students from the International School of Tianjin, for their plan, the "Multibag”, a customized set of bags for grocery shopping aimed at reducing the use of disposable plastic bags.
Two teams from Beijing Huijia Private School bagged the second and third prizes, with their pitches on a radiation protection product and a plan for an online learning platform for students at international schools.
Between adding finishing touches to their plans, the students heard keynote speeches on social responsibility and sustainability from three well-known Beijing-based social entrepreneurs.The organization was great,” said keynote speaker Aaron Moniz from Inspire Citizens, a teacher-created collective provides that customized project-based learning towards a more sustainable future.
"The fact that there was a student leadership team was powerful, the choice of keynote speakers and diverse backgrounds of the mentors was a very positive way to show students that business is important — but being innovative, ethical, and sustainable is even more important.”
Also addressing the students were Sam Waldo, co-founder and CEO of Mantra, an eyewear brand that provides vision care for under-resourced rural Chinese students; and Joseph Harvey, co-founder of The Bulk House, which encourages people to understand their waste and then reduce it.
"Entrepreneurship competitions like Avenir generate a lot of student engagement,” said George Carlo Lomboy, the head of the Business Management department at Huijia. "They allow students to see for themselves if they have properly framed a problem or a pain point, and if they have covered all their bases on the functional areas of business, through the perspectives of real-life entrepreneurs, seasoned venture capitalists, and academics.”
The campus is located on 989 Baise Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China. The campus covers 340 mu or about 56 acres.
Its junior department was separated to Shanghai Huayu Private School in 1999. Shanghai High School's sister school in Hong Kong is the St. Paul's Co-educational College.
The school was established in 1865 . Its name was changed to Jiangsu Shanghai High School in 1927, and it was renamed as Shanghai High School in 1950.
During World War II, the school's buildings were used by the Japanese as a prison camp, Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center. An exhibition of the school's unique history can be seen in the school's art building exhibition center.
In June 1993, Shanghai High School became the first Chinese school to start an international division. In 1995, Shanghai High School International Division became the first in China to offer an International Baccalaureate program. More than 1750 students from the United States, Japan, Korea, Canada, England, Italy, Germany, Australia, Yugoslavia, Iran, Egypt, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan represent just some of the fifty plus countries and regions represented at Shanghai High School International Division. In 2005, 37.5% graduates entered top 20 universities in the US.
In 2003, Shanghai High School became a UNESCO associated school. That October, it became the first "Shanghai Municipal Demonstration School."
The international division of Shanghai High School, SHSID currently enrolls over 3000 students. It is known for its reputation as an International Baccalaureate World School and often scores above the world averages. In its recent history, it has also implemented AP courses and tests, as well as school-only SAT reasoning and subject testing centers. Teaching materials are based upon Taiwanese/Hong Kong or American teaching curriculum with midterm and final testing on a semester basis.
Revised figures from previous quarters showed the US narrowly missed Donald Trump’s pledge to grow the economy by over 3% last year. The commerce department pegged growth at 2.9% in 2018.
The latest decline was less than expected – thanks to a consumer spending spree – and the report showed signs that there is continuing momentum in the US’s decade-long economic expansion, albeit at a slowing pace.
US gross domestic product (GDP) – the broadest measure of the economy’s health – grew an an annual rate of 2.1% in the second quarter, the three-month period between April and June.
The figure is a marked slowdown in the 3.1% growth that the US achieved in the first three months of the year and comes as other major economies have warned that their growth is slowing too.
But economists had been expecting economic activity to have slowed to below 2% over the last quarter as the US’s ongoing trade disputes with its largest trading partners took their toll and businesses cut back on investments.
Businesses investment declined in the second quarter for the first time since early 2016, according to the report, dropping to a sluggish 0.6% from 4.4% in the first quarter.Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, rose sharply at annualized rate of 4.3% in the second quarter, up from 1.1% in the first quarter.
The GDP data will be one of the last major pieces of economic news that the Federal Reserve will receive before it meets next week. Fed officials have widely signaled that they are intending to cut rates by a quarter percentage point from its current range between 2.25% and 2.5%. It will be the first such cut in over a decade.
Trump has been pressing for a rate cut, an unprecedented move by a sitting president that challenges the Fed’s independence. On Friday he once again attacked the central bank calling it "anchor wrapped around our neck,” on Twitter.
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