Category: News

On Friday May 12, the world faced a massive coordinated ransomware attack, also known as ‘WannaCry’ and ‘Wanna Cryptor’. Specific malware is transferred via email to Microsoft users, resulting in Windows computers being blocked with all the contents encrypted. Victims are demanded to pay hundreds of dollars to get back access to their files. So far, around 100 countries have been exposed to the cyberattack, including such institutions as FedEx, Russian Interior Ministry, numerous UK hospitals, China schools, etc. hit. According to online security researchers, many people have already given in to pay between $300-600 in bitcoins to the hackers each.

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About two years ago, Parliament of Australia passed a metadata retention law as one of the attempts to fight against terrorism. According to it, Internet Service Providers and telecommunication companies have to log online activities of their users. What does this mean for Australians? Well, the answer might not be as pleasing as one could expect.

Since April 13, 2017, this law has come into effect allowing ISPs and telcos to collect users’ metadata and store it for two years; making it possible for law enforcement and intelligent agencies to have the access to it.

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Several weeks ago, the US police department in Minnesota was granted a unique warrant to collect and proceed Google search data related to ALL users from the city of Edina. Previously, similar warrants were provided to perform certain records’ search connected to a particular person in case of a seriously grounded investigation. Being so broad and powerful, the new warrant implies full freedom to penetrate into innocent people’s private lives through their Google search activity. Meanwhile, the Internet privacy experts suggest connecting via VPNs and/or using alternative search engines that keep your personal data relatively safe.

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Last week, the US Senate introduced a resolution that implies an overturn of the Internet privacy rules previously accepted by Obama cabinet. Later on, the law statement was passed to the House of Representatives, where the regulations eventually got supported with a 215-205 win. On Monday, March 3 2017, President Trump signed a historically notable bill allowing the American Internet service providers to monitor and sell users’ online activity data to the third parties. Within the last days, there has been an unprecedented number of search requests related to VPN services: people do care about privacy and desperately skim reviews of the top VPN providers like the one, where we compare the best offers in detail.

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On Tuesday, March, 21st, a new hacker group – Turkish Crime Family – has started to blackmail Apple. These cybercriminals claim that they have hacked iCloud storage service and now have control over 100+ millions of user accounts. And they want a ransom. They demand $75,000 in cryptocurrency (either Ethereum or Bitcoin). There is an alternative option: they would also accept $100,000 in iTunes gіft cards. Later Turkish Crime Family posted on Twitter that in fact the sum of $75,000 was mentioned by mistake by one of their former group member, and they are actually asking for even more.

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No matter how ridiculous it may sound, but we are being spied on every time we go online or send a short message on a mobile phone. Numerous shocking revelations like those by Edward Snowden in 2013 and the latest WikiLeaks report on our gadgets’ vulnerability, recently introduced surveillance measures like the monitoring program in the UK prove the despair we actually find ourselves at, added by concealed supervision that government agencies execute with a view to provide our national security. The only way to hold privacy to some extend deals with encrypting the data sent and received via any gadget.

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On March 24, the Republican senators voted 50 against 48 to allow the American Internet service providers share or sell users’ sensitive data to the third parties without any customer consent.  Such a move is likely to grow into a real historical privacy setback and make ISPs actual “invaders of subscriber privacy”. The rules, accepted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in October 2016 and defending the basic rights of digital citizens, will get completely eliminated only when the House of Representatives approves the resolution made by the US Senate, which is almost a done deal given the number of Republican representatives in the House. For now, the Internet privacy advocates strongly recommend connecting via non-free VPNs able to keep your traffic relatively safe from suspicious monitoring: luckily, we have detailed reviews of VPN service providers to help you make the right choice.

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It is already the second month UK ISPs have been practicing their warning systems within the anticipated piracy alerts campaign. This is a result of the joint effort made by the key copyright owners from media industries, the Government and the leading local Internet providers themselves: the latter ones are now sending warning notifications to potential copyright offenders, whose traffic looks involved in pirating actions.

Not surprisingly, such an innovative approach to combat illegal streaming and mass copyrights’ violations confuses many people, who actually are not aware of the possible implications the campaign may bring. Some users switch to new Internet providers, others simply use VPNs. Indeed, why change habits if you can just hide your IP-address? A similar increase in the number of VPN users took place in the US when the Copyright Alert Program was launched in 2013 after three years in development.

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Earlier this month on March, 7th an international non-profit organization – WikiLeaks – has stated that their anonymous source provided them with the information that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has been using a cyberweapon against its citizens. These cyberweapons are various hacking programs and malware which can intrude into your personal life, and compromise your basic right to have privacy. This hacking arsenal can target and infect your devices that run on such operating systems as Windows, Android, iOS, OSX, Linux. Even your router or Smart TV also can be used against you to pry on you. They can actually be used as recording devices to spy on you. You may think that your TV is turned off when in reality with a program called “Weeping Angel” it could operate as a bug and record conversations in the room.

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A Virtual Private Network has many tasks to accomplish. First of all, it should provide you with confidentiality, i.e. to provide you with privacy by encrypting your internet traffic over a public network. All the information you send or receive online should be protected and secured. And a good VPN provider should not store any logs of what you do. No third parties should have the access to your personal data. Also, a VPN should provide you with unlimited bandwidth, fast speeds and unlimited server switching. Moreover, the VPN service should be compatible with most of your devices, so it needs to be supported by different operating systems. In addition, it should offer you the stable and reliable performance of its remote servers. Of course VPN providers have many other goals to achieve.

VPNs use numerous tunneling protocols to offer its users helpful features including the ones mentioned above. Here are the basic protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec.

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