Using Ghost Path VPN to Watch the FIFA World Cup Online

World Cup 2018 Russia

The 2018 FIFA World Cup, hosted by Russia, is fast approaching. The opening match of the World Cup between host Russia and Saudi Arabia will be June 14 at 11 AM ET.

What is Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is one of the world’s most secure VPN providers. A VPN is a virtual private network, which is like an added layer of security for your internet connection. If you’re connected to Ghost Path then no one can look at your internet data and determine what you’re doing – all of your data is encrypted.

Another benefit to using a VPN is the ability to avoid geographic restrictions. When you connect through a Ghost Path VPN server, third-party websites and services think that you are located where the VPN server is located. This allows you to access sites that would otherwise be unavailable to you because of your country.

Using Ghost Path VPN to Watch the World Cup Online

The best site for watching the World Cup is tvplayer.com (not an affiliate link). You’ll need to connect to a Ghost Path server in the UK to be able to access the site. Once you’re connected go to tvplayer.com (not an affiliate link) and watch the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub channels. You can try the free membership at tvplayer.com (not an affiliate link) or start the free trial of the paid membership.

Nice and simple.

You can find the complete schedule at FIFA.

The Password is…..

The Problem

When working to secure our data we often overlook the most obvious of vulnerabilities, our passwords! We make our passwords easy for us to remember and in doing so they’re easier to break. First things first, a randomized 8 digit password is very strong. It’s made even stronger when providers require our passwords to have at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one special character, and one number. That process will generate 18,170,005,425,000 different passwords. If you were able to try 100 passwords a second, it would take you over 5,000 years to attempt every password! Surely, a randomized password would be almost impenetrable, right? Therein lies the problem, our passwords are not random. We compromise our passwords when we create them.

The characters we choose that compose our passwords are often words or numbers that have significance to us. For example, many numbers are often birth years, or just the number 1. Sometimes, it’s easier just to use a sequence of numbers like 123. By making the password relevant to us and easier to remember, we have made it easier to crack. In 2016 the 25 most common passwords made up about half of all passwords.

The Solution

Passwords are inconvenient. We’re supposed to have long, complex passwords and store them in our heads. To complicate our lives even further, we’re not supposed to duplicate our passwords for any site. While this may be ideal it’s also entirely impractical. The best way to maneuver through this seemingly impossible dilemma is to use a password manager.  LastPass and Dashlane are both excellent choices that provide users with the security of having a complex password without the vulnerability of writing it down or the inconvenience of forgetting passwords.

Take a moment to consider how many passwords you have. Do you use the same password for different accounts? Do any of your passwords contain numeric sequences? Are you vulnerable?

 

Sources:

https://keepersecurity.com/public/Most-Common-Passwords-of-2016-Keeper-Security-Study.pdf

How To Tell If Your ISP Is Throttling Facebook Video

ISP Throttling Facebook

By now everyone is familiar with Facebook video, the videos that play automatically as you scroll over them in your Facebook feed. Facebook video is rapidly growing in popularity right now. It’s even starting to rattle the popularity of Youtube in terms of number of videos uploaded daily.

The meteoric rise in popularity over the past year has gotten everyone’s attention, including your ISP. Recently I’ve discovered that Facebook videos stutter, buffer, and load much more slowly than they have in the past, particularly in the evenings. Generally, slowly loading video is caused by one of two things: either the video itself is not being delivered quickly enough from the provider (Facebook in this case) or your internet connection isn’t fast enough to handle the video without issues. I certainly believe that Facebook and a likely myriad of CDN’s can handle the delivery side, so that leaves the ISP as the most likely culprit. I haven’t seen any slowdowns with any other general downloading or browsing, so maybe the problem is related strictly to video. Could my ISP, Uverse, be throttling Facebook video?

This article is going to teach you exactly how to run your own tests to see if your ISP is throttling Facebook video. The easiest device to test with is actually your phone. I have an iPhone and it’s super-easy to change your network settings, which is handy here because you want to be able to change your settings quickly.

You’ll probably want to wait until evening to run your test. I usually notice the slowdowns after 7 PM.

Step 1: Find some video in the Facebook App

Open the Facebook app and scroll through your newsfeed looking for videos. Videos in ads should be ignored… ads always have a knack for not being throttled.

Facebook Video on iPhone

If the video plays smoothly then you may be OK. If you see any signs of buffering or stalling then you should keep testing.

Step 2: Turn Off Your Wi-Fi

Next, turn off your Wi-Fi connection so that you’re using your mobile data provider’s connection. I use Verizon and haven’t ever noticed slow video when I’ve had at least a decent signal, so I trust them for this test. Plus, it’s in Verizon’s best interest for you to use as much data as possible so they can charge you more $$$.

Turn off WiFi on iphone

Once Wi-Fi is disabled scroll through your timeline again looking for videos. All Facebook videos are coming from the same place, so theoretically if one is being throttled then all of them are being throttled. You shouldn’t watch the same video as before because it may be pre-buffered or loaded from your previous viewing.

This is where you would most likely be able to see if your ISP was throttling your connection. If you had poor video playback in step 1 and don’t in step 2 then you’ve found your bottleneck.

Step 3: Testing With A VPN

If you don’t want to use your mobile data to test in Step 2 then you can use a VPN to accomplish the same thing. When you’re connected to a VPN your ISP can’t see what kind of data you’re receiving or where it’s coming from, making it impossible for them to throttle.

Turn on VPN iPhone

The idea here is the same as in Step 2. Once you’re connected to VPN you should look for more videos in the Facebook app and see how they perform.

Testing On Other Devices

You can use the same general procedure to test Facebook video on your desktop, laptop, tablet, etc. You won’t be able to test with your mobile data provider using other devices so you’ll need to rely on a VPN.

Conclusion

As Facebook video grows it wouldn’t be surprising to see more ISP’s try throttling it. Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, HBO Go / HBO Now, and other video sites are easy targets for throttling because they cost ISP’s quite a bit more than general web traffic. You can test to see if your ISP is throttling other services in the same way you test Facebook video.

If you have any questions or comments then leave them below. Let us know if you find any evidence of throttling from your ISP.

3 Myths & Truths About Your Child’s Safety Online

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.26.27 AMThere’s a lot of talk these days about the many risks of children being online.

We hear news story after news story about cyberbullying, online child predators, and others with malicious intent lurking around every corner. Sure, there are risks, and practicing safe online usage is essential, but most of the time the benefits of the Internet far outweigh the potential hazards.

In today’s post, we’re debunking some common myths about your child’s safety online, and we’ll fill you in on the real truths of each situation.

MYTH #1: Social media transforms kids into bullies.

TRUTH: Social media is just another outlet for bullying — it doesn’t turn kids into bullies. Most kids who engage in online bullying are also often bullies at school and usually have another reason for acting out, like family issues, school problems, etc. The most productive thing to do is for parents and teachers to educate themselves about the warning signs of bullying so that they can step-in before the behavior goes too far.

MYTH #2: Never post photos of your children on social media — it’s too dangerous!

TRUTH: By using the appropriate privacy settings, you can post pictures AND keep your children safe. To ensure that your kids remain safe & protected, (1) use privacy settings that limit your posts’ reach to only family and trusted friends, (2) limit your audience by using photo-share sites that require a login to see pictures, like Flickr, and (3) don’t tag or identify your children in the photos.

MYTH #3: Strict parental control setting are the best way to protect your children online.

TRUTH: Using just one measure for online security gives you a false sense of safety. Parental controls are just one piece of the puzzle, you also need to openly discuss online safety precautions with your children, share the risks of being online, establish agreed-upon rules, and encourage your children to be both responsible and respectful when online.

To further protect your children from online risks, consider setting up a VPN to ensure privacy, security & safety while online. For more information, click HERE.

 

This post was inspired by this article.

 

The Actual Time It Takes Hackers To Crack a Password + Celeb Phone Hacking

How long does it take to break a password?Do you ever wonder how secure your passwords are?

In light of the recent celebrity phone hacking scandal which resulted in revealing pictures of 100 celebs being posted and shared online and via social media, you’re probably wondering how secure your own passwords are.

The hacker, in this case, “took advantage of a security flaw in Apple’s online backup service, iCloud. Many online services lock someone out after several unsuccessful attempts to log in, but not Apple’s Find My iPhone app and iCloud. That has been changed by Apple in the aftermath of the nude celebrity photo scandal. But with unlimited guesses, a computer program can generate and test thousands of potential passwords until an account is entered. It is called a brute force attack. The tendency of many people to choose weak passwords and to use the same password for each service helped. Once a celebrity’s Find My iPhone app password is discovered, the same password often can access iCloud. People might never know their accounts have been compromised.” (quote from CNN.com)

With that in mind, if your passwords resemble something along the lines of “123456” or “password” or you use the same password for all sites, you’re putting yourself unnecessarily at risk.

Smart hackers are adept at breaking codes in little time, and when you use a simple or common password, you’re opening yourself up to be the victim of online crime.

Here is the actual time it take a hacker to break a password:

  • Lowercase, 6 characters = 5 minutes
  • Lowercase, 9 characters = 2 months
  • Uppercase & Lowercase, 6 characters = 5.5 hours
  • Uppercase & Lowercase, 9 characters = 88 years
  • 6 characters with numbers & symbols = 8.5 days
  • 9 characters with numbers & symbols = 19,985 years

As you can see, adding a length and complexity to your passwords pays off BIG TIME.

Here’s a little tip, instead of using simple words for your passwords, use phrases. For example: “Time flies when you’re having fun!” becomes “TFlyzwhenurhavinFUN!”

A password like that won’t be cracked for millennia! 

And, be sure to use a different password or password variation for every site with a secure log-in.

For extra protection, look into a Virtual Private Network to protect your data and privacy on all your devices, anywhere in the world! Read more HERE.

For the full scoop on the celebrity phone hacking scandal, watch the video below.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 10.38.23 AM

 

This post was inspired by an element of this infographic.

10 People Who Should Be Using A VPN

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 10.21.07 AMFirst off, let’s start with the basics: what is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network is a way of adding security and privacy to both public (like coffee house WiFi) and private networks (like your home or office WiFi). It enables you to freely use and browse the Internet without the fear of putting yourself at risk of cybercrimes, hackers, or geographic restrictions.

Needless to say, a VPN service is highly useful and can benefit a number of different people with various needs.

Here is a list of 10 types of people who should be using a VPN:

1. Any who uses public WiFi at hotels, airports, coffee shops, restaurants, etc.

2. People who enjoy streaming content using Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, etc.

3. Employees and students who want to break out of restricted networks at work or school.

4. Anyone who likes to download/upload P2P files anonymously.

5. Vacationers who want to watch home-specific entertainment while traveling, like sporting events, local TV, etc.

6. People who want to secure their online phone calls to prevent eavesdropping.

7. Business travelers who need to bypass countries’ web censorship and content surveillance restrictions.

8. Anyone who does not want their searches logged & recorded by search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo.

9. People who work with sensitive issues and wish to avoid reprisals & tracebacks because of research like journalists, market researchers, detectives, and lawyers.

10. All who believe that privacy is a basic right!

Do you fall into one or more of these categories?

Then you will enjoy & greatly benefit from using a VPN service.

For more information about how a Virtual Private Network can improve your online experience, click HERE.

 

Photo & 10 categories originally presented by Net For Beginners.

 

 

How Safety Savvy Are You Online? Take The Quiz To Find Out!

Few of us go a day (or more likely a few hours!) without going online, whether it be to check our email, do research for work, look-up a funny YouTube clip, peruse our social media accounts, or simply pass the time.

But, with so much time spent in cyberspace, we’re also putting ourselves at risk for hacking, identity theft and scams.

If you’re wondering how online safety savvy you are and if you’re putting yourself at risk, take this fun, 6-question quiz to find out.

Want to boost your online safety?

Sign-up for GhostPath’s VPN service & enjoy a 7-day money back guarantee!

Staying Safe While Using Panera Wi-Fi

Using Panera Wi-Fi

Like many of you, I spend a decent amount of time working at public wi-fi hotspots, particularly at Panera Bread. Panera Wi-Fi works well and is generally reliable. It’s also susceptible to packet sniffing, just like any other public Wi-Fi. That’s why the following precautions when working remotely.

VPN

It goes without saying that I use Ghost Path VPN anytime I hop on public Wi-Fi. Unless I need to connect to a specific location I  just use the default ‘Closest Locations’ settings in the Ghost Path VPN client. That will generally give you the best speeds because the software chooses the nearest VPN gateway and connects there.

I also use Viscosity’s VPN client occasionally for quickly connecting to a specific server or for doing competitive VPN research.

Hardware

I use Apple hardware primarily, so my laptop of choice is my 11″ Macbook Air.  I also keep my iPhone and Galaxy Note 3 with me and use VPN on those as well if they’re connected over Wi-Fi.

Bonus Tips

  • Always try to sit in a place where no-one can see your computer screen.
  • Avoid phone calls at Panera; you never know who could be listening.
  • If you can afford it you should get a portable LTE hotspot and use that instead of public Wi-Fi. I use a Mi-Fi from Verizon and couldn’t be more pleased. It’s about $40/month I believe.
  • Even if you’re using a VPN, don’t do your banking or anything super-sensitive on public Wi-Fi.

Analyzing the 1000 Most Common Wi-Fi Network Names

Wi-Fi SSID

I recently came across a list of the 1000 most commonly used SSID’s and thought it would be fun take a quick look at it. If you didn’t already know, SSID is the technical term for the name of your wireless network.

Here are some of the most interesting things I gleaned from the list. The percentages below represent how often the SSID shows up in the total list of SSID names survey, not just the top 1000 SSID’s.

  1. No name, or a hidden name, is really popular. Over 2.3% of the SSID’s examined had no name, a hidden name, or something similar.
  2. Routers that come with a predefined network are popular. AT&T’s Uverse routers are a good example and come with a pre-defined wireless network that includes a name like “2WIRE199”.
  3. Netgear also sells routers that come with predefined network names. “NETGEAR00” through “NETGEAR99” are all names that make it into the top 1000.
  4. “default” (0.6%) and “home” (0.3%) are used quite commonly
  5. Hotels, such as “Marriott_Guest” (0.01%), “Hyatt” (0.01%), “hhonors” (0.06%), and “laQuinta” (0.01%) make the top 1000.
  6. Among SSID’s named after people, “Alex”, “David”, “Mike”, and “John” lead the way.
  7. My personal favorites from the top 1000: “pretty fly for a wifi”, “skynet”. “boobs” was not in the top 1000, sadly.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Using a Common SSID

If I can find a list of the 1000 most commonly used network names then I know that the bad guys can too. Most of the time people allow network names to be broadcasted from the router, but a higher-security option is to not broadcast the name and require that users connecting be able to specify the network’s name and key. If you don’t broadcast your SSID then you certainly wouldn’t want to compromise that bit of security by using a frequently used SSID.

Now, let’s talk about Uverse for a second. People know how Uverse routers are setup generally. They know the number of characters in the network key and the character-set. Knowing these details makes it fairly easy to brute-force guess the network key. I believe that Uverse routers use only numeric characters in the network key… how much simpler could it get? If you use Uverse at home then you should immediately change your SSID and network key away from the defaults. It’s not hard to do and will greatly increase your security at home.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc