Everyday Best Practices for Better Online Privacy and Security

Everyday Privacy and Security Tips from the Experts

We’re a VPN provider, so taking security and privacy seriously is in our DNA… we live and breathe it every day.

But we know that not everyone spends as much time thinking about these things as we do. So we thought it would be a good time to take a step back and look at some very specific things that everyday users could do to increase their privacy, security, and online safety.

To do that we’ve solicited the help from online privacy experts and enthusiasts. Here are their recommendations.

Pay Close Attention to What You’re Doing Online

The objective of a cybercriminal is to get you to download programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. Malware can be disguised as a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather.. Don’t download apps that look suspicious or come from a site you don’t trust.

Daniel Carter of Zippy Electrics

 

The best tip I can give is to always read carefully before clicking anything. Don’t just brush off pop-up warnings and anything that comes into your screen. This is because you might click a malware or you might miss something important.

John Howard from Coupon Lawn

 

Avoid, or be extremely cautious, when engaging with “free” or “open source” download sites, whether they be for software, music, etc.

Michael Wallstrom from Philantech3

 

Email Safety

An email alias allows you to use a random identifier email every time, which in turn will forward it to your mailbox, and the other party won’t know your actual email.

Nirmal Sarkar of HiTricks.com

 

Have a secondary email address. You will come across numerous situations where you have to provide an email address. Keep the main one private and have an extra one for online services.

David De Haan from Standup Paddleboards Review

 

The average person should consider using a secure email service like ProtonMail. The cornerstone of your online privacy plan should be an email account with end-to-end encryption, which you can then use to sign up for additional services such as a VPN, etc.

Neil Roach from Boxroom Office

 

Don’t Give Out Personal Information Online

Always be a skeptic especially when sites ask for your details especially those which are not meant to be shared online like your bank account, birthday, your middle name, and your personal identity number.

Lewis from Skill Scouter

 

Check whether the company sells your personal information by searching the Privacy Policy for the words “sale”, “sell” or “selling”. Don’t use platforms that sell your personal information.

Donata Kalnenaite from Termageddon

 

If something looks phishy, wait and take a look at it in an hour or so. A lot of these phishing messages are trying to get you to act quickly without thinking. Have a plan on how you’re going to handle financial issues (like, above, calling a verified bank ph # or going into your bank).

Paul from WhiteCanyon Software

 

Try Privacy-Focused Services

Rethink the choice of operating systems if you’re concerned about privacy—switching to a security-focused Linux distribution might make more sense. Choose privacy-first software and services. Wherever possible, opt for a service (Signal over WhatsApp), browser (Tor), OS (Qubes OS), etc. that is created with maintaining privacy as a primary goal.

Lumena from SectigoStore

 

Use a search engine that protects your privacy, such as DuckDuckGo.

Kurt Hoeft from EasyIT

 

Google Chrome’s Incognito window isn’t as private as you may think. For better security, you can use a secure browser like TOR or modify the privacy settings in FireFox to surf the web. Firefox offers many privacy protection features and customization options.

Casey from SectigoStore

 

Advertisers can also collect loads of information about you through the use of cookies (that’s why you need to opt-in to that so many times when visiting websites). instead of opting out, which will render some websites unusable, try installing an add-on that can take care of this for you on an individual basis, although there will be a bit of legwork involved. A few to think about are Cookie AutoDelete, Cookies Exterminator, or Vanilla Cookie Manager.

David from National Air Warehouse

 

My biggest tip for online privacy is making sure you use a privacy focused browser. Privacy focused browsers block ad, social, and analytics trackers that follow you around the web. They also help mitigate fingerprinting practices, which fill-out scarily accurate shadow profiles of users.

Ashley from AvoidTheHack

 

If you’re looking for a safer, more privacy-focused browser alternative to Chrome, we’re recommending Brave.

 

Password Security

Use a password manager so you have strong, unique passwords (LastPass, Dashlane and 1Password are great examples).

Eric Ohlsen from Paper Trail Investigations

 

I always suggest using a password manager like LastPass or Bitwarden to automatically create different passwords for every site.

Daniel Worsley from LocalCoinSwap

 

Use a VPN

We’re pretty partial to this recommendation, but we believe that anyone that sends sensitive information across the internet (that’s everyone, btw) needs to be using a VPN. This applies to phones, desktop, even your home wifi routers.

 

Your Recommendations?

What would you add to this list? Leave your thoughts in the comments and we’ll update this post as new information comes in.

Spike in VPN Interest Due to Coronavirus

VPN interest worldwide

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in countless changes and adaptations around the globe, one of which is a greatly increased interest in VPN’s. We’ve seen an influx of traffic, mostly from consumers who appear to be completely new to VPN’s.

I’ve been using Google Trends to track the spike in interest and see what interesting tidbits can be learned.

Worldwide Interest is Up

Global VPN Interest
Global VPN Interest as of April 14, 2020

Live Data from Google Trends

March 17, 2020. It looks like global interest is up about 11% over the last week or so. I would expect this to continue increasing over the next 2-3 weeks as the virus continues to spread to new countries/regions.

April 14, 2020. VPN interest peaked at ~60% higher than usual the week of March 15-21. It’s declined since then but is still up more about 25% above pre-COVID levels.

VPN Interest In Italy Skyrocketed in Mid-March

Google Trends for VPN Interest in Italy
VPN Interest in Italy as of April 14, 2020

Live Data From Google Trends

March 17, 2020. This makes sense, because Italy was one of the first countries to be locked down. More users working from, watching media from home, etc. It will be interesting to see what new level the VPN interest holds at after this initial spike.

April 14, 2020. VPN interest in Italy has remained far above where it was pre-COVID. As of now Italy is still in lockdown-mode.

VPN Interest in US Doubled Before Declining

Google Trends for VPN in the US
VPN interest trends in the US as of April 14, 2020

Live Data From Google Trends

March 17, 2020. Again, this follow closely with the global spread of COVID-19. The US is behind Italy at the moment, so it follows that VPN interest is moving along the same path. If the US is truly following the same pattern, I would expect to see an even larger increase in interest over the next 1-2 weeks.

April 14, 2020. US interest peaked during the week of March 15-21, doubling previous interest. As Americans settled into shelter-in-place orders and schools and businesses closed, VPN interest peaked and then started declining. Interest is still significantly higher than before COVID-19.

Why the Increased Interest in VPN?

What can we learn from this spike in interest? Here are a few of my hypotheses.

Increase in corporate VPN interest due to working from home

Many people working from home, particularly for larger companies, are asked to utilize the company’s VPN to connect to the corporate network. Google Trends bears out this relationship very well, as you can see the clear connection between the increase in VPN interest and work from home interest over the last 2 months.

"Work From Home" Interest vs "VPN" Interest from Google Trends
“Work From Home” Interest vs “VPN” Interest from Google Trends as of April 14, 2020

People stuck at home are watching more online entertainment

Consumer VPN is synonymous with online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, etc. because of the issue of geolocation. The data in Google Trends tends to back up this assumption to some degree. It’s hard to directly compare “VPN” to “Netflix” because of the vast difference in popularity, but if you focus on increases over the last couple of months in the chart below it’s hard to argue that they don’t correlate very well.

"VPN" interest vs "Netflix" interest on Google Trends
“VPN” interest vs “Netflix” interest on Google Trends as of April 14, 2020

More to Come

We’ll continue to update this post as more information becomes available.

New VPN Server in Chisinau, Moldova

Chisinau, Moldova VPN Server

The latest Ghost Path VPN server location is up and running in Chisinau, Moldova. The Chisinau VPN service is the latest addition to our extensive presence in Europe.

Ghost Path VPN Servers

The Chisinau VPN server should be incredibly fast for you if you’re in eastern Europe.

Ghost Path now has 125 operational servers in 52 countries providing our customers with hundreds of anonymous IP addresses. Here’s an up-to-date list of all of our VPN servers list. With Ghost Path, you have the freedom to browse the world wide web using any of our remote servers. Watch for more VPN servers as we continue to grow.

How To Use The Chisinau VPN Server

Open the Ghost Path VPN client. If you’re currently located in Moldova the Chisinau gateway will automatically be in your closest Locations connection folder.

If you happen not to be in Moldova but still would want to connect to the new server in Chisinau: all you need to do is go to the locations tab of Ghost Path’s app and simply create a new locations folder. Drag the Belgrade server to that folder and you’re good to go!

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is both secure and pocket-friendly. We take your privacy very seriously and never log your data. Ghost Path is committed to consistent improvement and expansion; give our services a try with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

New VPN Server in Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade VPN

We’ve just launched a new VPN server location in Belgrade, Serbia. The Belgrade VPN service is the latest addition to our extensive presence in Europe.

Ghost Path VPN Servers

The Belgrade VPN server should be incredibly fast for you if you’re in eastern Europe.

Ghost Path now has 125 operational servers in 52 countries providing our customers with hundreds of anonymous IP addresses. Here’s an up-to-date list of all of our VPN servers list. With Ghost Path, you have the freedom to browse the world wide web using any of our remote servers. Watch for more VPN servers as we continue to grow.

How To Use The Belgrade VPN Server

Open the Ghost Path VPN client. If you’re currently located in Serbia the Belgrade gateway will automatically be in your closest Locations connection folder.

If you happen not to be in Serbia but still would want to connect to the new server in Belgrade: all you need to do is go to the locations tab of Ghost Path’s app and simply create a new locations folder. Drag the Belgrade server to that folder and you’re good to go!

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is both secure and pocket-friendly. We take your privacy very seriously and never log your data. Ghost Path is committed to consistent improvement and expansion; give our services a try with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

New VPN Server Location in Mumbai, India

Mumbai VPN Server

We’re excited to announce our newest VPN server location, Mumbai. The Mumbai location is the latest addition to our extensive presence in India.

Ghost Path VPN Servers

The Mumbai VPN server should be incredibly fast for you if you’re in southern Asia.

Ghost Path now has 114 operational servers in 50 countries providing our customers with hundreds of anonymous IP addresses. Here’s an up-to-date list of all of our VPN servers list. With Ghost Path, you have the freedom to browse the world wide web using any of our remote servers. Watch for more VPN servers as we continue to grow.

How To Use The Mumbai VPN Server

Open the Ghost Path VPN client. If you’re currently located in India the Mumbai gateway will automatically be in your closest Locations connection folder.

If you happen not to be in India but still would want to connect to the new server in Mumbai: all you need to do is go to the locations tab of Ghost Path’s app and simply create a new locations folder. Drag the Mumbai server to that folder and you’re good to go!

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is both secure and pocket-friendly. We take your privacy very seriously and never log your data. Ghost Path is committed to consistent improvement and expansion; give our services a try with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

New VPN Server Location in Thessaloniki, Greece

VPN Server in Thessaloniki Greece

We’re excited to announce our newest VPN server location, Thessaloniki, Greece. The Thessaloniki location is the latest addition to our extensive presence in Europe.

Ghost Path VPN Servers

The Thessaloniki VPN server should be incredibly fast for you if you’re in southern Europe.

Ghost Path now has 114 operational servers in 50 countries providing our customers with hundreds of anonymous IP addresses. Here’s an up-to-date list of all of our VPN servers list. With Ghost Path, you have the freedom to browse the world wide web using any of our remote servers. Watch for more VPN servers as we continue to grow.

How To Use The Thessaloniki VPN Server

Open the Ghost Path VPN client. If you’re currently located in Greece the Thessaloniki gateway will automatically be in your closest Locations connection folder.

If you happen not to be in Greece but still would want to connect to the new server in Thessaloniki: all you need to do is go to the locations tab of Ghost Path’s app and simply create a new locations folder. Drag the Thessaloniki, Greece server to that folder and you’re good to go!

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is both secure and pocket-friendly. We take your privacy very seriously and never log your data. Ghost Path is committed to consistent improvement and expansion; give our services a try with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

New Feature: Configure Your Own Port Forward

Set up VPN Port Forwarding on Ghost Path

We’ve released a new feature that customers have been asking about. Now, you can manage and configure port forward settings yourself, directly in your account, without having to rely on our support team to set it up for you.

What is a Port Forward?

Port forwarding is the process of opening up a specific port through the VPN that is public-facing. This allows outside traffic to access your computer. An example of this would be remote access, where you would use port forwarding to access your home computer while you’re traveling.

There are inherent security risks with port forwarding since you’re allowing outside traffic through a port, so be sure to weigh the potential risks before setting it up. There are many legitimate uses for port forwarding, so the benefits of your specific situation may outweigh the risks.

Port Forward Requirements

Each Ghost Path username is allowed to forward one port, and you have to specify whether you want the TCP or UDP protocol. Once a port forward is configured it takes a few hours for it to take effect throughout the network.

How Do You Configure the Port Forward?

It’s a really simple process. Simply log in to the Ghost Path website and click on VPN settings. Follow the instructions to configure everything. We’ve put together an article in our knowledgebase about Port Forwarding with a bit more detail. As always, feel free to reach out to support if you have any questions.

New VPN Server Location in Athens, Greece

Athens Greece VPN Server

We’re excited to announce our newest VPN server location, Athens, Greece. The Athens location is the latest addition to our extensive presence in Europe.

Ghost Path VPN Servers

The Athens VPN server should be incredibly fast for you if you’re in southern Europe.

Ghost Path now has 148 operational servers in 50 countries providing our customers with hundreds of anonymous IP addresses. Here’s an up-to-date list of all of our VPN servers list. With Ghost Path, you have the freedom to browse the world wide web using any of our remote servers. Watch for more VPN servers as we continue to grow.

How To Use The Athens VPN Server

Open the Ghost Path VPN client. If you’re currently located in Greece the Athens gateway will automatically be in your closest Locations connection folder.

If you happen not to be in Greece but still would want to connect to the new server in Athens: all you need to do is go to the locations tab of Ghost Path’s app and simply create a new locations folder. Drag the Athens, Greece server to that folder and you’re good to go!

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is both secure and pocket-friendly. We take your privacy very seriously and never log your data. Ghost Path is committed to consistent improvement and expansion; give our services a try with a 7-day free trial.

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.

New Version of Ghost Path Client

New Ghost Path VPN Client

We’ve just released a brand new update to the Ghost Path VPN client. This version is meant to improve usability.

We recommend all Ghosts update to the newest version as soon as possible. You can download by logging in at ghostpath.com/members and clicking Downloads.

New Default VPN Servers

New installs of the software will see the closest VPN server automatically become the default. As always, you can change that to any server that you choose, but pre-populating with the nearest server will help new users get connected more quickly and easily.

New Random Port Setting

We’re also turning on the random port connection setting by default for new installs. This helps you stay more secure by keeping you from staying on a single port too long.

Will Updating Erase My Ghost Path Configurations?

Updating to the new version of the Ghost Path app retains all settings from the previous version, including your username and your VPN server selections.

Full List of Changes

  • VPN server defaults to nearest server for new installs
  • Random port setting is enabled by default on new installs
  • Fixed a bug related to server list updates

As always, contact support if you run into any problems at all.