10 People Who Need a VPN [infographic]

Do you need a VPN?

We’ll get to the answer to that question in a minute, but first, let’s back it up.

Do you know what a VPN is?

VPN is a Virtual Private Network. And, it’s an effective, safe and easy way to add security and privacy to both public and private networks. Basically, it enables you to freely use and browse the Internet without the fear of putting yourself at risk of cybercrimes, hackers, or geographic restrictions.

As you can imagine, having a VPN can be really beneficial, but there are specific groups of people who really can benefit from having a VPN.

If you’re wondering if you are a one of them, check out the infographic below to find out!


Click HERE to view infographic in a new page.

 

For even more info about how a VPN can benefit you, visit GhostPath.com.

Censorship & Security Issues While Traveling

If you’re a frequent traveler, you likely know the headaches and risks that can arise with censorship, geographic restrictions and unsecured WiFi.

In our wired world, we often take for granted the ease and security of connecting to the Internet at home, and then when we travel, we’re suddenly hit with outrageous usage fees, limited access and compromised public WiFi that puts our data and identities at risk.

Well, we put together a fun infographic that demonstrates the censorship and security issues travelers face, as well as a solution that’ll remove the blocks and the worry!

Travel VPN Infographic

For more info about VPNs (virtual private networks), click here.

Are You At Risk For Facebook Hacking?

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 12.06.52 PMDo you know if you’re at risk of having your Facebook account hacked?

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t really give Facebook hackers much thought as you peruse friends’ photos, post updates, and scroll through your Newsfeed. But, the truth is, social media hacking is a lot more common than you might think! And, if you’re not taking some basic precautions, you might be putting yourself at risk, too.

In 2011, 1 in 10 social network users reported that their accounts had been hacked, and in 2012 the frequency increased to 1 in 6. (Source: Norton Cybercrime Report 2011, 2012.)

In order to protect yourself, your accounts, and your personal, private information, here are 7 simple techniques that you can use to ensure that your Facebook account does not fall prey to hackers.

1. Never share your login or password information.

This may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people freely share their logins and passwords with friends and family members. Though your family and friends likely have your best interest at heart, they may unknowingly post, share or communicate information about your account that could put you at greater risk.

2. Create passwords that are LONG and STRONG.

If you use the same easy-t0-remember password for all your accounts, this is a big no-no. It’s recommended that you change your password every few months and create passwords that are both LONG and STRONG. A great way to do this is to use an acronym of your favorite song title or lyrics. For example, if you’re a Billy Joel fan, you could transform some lyrics from his 1976 hit, “New York State of Mind”, into a great password such as ImInaNYSofM1976 — no one’s going to guess that!

3. Don’t click Newsfeed links.

Never click on suspicious looking links to games, apps and other ads that you’re unsure of that may pop-up in your Facebook Newsfeed, and avoid allowing 3rd party applications to access your information when you sign-up for something.

4. Add a second email.

In the “General Settings” section of your Facebook account, had a secondary email in case your account is ever hacked. In the event that your account is compromised, Facebook will send recovery info to both email accounts so you have a better chance of recovering your information quickly and restoring your account security.

5. Only “friend” friends.

Only accept and extend friendship to individual that you actually know. When you accept a stranger’s friend request, you give them access to your personal information, so it’s always best to never post any sensitive, personal or financial details about yourself.

6. Follow Facebook’s advice.

Facebook offers step-by-step instructions that you can follow that outline “How to Prevent Your Facebook Account from being Hacked”. They suggest enabling login notification, checking your active sessions, and enabling secure browsing. Learn how to do all 3 here.

7. Beef up your online security.

Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a fantastic way to beef up your online security in general and will sure-up not only your social media accounts but all your online activity including emailing, browsing and accessing sensitive sites like banking or credit cards.

A VPN is kind of like a secure tunnel that contains all your data and info, and the tunnel is comprised of an encryption ring that hackers cannot decipher, meaning everything that flows through the tunnel, including your social media activity, is safe.

VPN’s are also extremely valuable if you routinely access your social accounts from low-security networks like coffee shops, airports, hotels, restaurants, or any other public WiFi hotspot.

For a risk-free 7-day trial of GhostPath’s premier VPN service, click here.

12 Tips for Internet Safety While Traveling

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 12.28.12 PMWhen we travel it’s often to “get away from it all”, yet we still like to be connected.

And, today, it’s getting easier and easier to stay plugged in no matter where you go thanks to the prolific number of networks that are available to us at coffee shops, airports, hotels, parks, cultural sites, restaurants and more!

But, when you travel, you’re even more at risk for online hacking because you’re often using a public or unsecured WiFi network to get online.

And, if you think just because you’re paying to use a connection or because it’s password protected that you’re safe, think again: “According to Marian Merritt, Internet safety advocate at Norton by Symantec (maker of Norton AntiVirus), the two main risks you face when using a hot spot are having someone track your online movements via the network you’re logged on to or trick you into using a “fake” hot spot, either by offering it up for free or mimicking the name of a legitimate one. In both instances, a hacker can potentially see your passwords, e-mail, social networks, bank accounts, documents, and more.” (Source: Travel & Leisure) Yikes!

The truth is, staying safe while traveling starts at home, well before the vacation begins!

If you’re wondering how to keep your devices, information and data secure even while traveling, we’ve got 12 tips for you.

Before Traveling…

  1. Back-up all your devices.
  2. Create temporary travel passwords, and make sure they’re strong and long.
  3. Turn on your computer’s firewall.
  4. Invest in a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt your communications and reroute all traffic through a private, secure connection.
  5. Don’t change the security settings on your phone. Generally your phone’s default settings are relatively secure.
  6. Turn off autofill and cookies. If your laptop or phone automatically enters your login info for familiar websites, be sure to turn that off before you travel.
  7. Handle all bank transactions from home, before you leave.

When traveling…

  1. Only connect using encrypted WiFi networks or a hard-wired connection, unless you have your own WiFi hotspot or use a VPN service.
  2. Never use public computers for logging into private accounts like email, Facebook, credit cards, or any other site that has access to your personal info.
  3. Switch off your phone’s wireless connection when you’re not using it.
  4. Cellular networks tend to be secure, so instead of suffering obscene roaming charges, purchase a data plan. Both Verizon and AT&T offer affordable global data roaming packages.
  5. Always use a site’s https address if available — https connections are safer and more secure than standard http.

How To Surf The Web Anonymously

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 3.01.18 PM

Have you heard that nearly everything you do or create on the Internet gets recorded somewhere, somehow?

Meaning that for every blog post you write and every photo you share, there’s a copy of it somewhere on the Internet. It doesn’t matter if you erase it, a copy will still be there for people to find. Not to mention the fact that our searches, sites we visit and other activities are tracked, too.

But what is more unsettling is that even if you just visit a particular Web site, you are often unknowingly giving out your personal information, such as your current location, what device you are using, and even where you go to after that. Kind of creepy, right?

Well, it gets worse…depending on where you live, this data may then be collected, sorted, analyzed, and even accessed and used by the government and other parties.

But, don’t worry — there is something you can do about it!

There are now Web services that allow you to browse anonymously. These services essentially act as the middle man between you and the Web site that you want to visit. This means that the Web site will not gain access to your private, personal information.

You have to remember, though, that while the destination Web site will not see your personal information, the “anonymizer” service, itself, may be keeping server logs that could record your data…and these logs could be subpoenaed. So, be sure to look for an anonymizer service that does not keep logs!

If you’re worried about protecting yourself and your data online, we’re here with some helpful solutions.  Read on to learn how to surf the Web anonymously.

Disable any extensions

Anonymous browsing services will protect you from people who have physical access to your computer. This means it will not leave anything about your history, and it will delete any cookies and private data when you close the browsers. Google, for example, has the Incognito mode for Chrome browsers.

However, there’s one more reason for you to use Incognito and other browser’s anonymous browsing mode: it disables any plugin or extension by default. Plugins and extensions can store private data and share these with the Web sites you visit without you even realizing it!

Without plugins or extensions running, you can be sure that Web sites cannot obtain data from them.

Get a second browser

Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and other well-known browsers are available for free. Even if you have a favorite browser for your daily activities, it makes a great deal of sense to use a second browser for sites that you want to visit anonymously.

By second browser, we mean a browser that you do not use to open e-mails, access your social media accounts, and do your online shopping, among other usual activities online.

Why?

Because some anonymizer services – which may include those of your favorite browser – could still leave cookies on your machine, which could be used to find out who you are.

Use a Web proxy

If you only wish to anonymize select activities (and if you do not mind the slow speeds), you might want to check out Web proxies.

All you need to do is go to a Web proxy site, enter the URL you want to visit, and voila! You’re there…anonymously!

Be reminded, however, that some content may not display when you use a Web proxy. Forms may also not get submitted, such as when you are logging into your Web mail service.

A better option would be to use manual proxy servers that work like a Web proxy, but in this case, you will need to set your browser to use the proxy’s IP address.

Do not login

You’ve probably noticed that today there are countless sites that require you to use (or create) a username and password in order to read a complete article or use other functionalities of the Web site. Or, perhaps, they ask you to connect to the site using Facebook or Twitter.

Why?

Because the site wants identifying information about you.

Think twice before logging in or registering on any site with which you’re unfamiliar.

Don’t want to create a username & password, but still want access to the site?

Check out BugMeNot.com to see if they have log-in credentials that you can use instead.

Use TOR

TOR is short for The Onion Router.

What it does is simple: your browser will be performing the same data requests, but it will pass through a series of TOR servers, and at each of these transmissions, your data will be encrypted. This way you can access all your favorite sites without being “followed”!

Get a VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. These networks enable you to browse anonymously by hiding your IP address and replacing it with that of another server.

When you use a VPN you can rest assured that your data is secure and safe from hackers, cyber scams, identity theft and phishing email fraud.

How To Protect Your iPhone From Peeping-Toms

DeathtoStock_Wired9Did you know that any time you use public WiFi with your smartphone you are putting yourself at risk?

That’s right — public WiFi is a playground for hackers who are just waiting to access your secure data.  But, here’s the good news…

You can do something about it!

The solution in three words: Virtual Private Networks.  Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, serve to protect you, your data and your identity in a number of ways, but the most important thing to understand about VPNs is this: VPNs secure the Internet connection you are using so that all of the data you are transmitting is encrypted.  This makes it more secure from hackers and other people who are trying to see what you are sending or receiving.

More specifically, a VPN is a collection of computers or networks that are joined together over a public network such as the Internet.  You can use a VPN to connect your data centers, or to access your home network without the need to log into a computer on the same local area network.  A VPN could also be used to secure transmissions and messages if you are using an untrusted network that is open to the public.  So, as you can clearly see, VPNs offer you a world of benefit in the smartphone era.

Here are a few more reasons why VPNs are so vital for smartphone users:

1. Having a VPN allows you to access your files and other data on your network even when you are away from home, your office or when you are traveling.  A lot of companies are letting their employees use their own devices for work, and having a VPN is a great way to keep your transactions, messages and data safe.

2. Use VPN when you are on public Wi-Fi.  Public Wi-Fi puts you at risk, and you never know who may be trying to hack into your phone.  Having a VPN on your iPhone or Android will keep you safe when you are connecting to a public Wi-Fi in a coffee shop, airport, hotel or elsewhere.

3. VPN allows you to be more secure.  If you use your smartphone for work, you will appreciate that VPN easily makes your transmission, e-mails and other communications safe, encrypted and secure.

4. If you are using your iPhone or Android to download files, you should also use VPN.  This is also true if you are paranoid about BitTorrent files.  Sometimes, just having a torrent-downloading app on your iPhone could put you at risk, but a VPN will protect you against that potential problem.

5. With VPN, you can use your smartphone to watch your favorite TV shows back home.  When traveling, you can connect to a VPN and check out your TV shows, sporting events or even watch Netflix online, even if it is restricted where you are.

Why You Need To Be Using VPN

We recently found an article by Erica Sadun of TUAW. We couldn’t help but love the way she so smoothly describes VPN and how it can benefit your web surfing and sharing experience. It’s always interesting to see how other industry professionals see VPN and it’s benefits. Read more