VPN Downloads Spiked After Congress Rolled Back Privacy Rules

Last month, after Congress rolled back Obama-era FCC protections meant to stop Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from harvesting your private data without permission, consumers quickly hustled to find other ways to protect their privacy. New data reveals that many of those consumers turned to virtual private network (VPN) software, which effectively extends a protected network over a public network like the internet.

For consumers, the best line of defense is to install VPN software on their web-connected devices. And that’s exactly what’s happening: According to data from Google Trends and App Annie, interest in VPN apps spiked significantly in late March as the privacy protections were repealed.

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Why Your Free VPN Won’t Cut It

vpnVPNs protect you from all manners of evil. However, if you are using or simply thinking of using a free VPN, please read the article by Joel Lee in the MakeUseOf.com web site at: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/free-vpn-cut. Lee points out the benefits of a VPN and then lists 5 Reasons to Never Use a Free VPN.

Perhaps the biggest issue is near the end of the article:

“At this point, you have to ask yourself: why are they offering this free of charge?

“If you can’t come up with a good answer, then you’re probably the one being exploited.”

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How Easy is it for a Hacker to Capture Your Data on Public Free Wi-Fi?

Very easy. Use a VPN!

You can read the reasons why VPNs are so important on public wi-fi connections in an article by Gary Sims at http://www.androidauthority.com/capture-data-open-wi-fi-726356.

I have written about VPN connections a number of times. Read my past articles about VPNs by starting at https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+vpn&t=hu&ia=web.

The Netgear Nighthawk X4s Router includes a VPN and is Now Available for $200

These won’t last long: NETGEAR’s Nighthawk X4s includes all the networking features you could possibly want, and even some rarely-seen bonuses like an eSATA port and openVPN, and Amazon’s marked it down to an all-time low $200.

netgear-nighthawk-x4

You can find the Netgear Nighthawk X4 at http://goo.gl/GUlVIi for as long as it is available.

Anonabox PRO WiFi TOR and VPN Router for Internet Privacy

Anonabox PRO WiFi TOR and VPN RouterI just returned from a two-week trip to New Zealand and then to Singapore. I wanted to have secure communications via email and via Google Duo (similar to Apple FaceTime but for both iPhone and Android cell phones) and I also wanted to be able to surf the web securely. I didn’t want any hackers to view online transactions with my bank account, credit card companies, or any online purchases I might make while traveling. While most online transactions use SSL (Secure Sockets layer) encryption, SSL has been hacked.

NOTE: See my earlier article at http://goo.gl/nbkl1g for just one example of SSL being compromised. There are other methods of cracking SSL encryption as well.

If I was using only one laptop or cell phone, I probably would install VPN software in that device. That probably would be the simplest and cheapest solution. However, I wanted to secure my Macintosh laptop, the Chromebook laptop, the Android cell phone, and the VoIP telephone I carry with me when traveling. (Someday I will write about why I carry a VoIP telephone. For now, I will simply state that I perform live telephone support for one of my business ventures.) I wanted one device to secure all of these systems.

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Republican National Convention Attendees Unknowingly Connect to Bogus Wi-Fi Hotspots and Expose Peronal Information

An experiment conducted to see how many people would log on to free, unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots near the site of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Sunday revealed that people are still not diligent enough about protecting their personal information. More than 1,200 people connected to the fake Wi-Fi networks set up by Avast Software, the researchers said. Of the people who connected to the networks, Avast found 68% left their personal information exposed.

Over the course of a day, Avast saw more than 1.6 gigabytes transferred from more than 1,200 users. Of those, almost 7% shopped on Amazon, and 1% accessed a banking app or banking website; 5% played Pokemon Go; 4% visited government domains or websites. A small number also accessed dating apps or pornography sites.

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