The internet is no longer a safe place to be. Compared to a decade ago, the statistics of cyber-attacks has risen exponentially. The annual cybersecurity budget of the U.S. government has increased by approximately 4.1% peeking in at $583.4 million.
With more and more malicious technologies surfacing every day, the need to stay updated with the latest countermeasures is greater than ever. Here at The VPN Privacy, we’ll acquaint you to the latest tools, technologies, and techniques to stay safe on the cyberspace.
Invasive Technologies & Solutions
This might seem like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, but you’re actually being monitored right this very moment. From marketers to ISPs, to government agencies, everyone wants a piece of your data.
Giant corporations like Google and Facebook are constantly embedding cunning technologies to siphon as much information about you as possible. Your data is what fuels these corporations. Without your data, targeted ads simply wouldn’t exist.
Even government agencies like GCHQ and the NSA that exist to safeguard our privacy, are actually collecting mass information through unethical surveillance programs.
But there’s still hope out there. With the help of few widely available security tools, you can take complete control over your privacy today.
VPN – Virtual Private Networks
Even though it’s easy to think that no one knows your true identity online, you’re only deceiving yourself. The truth of the matter is, your ISP associates you with a unique IP address that’s similar to your home address.
Your IP address tells a lot about you. Anyone tracking you can identify your geographic location, the device you’re using, and what you’re accessing online. This compromising information can help ISPs impose geo-restrictions and targeted advertisements.
Even more shockingly, there are no actual legislations preventing ISPs from retaining user data. This permits law enforcement agencies in countries like the U.S to gain access to confidential data through normal warrants, or non-disclosable National Security Letters (NSLs).
Not only that, but the stored data can also be legally sold to third party advertiser by your ISP thanks to no existent net neutrality laws.
How can this be prevented?
With the help of a Virtual Private Network, you can establish a secure encrypted tunnel between your device and the VPN server. This renders snoopers from zeroing in on your online activities.
In addition to encrypting your network traffic, a VPN service provider also swaps your original IP address with one of their own, allowing you to anonymize your identity on the web.
Not only that, by replacing your original IP and geographic location, a VPN allows you to bypass content restrictions and access blocked websites/services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer among others.
A web browser is usually our first point of contact with the internet. Yet despite that, most mainstream browsers are infamous for exploiting user data.
Since web browsers are known to store personal information like history, login credentials, and even geographical locations through cookies, our data is vulnerable to countless threats.
This information can not only be exploited by hackers but also sold to third-party marketers for targeted advertisements.
The most infamous data hogging browsers that you can avoid are Google Chrome, Opera, and Microsoft Edge. These browsers use techniques like browser fingerprinting and WebRTC technology to track your activities even with your cookies disabled.
How can this be prevented?
While most browsers are guilty of exploiting user data, there are a few stripped-down secure browsers you can consider. Open source browsers like FireFox, Brave, and Waterfox, are comparatively much more secure.
If these browsers are not your cup of tea, you can make use of VPNs and browser add-ons to secure your web browsing. Here are a few addons and plugins you can consider:
- HTTPS Everywhere – Establishes HTTPS connection with websites you visit.
- uMatrix – Control network requests that may be tracking you online.
- NoScript – Control which scripts run on the sites you visit.
- Cookie AutoDelete – Automatically deletes unwanted tracking cookies.
- Privacy Badger – Blocks trackers and malicious advertisements.
Ad-Blockers & Malware
We all come across annoying popup ads every day. Whether it’s about winning a free iPhone or optimizing your PC, they can be quite devastating to your privacy.
Today’s ads are maliciously designed to tracks your online habits. Companies will go to great lengths to gather as much information about you as possible.
Even if tracking cookies don’t bother you all thatt much, you certainly can’t undermine the atrocities that a sketchy popup ad can wreak on your device.
How can this be prevented?
Well, there are a number of ways you can get rid of sketchy ads. To begin with, you can resort to using ad-blockers. But this option only works with browsers that actually support plugins or add-ons.
A much better option would be to opt for a VPN service that comes with builtin ad-blockers. Not only will you be able to encrypt your network traffic, but also get rid of obtrusive ads.
Last but not least, you can opt for a router with built-in ad-blocking feature. This option might not be everyone, but if you’re using a modern router, you should be able to use this feature.
Similar to web browsers, search engines also store a lot of information about you. Ever wondered how ads related to search history randomly popup on your browser.
That’s no coincidence. Factually speaking, search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing actually collect your search history to build a whole persona against you.
This wealth of information and profile building can actually help advertisers or marketers to manipulate your buying behavior.
Don’t worry though, here are a few secure search engines you can consider: