Smells Like Privacy Teen Spirit

Remember what it was like to be 16? Most of us didn’t have a job yet. Mommy or daddy was the bank, running to them whenever we needed money. School was where the most interesting things would happen to us. It contained the majority of our social network of friends and it was where we spent the most time. It’s also the place where we kept most of our secrets; and some of us buried them there.

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I remember not really having that much privacy. My mom was in my room all the time, she knew all my friends, and my location (at any time she could give you the GPS pinpoint location); so what little privacy I had at 16, I cherished. Secrets were something to be hoarded; eventually dying on that basketball court, near that special tree, or even, on that lunch table.

With over 1 billion active users, Facebook has become our outlet for posting pictures, videos, or just saying where we’re at and who’s with us. It seems as if teens, in particular, are posting more openly; not caring about who sees their pictures or what’s going on in them. A teacher of technology for inner city students quotes:

“I know which of my teenage students smokes weed in the park after class on Fridays, and which other students are with him. I know which ones are struggling with making friends in their first few weeks at college, and which ones aren’t. I know which of my students chafe against overly strict parents on a regular basis. I know which one spends every weekend in the hospital due to a chronic condition. I know which ones got arrested last night. I know all these things because I follow them all on various social media services. And they know I know.”

So what does this mean? That teens are less concerned with privacy? That they want to show off their defiant behavior? Actually, they know more about the privacy settings than most adults. In a recent Pew study, results say that teens and young adults are the most likely to use strategies to be less visible online. The teacher from this quote ran a summer program to teach inner city teens about jobs in technology. During the program, they held a four hour session dedicated to the privacy settings on most of the social media platforms. What they found, was that the teens, not only knew most the privacy settings already, but they were actually bored during the seminars. Which was not the case for other seminars: html intro, programming jobs, even basic informatics held their attention more. These teens stated that instead of logging out of Facebook every time, they actually de-activate their account (leaving them invisible while not logged in) until logging back in and re-activating it.

In conclusion, with all the new privacy apps and VPN programs popping up everywhere, this is a direct message to their marketing directors!! Teens are very aware of the importance of privacy and should be considered an important target audience, in every market strategy.

 

*This is a guest post courtesy of our cool intern from the US, Eramus :)

CyberGhost5 is now available in 5 additional languages

We are proud to announce that we have a major update: CyberGhost5 is now available in
5 additional languages: French, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, Polish. If you want to use the updated version of CyberGhost5 all you have to do is restart CyberGhost in order to install the new version 5.0.13.10.

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Red Couch – How We Can Fight Back against the NSA Surveillance Episode

Interested in knowing How We Can Fight Back against the National Security Agency’s collection of our emails and phone calls?

Then you have to watch our new Red Couch episode. Continue reading

Heartbleed Bug: Change of SSL Certificates

The recent Internet meltdown, somehow trivialized called “Heartbleed”, keeps us all busy these days: You, trying to get a hand on updates for your worthy programs and operating systems, us with patching our servers (which we did by the way much faster than the news kept coming), and from Wednesday on with the replacement of the SSL certificates.

wickingerWe do our best to get this thing accomplished without you getting involved, but the next days we need your patience and benevolence when updating those parts of our infrastructure that can’t be worked on while online. Which means we have to take a few servers offline step by step, replace the certificates and push them back into life. If this happens, all users online on the respective servers will be cut off from CyberGhost for the time needed, which will be about 5, maximum 10 minutes. Please take this into account, especially if you use a native protocol with CyberGhost and not the client with its secure disconnection feature. We apologize deeply for any inconvenience – but, as we all know, safety comes first.

The replacement of the certificates will take place on two days, Wednesday, April 16th, and Thursday, April 17th, 2014. Please refer to the following schedule of servers being updated:

Amsterdam-S02 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Amsterdam-S03 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Bucharest-S01 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Bucharest-S03 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Bucharest-S05 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Dublin-S01 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Erfurt-S01 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Erfurt-S02 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Erfurt-S03 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Erfurt-S04 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Espoo-S01 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Frankfurt-S01 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Frankfurt-S02 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Frankfurt-S03 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Frankfurt-S04 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Graz-S01 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Hamburg-S01 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Hamburg-S04 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Hamburg-S05 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Kiev-S01 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
Laval-S01 Wednesday, 8 AM CET
London-S01 Thursday, 8 AM CET
London-S03 Thursday, 8 AM CET
London-S04 Thursday, 8 AM CET
LosAngeles-S02 Wednesday, 16 PM CET
Luxembourg-S01 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Milano-S01 Thursday, 8 AM CET
NewYork-S08 Wednesday, 16:00 PM CET
Oslo-S01 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Prague-S01 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Reykjavik-S01 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Singapore-S01 Wednesday, 1 AM CET
Tampa-S01 Wednesday, 16 PM CET
Warsaw-S01 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Zurich-S04 Thursday, 8 AM CET
Zurich-S05 Thursday, 8 AM CET

Map of Internet Censorship [Infographic]

For most of us, internet is something we take for granted. We’ve got used to going online whenever we need to gather information, communicate with friends and family or update our social media profiles. We do it whenever we feel lonely or bored. Getting our phones out for the sake of correcting a friend, winning an argument or simply checking the latest updates of our acquaintances has become a knee jerk reaction.

There are, however, plenty of countries in which access to internet is regarded as a privilege rather than a right. For them, internet is not synonymous with freedom of speech and quick and unlimited access to exhaustive information. Their governments restrict or completely block access to torrents, file-hosting websites, social and political media and pornography, with justifications that range from combating software piracy to looking out for the well-being of their citizens, known also as state-enforced morality.

Below, you can find an infographic (click to see the entire infographic) presenting the censorship situation on 5 continents, based on several criteria, such as the restrictions they imposed on torrents, social and political media and pornography, as well as their level of censorship ranging from very low restrictions to no access at all. Continue reading

How we unblocked Twitter in Turkey

First, I will try to outline the current situation in Turkey so you can realize why we felt that we needed to do something and donate 30.000 free Premium licenses to help Turkish people.

Turkey has a long tradition of censorship that reached a peak again last week with the ban on Twitter, blocking March 22 by blocking access to the Google public DNS service and than the ban on YouTube.

The actions of the Turkish Prime Minister made the international community react furiously, especially since Turkey has previously banned YouTube after videos insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s founder, were shared on the site. Continue reading

Edward Snowden in Bucharest

These past months have been really exciting for CyberGhost VPN, working on releasing the Mac version and the Android App, moving to a new location, increasing our team. But nothing has prepared us for this great moment in our lives: we just bumped into Edward Snowden in the Old City Center, in Bucharest!

snowden in bucharest Continue reading