Archive - July 2016

Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: VPN usage gets banned in UAE, Paramount ends geoblocking & more privacy news

The last week of July has seen quite some important updates in the field of online privacy. Read our privacy news below and share them with the friends interested in such a hot topic!


Use a VPN in the UAE and you could end up in prison

The president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has passed a new law concerning the use of a VPN. Those using such a service to access regionally blocked sites could end up in jail. Fines range between $136,000 and $545,000.

Currently, the services unblocked in the UAE with the help of a VPN are WhatsApp, Snapchat and others that use the Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. This is very much frowned upon by telecomms operators, who are said to benefit most from this law.

Read more here.

Paramount ends geoblocking & UAE turn #VPN usage into federal crime. Get more #PrivacyUpdates from #CyberGhost! Click to Tweet

Cybersecurity, more important than online privacy to Americans

According to a recent analysis published by the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration), “Americans are increasingly concerned about online security and privacy” and “these concerns are prompting some Americans to limit their online activity.”

However, the NTIA data show that American Internet users are more concerned about online security than online privacy.

For all the details, go to this link.

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Travel advice for the online privacy enthusiast: 7 useful tips

Summer is by definition the season when most of us take well-deserved vacations. We become tourists in our own countries or go abroad, to unplug from our busy daily lives and recharge our batteries for the challenges coming up ahead.

Above everything else, this out-of-office time is meant for relaxation. However, this does not mean that we have to completely become oblivious to the online safety dangers which could appear anytime, anyplace.

Even if you’re travelling for business purposes, take this travel advice into consideration on your next trip. Always make sure that the precious private information stored on any of your devices stays between you and those devices, with nobody else prying into it!


  1. The perils of public WiFis

When we’re abroad, finding a free public WiFi network is a dream come true. But however happy we are to update our loved ones about our vacation or to finally send that important business e-mail, we must be aware that a public WiFi comes with many risks.

Public WiFis are, first of all, very easy to hack into. Our security expert recently demonstrated that an experienced hacker can break into a hotel’s WiFi network in 1 minute. Scary? You haven’t heard the whole the story yet!

This means that, through an unsecured public WiFi, a hacker can steal your credit card info in the snap of a finger and start making online payments on your behalf. Furthermore, you’re basically handing them personal information, such as passwords to your work e-mail account, on a silver platter.

The solution? Well, you could connect using your mobile data and suffer the extra costs or use a VPN instead. CyberGhost has an app suited to any device you may be using and comes with some free features, as well.

You can read more about our apps here (the brand new CyberGhost for Windows), here (the freshly released CyberGhost for iOS) and here (the-soon-to-be updated CyberGhost for Android).

Are you going on vacation or traveling abroad? Take this #TravelAdvice into consideration for #OnlinePrivacy. #CyberGhost Click to Tweet
  1. The offline effects of online choices

When we’re on vacation, we often feel the need to share the excitement with everyone. But we have to be careful with the details we disclose both before and during our time away.

Telling others when and where you’re leaving is like basically rolling out a red carpet to welcome thieves into your home.

It doesn’t matter if you’re letting someone know face-to-face or on social media, the result can be the same one, although on social media, the information can reach a lore more people.

Therefore, our travel advice is to stay as discreet as possible concerning your vacation.

You may also want to think twice about posting that photo in your bathing suit or surrounded by numerous bottles of alcohol. Nothing is really private on social media, regardless of how thorough you were when you made your privacy settings.

Next thing you know, your manager, business partner or potential employer could know a lot more about you than you’d wish.

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Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: China bans ad blocking, France tells Microsoft to stop tracking users & more

Online privacy remains a hot topic these days, with new laws, bans and decisions taking place all over the world. Here is what we regard as some of the most important headlines of the week:


China bans blocking… Ad blocking, that is

A new level has been reached in blocking these days. Starting September 1, China will block blocking itself. In a document published by China’s Commerce Bureau, the People’s Republic of China presented the framework for a new Internet policy advertising law that will go into effect on September 1.

According to article XVI, all software and hardware that intercepts, filters, covers, fast-forwards or in any way prevents an advertisement from being viewed is prohibited. Read more here.


France says Microsoft’s user data collection is a faux pas

France’s data privacy watchdog, the CNIL, has ordered Microsoft to “stop collecting excessive user data” and to cease tracking the web browsing history of Windows 10 users without their consent.

This decision follows the discovery that the company was still transferring data to the US under the Safe Harbour agreement, which became invalid in October 2015.

The CNIL has issued similar notices against US tech companies in the past. More on the subject, at this link.

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10 tips for online privacy, while catching 'em all in Pokemon GO

If you caught the Pokémon GO bug and can’t help hunting hidden creatures across town or are merely thinking of downloading the app, there are some things you should know before putting your online privacy at stake.

We, at CyberGhost, are here to help you enjoy the content and apps you love, wherever you are. Help us fight the good fight and keep your private information private while playing Pokemon Go, with the help of these 10 tips:


  1. Don’t trust the unofficial versions

Since Pokémon GO is not available everywhere just yet, there are many third-party gaming websites which recommend downloading the APK from a non-Google Play link.

You will be required to modify your Android core security settings to install apps from untrusted sources.

Hackers can then download your data, steal your identity or banking information, send emails on your behalf and so on, all these with the aid of side-loaded malicious apps.

Our recommendation: if you really have to, download only the official version of the app from Niantic. If it’s not available in your location yet, wait for the official release. It’s the safest way.


  1. Use only HTTPS links when making payments

When buying pokécoins or making any other payments, make sure that you are directed to a “https” URL. You can also force HTTPS automatically with the help of the CyberGhost app.

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How toys pry into our children’s lives and what we can do to stop them


IoT or Internet of Things. You must have heard of it. It includes all those objects surrounding us that are interconnected and communicate through the internet. You might also know that over the past years they raised some concerns on how secure they are for our privacy.

But did you ever think of another IoT? Also known as Internet of Toys, it is the latest big thing that raises not only moral and ethical issues but also cybersecurity concerns.

As technology developed, it managed to infiltrate all areas of our day-to-day activities. Because of this development, technology has significantly revolutionized education, as well. However, most often, the ethical limits of these innovative methods have not been enforced through any form of legislation, especially when it comes to toys.

So what’s the deal with the new IoT?

Most of us would probably wonder what the big concern about toys with integrated software is.

First of all, the majority of modern toys, designed to not only entertain, but also to educate, require access to personal information about parents and children.

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WikiLeaks gets blocked in Turkey, but you can access it with CyberGhost

According to Reuters, following the publication of nearly 300,000 ruling party emails, Turkey has blocked access to the WikiLeaks website. The telecoms watchdog obtained the material, dated between 2010 and 2016, a week before the attempted coup in Ankara.

As a result to Turkey’s decision to ban WikiLeaks, we have added it to the list of websites from our Unblock Basic Websites profile. Download the CyberGhost VPN app from here and search the WikiLeaks AKP email database at this link.

Unblock #WikiLeaks and get access to nearly 300,000 #AKPemails using #CyberGhost. Click to Tweet

Thanks to CyberGhost, you will be able to access the site through servers from Romania, that are closest to your country, so that you get the best surfing speed.


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Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: Sharing online passwords becomes federal crime, EU-US Privacy Shield goes into effect & more

Online privacy remains a hot topic this July, stirring as much debate as ever. Find the most important headlines of the week from the CyberGhost blog, updated with fresh news every Friday. Jump in the conversation or simply quench your thirst for hot-off-the-press info.

But, most importantly, always surf anonymously with the CyberGhost apps for Windows, iOS or Android.


Sharing Netflix and HBO passwords is now a federal crime… but not so much

On July 5th, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that found, in part, that sharing passwords can be grounds for prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

This might turn millions of people who share passwords of streaming websites such as Netflix or HBO into “unwitting federal criminals”.

However, Netflix representatives declared in the past that they do not track the number of people sharing account passwords, since that poses difficulties and can also beneficial to them.

FBI raises eyebrows by collecting 430,000 iris scans

Size makes no difference when it comes to cutting-edge surveillance technology. At least that’s the case of San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, servicing 2 million citizens with the help of 1,800 officers, as The Verge draws attention.

Quietly, however, this department has collected iris data from an estimate of 434,000 arrestees, of the last couple of years.

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