Archive - September 2017

Are VPNs legal and can we confidently use them?

Along with so many laws and regulations passed by governments from different countries trying to suppress free internet, surveil and control online content, some of you might wonder if VPNs are legal.

Well, the answer is quite simple really: if they weren’t, you probably couldn’t have read this blog article. The activity and services offered by VPNs are completely legal; the only problem is some countries have banned their citizens’ right to use a VPN, such as China, Belarus, Oman and a few other countries.

Check this list explaining which countries accept the use of a VPN and which consider it illegal.

So, with a few exceptions like the ones mentioned above, VPNs are legal and can be used anywhere else in the world.

Don’t confuse a VPN with a protective mask for unlawful deeds

However, there is also the other side of the story: some people might misinterpret the whole purpose of using a VPN.

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A new victory for people’s right to privacy: the use of cell site simulators was declared unconstitutional

A new victory in terms of people’s rights to personal privacy has come to pass. Although not directly related to online privacy, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruling from yesterday stating that the use of cell site simulators is unconstitutional is certainly good news.

Ok, what are cell site simulators?

Well, they are mass surveillance devices that makes peoples’ cellphones to be tracked in real time. They have been used for many years by state, local, and federal law enforcement in the United States, but apparently, their use was not transparent at all. They are usually fixed in a van and used with a directional antenna, but some of them are quite smaller, easily fitting in a backpack.

The controversy with cell site simulators

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iOS 11 new anti-tracking feature and how to get rid of targeted ads

Apple has recently announced that iOS 11, the latest operating system for mobile phones will introduce a new feature for the Safari web browser called “smart tracking prevention”. Along with it, the tracking prevention option will also be available for Apple’s MacOS High Sierra that will be released on September 25th. If you’re annoyed (or even if you’re not) by all those pop-up ads, this is certainly good news!

Ok, iOS 11 will not block all ads, but here is how it will work:

  • The iPhone will detect which first-party cookies are desired by users, and which are set by advertisers. This means that you will continue to see ads, but only coming from websites you visited. Advertisers who use third party cookies won’t be able to track you any longer.
  • Third-party cookies will be blocked after the first day and will be deleted from your device after one month. This way, surfing on the web becomes a pleasant and less annoying experience.

Apart from interrupting your web surfing, ads have disadvantages such as:

  • making your phone battery run out
  • using up our monthly data allotment
  • slowing down internet speed

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Top 4 useful advice to protect yourself from online scams

You’ve probably heard this phrase many times before: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! Scams, frauds and hoaxes are everywhere, especially online.

The world we live in today requires us to be careful at each step we take, so we surround our lives with all kinds of security measures. The same way we use a house alarm to protect our homes, we use an antivirus to secure our computers. But is that enough?

Well, not exactly. How many people with an antivirus protection on their PCs were the victims of identity thefts or man-in-the-middle attacks? That’s right, plenty.

So here are some typical examples of online scams you should be aware of so you can protect your online security.

    1. Beware of phishing e-mails

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VPN – the best app that makes digital nomads feel at home

Life is certainly wonderful for digital nomads. They enjoy (mostly) freelance work, travel once in a while and see wonderful places. Not to mention, they expand their horizons by meeting new and different cultures.

Yeah, digital nomads enjoy plenty of perks; some of them just lie on the beach with a laptop in front of them and sip from a tasty cocktail from time to time. But how many of them are wise enough not to sink too deep in their wonderful dream and actually take security measures when it comes to protecting their data and keeping their laptops and computers secure?

If you’re about to embark on the exciting adventure of working remotely, take a first stop to check out a few technicalities you need to apply to protect your work files and data.

Useful data protection tips if you’re a digital nomad

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Top 3 typical cases when a VPN helps marketing professionals

You’re a blogger, market researcher or a writer who has to make advanced research on the web when looking for various information. Surely, you have been faced with the situation when you were denied access to a website due to geo-restrictions. Owners of some websites simply allow only users from certain countries to check their content. That’s just the way it is and things won’t probably change anytime soon.

The case mentioned above is a classic example many marketers have to deal with and it’s definitely affecting and slowing down their work. However, if you use a VPN, everything could change in your favor. A VPN will camouflage your IP address so that you will no longer be greeted by the un-welcoming message: “The page you are looking for is not available in your region”.

Other examples of marketing-related tasks where a VPN will come in handy:

  1. Check Google results in different countries

Market researchers and SEO professionals know what I’m talking about. You’re interested to know how high or low ranked are some keywords or even famous brands in Google search results if you browse from different countries. If you browse Google from the U.S. you’ll get some results, while if you browse from Germany, you’ll get different ones.

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