Tag - privacy

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Chrome Private browsing doesn’t protect your privacy. Are we doomed?
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Unblocking websites and apps is still a big problem in 2016
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Use LinkNYC wireless public network from New York in a secured way
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Win lifetime online protection & privacy with CyberGhost 5.5!
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CyberGhost Blog Privacy Challenge
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Avoid Being Tracked Online: 3 Super-Easy Things You Can Start Doing Today
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How Windows 10 is spying on you and what you can do about it

Chrome Private browsing doesn’t protect your privacy. Are we doomed?

Chrome pic

 

What? But I thought that was the whole purpose of Chrome private browsing mode, Incognito.

That’s actually what everybody thought. But it turns out Incognito mode doesn’t keep you that private after all. It’s more like a hideout from your work colleagues or family, because the ISP can still see all the websites you’ve lusciously browsed, along with your boss and government.

Did you know that your Internet Service Provider (a.k.a. ISP) can see your entire browsing history and online traffic? Unless you hide your IP and use confirmed privacy solution, you stand no chance to keep your online life private. Read More

Unblocking websites and apps is still a big problem in 2016

More than 2 billion people are living under online censorship

This is more than enough for CyberGhost team to continue our fight for the free internet in 2016 with even more power and over 650 servers worldwide.

But the news from the Web Index Report is not great: “The internet is less free, more unequal, and web users are at increasing risk of indiscriminate government surveillance”. In 2013, the report showed over 30% of Web Index countries were blocking politically or socially sensitive Web content to a moderate or extreme degree. In 2014 that figure went up to 38%.

Here is a good definition of content filtering, as a form of online censorship, from Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF):

“Many governments, companies, schools, and public access points use software to prevent Internet users from accessing certain websites and Internet services. This is called Internet filtering or blocking and is a form of censorship. Content filtering comes in different forms. Sometimes entire websites are blocked, sometimes individual web pages, and sometimes content is blocked based on keywords contained in it. One country might block Facebook entirely, or only block particular Facebook group pages—or it might block any page or web search with the words “falun gong” in it.”

Use CyberGhost to access safely censored content and protect your online privacy! Click to Tweet

And in recent days, other massively used apps, such as Whatsapp, have been blocked for short periods in Brazil and United Arab Emirates.

The current censorship situation around the world

Censorship map

At the same time, there is a fragile legal frame to support online freedom, with 84% of the countries having no effective laws and practices to protect the privacy of online communications. China is leading the top of countries blocking and filtering the web content. According to the same report, Uruguay allows its citizens the most online freedom.

When governments really cross the line, violating fundamental rights, like Turkey, during the “Big Ban” from March 2014, when the government blocked several web pages and access to YouTube, Twitter and Soundcloud,  international organizations and companies react strongly.  Several countries pressured Erdogan’s government to release the ban and CyberGhost offerd 30.000 Premium keys to Turkish citizens so they can use the internet unrestricted.

So there is hope. Out of the 45 Web Index countries with extensive constraints on speech, only seven (about 16%) seem to censor more heavily online than offline.

What can you do?

Use a trusted VPN to access safely the censored content and protect themselves and their online privacy.  In some cases, like the case of some journalists in conflict areas, even their life.

Here’s a video that explains how hiding your IP helps you unblock restricted websites and banned apps:

If you want to learn more on how to avoid being tracked online, read these 3 essential tips.

Does your government block access to an app or website? Enter here and tell us which ones and we will fight to help you unblock them with Cyberghost.

Does your government block access to an app or website? Use #CyberGhost to unblock them safely! Click to Tweet

So we just have to keep on reporting the abuses and demanding better laws to sustain online privacy for everybody, while using encrypted online connection.

Use LinkNYC wireless public network from New York in a secured way

link-nyc-wireless-hotspots-5986.0

Credit: The Verge

New Yorkers have a new subject to talk about!

A network of Wi-Fi public hubs will replace over 7,500 pay phones across the entire New York with new street hubs called Links.

The first Links were launched, and there are many more to come, helping more than 8 million people to connect to the fastest and free metropolitan Wi-Fi.

Even more, according to PC magazine, the speed of these Wi-Fi’s is really super fast, gigabite internet, faster than Starbucks they say, so whatch out, Starbucks.

Cool facts about Link networks: Read More

Win lifetime online protection & privacy with CyberGhost 5.5!

As you already know, we have a new update out and about as of November 11.

It’s called CyberGhost 5.5 and it’s packed full of awesome new features such as an ad blocker, malware protection, data compression and many more.

To celebrate this new version, we’re offering you the chance to win online privacy & security that will last you a lifetime. Yep, you read it right:

Join our contest now & you could win 1 of 5 CyberGhost Lifetime Premium Plus packages or

1 of 10 CyberGhost Premium Plus subscriptions for 1 year!

Win lifetime online protection & privacy with CyberGhost 5.5! See how: Click to Tweet

The are several ways to enter the contest, the more you use, the better your chances to win!

Join by clicking here & keep in mind that the competition ends on December 10!

Good luck, Ghosties!

CyberGhost Blog Privacy Challenge

As you already know, we really like to improve things everyday and we are always counting on your feedback for that.

If you come here often, you’ve probably noticed that lately we made some changes in the design and structure of our articles.

We want to make this blog the number 1 source for Privacy and Security news.

And today we’re officially launching our redesigned blog through the CyberGhost Blog Privacy Challenge!

google

Check our new blog design  and you can win a CyberGhost Premium Plus subscription.

There are 15 ways you can enter our Challenge, the more you use the more chances you have to win.

Feel free to share your feedback on the new design.

Hurry up! Competition ends on 28th of October 2015. We’ll extract the 10 winners through the app and we’ll announce them by email.

Avoid Being Tracked Online: 3 Super-Easy Things You Can Start Doing Today

online-tracking

You’re being tracked online and you know it. Whether it’s Google, Facebook, or your favourite blog, there’s virtually no place on the Internet where you’re not assaulted by ads tailored to your browsing behaviour.

It seems inescapable, doesn’t it? And you’ve probably been told that it actually is and you might as well just give up trying to do anything about it. Or go live in the woods.

CyberGhost is here to tell you there is still hope:) Online tracking is not inescapable and if you’re just looking for some peace and quiet on the Internet, it’s also pretty simple.

Read More

How Windows 10 is spying on you and what you can do about it

Win 10

As you surely already know, Microsoft is currently distributing its new operating system Windows 10.

The OS, which was launched globally in 190 countries on July 29 is full of new features, fills in a lot of gaps and does away with the “Metro” style UI almost entirely.

Moreover, Windows 10 is super fluid and fast and its new browser Microsoft Edge might win back a lot of users because it’s also super-fast.

But all this comes at a pretty steep price for privacy, since Windows 10 listens in on what you do now more than ever and all that data gets transferred to Microsoft’s servers.

Basically, the OS will go through all your data (contacts, calendar, mail, messages…) and will learn information about you.

To make matters even worse, with Windows 10 you also have an advertising ID assigned to you so you can be easily targeted with specifically tailored ads; if you encrypt your hard-drive, the keys are stored by default on OneDrive.

Thankfully though, the native VPN option can be accessed and started directly from the notification quick-setting.

Of course, these are all settings and features aimed at increasing your productivity, as they make your apps and operating system much smarter.

But as mentioned before, this does come at a cost. Everything you do gets uploaded to Microsoft’s servers to improve your future experience. As stated in the Terms of Service, Microsoft has the right to share this data whenever it “has a good faith belief doing so is necessary to: 1.comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies; 2.protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone; 3.operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or 4.protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services.

In addition, all these settings are ON by default and will remain enabled if you just click next when installing/upgrading to Windows 10.

Most of the information regarding Win 10 and privacy is available in this official Microsoft article:

To sum it up, everything that happens with your Microsoft account (@live.com, @outlook.com, @msn.com, ….. , which is necessary for most of the new features) is scanned by Microsoft’s services. Everything you talk with Cortana (searches, reminders, notes, actions,….) is also processed by them. So is your location. In Microsoft’s own words:

We also share data with Microsoft-controlled affiliates and subsidiaries; with vendors working on our behalf; when required by law or to respond to legal process; to protect our customers; to protect lives; to maintain the security of our services; and to protect the rights or property of Microsoft.

Nevertheless, there’s something you can do about that and protect your data and privacy from Windows 10’s prying eyes.

In case you just clicked NEXT, NEXT when installing/upgrading to Win 10 and went with the defaults, here are a couple of things you should be aware of and disable if you feel spied on too much.

The Privacy settings can be easily managed by searching privacy in the start menu and most of the modules that send your data to Microsoft can be disabled.

If you simply press start then settings and then search for “privacy,” you’ll find most of the options listed. You can go through each of them and disable what you feel you need to keep only to yourself.

Below are some important ones that you need to change if you want to considerably increase your privacy:

  • Disable advertiser ID: open the settings and search for “advertising;” open “Choose if apps can use your advertising ID” and disable the first option: “Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps”
  • On the same page, disable “…info about how I write” so that the text you type and write with a stylus is not sent to Microsoft servers

Also in the settings, search for “privacy” and open “Privacy Settings.” Get more privacy by changing the following:

  • Send Microsoft info about how I write..” -> OFF
  • Let apps use my Advertising ID…” -> OFF
  • Location” -> OFF
  • Speech, Inking, & typing: This is a feature strongly tied with Cortana. You can opt to clear everything, but if you do, you’ll lose Cortana.  You will still be able to use the Windows search function.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory and mostly relates to managing apps’ access to certain personal data. You can check the list of programs or devices (camera, mic) allowed to access the data or device or you can disable them entirely.

Before you go ahead and change these settings though, you should know that:

  • Disabling these option will diminish the “smart” experience you’ll have with Windows 10, so if you’re more into new features than you are into privacy, keeping them ON would be best for you. Otherwise, Windows 10 works really well without all these options; search is still possible.
  • Remember that your information is made available to “Microsoft employees, contractors, vendors, and partners…,” so basically it’s still not as hard as it should be for someone to get your data and use it.

There is one more Windows 10 novelty that you need to know about and that’s called “Wi-Fi Sense.

“Wi-Fi Sense” is a new feature that will sync all your Wi-Fi passwords to the cloud and share them with your contacts (Yep, you read that right). Through this functionality, your PC will also be able to “borrow” passwords and automatically connect, which means that you could end up automatically connected to a rogue router where your data could be easily phished.

In order to disable “Wi-Fi Sense,” go to Settings, search for “Wi-Fi” and open “Change Wi-Fi Settings.”

At the end of the list of found Wi-Fi networks, you will see “Manage Wi-Fi settings” and that’s where you can disable both options mentioned before.

Photo credits: www.orangejuiceblog.com

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