Category - Privacy Tips

Aussies, mark “Get a VPN Day” with CyberGhost

Starting today, Australian ISPs (Internet Service Providers) begin metadata harvest. The law forces internet providers and telecommunications companies to keep and store information generated by customers calling, texting or using the internet.

According to Australian digital rights activists “Digital Rights Watch“, this data collection program requires no warrants, has very little oversight and has received condemnation from human rights experts worldwide.

That is why today has been declared a national day of action or “Get a VPN Day“, an opportunity through which citizens can educate themselves about the scale of this surveillance and take all the necessary measures to protect themselves.

Starting today, #Australian #ISPs begin metadata harvest. Protect your privacy and get #CyberGhost VPN now! Click to Tweet

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Booking.com to be blocked in Turkey, according to court order

A Turkish court has ordered the travel website Booking.com to be blocked in a dispute with the country’s main travel agency association, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press (quoted by ABC News).

The Anadolu Agency reported that a commercial court in Istanbul ordered the move against Booking.com as a “precautionary measure” while the case is ongoing.

Lawyers for the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies had argued that Netherlands-based Booking.com was engaging in unfair competition in the marketing of hotels in Turkey.

Anadolu said that government authorities are expected to block access to the website as soon as they receive official notification from the court.

If you're in #Turkey and booking.com is blocked, access it for free with #CyberGhost Click to Tweet

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How your IP keeps you exposed online

An IP (short for Internet Protocol) address is a unique string of numbers assigned to your device when you connect it to the Internet. To put it plainly, an IP address is very similar to a physical address, just that it identifies you online, not offline.

This IP address is kept by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) until you disconnect from the Internet. Some ISPs may assign you with the same IP for months or even years, thus rendering you very easily identifiable online.

So here are 4 reasons why you should hide your IP (a.k.a. your online identity) in 2017 and not let others sneak a peek into your private life:

  1. Just last year, in Great Britain, the Investigatory Powers Act a.k.a the Snoopers’ Charter was passed into law.
  2. In March, the US Senate has enabled Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to sell their users’ most private data – their web browsing activities.
  3. The huge increase in smartphone use and the growing demand for free public WiFi networks, which are incredibly easy to hack, leaving our most important data (such as credit card credentials) exposed.
  4. On top of this, people have decided to spend large amounts of money on gadgets that can record everything they do around them, just check the latest WikiLeaks revelations.

Basically, in 2017, it is becoming legal for the government and ISPs to spy on people around the world.

That is why more and more people should consider using IP-hiding tools such as VPNs (a.k.a Virtual Private Network or, simply put, an app which renders you anonymous online).

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Why a VPN should be your best friend online

We live in turbulent times. Back in the day, the Internet was created to be enjoyed equally by anyone, from anywhere in the world. Nowadays, “this content is not available in your country” keeps popping up more and more often.

Furthermore, what we do online seems to have become everybody else’s business. While we do not like it when neighbors eavesdrop on our conversations, we should be just as bothered if someone, be it our Internet Service Provider, the government or a hacker, is looking into our private data.

If you connect to public WiFis a lot, your most private personal data, such as mail or credit card credentials, can be stolen in mere minutes.

Did you know that there’s a way to stop others from spying on you and access restricted content?

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WikiLeaks opens Vault 7, exposes CIA hacking tools

WikiLeaks has begun a new series of leaks on the US Central Intelligence Agency, code-named Vault 7.

The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, is made up of a massive amount of over 8,000 documents from an isolated, high-security network located inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina.

According to a press release from WikiLeaks, recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. Zero-day flaws are previously undiscovered vulnerabilities in software, which can be exploited to alter the behavior of a product and the WikiLeaks document shows that the CIA has built up a significant stockpile of zero-day flaws to use for surveillance.

“Year Zero” brings forth the weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into undercover microphones.

Here are some of the most important documents set to be brought forth by WikiLeaks:

 

iPhones, Android devices and smart TVs, the main targets of the CIA malware

It appears that the CIA has developed a software capable of spying on just about every piece of electronic equipment people use, from smartphones to routers and smart TVs. Thus, everything recorded by those devices, from deliberately sent messages, user location to everything we say or do near those gadget’s microphones and cameras can become accessible to the US intelligence agency.

Samsung smart TVs for instance get infected with the “Weeping Angel” malware, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB). Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.

Your #TV could be spying on you even when it's off. Find out how from the #WikiLeaks #Vault7 dumps Click to Tweet
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Millennials, willing to sacrifice privacy on the altar of personalization?

Millennials, or those born in 1982 and approximately the 20 years thereafter, are  a generation expected to change the world as we know it. Although they are quite hard to define at the moment, we know one thing for sure: millennials are the most connected of recent generations, mobile by definition, “preferring and expecting the world to be available to them on their mobile devices”, according to a study developed by CSG International.

However, being mobile-native comes at a certain cost. The study quoted above shows that millennials love having everything personalized and are likely to share data in exchange for such benefits.

Yes, you read correctly. In exchange for small recommendations, millennials from the US are apparently willing to relinquish their privacy. Of course, one can only wonder how representative the study performed by CSG International actually is, since it surveyed nearly 1,000 millennials, out of whom only a few over 200 were from the US, but come to think about it, this result does not seem too far-fetched.

Here are some personal details millennials appear to be willing to share:

  • Their location – 85% of American participants said that millennials would be very likely or somewhat likely to allow their mobile service provider to use their location services to provide small conveniences, such as a pop up prompt saying “I see you have a flight in 24 hours, would you like to check in for your flight now?”
  • The content that they enjoy – 86% of US respondents said that millennials would be very likely or somewhat likely to allow their mobile service provider to make entertainment recommendations based on content they’ve watched or listened to before.
  • Mobile data usage – 63% of US respondents said that millennials would be very likely or somewhat likely to allow their mobile service provider to use their mobile data to track websites visited and other usage data to provide insights to advertisers to create personalized ads, tailored to individual interests.
  •  Browsing history – 86% of US respondents said that millennials would be very likely or somewhat likely to allow their mobile service provider to make entertainment recommendations based on content they’ve watched or listened to before, according to the study.
Would you share #PersonalData to receive #personalization perks from your apps? Click to Tweet

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Privacy takes the fast lane: personal data and your car

Technological advancements happen for one basic reason: to make our lives better. There’s no doubt about that, but there is however a downside to all the breakthroughs of the modern world, and that is the unwanted exposure our personal data gets along the way.

Why does this happen? Because we want everything to be done easier.

We want our car to know by default our inside temperature preferences and to give us the exact directions to “home”, without us having to dictate the precise address. We want to be able to sync our phone’s contact book with our automobile so that we can simply say the name of the person we wish to call and hear them through the car’s sound system in an instant.

However, apart from these imaginable details we willingly let our cars track about us, there are also the less-obvious ones… a GPS is incorporated in our vehicles which always knows where we’re headed and there are numerous cameras and microphones which may record information about vehicle occupants. Biometric information, such as fingerprints or faces, can also be stored and eventually hacked.

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