Personal VPN - Security and Privacy

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What is a Personal VPN?

 

In order to protect privacy and safeguard data, large corporations outfit their employees with company-backed VPN's. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates a secure tunnel between you and a fully firewalled safe server that encrypts and protects you and your information. In this day and age where governments and companies are spying on virtually everyone, we all need this type of protection. While large companies with paid IT staffing can easily create these services for their employees, a Personal VPN is a VPN service created for the average person.

What is Personal DNS?

DNS is the system used to translate the name of a web site into an IP address so your browser can locate the web site. Increasingly DNS is used by many companies including your Internet provider to gain access to all your web searches.  This data is then sorted and analyzed and your browsing history is sold to companies for profit.  Personal DNS is private DNS where no data is recorded regarding what web sites you visit.

Why do I need a Personal VPN?

With the explosion of wireless hotspots and other forms of public Internet access, the risk of hackers grabbing your data has become a major epidemic, driven by the sheer number of people out there using wireless hotspots, coupled with the ease of stealing your information. Software is easily obtained from various hacker websites that allow even unskilled people to scan all the data across a network. When hacking was difficult and required great skill, you were pretty safe sitting at the local coffee shop, fast food restaurant or hotel and using the open wireless. The odds were with you because there were not many people out there with these skills. Now, anyone who wants it can download a hacking kit. Anyone in the room could be scanning everyone's data.

Recent revelations make it clear that there are no unencrypted digital communications that are safe from spying. While you may say "I have nothing to hide" it doesn't mean that your life should become an open book. And you never know what the future brings. Things you laugh at today as being unimportant, fun or silly can in the future cost you a lot.

If you own  a business and have employees working remotely. You need a Personal VPN to protect your employees and your network.  Using a Personal VPN to limit access to your company servers and data is a great way to virtually eliminate the chance your server can be hacked from the outside.


Are all VPN's created equal?

There are several VPN's available to the public today, ranging from free to very expensive. Resist the urge to use a free or very cheap VPN service. In exchange for providing the free service, you agree to let them look at your data for marketing purposes. In essence, you give them an exclusive license to look at your personal data.  Many “cheap” VPN’s subsidize the cost of their operations by gathering data and selling it for profit.  Considering your privacy is what you're striving for - the 'free' or “cheap” solution is not really a bargain.

Many VPN providers offer "instant gratification" with accounts set up automatically when you order. This has resulted in cases of their networks being easily hacked and their customer data being stolen. Since you are likely buying a VPN service for security doesn't it make sense that the VPN company actually use secure methods of operations? Avoid any company that boast of instant setup. Instant setup means your data is available to any hacker that cracks their server.

Most of all beware of VPN companies that have arisen in the last couple of years from nowhere and have massive operations. These companies advertise everywhere including expensive television commercials and seem to have unlimited money to buy users. Many of these companies have been found or are suspected of having connections to large information data mining companies or government groups. They flood the market with very cheap service offering a huge assortment of options. They can afford to since they are not wanting your money just your data. The reality is that the VPN business is a very small niche market. Any VPN company with seemingly unlimited assets and services isn't likely what they claim to be.  See here, here, here and here for a few examples of these problems.


Is all of this security really necessary?

A lot of people think that they are not doing anything on their computer that requires this level of security. Many think 'what are the odds anyone will be watching me?' or 'I have nothing to hide'. Recent news revelations show that your data is constantly being monitored and watched. The fact is, if you send email or use instant messaging, people will scan and read every word you write. If you knew someone was listening to your phone conversations, would you mind? If so, what makes your email and instant messaging, or social web site posts any different? The Personal VPN is about protecting yourself from hackers who think nothing of doing you great harm to or snoops who feel it's their right to know everything about you.

The problem with the 'I have nothing to hide' train of thought, is that you don't really know what the future brings. Therefore things that you think are not worthy of hiding today may be a big problem in the future. If you don't hide it today then it will be too late in the future.

There are many examples of how some totally innocent Internet search today can hurt you tomorrow. We'll just provide a single example here.

Let's say for some reason you search for DWI attorneys in your area. Maybe it's a research project for school, maybe it's for a friend, it doesn't matter why. A couple of months later your auto insurance rates skyrocket and you wonder why. Your search will be data mined and sold to people who want the data. Insurance companies buy this data to protect their bottom line.  This sort of thing happens all the time and people never know why it happened to them.

 

Where do I get one??

 

SurfBouncer is a Personal VPN service which is reliable and secure. Offering many servers throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. All server locations provide for highly encrypted OpenVPN connections. Also offered are IKEv2/L2TP/PPTP services which are native on smart phones and tablets. Finally, they change - and never repeat - their IP addresses often, making it very problematic for ISP's to block their IP addresses. They are now also offering Unlimited Lifetime VPN service for one low price.

Unspyable VPN service provides VPN and also a secure offshore email service. They operate OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP and PPTP servers in several offshore locations.  Part of their secure services portfolio includes secure bootable USB drives, custom built secure computer drives, custom built secure computers and various WiFI devices.

Does my small business require enterprise level security?

 

The reality is small businesses get hacked much more often than large corporations. The press always reports the large corporate hacks, or breaches as they like to call them, of credit card companies and merchants.  Reporting on the multiple hacks of small businesses isn't news. Which is to the cyber criminals advantage, creating a sense of no risk to the small business owner.  But there  are a whole lot more small businesses out there and hacking them is very profitable. See this page for more details.