We’ve all heard about antivirus software and firewalls. But we probably don’t know as much about the third leg of computer protection: a VPN, or virtual private network. In his latest article, company CEO Kent Lawson says we do this at our peril, because the damage we can suffer from not using a VPN may far outweigh the risks of the other two combined. After the large-scale hack attacks over the past few years, VPNs are now earning their spot as the third security leg that is vital to every-day computer security.
Author: Kent Lawson
It’s clear that the era of BYOD is here to stay. Workers are no longer confined to an office desk and computer, and instead are able to do work from anywhere: home, their local coffee shop, and while taking public transportation. The proliferation of public wireless networks has made this possible, and while this has freed employees up to do work from nearly everywhere, it also has introduced many security challenges.
We applaud Tech Republic for explaining what we’ve been educating about for years: “Public hotspots all have one thing in common; they are open networks that are vulnerable to attacks and security breaches. Most, if not all, public hotspots do not encrypt data, allowing passwords, email messages, and other information to be intercepted by nefarious types.”
Keep reading to see what else their article suggests — as well as our suggestions for avoiding evil-twin hotspots, dodging hackers, and protecting your identity.
Is New York City’s free WiFi program in trouble?
A research group known as Gotham City Research claims that Gowex, one of the five organizations that former New York City Mayor Bloomberg had chosen to provide free WiFi service in the city’s five boroughs, cooked their books and vastly overstated its earnings. Based on this report, Gowex filed for bankruptcy.
Want to log onto public WiFi in Russia? Well, according to a new law recently passed there, if you want to use public WiFi anywhere in the country, you must now provide information that completely obliterates any online privacy, apparently so Russian authorities can track everything you do online.
While the Internet initially provided a platform for the powerless, governments and big business are now using the power of the Internet to collect unprecedented amounts of data about us. How has this happened?
No one doubts that biometric identification is a powerful tool with many possible applications. But there’s a downside to this technology: in essence, our faces can now be used for government tracking and surveillance that was not possible until now. And there are few safeguards currently in place to curb excessive use of this tool.
In a landmark decision for digital privacy, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that warrantless searches of cell phones are not permitted by the Fourth Amendment. The Court looked at two cases to see if the warrantless searches of the defendants’ cell phones were reasonable and allowed under the Fourth Amendment. The Court ruled that they were not reasonable, but allowed for exemptions in emergency situations, such as preventing a terrorist act.
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, a group dedicated to defend and protect the right to free expression both in Canada and around the world, recently released a poll which is quite telling of how many of us view government surveillance.
The poll asked Canadian citizens what they would do if they found out that the government was spying on them. A whopping 60% said that they would do nothing.
About 50 people joined the PRIVATE WiFi team to celebrate the opening of our new Manhattan office. As our business relationships have expanded so significantly, we needed an office that was more convenient for partners and others to meet.
Let’s start with the good news: you are still safe. The latest Heartbleed situation — which is a software bug, not a virus — has not endangered the privacy and security of our customers’ communications.
But one of our industry’s most respected security analysts claims “catastrophic” is the right word for Heartbleed, because “on the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11.”
It’s that time of year again, when thousands of taxpayers flock to public libraries to get free tax advice and help filing their returns. That kind of assistance can make doing your taxes a lot less taxing, but if you use the library’s open WiFi hotspot at any point during the process, it could end up costing you plenty. You might be wondering how we know for sure that public library WiFi hotspots can expose your sensitive information. We know because we checked.