Good old VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. You can perform numerous tasks and take various online challenges due to VPN: send sensitive information, protect your identity, or access blocked sites (for instance, Netflix, LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube) while traveling in North Korea, China, or Russia.
If you’re nervous about governmental monitoring of our online identities (or any other monitoring, by aliens, hackers, neighbors, miscellaneous Nosy Parkers), you should seriously consider using a VPN learn basic VPN tips for paranoiacs. There are a number of services, both paid for and free of charge, which you can sign up for.
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1. Forget about public Wi-Fi spots!
Wise people never use public wireless, as the signal is rarely password-protected there. Use a hotspot on your phone instead. Hotspots can be password-protected easily, and the signal is much harder to detect as it is constantly jumping between towers.
Actually, you MAY connect to public “Internet-dispensers” at various public places, but only with the required precautions taken. The list of the most vital preventive VPN tips is presented below:
2. Connect to the Internet through Tor and VPN
The Tor network, a sophisticated proxy system, redirects your network traffic from one hidden server to another, making it untraceable, as websites and email recipients won’t be able to see your true location or online activity. VPN allows hiding / changing IP address for achieving absolute anonymity.
The combination of VPN and Tor magnifies degree of encryption; doubled security is guaranteed due to 2 channels employed simultaneously. Dynamic, real-time process of security assurance adds to the overall safety and stability.
3. Encrypt all the data
If your laptop is lost or stolen, it’s nearly impossible to get into your data without your password, thus, a whole-disk encryption is a great idea. You can also encrypt your communications, separately – email, voice and video calls and text messages – by using VPN services.
4. Download then delete all email
If you are concerned about someone stealing your email, a radical measure is to download entire email and delete the messages off the server. Mind, no cloud email, too! But be aware that all your messages will be stored locally, and a crash can destroy your only archive. In order to secure your email correspondence without total deletion, you can employ anonymous emails service from VPN providers.
There are security measures that require technical “know-how” and some material resources:
a) Run Internet services in a virtual machine
Your real machine can be protected from online malware by using a virtual machine to run Web browsers and email clients. In case an attack does happen, it will mitigate the damage.
b) Isolate sensitive information
If you deal with anything financially or personally sensitive, such as online banking, use an “isolated” spare computer. If unavailable, isolate your Web browsers, at least. It minimizes exposure to malware, such as banking Trojans.
Besides, there are small-scale but none the less important steps to absolute online security:
• Dismantle your social media accounts
Any information you post on social-networking sites could later be used to cause harm to you. At least, use two-step verification, as a password by itself is not secure enough anymore.
• Turn off Java & Flash in your browsers
Java and Adobe Flash Player plug-ins represent certain vulnerability threat. In spite of being useful for interactive content on the Internet, these platforms are risky.
• Beware of backstage websites
Many websites silently send and receive a lot of information about you and from other websites that you’d never directly visit. You can employ special software tools to visualise this two-way flow.
• Never follow strange unfamiliar links
Due to inborn and non-restricted curiosity, unsuspicious users often click on links emailed by people they don’t know and get their computers infected by online malware this way.
Thus, the paramount task of being safe while browsing the web lies in your hands entirely.