Archive for NordVPN

NordVPN Enters Brazil

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 20, 2019 by itnerd

NordVPN has expanded its payment options to include Boleto Bancário. This marks a strategic decision to strengthen market presence in Brazil.

VPN stands for “virtual private network” – a service that encrypts a user’s internet traffic and redirects it through a remote VPN server. It also replaces their IP address, keeping their location private. VPNs are used worldwide both for security and entertainment reasons. In a study of VPN usage around the world, GlobalWebIndex found that 25% of internet users had used a VPN in the past month, and that 42% of these used a VPN daily.

NordVPN is a trusted online privacy and security solution, used by over 8 million internet users worldwide. It offers military-grade encryption with advanced privacy solutions and is recognized by the most influential tech sites and IT security specialists. NordVPN holds a  significant market share in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and many other European states.

Boleto Bancário, usually referred to as Boleto, is a popular cash-based payment method used in Brazil, with 15% market share. It is also the only payment method available to the 35% of shoppers who do not have a bank account. Boleto is regulated by Brazilian Federation of Banks.

At the moment, NordVPN’s payment options include all major credit card providers (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover), crypto currencies (Ripple, Ethereum, and BitCoin), and many regionally localized payment solutions (AliPay, Yandex, iDeal, Sofort, UnionPay, Boleto, and others).

To find out more about NordVPN, please visit nordvpn.com.

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Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses The 500px Hack

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 16, 2019 by itnerd

This week 500px, a popular photo-sharing service, confirmed that the personal information of 14.8 million of its users was impacted by a security breach. 500px users’ data is now for sale on the dark web, together with records stolen from fifteen other compromised websites.

“Even giant companies are not doing enough to secure sensitive user data. At the moment, approximately 620 million records stolen from sixteen compromised websites, including 500px, are up for sale on the dark web. The whole batch is available for roughly $20,000 in Bitcoin. However, no one knows how many cybercriminals and other shady personas have acquired it so far,” says Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communications at NordVPN. “We urge all internet users to share less sensitive information online and to use security services, such as antivirus and VPN.”

In an email sent out to users, 500px states that the personal data compromised in the breach might include the following:

  • “Your first and last name as entered on 500px
  • Your 500px username
  • The email address associated with your 500px login
  • A hash of your password, which is hashed using a strong, one-way cryptographic algorithm – such hashes are almost impossible to reverse-engineer to access your original password
  • Your city, state/province, country, if provided
  • Your birth date, if provided
  • Your gender, if provided”

What to do if your account gets compromised

If your account has been hacked or compromised in a data breach, you should act quickly, before hackers can get their hands on other important information. NordVPNshares 5 most essential steps to keep yourself safer.

 

  1. Get back into your account

The first important step for you to do is to log into your account and change password immediately. It shouldn’t be ‘password’ or ‘imthekingoftheworld.’ Your password needs to be strong. Try this trick: think of a statement, for example, “I love to go for a walk every evening.” Then, turn it into 1l2g4awEVe (replacing I with 1, to with 2, for with 4, and every with EV).

If possible, use two-step authentication and get a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. Most importantly, never reuse the same password for all of your accounts.

 

  1. Take care of your other accounts

If you used the same or similar password for more than one account, change it on all other key platforms and accounts immediately. That includes your email, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other. Even though hackers, most probably, got hold of your hashed password, there’s still a chance they can decrypt it and get the real password.

Check haveibeenpwned.com to see if you have an account that has been compromised in a data breach before.

 

  1. Update your settings and available data

Go through the privacy settings and data you provide both on the breached platform and all the other important platforms you use. Make sure you share only the required information and remove what’s not necessary, for example, your phone number and favorite locations. This way, even if your account gets hacked, it will be of less value for hackers.

Common advice is to share as little as possible online. If you are not intent on getting worldwide attention, change your account settings from ‘Public’ to ‘Private.’

 

  1. Revoke access to third-party apps

In Quora case, for the user convenience, there was a possibility to connect to the platform with Facebook and Google. Check, whether you permitted access to view one of those accounts.

We recommend reviewing which of your accounts are linked and rethink if you really need that. Revoke access to applications that are no longer in use, as well as suspicious ones.

 

  1. Beware of phishing scams

Since hackers may have detailed profile information of almost 15 million users on 500px, we are likely to see more personalized and sophisticated phishing scams in the near future. Phishing scams are very effective, as criminals usually use a piece of real private information.

You should be careful if you get seemingly legitimate, personalized messages from banks or any other familiar organizations. That is especially valid if they ask for more personal details, fund transfers or to click on any link. For additional safety, use a VPN, like NordVPN. Using a VPN when browsing can help to protect you against malicious websites and phishing sites.

NordVPN Adds Adyen as a Payment Option

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 1, 2019 by itnerd

NordVPN announced a new partnership with Adyen, the payments platform used by many of the world’s leading companies. The decision comes down to Adyen’s self-hosted payment processing solution and region-specific local payments.

Adyen is an international payments platform, which provides modern end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, Mastercard, and other payment methods preferred by consumers around the world.

The Amsterdam-based company, which is an EU-chartered bank as well, provides the payment technology behind digital-first giants such as Spotify, Etsy, Uber, Booking.com, AirBnB, Facebook, Netflix, and eBay. The latter switched from PayPal in 2018, making Adyen its main payment processing partner.

NordVPN will start introducing localized Adyen payment options in February 2019. It is expected that by the end of 2019 it will be the major regional payment option. Simultaneously, NordVPN is ceasing the PayPal support.

At the moment, NordVPN’s payment options include all major credit card providers (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), crypto currencies (Ripple, Ethereum and BitCoin), and many regionally localized payment solutions (AliPay, Yandex, iDeal, Sofort, UnionPay, Boleto and others).

To find out more about NordVPN, please visit nordvpn.com.

Guest Post: Nord VPN Discusses The Fact That The Japanese Government Will Hack Citizens’ IoT Devices

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 30, 2019 by itnerd

Last week, the Japanese government approved a law amendment that will allow its employees to hack into people’s Internet of Things (IoT) devices as part of an unprecedented survey of insecure IoT devices.

The government reportedly wants to secure IoT devices before Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics to avoid Olympic Destroyer and similar attacks.

The Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) employees, under the supervision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, will be allowed to use password dictionaries and default passwords to attempt to log into consumers’ IoT devices. The result of the survey should be a list of insecure IoT devices in Japan, which will enable the authorities and internet service providers to take measures and secure the devices.

“Since the IoT industry is in its infancy, almost all of the devices have the potential to become cybersecurity risks. In a rush to get them into the market, most manufacturers are ignoring the security side. From this point of view, the Japanese government’s concern has merit,” says Daniel Markuson, Digital Privacy Expert at NordVPN.

“However, it is understandable why this amendment has sparked outrage in Japan. It seems as an excessive measure, as the same results could be achieved by sending a security alert to all users or informing people via media. It is also not completely clear what other sensitive data might be collected during the survey and how it will be handled.”

Daniel Markuson, Digital Privacy Expert at NordVPN, recommends that all IoT owners living in Japan take security measures upfront, before the survey begins:

  • Change passwords. Default factory passwords should be changed to strong ones, containing capital letters, numbers and symbols. Passwords should be different for each device.

  • Update all devices. Manufacturers often fix critical security vulnerabilities with updates.

  • Create an offline WiFi LAN. Most IoT devices can operate on a LAN (local-area network). Such local network can connect smart devices inside one’s home without the need to connect to internet.

  • Secure the router. Some routers can support VPN encryption. Routers with a VPN will allow to connect IoT devices in an office or home, but no incoming communication with them will be possible. This may be inconvenient if user wants to control IoT devices remotely, though.

It is estimated that over 200 million private and business owned IoT devices, such as web cameras and routers, will be tested in Japan. The survey should start next month.

The Olympic Destroyer malware was deployed before the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in 2018 by Russian hackers. A similar attempt to built a botnet of IoT devices and home routers was noticed before the 2018 UEFA Champions League final that was to be held in Ukraine.

NordVPN Wins Best VPN Award At CES

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 18, 2019 by itnerd

NordVPN has won the awards for Best VPN Overall and Best Customer Service from BestVPN.com, a VPN review site, established in 2013. The awards were presented during CES 2019, one of the world’s leading technology conferences.

NordVPN is one of the world’s most advanced VPN service providers and is more security oriented than most VPN services. It offers double VPN encryption, ad blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The user-friendly product offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers worldwide, and is P2P friendly. One of NordVPN’s key features is its zero log policy.

The BestVPN.com Awards comprise of a number of core categories – Privacy, Speed, Value and Customer Service. The Best Overall Award is the nexus of all these categories, arguably making it the most prestigious accolade on offer.

 

 

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses Phishing During Holiday Shopping Season And How To Stay Safe

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 23, 2018 by itnerd

The busiest shopping season is here, and cybercriminals are just as busy as bargain hunters.With the revenues from holiday sales online increasing year on year, the level of reported internet scams and other forms of crime is rising as well.

One of the biggest threats during the shopping season is online phishing. Phishing victims usually receive emails that look likemessages from legitimate online vendors, such as Amazon.Such emailsask to click on a link, whichmay, in turn, ask to submit theuser’s personal information.

“Unsuspecting shoppers may believe they are on their vendor’s website, while they are actually on a fake sitedesigned to extract their personal information,” said Ruby Gonzalez, Communications Director at NordVPN, a VPN service provider.

“Even thoughhackers are getting more and moresophisticated, it’s still possibleto recognize that you are visiting a fake site. Be especially cautious if you have clicked on alink or button received through an email – a well-designed phishing email may feature the logo and the general look of your favorite brand. It may even lead you to a sitethat looks like the real one. ”

The truth is, if a person is untrained in cybersecurity, a phishing email can easily lead themto sharesensitive information willingly and expose themselves to hackers. NordVPN offers easy online security tips to avoid phishing attacks and stay safe online.

Tips for spotting a phishing email:

1. Check thesender’s address. Don’t just trust the display name – pay attention to the email address. If the domain looks suspicious (e.g., info@secure.apple.com), don’t open the email.

2. Look for spelling and grammar mistakes. Serious companies don’t usually send out emails with bad grammar and basic spelling mistakes.

3. Take a look at the greeting. Your bank or another legitimate institution would often address you with your full name. If you see a vague “Dear user” instead, remain vigilant.

4. Don’t click on links– instead, hover your mouse on the button to see the destination link. Check if it looks legitimate and, especially, if it contains the “https”part to indicate a secure connection.

5.When in doubt, contact your bank or other institution over the phone or alternative email address and ask to confirm if the email is legitimate.

For additional safety, use a VPN. Using a VPN when browsing can protect you against malware and phishing that targets online access points.

 

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses How to Protect the Privacy of One’s Mobile Device

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 30, 2018 by itnerd

According to a Q4 report by We Are Social of 2018 Global Digital Trends, there are almost 4.2 billion people using the internet and 3.4 billion active social media users.

Millions of new users, especially across Africa and South Asia, have started using the internet for the first time in the past few months. Most of them are connecting through mobile devices.

In general, mobile internet usage accounts for more than half of all global web traffic. Google’s Consumer Barometer survey says that users are five times more likely to go online via their phones.

“Mobile phones are now our favorite tools for internet browsing. However, not many people realize that mobile devices have even more data privacy concerns than computers,” said Ruby Gonzalez, Communications Director of NordVPN. “Basically, a mobile phone acts as a spy – it tracks its owner’s location and gives a lot less control over privacy than a computer would.”

People rely on their mobile phones not only for social interactions but also for banking, sharing data, storing passwords and other sensitive information. As such, they are vulnerable to security breaches, as well as personal hacking attacks, especially when using public Wi-Fion their phones.

NordVPN has put together some advice on how to protect one’s privacy on a mobile phone:

1. Recognize suspicious SMS. One of the most common “smishing” attacks is a text message that contains a link to mobile malware. Once a user clicks on it, a malicious app can be installed on their smartphone. In another example, a scammer can use techniques that are common for charities when a disaster strikes. A charity may send a text message saying “Flood,” and once a user responds with the code word “Prevent,” they automatically donate a certain amount of money to the organization.

Users should be careful about clicking on any SMS links or replying to messages. It’s also a good idea to use NordVPN’s CyberSec feature, which is designed to block malicious sites and phishing links.

2. Be careful when downloading apps.There are fake apps designed specifically to collect one’s information or install malware. It’s best to download apps directly from official app stores (iTunes, Android or Amazon) and to check for any signs that might scream the app is fake. For example, grammar mistakes indicate an app is not legitimate and so do requests to enter one’s private information.

3. Install a mobile VPN app.A VPN encrypts all the traffic flow between the Internet and a user’s device. When shopping, banking, or sharing personal information online, users are advised to be aware of unique threats mobile device users face and to always use a VPN. NordVPN’s mobile app (available for iOS and Android devices) provides secure encryption and user-friendly design and functionality.

4. Make sure your software is up to date.Hackers often exploit privacy and security holes – those holes are patched up withsoftware updates. Therefore, it’s important to keep one’s software always up to date.

In addition, NordVPN recommends usinge passcodes to lock one’s phone (they should be more difficult than “1234” or one’s birthday) and not to click on any suspicious links received by email.