Archive for NordVPN

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses A Poll That Finds Internet Users Don’t Like Security Measures

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 12, 2018 by itnerd

Researchers of analytics software firm FICO found that majority of Internet users are annoyed with web and phone security measures. Out of 2,000 polled adults, 81% don’t see the need for what they call unnecessary security procedures.

64% of the respondents are not happy about the need for elaborate passwords featuring a mix of numbers, symbols and capital letters, and 71% would rather not deal with captcha codes, as they often have illegible words.

Overall, more than two-thirds of people (71%) think there are too many security measures nowadays, and 58% are irritated about having to remember email addresses to recover passwords. 78% said they struggle to keep track of all their passwords.

“It’s important to provide consumers with smooth, easy customer experience, but at the same time, people need to be educated that security measures are necessary,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN, a VPN service provider. “Hacking, ransomware and phishing are on a historical rise all over the world. People need to use strong passwords and take precautions when going online. However, there are ways to make this easier – for example, by using a password manager.”

More than half of the respondents (55%) said they had been victims of banking fraud.

NordVPN offers easy online security tips to make it easier for consumers to deal with all the security measures while keeping them safe online.

  1. Use a password manager. Perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account setup is using strong passwords and choosing different passwords for different accounts. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into an account. A strong password has a minimum of 12 characters and includes a strong mix of letters, numbers and characters. In order to easily track all your passwords, it’s recommended to use a password manager, such as truekey.com, LastPass and 1Password.
  2. Don’t forget to install the latest security updates. Security updates often contain patches for recent vulnerabilities, which hackers are looking to exploit. It takes just a few minutes, and the update lasts more than a month.
  3. Don’t open anything suspicious you get through email. Delete dubious emails from your bank, ISP, credit card company, etc. Never click on any links or attachments in emails you’re not expecting. Never give your personal details if asked via email.
  4. Back up all data. Back up your data on an alternate device and keep it unplugged and stored away. Backing up data regularly is the best way to protect yourself from ransomware because only unique information is valuable. It’s an easy and fast process with a long term impact.
  5. Use a VPN for additional safety. Using a VPN when browsing can protect you against malware that targets online access points. That’s especially relevantwhen using a public hotspot. However, keep in mind that a VPN cannot protect you from downloading malware. While a VPN encrypts your activity online, you should be careful when downloading and opening certain files or links.
  6. Close pop-up windows safely. Ransomware developers often use pop-up windows that warn you of some kind of malware. Don’t click on the window – instead, close it with a keyboard command or by clicking on your taskbar.
  7. Use anti-virus programs. Make sure you have installed one of the latest reputable anti-virus programs to make sure you are fully protected.
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Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses The EU’s Proposed Copyright Directive

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 6, 2018 by itnerd

EU lawmakers are planning to pass an obscure Copyright Directive that might have a massive impact on how Europeans use the internet. There are many objections against the directive, including Spanish and Italian Wikipedia’s that blacked out on Tuesday in protest. The online encyclopedia says the Copyright Directive will severely restrict internet freedom.

The Copyright Directive claims to protect intellectual property and includes regulating the illegal streaming and downloading of pirated movies and music.

“The general intention of the directive is well meaning. However, the vague wording of the law means that it may be applied to an extremely broad range of cases,” said Ruby Gonzales, Communications Director at NordVPN. “For instance, the Copyright Directive may extend the rights of publishers to charge for the snippets of news articles that appear under search results. It is also going to force websites to scan all content being uploaded – to YouTube and elsewhere – and automatically block anything that might infringe copyright.”

AI filters that all websites will have to implement are very bad at detecting the nuanced difference between plagiarism and the concept of fair use, satire, or derivative works.

“If this Directive passes, we may lose the ability to share an article on Facebook or find it via Google. In fact, Wikipedia might have to close down,” said Ruby Gonzalez.

NordVPN encourages internet users to visit savetheinternet.info to sign their petition and see what the next step could be in defeating this proposal.

 

Guest Post: NordVPN Provides 8 Tips On How To Avoid Cyber Threats At The World Cup Russia

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 25, 2018 by itnerd

As the biggest football tournament in the world has taken center stage in Russia, cybersecurity experts are warning that soccer fans might be attractive targets for hackers. Besides, internet security is a growing concern in Russia in general.

“All big events are an attractive target for hackers, and the World Cup is not an exception. Those visiting the 2018 FIFA World Cup must be extremely cautious and take additional steps to avoid various threats. Emotional matches can cause loosened focus on personal privacy, and the World Cup can become a true goldmine for cybercriminals,” said Laura Tyrell, Public Relations Manager at NordVPN. “The biggest security issue during the event are public Wi-Fi hotspots.  In addition, Russian authorities have been strengthening mass surveillance and tracking, so that should also be a concern, especially to journalists and others transmitting sensitive information.”

About 1 million football enthusiasts from different countries are currently in Russia, visiting 12 venues in 11 cities. Recently, Kaspersky Lab analyzed around 32,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in 11 cities hosting World Cup matches and found that over a fifth (22.4%) of them are unsecure. According to the report, the top three World Cup cities with the highest percentage of unreliable networks are Saint Petersburg (48%), Kaliningrad (47%) and Rostov (44%).

The most common hackers’ tactics are man-in-the-middle attacks, Wi-Fi sniffing, and fake hotspots. Especially unreliable are those Wi-Fi hotspots that are free, usually provided in coffee shops, shopping malls, airports, stations, etc.

Here is some advice from NordVPN on staying secure when using the internet at the World Cup – or any big public event.

  1. Don’t share your device. Be extremely cautious with your devices – don’t share your smartphone or computer with anyone, especially the ones you don’t know.
  2. Install a VPN. A VPN makes a user’s online traffic snoop-proof through strong encryption. When connected to a VPN, public Wi-Fi can be used without getting paranoid about data being stolen. NordVPN, for example, is easy to use and keeps no user logs.
  3. Be careful with gifted USBs. Be cautious with various IT-related gifts, such as USB keys – throw them away instantly, as such items might contain viruses or other malicious content.
  4. Always update. Update all your apps and software, both on your laptop and smartphone.
  5. Be careful about fake apps. Use and download only official applications.
  6. Avoid online financial transactions on unprotected networks. Avoid using internet banking, buying online or presenting your credit card details online if the network is unprotected.
  7. Don’t tell them where you are. Avoid sharing your location on social media or other applications.
  8. Press the off button. Keep your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off, except when needed.

NordVPN Launches Android TV App

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 19, 2018 by itnerd

Consumers are canceling traditional pay-TV service at faster rates than expected, causing a transition revolution from cable TV to smart TV and streaming. In the U.S. alone, more than 22 million users have cut the cord on the cable on 2017. The number of smart TV users – such as Android TV –  has doubled in the past year.

However, some of the biggest problems that smart TV users face are streaming limitations and lack of Internet security.

NordVPN, a VPN service provider, is contributing to a solution to these problems by launching a brand new NordVPN app for Android TV. Now FIFA World Cup and Olympics fans or Games of Thrones followers can stream securely and without limitations.

First of all, smart TV users will be able to protect their online security. Since a smart TV is connected to the Internet, it becomes vulnerable to the same cyber threats as one’s computer or smartphone. NordVPN for Android TV uses the OpenVPN security protocol to encrypt a user’s online traffic, so that all sensitive data becomes protected from hackers or snoopers.

In addition, VPN for smart TV provides an opportunity to enjoy all the video apps pre-installed with the Android TV box. Sometimes, living in a specific part of the world might mean lesser selection of online content. A VPN app connects user’s smart TV to a server in any country of choice, so they can watch TV as if they were in that country. NordVPN offers 4000+ servers in 62 countries around the globe.

In the U.S., video streamers might also face bandwidth throttling. Sometimes, American Internet service providers (ISPs) can slow down the Internet speed for specific websites, which can result in video buffering. NordVPN can prevent throttling by redirecting all traffic through an encrypted tunnel.

The native NordVPN app interface makes it very easy to use; everything, from setting it up to connecting to VPN, is straightforward and quick. It offers such features as Quick Connect, which automatically picks the best server in terms of speed, latency, and performance. The CyberSec security suite is integrated into the app to protect an Internet-connected smart TV against malware and cyber-threats, and shield from intrusive ads.

One NordVPN account can be used to secure up to six devices simultaneously. NordVPN also offers applications for Windows, macOS, and iOS.

The app can be downloaded from Google Play store on Android TV.

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses Why VPN Usage Will Likely Double During FIFA World Cup

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2018 by itnerd

Soccer fans around the world are ready for the biggest event of four years – FIFA World Cup 2018. It draws millions of viewers to their screens, and tension and drama are abundant. Everybody still remembers Germany destroying Brazil 7:1 at home in 2014, and is eager to see what this year’s Cup will bring.

FIFA said that its 2014 World Cup drew 1.01 billion viewers around the world.

However, it’s not always possible to watch your country’s team play, especially when you are traveling. Therefore, many people who might have never used a VPN before (Virtual Private Network) turn to one for watching any game online.

NordVPN, a VPN service provider, has seen an increase in its users during any big sporting event. For example, during 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, NordVPN’s sales grew by 104.72%, showing a growing digital awareness of viewers.

“With each large sporting event, more and more people try the VPN technology they might have never used before,” said Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communication at NordVPN. “We started getting questions about how NordVPN can help expand the options for watching World Cup games weeks in advance. It’s pretty likely to see the number of new users double again and, once the soccer fever is over, many will stick to VPN as they see for themselves how useful and easy it actually is.”

A VPN service links user’s computer to a server in a country of their choice via an encrypted tunnel. For example, a person can appear to be in the U.S. while they actually are in Europe, or vice versa, simply by choosing a different VPN server location.

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses The Fact That Facebook Shares User Data with Phone Makers

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 7, 2018 by itnerd

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has shown that Facebook harvest, shares and profits from users’ data. A new report demonstrates that the issue with Facebook’s data collection goes much deeper than that.

According to the recent news, Facebook shares users’ data with phone makers, sharing it with at least 60 different device producers, including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and many others. It turns out Facebook has been sharing user details for over a decade, despite users’ privacy and data sharing preferences.

How does Facebook go around the necessary user consent in sharing their data? It has simply categorized these phone producers as partners rather than third parties, which allows Facebook to share data with them without explicit permission.

In addition, Facebook shares the data of users’ friends, even after having claimed that it had cut off third-party access to friends’ data back in 2015. However, since device makers are not considered third parties, users friends’ data is shared.

Where does the data go?

“Once the data is collected, it can be used for various purposes,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN. “Even though people think that harvested data is harmless, as it’s mostly used for targeted ads or service improvement, collecting information makes it very vulnerable. The Cambridge Analytica scandal has shown us that data could be used for sophisticated political targeting campaigns. There are many other ways how data can be abused, especially if it ends up in the wrong hands.”

Deleting Facebook app from one’s phone might prevent Facebook from sharing one’s data, but only if the phone is new and the person has never logged into the app in the first place. Even doing that might not stop the data collection, because everyone’s data is already probably shared through their friends who are on Facebook.

Therefore, those who really want to protect their data, should quit Facebook – and if they are in Europe, they can also request to delete all their data and to share the list of third parties with which one’s data was ever shared.

Other online security tips include keeping software up to date, not clicking on suspicious links and using password management services.  It’s also advisable to connect to a VPN when going online, as VPN encrypts users’ online activity into a secure tunnel.

Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses The Fact That Russia Is Intensifying Hacking Of Foreign Routers & Email Accounts

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 31, 2018 by itnerd

In the latest news, it has been reported that a new piece of Russian malware can infect consumers’ routers.

The malware comes from the group called Fancy Bear, believed to be a part of Russia’s military intelligence service. The software could be used to monitor and surveil any traffic that goes across a user’s router, to infect it or to block certain websites. About 500,000 devices globally are already infected with the malware, which could be used to form a network of zombie devices that could block sites by overloading their servers.

Meanwhile in Canada, a 23-year Russian old “hacker on fire” has just been sentenced to 5 years in prison.  Between 2010 and 2017, he stole a massive amount of  Yahoo data to gain access to private emails, while working for the FSB, a Russian spy agency. .

“We are living in times where no one can be certain about their online privacy – there are many interests at play. Many of them come from foreign governments, as in the case with router malware or the Russia-hired hacker stealing email data,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN. “Certainly, there are also hacks done purely for money, by stealing users’ information and demanding ransom. People log into their computers and don’t know if someone’s not reading their emails or stealing passwords. We recommend certain privacy precautions – no one can afford to be careless about their online security these days.”

  1. Protecting your router. The most secure solution is downloading the latest firmwarefrom the manufacturer’s site. For Netgear routers, users can go directly to routerlogin.net, then Advanced options, Administration tab, and click update. For Linksys routers, users should visit the support website and download the firmware. Then they should use their default IP address to update the firmware. If a firmware update is not available, then users need to do a factory reset by pressing a reset button on their router. Other routers have similarly straightforward procedures for updating their firmware.
  2. Avoiding phishing emails. The hacker who worked for Russian intelligence, Karim Baratov, was sending phishing emails to specific people, tricking users into handing over their usernames and passwords, and then delivering their login information to the Russian FSB. To avoid similar hacks, users should be very careful not to click on any links in emails if they have any doubt about their legitimacy. Some tips to avoid phishing include checking the sender’s address – and if domain looks suspicious (info@secure.apple.com), not opening the email. It’s also very important not to click on any links – you can 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.

For additional safety, always use a VPN that encrypts a user’s online traffic into a secure tunnel. Using a VPN when browsing can protect you against malware and phishing that targets online access points.