Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Wi-Fi Threats Make VPN's Essential To Safe Surfing, Report Says

According to recent polls, over 83% of Americans own a cell phone or mobile device and, by 2015, are all expected to be connected to the Internet in one form or another. But with wireless companies scaling back smartphone plans—this month, both Sprint and AT&T announced data plans as low as $15 with drastically reduced wireless capabilities—the hunt for free Wi-Fi will gain millions of new hunters this year.

Sadly though, Wi-Fi security is still evolving, making identity protection and private browsing difficult.

A new report from Information Week magazine has shown a spotlight on some new dangers in the world of Wi-Fi that should draw concern from the mobile-connected community.
Snooping Software: Plugins and software platforms will continue to emerge, helping snoopers, spies and hackers glimpse private information. And as mobile networks have become more widespread, these platforms are even more lucrative for the opportunistic interloper. " It's trivially easy to snoop on unencrypted protocols and perform traffic analysis with Wireshark or a similar network protocol analyzer, or hijack browser sessions with a plug-in such as Firesheep," Information Week commentator Kurt Marko reported.

Man-In-The-Middle Attacks: VPN's can route your browser information through heavily encrypted channels to prevent attacks, thwarting Man-In-The-Middle hackers from rerouting all your browser information, lifting passwords and other sensitive information from public Wi-Fi networks. This is usually facilitated through wireless login Trojan pages, giving you no indication that you have been infiltrated.

While many tech-savvy individuals have taken to avoiding public networks to protect their information, this tactic may not work forever as mobile access becomes more central to our everyday communication. While many technology companies are now rolling out VPN plugins, 3rd party VPN services still hold the recommendation of tech professionals as they are constantly updated to protect against new and increasingly savvy snoopers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Congress Pushes Forward Private Browsing Legislation

Last week, Congress once again called for increased sanctions for Internet retailers and web hosts that don't allow browsers a way to opt out of advertisers tracking their movements online. With private browsing under scrutiny and legislators calling members of Amazon, Google, Apple and other top companies before its mighty panels, it further illustrates the need for VPN services.
A virtual privacy network allows you to run your browser activity through a private server so it cannot be read by outside interlopers. This means that, regardless of what network you are on, which website you visit or who is trying to track your data, you are invisible. With services like dummy e-mail accounts, free proxy sites and services to hide your IP, you won't have to wait for a congressional panel to protect your information.
"I want ordinary consumers to know what is being done with their personal information, and I want to give them the power to do something about it," Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller, D-W. Va., said at a recent hearing.
But while congresspeople beat their chests about a solution to the tracking and spying by advertisers, technology experts are skeptical. After all, companies that operate online rely on tracking to lead consumers to their products. It is a huge money-maker for them.
"Right now we have a lawful system for tracking all of our movements online," says Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "And not only is it legal. It's the business model."
The Federal Trade Commission proposal is for the industry to develop a button or a list that allows consumers to opt out of this type of over-the-shoulder advertising. But while some companies like Microsoft and Mozilla have instituted Do-Not-Track features, a more industry-wide solution for truly private browsing is not on the horizon. For now, you are better off contacting GoTrusted.com for your own VPN account today!