Best Secure Messaging Apps In 2019

Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Snapchat are very popular ways to stay in touch with family and friends. These free to use apps are available in many parts of the world, but there are some exceptions. In restricted areas you can usually use the messaging app by connecting to a VPN. A VPN will also give you encrypted protection when you are browsing the Web.

Many messaging apps also feature encryption. These apps tend to take the privacy of the user with more seriousness than those platforms that do not use encryption. The goal is to make sure that only you and the recipient of your message are able to see the communication between one another.

What is Encryption for Messaging Apps?

End-to-end encryption, also known as E2EE, is the most common form of encryption that is used by messaging apps. Only the sender and receiver are able to see messages sent with this protocol. It also stops messaging apps from storing copies of old messages that could be retrieved later. Many people don’t like the idea that a government agency or even a prying partner could pull up old messages.

We strongly recommend that you always use a VPN when using messaging apps like WhatsApp or iMessage. This will give you even more protection than that which is standard with the app. VPN service from VPNAccounts.com is affordable and reliable. We provide many server locations and are able to offer support when requested.

Let’s now move forward into a brief look at three superior messaging apps for 2019.

iMessage

As a proprietary Apple application, iMessage is only currently available for Apple devices. It can be used on MacOS desktop and laptop computers as well as iPhones and iPads. It has a strong set of features that will appeal to someone who engages in a lot of messaging.

End-to-end encryption is just the beginning when it comes to the security features of this messaging app. It will also allow users to decide how long a message is available to the recipient. Like a Snapchat, the message can be automatically deleted in a specific period of time.

Apple is led by Tim Cook who has been outspoken about Internet privacy. Strange then that Apple doesn’t necessarily point out the inherent flaw with backing up messages to iCloud. Apple controls the encryption of iCloud, and they could be compelled to reveal the messages you have backed up there when faced with a demand from law enforcement or government.

It bears mentioning here that most VPN providers do not keep logs of your messaging or browsing data. If an agency were to request a record of your messages from a VPN provider there would be nothing to give them.

Wickr

Wickr is a messaging app that was actually created by privacy and security specialists. It has been around since 2012 but is only now catching on with a larger audience. Wickr sort of set the benchmark for end-to-end encryption with messaging apps, being one of the first to make it available.

The nice thing about Wickr is that it encrypts messages by default. It is also true that the company subjects itself to regular security audits by independent personnel. A final plus is that Wickr is open-source.

There are two version of the messaging app to choose from, Wickr Me and Wickr Pro. Those who choose Wickr Pro are usually businesses that need to organize messaging for their teams. We really like that the keyboard detection feature in Wickr prevents the use of third-party keyboards. The app will also make all deleted files unrecoverable.

Viber

Yes, Viber is still a thing in 2019. It has about 260 million monthly users all over the world. Viber mainly positions itself as an alternative to Skype. It wasn’t until 2016 that Viber began to offer end-to-end encryption, though, so it is still playing catch up in many respects.

Viber is available on all major OS platforms, and it uses a cool color-coding scheme to let you know when messages are more secure. Gray means that your messages are encrypted. Green means that the person you are messaging is trusted, and red means that the communication is not secure.

The only drawback about Viber is that it is still restricted in many parts of the world. It also only encrypts one-on-one chats, not group chats. But, you can easily remedy these concerns when you secure your connection with a VPN.

Remember, your online privacy and security matter! Don’t gamble with them. Get a VPN from us today and message your friends with peace of mind.

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Does Incognito Mode Protect Your Privacy Like A Vpn?

Anyone that has used a modern web browser to access the Internet is probably familiar with private or incognito modes. These browser settings are promoted by browsers as a way to safeguard your privacy online. Many people make the mistake of thinking that incognito mode does a job that is similar to a VPN. The truth is that these privacy settings may not be as private as you think they are.

What Does Incognito Mode Do?

Let’s begin by taking a closer look at what incognito or private mode is and what it is capable of. This mode of web browsing can be turned on by going to your browser settings. When you activate it, a separate and “secure” browser window pops up.

While you are in the incognito mode the browser does not store your browsing data. This means that it cannot be retrieved at a later time. All the searches you perform, websites that you visit, login information, and cookies will not be saved to your device. Once you close the private mode window all the information from your browsing session disappears.

There are some exceptions. If you download any files during your browsing session these will be retained. Also, any bookmarks that you create will be saved. Almost all of the major browsers that are available today include a private browsing mode. Many people use this mode and think that they are taking good measures to protect their Internet privacy.

What Private Modes Do Not Do

Not storing your browsing data may sound pretty good. Especially if you share your computer with others. Let’s look a little bit farther and see what these special modes are not capable of doing for you.

An incognito mode will not hide your traffic from an ISP, the government, or network administrators that could be monitoring network traffic. Those entities can still see what you are doing when you are online if they choose to do so. The mode will also fail when it comes to securing your traffic against hackers and data thieves.

Think about it this way. A private or incognito mode only protects you against those who want to track your Internet activities on the device you are using. For example, a man regularly visits adult data sites. His wife becomes suspicious and decides to check his computer browsing history. If the husband has been using incognito mode and not making downloads or creating bookmarks, it will be difficult to prove that he has visited such sites.

We’re going to be honest here. The truth is that a smart Internet user would probably use incognito mode as a matter of course at all times. What you choose to view on the Internet is your own business. But it would be a mistake to think that you are achieving some superior form of protection while using incognito mode. That just isn’t the case. Only a VPN can provide superior levels of protection.

What a VPN Can Do That Private Modes Cannot

Now lets take a look at what a VPN can do that an incognito mode cannot do. We’ll start with a brief explanation of what a VPN is and how it works.

A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel that exists between your device and the Internet. All data that passes through that tunnel is encrypted, making it impossible for prying eyes to observe. A VPN also obscures your real IP address in favor of an IP address that belongs to the server owned by the VPN provider.

Do you live or work in a country that restricts or blocks some websites and services? A VPN can help you to access those services. Perhaps you are from the United States and have a Netflix account. You find yourself in an area overseas where Netflix is not available. You simply connect with your VPN and choose a US server. This will identify your device to Netflix as being located in the United States and access is restored.

The element of changing your IP address is one of the core benefits of a VPN and why private browsing modes do not work the same way. When you are in incognito mode your ISP can still collect browsing data. Your employer can still track the IP address of a device and find out what you have been doing on company time.

You will notice that browser developers like Mozilla and Google are very transparent about what incognito mode can and cannot do. They will tell you when you open the private window that your activities can still be tracked.

Do you want real online security? Check out the VPN packages offered by VPNAccounts.com. You will find that we are one of the most affordable VPN providers, and we offer plans and packages to suit all needs.

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UK Porn Ban – VPN to unblock Porn

The UK has taken measures to restrict porn viewing by underage Internet users. According to The Sun, porn sites will soon be required to use age verification methods to require users to prove they are old enough to view porn. While everyone can agree that porn sites should not be viewed by minors, some are concerned that the ban will also affect those who are legally permitted to view adult content.

About the UK Porn Ban

There are literally hundreds of porn websites that are accessible to millions of web users. Many of these sites like PornHub and YouPorn are free sites. Anyone that has Internet access can visit the sites and view porn videos on their computer, phone, or tablet. UK lawmakers are understandably concerned that some individuals watching porn are underage.

The new measures in the UK will require these porn sites to construct a non-pornographic landing page. Once arriving at this landing page, users will be forced to submit to age verification before they can proceed to the videos. The AgeID system is a new protocol that is being used to verify visitor’s ages with a valid ID.

The new porn ban in the UK is slated to take full effect by July of 2019. The actual law took effect on April 1, 2019. By that time all porn sites will be required to implement the new AgeID protocol and create their landing pages. It is hard to argue that this type of age verification will cut down on the number of underage visitors to porn sites.

How the UK Porn Ban Will Work

When an individual visits a porn site from a UK ISP, the user will be asked to register with the AgeID system. It will then be necessary for the user to verify their age with a mobile SMS, credit card, driver license, or passport. Once an AgeID account has been created and verified, the user will then be able to easily access all porn sites that use the protocol.

Lawmakers have stated that it is not necessary for all porn sites to use the AgeID system. They may opt for another system if they choose to do so. However, most sites will probably opt for AgeID because it is the most advanced method that is currently available.

Those websites that do not apply the age verification requirements that are being required by the UK are subject to harsh penalties and fines. Up to £250,000 in fines could be imposed on websites that are found to be in violation of the new law, and UK ISPs could be forced to block access to adult websites who refuse to comply with the protocol.

Unblocking the UK Porn Block

While keeping porn out of view of underage individuals is not a bad thing, what about those adults who don’t want to create a trail of their porn viewing habits? Some people prefer to keep their Internet browsing habits private, and it is their right to do so. A solution for these individuals may be the use of a VPN that can help to conceal their physical location.

Let’s say that an individual in the UK wishes to view porn sites without participating in the age verification system. When that user tries to view a porn site with a UK ISP, the block will go into effect. A VPN could essentially tell the site that you are browsing from the US or another country where no such restrictions are present.

A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the Internet that you access through an ISP. VPNAccounts has many server locations throughout the world that you can use when you purchase VPN service. You simply use the credentials that are provided to connect to the VPN, choose a server location, and the IP address of the VPN server will be used instead of your own IP.

What this means is that you can make it appear that you are physically in the US or Canada instead of the UK. This will help you to bypass the age verification system that will be required by the new UK porn ban.

Using a VPN for this purpose is very easy. There is no software that you need to download. All Internet-ready devices today have a built-in VPN client that only needs to be configured in order to use. You might also find a VPN useful when you are traveling in countries where certain websites are prohibited.

The UK Porn Ban and Internet Freedom

It is understandable that many individuals are concerned about the UK porn ban and see it as an assault on Internet freedom. The Internet has long thrived on unrestricted, unregulated Internet access. There is no issue with many people when it comes to protecting minors. Many just feel that a sweeping ban will catch legal porn watchers in a vast net.

You can use a VPN to restore your Internet freedom in many ways. You can view websites without creating a lasting log or record of sites you have visited, secure your personal information, and even use your local media accounts when you are traveling. A VPN is a wise investment in your own personal Internet security and accessibility. Buy a VPN now!

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Why A Vpn Is More Important Than Ever

Online privacy remains a concern in 2018. You might not hear as much about VPNs in the news as you used to, but using a VPN today might be more important than it has ever been. ISPs in the US have been given free reign to sell the private data of users thanks to a rollback of existing regulations by the Trump administration. Identity theft is at an all-time high, and data breaches of large companies are almost a weekly occurrence.

The State of Online Privacy

If you have been using an unsecured Internet connection to browse your favorite websites, there are legitimate reasons for you to be concerned about online privacy. Both Google and Facebook, two of the largest online entities, were called to task by the federal government for their privacy practices. Data from users is being marketed by large companies, and the Internet user is often none the wiser. The backlash over these revelations was so harsh that it forced new privacy policy standards. Google has also forced website owners to adopt the HTTPS protocol or face search result and website access penalties.

According to one source, 90% of Internet users are worried about online privacy. What is troublesome is that only about half of those individuals take measures to see if they have suffered theft of their data. The reality is that many people are worried about privacy, but few of them do anything to improve the situation.

Some of the measures that individuals can take to protect themselves are very simple. Using a VPN might be the most simple and most effective of all. A VPN is affordable, easy to use, and reliable. The right VPN will make it very hard for anyone to steal your data, peep your Internet activity, or even determine where you are accessing the Internet. With all that is happening in the world, VPNs are more important than ever.

How a VPN Protects You

There are still some people that may not understand how a VPN really works. Basically, it routes your connection through a third-party server. This creates a secure tunnel between your device and the Internet. Information that is passed through the tunnel, both back and forth, is encrypted with various security protocols. That is a fancy way of saying that your data becomes a hash that is impossible to decipher.

A VPN also resolves the security issue that comes with revealing your physical location. Every Internet-connected device has an IP address. This address is a unique identifier that can associate a geographical location with your device. When you use a VPN the IP address that is used belongs to the VPN provider. It is very possible to sit in the US and appear to be accessing the Internet from Canada, the UK, Germany, or other locations when you use a VPN.

Why do these things matter? Well, encrypted data is important for everyone. It also helps that reputable VPN providers do not retain logs of client browsing activity. That means it will be very difficult for someone to pin down what you are doing when you use the Internet. It’s a fact that some people would prefer their browsing history to remain private.

Changing an IP address is useful for those who find themselves in areas where some content is restricted. The expat is most often subjected to this scenario. While working outside of their country they may not be able to access certain services that they enjoy back home. They may find it difficult to speak with relatives using VoIP, access Facebook, get local news broadcasts, or watch Netflix. With a VPN they can make it seem like they are still in their country of residence.

Privacy Concerns Will Likely Get Worse

It is a distinct possibility that attacks on privacy will only get worse in the coming years. Governments do not like citizens who move about in the shadows of an unrestricted Internet. During his successful 2016 campaign for President of the United States, Donald Trump repeatedly said that he wanted to find a way to exert control over Internet content and access. You might expect that from a country like China, but such censorship is a new thing to the citizens of the US.

All the more reason to secure VPN access now. Some countries have taken measures to restrict access to VPN websites.

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Using The Wrong Vpn Can Be Dangerous

Quite a few people understand the benefits of using a VPN. What many of them might not know is that choosing the wrong VPN can be even worse than using no VPN at all. Some services may increase your exposure to security threats. Here are some important things to consider when choosing your VPN provider.

Choosing the Wrong VPN is a Common Security Mistake

Browsing the Internet shouldn’t be so complicated. It should be as simple as making your connection and viewing your chosen websites without worrying about things like hackers stealing your personal information. In a perfect world you would never have to be concerned about harmful malware that websites could place on your computer.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Most people today recognize that some type of security is necessary for online browsing. Some of those who aren’t too computer savvy think that an anti-virus program will do the trick. Others rely on some type of firewall without really knowing what a firewall is and how it works. Still others believe that a malware remover will be suitable for protection. All of these are good measures, but none of them accomplish what a VPN can do for your personal security.

A VPN works by creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the Internet. Any information that is passed along that tunnel is virtually indistinguishable to information thieves. A VPN can also help to conceal your physical location by replacing your IP address with that of your VPN provider. These are just a few of the measures VPNs help to safeguard your privacy.

It is a sad reality that all VPNs are not created equal. Nor do they have the same approaches to security. Some VPNs may even defeat the purpose of security by selling your information to third-party advertisers. Some may include malware and spyware. You should do your homework before choosing which provider you want to work with. Choosing the wrong VPN could be worse than having no VPN at all.

Steps to Finding a Good VPN

It pays to take a logical approach when choosing a VPN. There are many factors that good VPN services have in common. You want to tick off as many of these boxes as possible before you make your choice.

A good VPN will have a sound reputation. Do a Google search to see what information you can find about the provider. The company should have some degree of transparency about its operations, and there should not be an abundance of bad reviews online. You might also want to ask any friends which VPN they use and how they feel about it. If any red flags pop up, abandon the VPN and keep searching.

Ask yourself what standards you want in a VPN. Most people want a VPN that does not retain traffic logs of its users. Others want a VPN with many server options. Some want a VPN that does not rely on third-party advertising for income. You need to determine which of these standards are important to you and find a provider that meets them all.

It would also be very useful to make sure your VPN provider is in compliance with any existing government regulations. Some governments have taken a hard stance on VPNs, even going so far as to make their use illegal. You don’t want to choose a provider and pay for a year of service when there is a substantial threat that the company could be shut down.

Realize that you will have to pay for quality VPN service. There is no such thing as free when it comes to a VPN. If the VPN is not charging you for service, you are paying in other ways. Those other ways could be having your information sold to marketing companies or having adware placed on your device. It is possible, however, to find an affordable VPN like the one we offer at VPNAccounts.com. Affordable and free are two different things. There is no way around paying for a VPN if you want trustworthy service.

You also want your VPN to be a full-scale provider, offering encryption from top to bottom. Make sure they have the most recent security protocols in place and that they protect you at the maximum level. More servers in more locations means you’ll have better VPN service if you are an expat or do a lot of traveling.

Be Cautious With VPNs and BitTorrent

For some people it is very popular to use a VPN to access BitTorrent websites where media, music, software, porn, and other things are illegally downloaded. We’re not in a position to tell you how to browse the Internet. What you do is your business. What we will tell you is that VPNs which allow users to access BitTorrent websites are becoming increasingly rare. Simply put, it is not worth the risk to the VPN provider. If the provider is found to permit access to these sites, they could find themselves in legal trouble.

You might want to select a VPN that does not permit BitTorrent access. There is much less chance that you will have a problem. If this type of illegal downloading is your thing, it will probably be necessary for you to choose another method.

If you are ready to obtain quality VPN service at an affordable cost, check out the VPN plans offered by VPN-accounts.com. We have options for everyone, and we are happy to answer any questions that you may have about VPNs and how they can protect you.

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Stop! You Don’t Need A Vpn Client For Windows!

If you happen to search Google or Bing for “VPN” don’t be surprised if some of the results that come back lead you to sites that promise free VPN service in exchange for downloading a software client that will allow you to run the provider’s VPN on your Windows computer. You may also encounter the same thing if you’re using a Mac. Stop! Read this article before you download any software that claims to be a VPN client.

A wolf in VPN clothing

Just out of curiosity we attempted to visit a random link that was returned in a search for “download VPN client” and this is what happened:

Our antivirus jumped all over this free VPN website and its link to download a software client. Obviously, we didn’t proceed but we’re pretty sure why an antivirus program identified it as dangerous: the software most likely contains harmful payloads in the form of malware or spyware that will allow the provider to track your preferences whenever you use their VPN client.

This practice is more common than you might think. In most cases free VPN providers are only providing access to a web-based proxy that is subsidized by advertising revenue. If they were offering a reputable VPN they wouldn’t be asking you to download a client. The reason why is pretty simple: your computer or tablet already has one.

VPN software is on your device

Pretty much every operating system today from Android and the iOS to Windows already has a VPN client built in. VPN software is even found on gaming devices like the PS4 and Xbox One. Your mobile phone has it and so does your tablet. Since it is already there you don’t need a software download to use a VPN.

When you sign up for a VPN your provider will issue you some credentials that will then be used to configure VPN access via your pre-installed software. All you have to do is enter those credentials…a super easy task…and you can start using a VPN with multiple server locations in minutes. There is no risk whatsoever to your device because you really aren’t making any changes to your system the way you would be if you downloaded a client from one of these sneaky websites.

Tricking you is what proxies do

Proxies depend on a large volume of users in order to stay in business. They need those users to be clicking ads that often appear within a web-based proxy platform or they need to be gathering user data to sell. They are also not above tricking you into being tracked and that’s the real motivation behind their software download.

Our suggestion would be to explore VPN services that are upfront about charging for service and their prices. It’s pretty easy to distinguish a reputable service provider from a shady one when you think about it. The reputable VPN provider will tell you what you’re getting—server locations, speed, cost, logging policy—whereas a shady one will go to great lengths to conceal things by simply getting your attention with the word “free.” Once you download anything and install it on your device the damage is done. You can remove it, of course, but many times that won’t remove the malware payloads that have been delivered. Get your VPN at VPN-accounts.com!

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Why A Vpn Is The Best Online Privacy Tool In 2016

With every passing year people are becoming more concerned about privacy online. In 2016 the number of individuals using a VPN or other online privacy tool is expected to once again increase. Though the options are becoming more abundant—proxies, anonymous browsers—it is clear that a VPN may still be the best online privacy tool in 2016.

Here are just a few reasons that you should consider a VPN over other privacy tools:

Free proxies are scary

Have you ever noticed that when you use a free web-based proxy to surf the Internet that sometimes banner ads will pop up on a site advertising something from another site you visited a few hours ago? Isn’t that peculiar? Not really. The reason that happens is because you aren’t as anonymous when using a free proxy as you think you are. Many of these services collect and even sell your browsing preferences, allowing third parties to serve up ads tailored to your browsing history.

What you probably know is that websites accomplish this kind of targeting by the use of cookies, but what you may not know is that most tracking of this type is enabled by the search engine provider—Google, Yahoo, and Bing being the largest. Each of these search engines is also basically a gigantic advertising company. All of them sell advertising in some form or another. Once you search on certain thing like “snowshoes” the search engine offers ad placement to a company that sells snowshoes and has paid for the privilege of having their ad delivered to a targeted audience.

Free proxies do the exact same thing. They use cookies to track the sites you visit and then sell ad placements to companies. Think about it. The “free” proxy has to be generating income from somewhere. Web hosting and servers cost money to operate.

What’s even worse is that many proxies are now promoting themselves as a VPN which is often dishonest. Few of them provide the same encryption a VPN provides and follow the VPN industry standards.

TOR and anonymous browsers raise flags

Thanks to the very public arrest of the founder of the Silk Road website, Ross Ulbricht, anonymous browsers have taken a bad rap. TOR, which hosts many sites on the so-called Deep Web, is indeed an anonymous way to surf the Internet. Or is it?

When you use the TOR browser to connect to the Internet it is true that the websites you visit and your other browsing activity is anonymous, but your usage of TOR is not. Unless you are using something known as a “bridge” your ISP can easily determine that you have connected to TOR even though they can’t see what you are doing. Sometimes it is even worse to have someone know that you are using TOR but not know why you are using it. It can invite suspicion.

In 2013 Eldo Kim initiated a bomb threat at Harvard via the TOR browser and what he believed was an anonymous email service called Guerilla Mail that he had set up using TOR. An originating IP address in the email header is believed to have indicated TOR usage. It was then a simple matter for FBI agents to see if anyone had accessed TOR through the local wireless network at Harvard. This led them to Kim and that was all they needed. Eldo Kim confessed to making the threat.

TOR can only disguise traffic within its own servers. In this way it is limited. Can you imagine using TOR just because you want to visit a gambling site or adult dating site only to discover that you now have the FBI’s attention because someone else on a public network used it to do something bad? Let’s be honest. TOR has some good uses, sure, but it is forever going to be linked to black market drugs, weapons, and murder-for-hire because of the Silk Road fiasco. You probably want to think about that.

VPN still passes the privacy test

It’s kind of amazing that even though a VPN is a simple privacy tool—your device already has a VPN client installed and configuration is easy—it still works exceptionally well.

Your VPN account creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the provider’s servers. Any websites you visit are invisible to your ISP. Furthermore, your actual IP address is not revealed to any of the sites you visit. No logs are kept of your Internet activity so even if someone were to try and collect them from the VPN provider they would could up empty because there is nothing to collect. Unlike a free proxy, a paid VPN makes it money from the customer not from marketing companies.

VPNs are so popular that they do not raise the hackles of law enforcement agencies the same way that TOR and other anonymous browsers do. There are simply too many people using a VPN today, and most of them are using it simply because they want greater privacy or perhaps want to unblock regional television programming when they travel.

The paid VPN is still your best privacy option for 2016 but be sure to choose a provider that you can trust!

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Do VPNs Need Better Industry Standards?

An article earlier this year in the international online edition of the South China Morning Post suggests that many VPN providers may be overstating their privacy value. The article suggests that the VPN industry needs better standards and quality controls which will result in a genuine increase of privacy and security for VPN users.

Better standards or better VPN providers?

It is somewhat interesting that these opinions were published in a Chinese newspaper. In recent years China has seen many people turn to VPN use as a means of circumventing the Great Firewall, China’s aggressive program of Internet censorship. Researchers in Britain and Italy decided to assess a number of prominent VPN providers to see if there were security flaws present in their platforms.

In the study it was discovered that providers such as Hide My Ass and Hotspot Shield were susceptible to leaks and DNS hijacking. The inherent problem with the study, however, is that it fails to distinguish between private VPNs and web-based proxy services which are two very different things. Many of the providers cited in the research are not VPN providers at all in the strictest sense; most offer free or low-cost access to a web-based service. Some of them also provide VPN service for a fee which purportedly offers better security.

This would seem to suggest that the problem is not with VPNs but with some of the providers that have sought to capitalize on an increased interest in privacy by offering substandard services. The quest for profit also encourages many free proxies to sell user data to marketing companies or even embed JavaScript for the purposes of advertising that is targeted to user interests.

What about the reviews?

Something else researchers found was that many of these free proxy providers also engaged in a deceptive form of marketing whereby they created bogus review sites to tout their proxy services. In this case potential customers were given information that was misleading or blatantly incorrect in order to entice them into a purchase. It seems like these proxy providers are engaging in a classic bait and switch technique. They lure in potential customers with the promise of free “VPN” service which is actually access to a proxy and then attempt to sell them an enhanced service.

The evidence is clear that using web-based proxies can expose surfers to security flaws. What the article in the South China Morning Post actually does is expose the fraudulent nature of many free, web-based proxies.

Does your VPN provider meet privacy standards?

Any VPN provider you choose should be able to meet a few basic criteria. At VPN-accounts.com we hold ourselves to industry standards that inspire confidence and demonstrate a commitment to your personal security:

  • A paid but affordable VPN. Free proxies are often anything but as they could end up costing you a lot of money when your data is breached. The word “free” is often a red flag. We paid but affordable VPN protection.
  • Excellent customer service. Our representatives are always ready and willing to assist you with any concerns you may have about your VPN service. We do not disappear as soon as you make your VPN purchase.
  • Industry standard encryption protocols. Our VPNs are safeguarded with L2TP and PPTP protocols for privacy.
  • No third-party ads. Our VPNs are not supported by ads and do not alter the appearance of websites you visit like some free proxy providers.
  • No logging. We do not log user preferences or browsing data like many proxy services who sell that information to marketing companies.

The last word on VPN industry standards

Perhaps the researchers in Great Britain and Italy are right in suggesting that better standards are needed in the VPN industry, but they fail to address providers like VPN-accounts.com that are serving their customers with a high degree of satisfaction. The VPN industry does not need better standards as much as it needs a distinction from companies that deceive users by promoting proxies as VPNs.

The best testimony in this regard will often come from VPN users themselves. Each month we receive many emails in which users state their happiness with our VPN product. Do not rely on the false promises of proxy providers only to discover that your browsing data has been compromised.

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Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

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Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

THE “P” IN VPN—UNDERSTANDING PRIVACY

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, but many people still don’t have a thorough grasp of what a VPN accomplishes or a deep understanding of Internet privacy and how it may be compromised. In our digital world the newspapers are filled each day with horror stories of identity theft and privacy being violated. Even those in positions of power are affected; current US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is currently battling reports that classified information may have been leaked in her email.

Here are some thoughts on Internet privacy, what it really means, and how a VPN functions to provide privacy and added security.

An Internet Privacy Primer

The word privacy is literally defined as “the state or condition of being free from being disturbed or observed by other people.”

Achieving this condition was relatively simple in a pre-digital age. If a person wanted privacy all they had to do was remain in their home and refuse admittance to anyone they deemed untrustworthy. The arrival of the Internet changed all of that. Think about this: accessing the Internet without the proper precautions basically has the potential to open the doors of your life and home to the entire world.

In the digital age most of us lead two lives, one in the physical world and one in a virtual world that is really like a neighborhood. Instead of the store on the corner there is Amazon. Instead of the club down the street there is Facebook and Google Hangouts. And, just like any vast city, the Internet is full of places you probably don’t want to go. At the very least you want the proper protection.

It is very important for individuals to grasp how the Internet changed the definition of privacy. It changed it by changing the number of people one interacts with on a daily basis. If there is one person knocking at your door you probably won’t have much trouble keeping them out. If a thousand come knocking you might need more than just a lock on the door.

How VPN’s affect privacy

Obviously, a solution was needed to limit a person’s visibility online. To retain the original definition of privacy there had to be a way for a person to control who is able to observe their Internet activity. Enter the VPN.

A VPN gives back control to an Internet user by making their Internet browsing private and allowing them a certain measure of anonymity online. In other words, the VPN can pull down the shades of your virtual home. Most people would probably agree that what you do in your home is your own business and surfing the Internet should be the same. It is an unfortunate reality that not everyone agrees.

Just as physical homes are subjected to break-ins and robbery, so is the virtual home that is your computer, tablet, or smartphone. In a physical sense you might be lucky enough to catch the intruder in the act and prevent them from stealing your things by calling the police or using force. In a virtual sense it is unlikely that you will ever even notice the intruder until they have taken your sensitive data and gone. The scary thing is that your own device doesn’t even have to be compromised for you to suffer. Did anyone reading this article have an account at Ashley Madison? No one is judging here. We’re just presenting stark realities. If hackers can routinely invade websites like Ashley Madison, Home Depot, and even the US Pentagon, what chances do you have of avoiding intrusion if your connection is not secured?

Maybe things would be easier if it were only identity thieves that Internet users are dealing with. Another sad reality is that Internet usage is now being monitored by government agencies all over the world. Even the US, the bastion of personal freedom, has been actively engaged in monitoring Internet activity.

A VPN is the most dependable solution for regaining control and preserving the original definition of privacy. It will permit you to decide what you share and who you share it with. As the virtual life one creates breathes more and more and begins to take on its own form, using a VPN becomes more necessary.

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

Get a VPN Account

Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

 

Do you Still Need a VPN if the NSA Crumbles?

The administration of US President Barack Obama announced on May 20, 2015 that the National Security Agency (NSA) must immediately begin shutting down its covert efforts to spy on the telephone conversations of American citizens. <Source> While the Patriot Act provisions that allow the NSA wide-sweeping powers of data collection expire on June 1, President Obama wants the shutdown began no later than May 22. The announcement comes on the heels of the USA Freedom Act passed last week that would essentially splinter the NSA’s authority to collect cell phone data.

Privacy and Internet Freedom activists are hailing this as a victory, but what does it really mean for you? Will you Internet activity also be safe from the government’s prying eyes? Is a VPN still a wise option for Internet browsing, even from the US?

The NSA is not going anywhere…for now

The recent laws being enacted and the directive from the Obama administration will certainly affect the ability of the NSA to gather data—cell phone data. These new provisions are not designed to affect the collection of Internet data.

But, wait! The NSA has denied that it monitors Internet traffic. It all seems a little confusing, but the application of a little rational thought might help to clear things up. Think about this: the use of cell phones and other mobile devices for Internet access is growing every day. Many privacy enthusiasts would argue that it is unreasonable to assume the NSA is collecting cell phone data solely in the form of recorded conversations. If they can monitor calls from a cell phone, how can one reasonably conclude that they cannot monitor the data being passed over a network via a mobile device?

The order to shut down the NSA data collection program sounds great for those that value their personal freedom, but too many people may take this as an excuse to become lax in the protection of data.

Are you using a VPN on your mobile device?

This is a good question. Answer it honesty. We receive emails all the time from people who don’t even realize their phone or tablet has a built-in VPN client. Many of these people simply connect to public Wi-Fi without ever giving privacy a second thought. For example you can see the iPhone vpn setup guide here.

Lots of people will turn on the Wi-Fi feature of their phone when they are within range of a network because using the network does not affect their 4G/5G data usage. The problem is that many of these public networks are unsecured. Anyone within range can log in. Sure, they may ask you to enter an email address before your browser will launch or view a 20-second before you can surf, but otherwise there are no security measures in place to regulate who is using the connection.

Bear in mind that we aren’t talking about China or the Middle East here. We’re talking about the Starbucks or Burger King in Anytown, USA. The land of the free. For some reason people are far more likely to take their security for granted at home than they are abroad. Major mistake.

Countless reports are filed each year of identity theft in the US, and a fair amount of these involve data being snooped and stolen from an unsecured wireless connection.

The NSA isn’t the only one looking

Ordering the NSA to cease and desist the collection of cell phone data is a step in the right direction for increased freedom and privacy, but the NSA isn’t the only one that might be observing your Internet activities. As we stated above, identity theft is a big business. Data thieves are constantly looking for an exploit in wireless networks.

Perhaps you think that your Internet history is safe as long as you don’t do it from your home computer. Wrong. The browser on your device also records your history and can be easily accessed. Furthermore, devices like the Android OS are powered by Google and basically connect you across the entire Googlesphere—the Play Store, YouTube, and more. Did you ever wonder why you start getting those uncanny recommendations after visiting a website or watching a video? It’s like the Internet can read your mind. Well, someone certainly can.

If the NSA were the only threat to the personal privacy of citizens in the US, the recent announcements from Capitol Hill would be very good news. Unfortunately, there is still much to be done in the struggle for Internet freedom. Until then, using a VPN on all of your mobile devices is the smart play. A VPN is affordable and easy to set up, and it can give you something that is priceless—peace of mind.

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

Get a VPN Account

Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.