Cybersecurity Essentials When Working From Home

We are living in a world where large numbers of people work from home. Remote workers have grown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many freelancers and business entrepreneurs continue to prefer a home work environment. Those who are smart understand that there are cybersecurity essentials important to the home office.

Choosing to ignore your online safety in a home work environment can have disastrous consequences. Some individuals have even seen their business destroyed because they failed to safeguard personal data and work files.

Keep Your Devices Updated

The most important device that you use when working from home is probably your computer. You may also rely on laptops and tablets as well as your phone to accomplish work tasks. All of these devices need to have frequent updates to maintain important protection against security threats.

Software updates and patches are issued when developers locate and resolve vulnerabilities within an operating system. In a perfect world no device would be released until it was invulnerable. In the actual world no device can achieve this because new threats are constantly emerging. It is a game of cat and mouse. The developers create a more secure platform, and the hackers immediately go to work trying to breach it.

These updates can be a pain to endure. All of us have become frustrated when an update begins to install as we are working on something. The good news is that you can eliminate that frustration by choosing when to schedule updates. You can even arrange to have them downloaded and installed while you sleep.

The price for skipping updates can be high. Your device may fail, or you could be exposed to security risks. Yes, sometimes an update can cause problems that have to be sorted out with another patch. This is just a part of the process. Learn to embrace updates as a part of your working from home routine.

Password Use and Management

Some of the most effective security measures are also the simplest. A habit of creating strong passwords and changing them on a regular basis is one of the strongest cybersecurity essentials for those who work at home.

Some thing about passwords should be common sense. You should never use personal information as a part of a password. Don’t include birth dates or other numbers people could know. Also, you should avoid using the same password on multiple sites. If one is compromised, you could suffer a breach on many of the sites that use that same password.

A good password is long enough that you don’t have to worry about it being easily guessed. It should also contain a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. If you are not comfortable creating a strong password of this nature, there are password generators that can do it for you.

How often you change your passwords is a matter of personal preference, although we would suggest at least twice per year. Some people change them every quarter, and others rotate the passwords so that one or two can be changed each month.

A Strong and Reliable VPN

Yes, a VPN is still a cybersecurity essential for the home office. It is also a good idea on general principles for those who want to improve their safety when using the Internet. Today, VPN service is affordable and accessible to almost everyone.

Without getting into the technical aspects, a VPN encrypts your online traffic. This makes it impossible for someone to spy on your activity. They cannot steal any personal data that is unable to be seen. VPNs can also be used to evade geo-blocking of websites.

The key is to choose a VPN that is both strong and reliable. You should avoid free VPNs at all costs. These VPNs simply do not have a good reputation, and many of them subsidize their service by selling your data to third parties. Make sure that the VPN you choose does not keep logs of your Internet activity.

Antivirus Software with Malware Protection

Nothing has changed when it comes to protecting your device with antivirus software. You should also include malware and spyware protection. A good antivirus suite will have all the tools that you need to prevent threats which can infect your device.

The thing with antivirus software is that it also must be updated regularly. New virus definitions are being added all the time. Your software is only as good as its ability to identify and neutralize specific threats, so keep it current.

One thing to be aware of when it comes to antivirus protection is the inclusion of a VPN. Some antivirus suites have started bundling a free VPN with their service. You should treat this free VPN the same way as other no-cost option. Regard it with skepticism. It is likely better to choose an affordable VPN that stands alone from your antivirus program.

Home Cybersecurity Best Practices

Let’s talk for a minute about the best practices you can have when it comes to cybersecurity in the home workplace.

It is always a good idea to keep your work and home life separate. If you are fortunate enough to have an Internet connection and devices that can be dedicated to your work, great. You will minimize cybersecurity threats when you strictly control who is using your network and devices.

Budget your VPN service and other cybersecurity expenses, and keep receipts. You may be able to deduct some of the expenses you have for security.

It should be a no-brainer, but avoid any type of Internet activity that could cause trouble in your home business. Be careful what you share on social media. The social media networks are a favorite of hackers who are looking for easy targets.

Never Let Your Guard Down

Sadly, many people will not think about security threats until they have been the victim of an attack. The best thing you can do is remain vigilant. Don’t think it can’t or won’t happen to you. Eventually, it will.

VPN Accounts has many VPN solutions for home office cybersecurity. Explore our affordable vpn plans and make the right choice for your home office.

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VPN Gadget – 5 Devices to Protect With a VPN

VPN Gadgets

A VPN is still one of the most effective and affordable means of protecting your home network. It can also be used to keep you safe when you are forced to use unprotected networks that are not trusted. You can even use your VPN on a large number of devices. Here is a look at 5 devices you can protect with a VPN.

Desk Computers and Laptops

Desktop and laptop computers are at the top of our 5 devices you can use with a VPN. These are still primary tools for the Internet user. Many homes today have a desktop computer in addition to several laptops.

VPNs are especially useful for desktops that might be shared among family members. When you take your laptop out with you to the hotel or library, you can use a VPN to remain safe on these open public networks.

Gaming Consoles

Here is an application for VPNs that is often overlooked. Popular gaming consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox are compatible with VPNs. This is because many gamers also use their gaming system to browse the Internet or stream media with services like Netflix.

Using a VPN to bypass geographical restrictions is very effective. If you find yourself using a gaming console to watch HBOMax or other services, your access will sometimes depend on your location. A VPN can provide you with an IP address in your own country and restore your access to media, news sites, social networks, and more.

Tablets and Phones

A large portion of the world is using mobile devices for Internet access today. Both iOS and Android devices can be seen everywhere you go. You may even be using one to read this very article. Protecting your device with a VPN is a smart move.

Hackers and data thieves are well aware of the popularity of mobile devices. They also know that people frequently use them to connect to the Internet while abroad. As such, your device could become an easy target for those who want to spy on your activity.

Smart TVs

Yes, even many smart television devices are equipped to handle a VPN. The reason is simple and similar to that of gaming consoles. People use their smart television to stream media from the Internet. Streaming has overtaken other forms of entertainment today as people seek to customize their own experience.

Like desktops computers, smart televisions are often used by the entire family. This makes it even more important that the device is protected with a VPN.

Other Smart Technology

As time passes you can expect other technology to support VPN connections. Any device that can be connected to the Internet is a possible use for your VPN. There is always news breaking about someone having a smart device hacked and their security compromised.

One device that we did not mention in the other categories is your router. Using a VPN on a router is a simple solution if you want to make sure everyone in the home benefits from the same protections a VPN offers.

About VPN Clients and VPN Gadgets

Some of you may be thinking that you will need to download software to your device in order to use a VPN. This is incorrect. All of the gadgets that we mentioned in our list of 5 devices you can protect with a VPN have a built-in VPN client.

All you have to do is enter the credentials that have been supplied by your VPN provider. You can configure the VPN client to your own specifications. It is then a simple matter of choosing a VPN server and establishing a connection before you begin to browse. Buy a VPN account today!

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Are VPNs still useful?

With the arrival of each new year we are often asked about the continuing value of VPN service. Are VPNs still useful in 2022? The answer is yes. Personal security and privacy are still relevant concerns for the average computer user. Here’s why.

Welcome to the Metaverse

You may have heard the word metaverse being thrown around a lot lately. Mark Zuckerberg has even gone so far as to include the word in a proposed re-branding of Facebook. The construct of the metaverse is still in its infancy, so offering a precise definition of the word is difficult. It is easier to define the idea.

We have reached that point in society when digital living is beginning to further detach itself from physical existence. People work online. They go to school online. They buy and sell goods online. Today it is possible to even bank with digital currencies that have no physical existence. We are fast approaching the day when our physical reality and the way in which we live our lives are less tethered. That’s the metaverse.

With the introduction of such a construct comes those who want to manipulate and control it. Living in a digital reality means dealing with digital threats. You should be just as concerned with the faceless attacker or entity that wants to spy on your digital life as you should be with a physical threat. Some would say you should be more concerned.

The Presence of Greater Online Security Threats

According to Forbes magazine, there are multiple reasons why someone would choose to use a VPN in 2022. Many of the standard reasons of the past are included on the list. Working remotely and better security when using unsecured public WiFi are two of the reasons. If you look closer you will also see data privacy from the apps and services that you use to be included on the list.

The Internet user of today is far more likely to use a variety of apps and services. When you throw in the popularity of mobile devices, it is common for a single person to share data with hundreds of applications. Each of those apps is a potential threat to your online security.

Music apps. Communication and messaging services. Social media. Think of all the services that you use as ramps to the freeway that is your life. Data is entering and exiting that freeway all the time. Sometimes traffic can even be moving when you aren’t aware it’s moving. This is digital life in 2022, and it can be a pretty scary place.

VPNs Haven’t Lost Their Effectiveness

Amid all of this chaos which litters the digital landscape in 2022, there is a constant. VPNs have not grown outdated. In fact, they have been marching along with the times and working to improve the levels of encryption and protection that they provide. VPNs are still here because they work, plain and simple.

This doesn’t mean that the VPN industry is perfect. Far from it. From the beginning there have been those who have sought to exploit the technology for personal gain. Most of these companies were known for offering free VPN service to users in the past. This often made it hard for reputable VPN providers to survive.

Those who used an affordable, paid VPN from the very beginning know that the effectiveness of VPNs was never in question. Those services that became targets of attacks were never secure in the first place, with many of them selling the browsing preferences and data of their own users to marketing companies. Reputable VPN providers like VPNAccounts.com have never done that.

While some providers have fallen behind in the technology that they use, many others have continued to improve it. Good companies have expanded their server locations throughout the world to give VPN users more options. Things have continued to improve on a very large scale.

What is your personal security worth to you? Are VPNs still useful in 2022? Only you can answer that question. Evaluate the ways in which your life is connected to the metaverse. You will probably come away with a new respect for VPNs and the protection that they are able to offer.

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How to Watch Anime Online?

anime

Anime has truly been rising in popularity over the years. This popular form of Japanese animation can be found on platforms like Netflix and other streaming services. Unfortunately, some of the best anime content is still native to Japan. The good news is that if you have a VPN you can access anime programs in the US and many other locations.

Here’s a basic look at this genre of entertainment and how you can watch anime online the safe way. There are many quality platforms that you can choose from.

Sources for Quality Anime

Those who love anime will tell you that they are very particular about the type of content that they want to see. Some prefer forms of anime that are geared toward adults while others are interested in family friendly content. All of them can be devoted to their chosen fandom, with many message boards encouraging lively debate among anime fans.

When it comes to watching anime in the US and other areas outside of Japan, there are three main sources for content. These are Netflix, Crunchyroll, and Funimation. Other streaming platforms are beginning to offer more anime content with each passing day.

There are a few other platforms which we won’t mention by name. We know that the anime purist will know what these are. Care and caution should always be used when seeking out sources of anime on the Internet.

Why Watch Anime Anyway?

If you are a fan of animated content, anime is sure to be of interest to you. As many people have pointed out in the past, anime is more than just a cartoon. It is a true medium, a genre. There are things about anime that are unique to the art form.

We would say that anime appeals to the more sophisticated viewer. Most of those who watch anime are either adults or young adults. It is not really a medium for children. This can be due to the violent or sexual themes that can be present in some types of anime. In this respect it is good that watching anime on a streaming platform can be a little bit difficult.

Of course, there are exceptions. Dragon Ball Z and other anime programs for children remain popular year after year. In fact, some parents enjoy watching anime with their children. Younger parents may have even grown up with shows like Sailor Moon and now want to share the genre with their own children.

The Official Streaming Platforms for Anime

It is always a good idea to stick with popular streaming platforms for anime content. One of the best has traditionally been Netflix. There is an impressive library of anime content on Netflix, and more is being added each day. If Netflix content is blocked, use a VPN to unblock it.

Crunchyroll and Funimation deserve mention, but it should be noted that the library that they offer is really for the more hardcore anime fan.

So, how do you access these services and watch anime online? You purchase a subscription for them from the company and stream the content on your computer, phone, or tablet. Where you might run into an issue is when you are trying to access the libraries that are only available in certain countries.

Watching Anime Online With a VPN

Many people have made the choice to use a VPN for streaming anime. There are many advantages. The obvious one is that you will get access to more libraries because of how a VPN works.

When you connect to a VPN you are using the VPN server. This server may be located in one of many places. Perhaps you want to watch a US Netflix library but you are currently located in an area where Netflix is restricted. All you need to do is log into your VPN and select a US server. It will then appear that you are browsing from the US, and your access will be restored.

This type of use is becoming more important with some places like Australia taking up bans against anime. If you are in one of these areas, a VPN may soon be your last option.

The other benefits of using a VPN to stream and watch anime online is that you will be putting less of your personal data at risk. VPNs provide an extra measure of security that creates an encrypted tunnel which your data passes through. This makes it virtually impossible for your ISP or other prying eyes to see exactly what you are doing online.

Some Considerations for VPN and Anime

Remember when choosing a VPN provider for watching anime online, you need to have adequate speed.  There are some so-called free VPN providers than will not be able to support streaming media across all of their servers. At VPN Accounts we offer fast speeds and very little downtime with our network of servers.

You should also opt to use a paid VPN as opposed to a free one. Those free services are more apt to have weaker security, and some of them may even sell your data to the highest bidder.

More here : see how to get around the anime ban in Australia.

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Satying Safe Onine

Staying Safe Online

Internet privacy in 2021 is a concern for many people. Recent years should have taught us that keeping online data secure is becoming more difficult. Hackers and data thieves have grown more sophisticated in their methods. Satying Safe Onine in 2021 means being proactive in how you access and browse the Internet. Here are 15 Internet privacy tips for 2021 that will improve your security.

Stay Current on Device Updates

Some of the suggestions on this list come down to common sense. This is one of those. The devices we use to connect to the Internet today all require frequent software patches, upgrades, and updates. It can be annoying to receive those notifications and go through the process of an update.

The price of not keeping your devices updated can be high. You may be running applications that have a security flaw. You may be using a browser that puts your personal information at risk. Zero-day exploits are a favorite method of hackers. The only way to guard against new threats is to keep your device updated.

Turn Off Location Sharing and GPS

A lot of the apps we take for granted require the user to grant permission to location information. Some may even use your device’s GPS features to pinpoint your location. Social media sharing and checking in at our favorite physical locations is fun, until it isn’t.

There have been instances of individuals playing Pokemon Go who were lured into traps by muggers and assailants. When you share location information you are doing more than revealing your current location. You are also making it clear that you are not at home.

You have a choice. You do not have to grant permissions to apps which ask for your location. You need to ask yourself if app access is worth risking your Internet privacy in 2021.

Use Best Practices for Passwords

This is a piece of advice that is given over and over again. Why some people continue to ignore the advice is beyond explanation. Stop using the same password for all of your websites and email. When you do that, all a hacker needs to do is discover your primary password. They will then have access to your social media, banking, and more.

While we’re on the subject of passwords, you should strive to make yours unique. Using the same old 123456789 or the word “password” or your date of birth is asking for trouble. We recommend that you find and use a free password key generator. These handy tools are even found bundled with many browsers today. A single click will give you a complex and completely random password to use.

Stay Aware of Cookies

Tracking cookies have long been used on the Internet. Even though you have probably only heard bad things about them, cookies do serve some good purposes. They can create shorter load times for sites that you frequently visit, and they can help remember log in info and website preferences.

The downside is that cookies can also be used to track your browsing preferences. This information can be used by apps and social media platforms to serve up targeted ads. This is why you will often encounter ads on Facebook for something that you have previously shown interest in.

Most web browsers today give you the option to manage cookies. You can choose to allow only some of them, or you can choose to block them all. You can even specify how cookies are managed on a site-by-site basis.

Be Wary of Public Networks

Many people today use mobile devices for their sole Internet access point. A great number also frequently connect to unsecured public networks, often simply referred to as WiFi. Using a public network without any type of protection is one of the biggest privacy risks in 2021. You never know who is snooping these networks for private data.

Public networks can be found in abundance, especially in the United States. Hotels, coffee shops, museums, and many other types of access points are available within mere miles of where you live. You could even be reading this article on a public network right now. We suggest that you use some of the other top privacy tips for 2021 whenever you connect to unsecured public WiFi.

Always Log Out of Websites When You Are Finished

A good habit to establish is to always log out of websites when you are finished browsing. It even makes sense to do this with your own personal devices, but it is crucial if you happen to be using a computer that is provided by your employer or school.

When you just close out the web browser (and let’s hope you are at least doing that), you may remain logged into any sites you were using. This is accomplished by means of those cookies that we spoke about earlier. If someone else opens a browser behind you and navigates to Facebook, for example, your account may display if you didn’t log out. Whoever is now using the computer has access to your account and its settings.

Trust us when we say that families have been broken up when a spouse discovers activity or an unknown website account on the family device. Always log out, even when you are using your personal devices.

Stop Sharing Personal Data on Social Media

On the subject of social media, it is a growing concern among privacy experts how social media sharing can compromise your Internet safety. Even worse, it can put your everyday safety at risk. How many times have you checked in at a favorite restaurant? Posted that you are on vacation away from home? Just asking those questions has made you aware of how social media sharing can be a problem.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram do have measures that you can use to limit who has access to your account. Here come some more questions. How many people are on your friend’s list that you never interact with? How many that you don’t even know outside of Facebook?

We could go on here, but we know that some of you have now opened another window for a Facebook friend’s list and timeline purge. Carry on.

Keep Social Media Contacts Low

We just touched on this in the previous tip, so we will keep this simple. Keep the number of friends you have on social media to a reasonable level. Restrict your contacts to people you know. Unless you are a Kardashian, you don’t need 5,000 Facebook friends.

Use HTTPS Sites

Some Internet users are not very familiar with the HTTPS protocol. Take a peek at your web browser in the upper left corner where the address bar begins. See that padlock? If it’s closed, your are browsing on a secure version of the website which has been protected with TLS, or Transport Layer Security. What this means is that some basic encryption is used to help prevent hacking attempts which would compromise your Internet safety.

HTTPS is a good start, but your should remember that it does have limitations. It’s the best standard option for Internet safety. We recommend that you avoid sites which do not use the HTTPS protocol, especially if those sites try to collect any of your personal data.

Prefer Anonymous Browsing

If you are able to browse the Internet anonymously, do so. With that being said, how does one truly go about staying anonymous online? It is actually a detailed process, but you can complete the steps required with ease. The first of these is to understand your IP address and how it can be used to identify you.

An IP address is specific to an Internet access point. You can almost think of it as a digital type of 911 address. It can be tied to a certain device and location in many cases. To browse anonymously you will need to somehow obscure your IP address.

There are some web browsers like TOR which were specifically created for anonymous browsing. There are also VPNs, or virtual private networks, which allow you to hide your IP address in favor of the one belonging to the VPN server.

While we are on the subject…

Use a VPN

A VPN is still one of the top Internet privacy tips for 2021. There is no substitute when it comes to security, and VPNs can now be used on almost any device that is able to access the Internet. That includes phones, tablets, and even gaming consoles. There is no software download required. Your device already has a VPN client that is ready to be used, and VPNAccounts.com even has convenient apps that make the process simple.

VPNs are effective at what they do because of encryption. They basically form a secure tunnel between your device and your Internet access point. This makes it impossible for your ISP or any other entity to observe what you are doing online. They can see that you are connected, but your browsing activity is kept private.

Watch Out for Phishing Emails

Phishing emails have become a major security problem in 2021. The emails come from what appear to be trusted sources, often a website that you use regularly. The premise of the email is usually to inform you that your account has been compromised. You will then be told to click a link which will allow you to reset your password. Doing so will take you to a site which looks like PayPal or your favorite social media network. You can guess the rest. You’ll be prompted to enter your current credentials before you can change them. The game is over. You lose.

This type of hack continues to be used because it is so effective. You should always strive to make sure that the email you receive is from the actual web app or service you use. Most of these services will no longer ask for you to provide an old or existing password, and instead rely on things like two-factor authentication.

Use Encrypted Messaging

Instant messaging apps are more popular than ever. Some of them like WhatsApp have even added encrypted messaging to the mix. We think this type of messaging is a vast improvement over messaging apps that are not secure.

Just remember to check the privacy policies of the apps that you choose to use. Recent changes to the WhatsApp privacy policy in 2021 have been cause for some concern. Only communicate with a message platform that you can trust.

Ignore Messages From Unknown Senders

On the subject of instant messages, any messages you receive from an unknown sender should be regarded with caution. The phishing strategy that we talked about earlier can also be applied to messaging. Someone can even be impersonating a friend that you know in order to compromise your security.

Raise Your Guard Against Contests and Giveaways

Have you noticed that there are many contests and giveaways that appear on your social media feed? Some of them are legitimate marketing efforts. Others are just attempts to steal your personal data. A few may even be an attempt to scam you out of money.

Here’s the deal with these contests, if they seem too good to be true they probably are. Do your research before you are willing to sign up and provide your email address and other information.

Bonus Internet Security Tip – Avoid Hacked Social Media Pages

As a bonus tip we would offer this reminder. It is very popular today for individuals to hack or impersonate the social media pages of others. One of the most famous incidents in recent memory involved comedian and filmmaker Tyler Perry. False ads that Perry was giving away money to those who shared his posts went viral. They hack was so successful that Tyler Perry himself had to take to social media to address it and warn his followers.

With a little effort you can keep yourself safe online in 2021. A good place to start is one of our VPNs. We have affordable and reliable VPN solutions for Internet privacy that you can start using today. Zero trust security is another topic to read about.

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WhatsApp New Privacy Policy

Whatsapp Privacy

Those who use WhatsApp for instant messaging should be aware that the service has recently announced some changes to its terms and conditions. The new WhatsApp privacy policy for 2021 details which personal information the app collects from users. It also specifies how that data can be used or shared by WhatsApp.

It is common for apps like WhatsApp to change their privacy policy from time to time. Usually, these changes are met with little to no resistance. In the case of the 2021 WhatsApp privacy policy, users expressed concern over the sweeping permissions it gave to Facebook in regards to messages. Many people were quick to delete the app, and Facebook delayed the integration of the new measures until May 2021.

Here’s an effort to help you understand the new WhatsApp privacy policy and how it can affect your use of WhatsApp.

The New Privacy Policy Does Not Target Personal WhatsApp Messages

WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. When the company announced the changes to its privacy policy, some users were concerned that Facebook would now have access to its personal messages. Many people started to use Signal and Telegram after the announcement. It probably didn’t help that Elon Musk started to tweet that there were better alternatives for messaging than WhatsApp.

The backlash from users prompted Facebook to delay the changes to the policy for a few months. This appears to have been an effort at damage control by the social media giant. Facebook was quick to make clear that the new policy did not change privacy settings for personal messages. Those messages will still benefit from WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.

Messages to and from businesses, however, are included in the new policy. Basically, the new 2021 WhatsApp privacy policy requires users to accept that business messages may be collected and used for marketing purposes. There will be associated information stored on Facebook’s servers.

This is a potential concern for anyone that wants more control of their own Internet security and privacy.

What Will Happen If You Don’t Accept the WhatsApp 2021 Privacy Policy?

It is still possible for users of WhatsApp to choose whether or not they will accept the new privacy policy. They can even continue using the app if they don’t, but their usage will be restricted over time.

WhatsApp will first prompt users to accept the agreement. The ability to send messages from the app will also be restricted. Finally, the refusal of the new privacy policy will lead to the app being disabled for users after 120 days. At that point, the user’s account will be deleted.

Is It Still Safe to Use WhatsApp?

If you are only using WhatsApp to send personal messages, Facebook claims that its service is still encrypted from end-to-end. As such, Facebook wants you to know that WhatsApp is completely safe to use. But is this really true? There have been stories from time to time which appear to cast doubt on the use of the app for truly secure messaging.

What we can say for sure is that your messages with any businesses are not protected. Some would argue that this step will only lead to greater permissions in the future. At best, you should use WhatsApp with diligence and caution.

If you are really serious about your Internet privacy and security, we invite you to check out the solutions offered by VPNAccounts. Yes, we can help you browse the Internet with more security and privacy. Yes, we have affordable and reliable VPN service. Choose your package today and enjoy more peace of mind with our encrypted VPN connections. Also check out home office privacy using vpn.

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A Premium VPN Service offers Premium Service

premium vpn serviceYou are probably familiar with the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” This is definitely true in the world of VPN technology. We could give you many reasons why a premium VPN is a better option than proxy servers or web-based free VPN service, but let’s stick to the fundamentals. You just get better service with a paid VPN from a reputable provider.

VPN’s are technology, and technology is always something that is going to necessitate support for the end-user at some point. You probably take a lot of technology for granted. We all do. When there is a glitch, however, we want to know that it will be fixed quickly. If the issue is a problem with our device, we take comfort in some hand-holding from customer service while we work to resolve the problem.

With some VPN providers, users get thrown into a lonely void as soon as they complete their purchase. Sometimes even finding a contact email is a chore. Nothing is more frustrating that paying for your premium VPN only to discover that no one is available to help you configure it if you need help. And if the network goes down…forget it. There is no urgency to right the ship.

VPN-accounts.com believes that a premium VPN should include the following elements:

Little to no downtime. This is a huge one. Whenever the VPN servers are down, your connection is down. End of story. We work 24/7 to maintain our servers to eliminate problems and keep them running smoothly.

Quick support response times. If you happen to encounter trouble, whether it comes from setting up the VPN on your device or simply learning how to use it, we believe you deserve a quick response. We answer all support emails within (insert time frame here, Sam…I wasn’t sure of the policy). We won’t leave you hanging.

If your VPN provider is failing to meet these requirements, you might want to start considering someone else. If they are this negligent in handling customer concerns, how negligent are they with protecting your data? Something else to consider is that free VPN’s are earning revenue from somewhere, and usually it is from ads or from selling your browsing preferences to marketing companies.

VPN users must decide for themselves if they are willing to pay for the benefits of premium service. At VPNaccounts.com you get the best of both worlds. Our services are affordable and top-notch. Buy a Premium VPN

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Muddy up your Digital Footprint with a VPN

onlinefottprint-vpnThere was a time when the Internet was a highly-unregulated kingdom unto itself where the browsing activities of Web surfers were hard things to track. Over the years, things have changed. While the Internet remains largely unregulated, it is far easier these days to leave a trail that almost anyone can follow. You can take measures to reduce or even eliminate your digital footprint by using a VPN.

What is a digital footprint?

Each time you connect to the Internet you potentially create a trail for someone to follow. That “footprint” can be used to connect all of your Internet activities and give someone a comprehensive view of your likes and preferences. Leaving behind a trail online has caused some people to lose their job, get into trouble at school, and experience problems at home.

Your footprint can be left in a variety of ways. Using sites that require a login, like Facebook or Twitter, will certainly create a trail, but there are other ways you can be tracked. Many websites use cookies and Java-based applications to track your Internet activity and create a demographic profile. Many of these applications are fairly harmless, but they still help put together the pieces of the puzzle that is your online identity.

Your online identity

Most people draw little distinction between the person they are offline and the person they are online. They use the Internet pretty much the same way they use any other form of communication. For some, however, establishing an online identity that is somewhat removed from the person they really are is beneficial. Not all of the reasons for doing this are bad ones.

Bloggers may want to maintain their blogs in anonymity because of the opinions they express. Those opinions might not be acceptable to their circle of family or friends. Gay and Lesbian individuals who must remain “in the closet” during their offline life can create an online identity that allows them to freely express who they genuinely are. There are numerous reasons a person might seek to create a line between their online and offline activities, and not all of them are bad.

Sometimes, a person just wants to indulge in the fantasy afforded by an online identity. They can be anything they want to be while connecting with people they will probably never meet in real life. A little fantasy in this regard is truly harmless, but it can easily be misconstrued by someone who determines the real identity of the person behind the profile.

Who is tracking my Internet activity?

At the top of the list would be government agencies that are shoring up surveillance under the pretense of security. Look, we’re not in the business of creating or advocating conspiracy theories, but the facts are pretty simple: in the post-9-11 world many governments have gone overboard in monitoring usage of the Internet. The US alone regularly requests and receives demographic data from many Internet websites. Can you imagine what that process is like in a country which does not herald freedom of speech, like China? You will probably never do or say anything online that will perk up the ears of the government, but then again you might. The point here is that you don’t want to get caught up in the overly cautious net of government surveillance.

Credit agencies, skip tracers, and attorneys can also be interested in tracking online activities. Some spouses have reason to suspect that their partner is cheating, and an online trail might confirm their suspicions. If you happen to be using the Wi-Fi at work on your own device, some employers feel that your browsing history is fair game. God forbid you should look at a soft-porn website on the job. Employees have been fired for far less.

Muddy up the water!

If you truly want to remain anonymous online, the trick is to throw digital bloodhounds off the trail by using a VPN from VPN-accounts.com. A VPN can go a long way toward restoring your Internet freedom. It obscures, or masks, your IP address, the virtual calling card you leave behind at every website. Any attempts to track that IP address will only lead back to the VPN server. A VPN also turns your data transfer into unrecognizable gibberish with a process called encryption. Encryption is a fancy word for an elaborate cipher, and it is nigh-impossible to crack.

You’re still going to need to change some of your browsing habits if you really want to remain anonymous, but using a VPN is the foundation you need to erase your digital footprint. A few moments spent right now purchasing and setting up your VPN can save you a lot of embarrassment later on. Every moment you wait is a moment that someone could be following your digital trail.

3 Steps to use VPN

01

Sign upBuy 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. Purchase your VPN today!

Create Your Own Hotspot Shield with a VPN

hotspot protection with vpnCreating your very own hotspot shield is one of the best reasons to purchase a VPN. Wi-Fi hotspots have become extremely popular, and the chances are you have used them many times to browse the Internet. Using a hotspot without the proper precautions can put your personal data at risk, so we’re going to walk you through creating a hotspot shield that will keep you safe.

The facts about public hotspots

Public WiFi hotspots are nothing less than unsecured networks that allow access to anyone within range of the signal. No password is required to connect to the network and the data shared on the network is not encrypted.

Globally, there were over 4.9 million hotspots in 2012. That number is expected to swell to 6.3 million by the end of 2013. In addition, over 150 million laptops are sold each year which have an integrated WiFi feature. These numbers should tell you that a lot of people are accessing the Internet via these unsecured public networks. Most of them are accessing them without a hotspot shield.

Public hotspots can be found in hotels, restaurants, libraries, bookstores, airports, and hospitals. There is even a playground in Brooklyn, New York that offers a free hotspot. It is very convenient to access the Internet from these locations, and many people do.

Hotspot security concerns

There are three points where security is compromised on an unsecured public network. The first of these is the connection between the access point and your computer. This connection needs to be encrypted, and public hotspots do not offer this. Leaving the network unsecured is a matter of convenience for hotspot providers.

The actual hotspot itself is the next weak area, followed by the access point’s connection to its ISP. Anyone of these three areas can be vulnerable to attack, and whenever you connect to the hotspot you enter into a partnership of sorts with the network and your own security is compromised.

That might sound a little hard to understand, but here is all you need to remember: in order to preserve security on a public hotspot you need to create a hotspot shield by using the end-to-end encryption provided by a hotspot VPN.

Building a hotspot shield

The first step in creating your hotspot shield is to purchase a VPN account from VPN-accounts.com. You don’t need to install any software. Your device already has a VPN client. Just configure the VPN according to the instructions we provide and you’re all set.

What a VPN does is pretty simple. A VPN creates a virtual private network between the public hotspot and your machine—a tunnel. The connection between your machine and the VPN is end-to-end encrypted, so anyone who tries to snoop your private data will only see random gibberish.

In the most simple of terms, the VPN is the knight in front of your secured fortress. It secures the data going out and secures it coming back in. It holds the hotspot shield that will deflect any attempts to compromise your online safety.

Beef up your VPN hotspot shield

Once you have your VPN configured and use it to connect to a public hotspot, there is another simple measure you can take to enhance the security of your browser while on the public network. We’re using Firefox as an example here, but most browsers have a similar security option that you can tweak.

  1. Click the orange FIREFOX box at the top left of your browser
  2. Select OPTIONS from the dropdown on the left, and then click OPTIONS again. This will bring up the options screen.
  3. Click the CONTENT tab at the top of the screen. This will bring up a window that looks like this:

firefox vpn settings

       Make sure you DESELECT the box which says ENABLE JAVASCRIPT.  Click OK to exit and save your settings.

A lot of spyware and malware is transmitted over the Internet via the use of JavaScript. In addition, Java Script can enable the tracking of your online browsing activities. It is better to disable JavaScript when you are using unsecured public networks, and you might want to even consider doing it on your home network whenever you are browsing unfamiliar websites.

Fighting the battle without a hotspot shield

If you use public WiFi to connect to the Internet without a VPN to encrypt your connection, the risks are fairly great. You don’t know the other people on the network and have no assurances from the hotspot provider that someone isn’t sniffing your traffic.

Hotspots are a fact of life if you want to maintain connectivity while you are traveling, but your VPN account can travel with you wherever you go and provide a hotspot shield that is powerful, portable, and able to stand between your machine and a public access point.

3 Steps to use VPN

01

Sign upBuy 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. Purchase your VPN today!

Internet freedom in India

Inia INternetIndia enjoys a high level of Internet freedom, but state surveillance is practiced by the government and a very selective form of blocking is employed to prevent users from accessing objectionable content. You might not think of India as a repressive country, but if you happen to be traveling there you will find that much web content is unavailable without the use of a VPN.

History of India

The Republic of India is the second-largest country by population in the world, with over 1.27 billion residents. It is bordered by many smaller countries and the Indian Ocean. The country is actually the most populous democracy in the world, and the government is a benevolent one.

India gained its Independence from the United Kingdom in 1947 after the non-violent uprising led by Mahatma Gandhi. Prior to this time India was annexed by the United Kingdom through the British East India Company.

While considered an impoverished nation for many years, the level of affluence in India has been rising steadily since economic reforms in 1991. The country still faces many challenges of poverty and malnutrition, however, and it has been the victim of corruption and terrorism like so many other countries in the region.

Internet in India

The presence of a huge population and a mostly benevolent government has created a strong Internet presence in India. There are multiple ISP’s which serve the country, and a large portion of the population is connected. Recent statistics put the level of Internet penetration in India at about 8%, or 100,000,000 users. That may seem like a lot, and it is, but India is largely populated. On a per capita basis, India has one of the lowest Internet penetration rates.

Internet use in India will increase due to the country’s plans to introduce 4G service in 2013. Smartphones are very popular in India and a lot of residents access the Internet with their Android or iPhone. One study suggests that there could be 30 million smartphones in use in India by 2016.

Internet filtering in India

This is where India’s Internet story gets a little murky. Despite being a democracy and being perceived as a freedom-loving country, India maintains one of the most active Internet censorship and surveillance agencies in the world.

In 2011, India adopted new IT rules which give the government sweeping regulatory control over Internet access. One of the specific measures taken was to require all ISP’s to ban content within 36 hours of being notified that the content is objectionable. In the immediate aftermath of this legislation, Typepad and Mobango were blocked in India. In January of 2012, both Facebook and Google were issued summons by a Delhi court for violating the rules regarding objectionable content.

India issues blocks and removes them seemingly at will, so it is hard to compile a current list of which sites are restricted. These are a few of the site which have been, or are currently, banned in India:

  • YouTube, Dailymotion, and other video services. At the precise moment of this writing, access to these sites has been restored, but India has been known to ban them without warning.
  • Political Cartoons. Several of these websites have been blocked.
  • Pornographic web forums. India blocks these sites to prevent media sharing among forum users.

In June of 2013, India once again blocked 39 websites, most containing adult content, without giving any reason or law to justify their action. This is the key to understanding how Internet restriction is accomplished in India. It can be done at any time, to any site, without explanation.

Unblocking websites in India

A VPN account from VPN-accounts.com can unblock restricted websites in India in most cases. Because of the manner in which the country filters the Internet, it is highly recommended that you use a VPN inside the country.

A VPN is very effective in allowing Internet users to access Skype, Whatsapp, Viber, and a host of other services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer which are not available in India. A VPN gives you an added level of security in addition to making these websites available, and reduces the likelihood that you will fall victim to state surveillance.

3 Steps to use VPN

01

Sign upBuy 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. Purchase your VPN today!