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The Best VPN Service Providers Of 2019

There are now over a hundred VPN providers located across the world. To create this list of the best VPN service providers, I test customer service, the reliability of their network, and commitment to privacy. I also research actual customer feedback posted in online forums. These providers are the best VPN providers overall — these providers offer fast servers around …

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How To Run a VPN & Ad-Blocker On a Router

Why Run A VPN On Your Router? Using a VPN at the router level makes a lot of sense. It is a convenient way to make all your network connections private and encrypted. Every device that connects to your network will be able to access the VPN — there is no need to install a VPN application on each device. …

Three Hardware Wallets For Storing Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

Here are three hardware wallets that can be used for the long term storage of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. These devices are separated from your computer — and thus virtually hacker proof. I recommend storing these wallets in a fireproof safe. For daily use, you can keep a small amount of bitcoins in a smartphone app like Breadwallet. I do …

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A Guide To Avoiding Ransomware (Part 1)

Ransomware is malicious software that allows a hacker to access an individual or company computer, encrypt your data resident on it and then demand some form of payment to decrypt it. This lets hackers hold your data hostage – and hence the term “ransom”. Victims can regain access to their files only by paying the ransom, or by restoring from a backup that was hopefully not on a network that was accessible to the compromised computer.

Tor Project Will Pay Developers to Find Privacy Flaws

Tor developers have acknowledged security vulnerabilities in the platform, but also started a major effort to fix them, by launching a program that will pay people who find bugs in the Tor code. The new Tor initiative is a bug bounty program. That means programmers who review Tor code and find bugs will receive cash for their efforts. They don’t …

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How To: Make A Strong Master Password

As we’ve already noted, password manager apps are a great way to make sure your passwords are as robust as possible. But to use a password manager you need a single master password. And you need it to be very strong. Here’s how to create an excellent master password. Password Myths Most people think that the best way to make …

Windows 10 May Monitor the Apps You Use

It’s no secret that Windows 10 collects lots of data about users. But a recent blog post by the company suggests that it might be tracking more information than previously thought, including which apps you have open. There are a number of settings you can change in Windows 10 to make it more private (or you can use a privacy …

Pros and Cons of Tor, VPNs, Proxies and More

Tor, VPNs, Web proxies and other strategies for circumventing censorship all come with pros and cons. Here’s a list of the advantages and disadvantages of various methods for accessing blocked websites. Tor Pros: Free of cost. Difficult for censorship authorities to block. Relatively easy to install if using the Tor browser. Cons: Usually only works for Web browser, not other …

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PrivaTegrity Promises Better, Faster Online Privacy than Tor

What if there were an online privacy solution that was much faster than Tor and, unlike VPNs, allowed no single third party to read encrypted information? That’s what David Chaum, an Internet security and privacy veteran, aims to implement through a new type of mixed network called PrivaTegrity. PrivaTegrity is designed to work somewhat like Tor in that it would …

SLOTH Attacks Weaken HTTPS Privacy

Security vulnerabilities based on the MD5 hashing function make it possible to decrypt network data or impersonate servers in order to steal private information, according to researchers from the INRIA institute in France. MD5 is a cryptographic hash function. That means it translates data into a “hash,” or jumbled piece of information. In theory, the jumbled data cannot be reverse-translated …

Does Tor over VPN Really Increase Privacy?

Some VPN providers offer Tor over VPN services, which let you use Tor and a VPN at the same time. In other cases you can simply log in to a VPN and then use the Tor browser. Do such configurations actually increase your privacy? Here are some considerations. Let’s start with the advantages of running Tor over VPN. (We’re assuming …

How To: Configure Windows 10 Privacy Settings

Privacy concerns in Windows 10 have spawned a number of apps designed to improve privacy in Microsoft’s operating system. Here’s a list of several apps you can use to help stop Windows 10 from collecting private information about you and sending it to Microsoft. You can, of course, configure privacy settings on Windows 10 manually. But the following apps aim …

How To: Check That Your VPN is Working

How do you make sure your VPN is actually running — and not leaking data — after you log in? Here are quick and simple steps for checking. Most people probably assume that their VPN “just works” once they launch it. But in certain cases, it may not be. Just because the client program that your VPN provider gives you …

U.K. Government Monitors Taxpayers’ Online Activity

Why do government authorities want to monitor Internet users’ online activity? In the United Kingdom, one big reason is to find tax evaders by tracking social media accounts. The Belfast Telegraph reports that HM Revenue & Customs — the agency that collects taxes in the U.K. — has deployed a tool called Connect to monitor citizens’ social media activity. It …

How Malaysian ISPs Could Censor Content through the Transpacific Trade Partnership

The Transpacific Trade Partnership (TPP) is facing new criticism in Malaysia, where a legislator who opposes the agreement says it could increase Internet censorship. Mohd Hatta Ramli, a member of the Malaysian parliament, said the TPP “would mean that providers could take down Internet content without any sort of repercussions, allowing for potentially widespread internet censorship,” according to The Malay …