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Old 24-02-18, 15:10
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JayH JayH is offline
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Default Internet Privacy – VPNs & Being Anonymous

I’ve been reading WebUser Magazine for several years now and having just read the latest Issue, 21st Feb – 6th March 2018, titled “Stay 100% Anonymous, VPNs…” etc.

Over the years reading WebUser I’ve got the impression (I’d be a bit stupid not to have) that the magazine is trying to advise its readers to be aware of the current state of Privacy Online and how it is affecting us now and probably much worse, in the future.

This is obviously a welcome move – but to what end?

We are all now aware that governments can eavesdrop on us, but are told that it’s in our nations security that this is so.

Our operating systems are politely taking our info right from under our noses, that's even with everything un-ticked.

We are all now aware that our web surfing habits are being sold to third-parties, advertising online has gone through the roof. I dream of the good old days when all you'd get was an animated rectangle gif at the top of the page.

News isn’t always factual (was it ever?).

Better watch them passwords, 16 alphanumeric uppercase and lowercase characters only at the very least!

Hackers are apparently at every street corner getting ready to intercept our unprotected Wi-Fi Emails and Online Shopping.

You’re possibly giving your location away even without GPS, when your phone is switched on.

Our privacy has gone! Are we mad, or just so hooked on technology we can't see beyond our screens?... hang on I just got a notification.

Apart from our dignity, ahem', many of us have unwittingly given up our most valued thing - not our favourite T-Shirt, but our Privacy for the convenience of Social Media, Maps, Email, Forums, Searches, Online Shopping and so on.

Inadvertently we signed up to be watched 24/7 and give all our private information away – we may as well have just let anyone have the key to our door and let them wander around and do what the heck they like – while they're here, give them a foot rub and make them a cuppa why don't you?

People are even being told to buy technology to monitor everything they say in their home, while there at it, why not have a camera randomly taking photos of you and your loved one's? Or the most amazing one from last year, why not let your delivery man have the key to your door, really?

But there are apparent solutions, right?

First up, lets block some of them nasty ads, ads, ads, ads, ads (I had to say than more than once, didn't I?) which we’re told keep the net alive. If these poor little companies didn’t get the ad revenue they’d crumble! Poor dears, let me just get a tissue for my eye – who the heck clicks on adverts anyway? Come on, own up! I genuinely love to know... Have you recently queued up for Briton's Got Talent or the X-Factor? Be honest now.

Careful though, everyone now says, you’re being tracked! “Oh, what shall I do?”, Simple, install another addon to circumvent the trackers.

Phew! All safe now eh? Not nearly!

Don’t forget about ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ too, you'll need that as well.

Maybe try Linux too, it’s safer, but you won’t have any modern software, such as MS Word, Photoshop and a whole host of Modern popular compatible software etc. Who says it’s safer anyway? Which Distro?

All that information you use everyday online, can you count it all? It’s available to anyone with the know-how and also the government. No Search warrant needed, yippee! It’s ok, if you haven’t done anything wrong, what have you to worry about? It’s for the good of the country and even potentially the world!

We can’t have nasty people doing nasty things online, can we? Must stop those terrorists, and criminals. They’re everywhere, just look under your bed, or maybe in the corner of your eye, you’ll see them if you look slowly.. quick over there, in the shadows!

There’s an option though we are told, let’s all go "Anonymous", let’s be untraceable, get a VPN!

What a great idea, let’s get that VPN, TOR sounds too difficult to use and anyway, what would the neighbours say? What in fact would the legal authorities say? Who is going to be more monitored by the ‘State’, those that use VPNs, Proxies and TOR? You’d wonder.

You might even be scared these days to visit the TOR website in case Big Brother (no affiliation with Channel 5) is watching.

Forget about Netflix too, you’ll be unlikely to get that working with the US version. Torrents you say? Well you must be up to something dodgy, downloading Movies, Software and Albums you don’t own.

But if we don’t attempt to hide our details we might get hacked, but on the other hand, if we attempt to anonymise ourselves, surely, we have something to hide? It’s enough to drive a Vulcan insane! Certainly Hal 9000 would short a few circuits, “…Dave I’m afraid I’m powering down now, I’ve got a headache”.

How’s Ed Snowden these days by the way, worked out well for him didn’t it?

But, you then think, it must be ok, everyone else is doing it. What the heck, I don’t want everyone to know my business, I’m entitled to a life of privacy, aren’t I – or should I have been tagged with a chip as soon I was born? Maybe give me a barcode on my neck, that’d be funky and cool!

They can all take a hike! I’ll try a VPN then.

But which country do the VPN companies reside, are they reputable, can you believe what they say? How much data of yours do they store? Will they just hand over your details if asked? That data they do have, do they look after it? Does the VPN even work with a phone and computer together?

If you want a good deal too, you’ll have to fork out for a 2-3 year contract paid in advance! Then there’s the lovely fast connection you paid for recently, now reduced by half the speed or more. Your bank probably won’t let you use the VPN either.

But as you do your research more, you then realise that maybe helping with unprotected Wi-Fi in town is their best and only main use your VPN will offer (maybe stick with Opera VPN then?) – unless you live in a country where you are restricted from using the net as we can in the West – does it really matter?

You might think by researching you'll learn what is best, fact is, no one knows (If you do, please tell us all!).

There’s no guarantees that the VPN will offer anything else to make you secure – sure your IP address is different, but what else is being leaked.

How do you know that your PC or browser isn’t leaking other details?

Then you ask yourself again, why should I want to be anonymous, do I have something to hide – I just want to use my phone and my PC, I don’t have time to think about such things, I have a life – even if it revolves around snapchat and facebook.

Are we all just stuck in this technological nightmare which is modern society? Are VPNs just essentially ‘Snake Oil’? What will we have to protect ourselves from next? I’m going to make a tinfoil hat just in case.

Has anyone got a spare Island they want to donate? Myself and my family are all packed and ready to set sail!

Oh, one last thing I’d like to finish on, that Tunnel Bear VPN mascot is so cool, isn’t he?

... hang on, who are those two tight black-suited men wearing sunglasses walking up my path...
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  #2  
Old 24-02-18, 16:16
Cantrel Cantrel is offline
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Default Re: Internet Privacy – VPNs & Being Anonymous

I'm one of those who has nothing to hide and don't have an add blocker installed.

Life's too short to worry about things we have little control over.
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Old 24-02-18, 23:25
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Madeline Madeline is offline
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Default Re: Internet Privacy – VPNs & Being Anonymous

I have nothing to hide either, but I do use ad blockers because most ads are either irrelevant as far as I'm concerned, irritating or both!
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Old 11-10-18, 12:55
mariad mariad is offline
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Default Re: Internet Privacy – VPNs & Being Anonymous

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayH View Post
Forget about Netflix too, you’ll be unlikely to get that working with the US version.
Well, I do agree that Netflix too is cracking down VPN services. But there a few available still that provide some dedicated servers that actually allows access to the US Netflix around the globe.

In order to access American Netflix in UK, last month in London was there for a wedding.

I used the PureVPN subscription, that too borrowed from a friend, although have got my own now. It did help me access my US library sitting there in London.

I am not sure though how long will it work, but for the moment it does help.
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