Online Security in the Post-Truth Era

Photo: Post-Truth Digital Art, Graphic Design, Illustration by Guillo H.

Humanist studies of the XXIst century postulate that beyond the objective and subjective realm of reality, therein lies a 3rd dimension: the intersubjective level.
The intersubjective realm of reality is also a recurrent theme in Yuval Noah Harari’s Homo Deus, part I, where the author carries forward the idea of meaning and how we as homo sapiens designate it.
The notion of post truth seems to be talking about similar ideas or at least to be one effect of the core intersubjective reality we all live in, since the beginning of articulated speech. Post-truth however, is a relatively new term, absorbed by the Oxford Dictionary in 2016 as the international word of the year.
Bear in mind that 2016 was also the year UK voted in favor of Brexit and Trump was elected the leader of the “free world”, so along came the word, organically, to describe the new zeitgeist.  
 

Photo: Truth and Lie Illustration by Ether Gzirishvili

“Post-truth” is used to describe a political culture “in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored”. (source: Wikipedia)
 
According to a serious body of science we may all be living in a post-truth age, an age in which global warming is dicredited and denied even, and where social media is used to manipulate, polarise and divert from objective facts, while exploiting common subjective fears and opinion.
 
In the sharing, internet economy, data is the currency, an informational and economic asset capable of traveling the speed of light in a vacuum, when going through state of the art optical fibers. Able to operate at 99.7% the speed of light according to researchers at the University of Southampton in England. (source: Extreme Tech)
 
The digital world is now creating tangible value from big data so expect internet privacy to take an even more prominent route in the future. 
 
Nowadays, security must come in layers, not only in the corporate environment, but on a personal level also.
 
Here are a few things you might want to consider for an overall improved security of your online privacy and data. 
Get a VPN service for all your devices: 
 
The number one thing you need to get in line with is having a VPN connection. It’s really simple to use and just like that poof! your data travels through an encrypted tunnel, safe from prying eyes and encrypted all the while. You basically need to pay a monthly subscription and rock on. It’s important that you don’t chose a free VPN as free VPN services are sure to get their profits elsewhere and it’s usually on your broadband expense. So avoid using unreliable free services that offer protection, but are in fact jeopardizing it.
 
Taking hold of your own digital footprint requires savvy, educated users, that know their rights and are not willing to compromise when it comes to their own privacy.
It’s easy to understand why more and more people resort to using a VPN service, rather than letting their information “fly” to unknown servers where they can be stored indefinitely.
Password Managers
Another simple step you can take to ensure your passwords are strong and that you have them all in order. Passwords managers are not written in stone, so naturally they can be hacked, but is far less likely to have your password hacked than it is to have one and the same password for multiple platforms and have your data compromised by relying on your memory alone.
2Factor Authentification 

We know it can be annoying to have an extra layer of access when you’re in a hurry, but remember you will not be prompted with a 2fact auth method if you don’t switch devices often.

Back Up

Back up is the most obvious security measure that you can take, but people are often just not doing it. Regardless if you back up locally on a hard drive or in the cloud, you can do the extra mile and encrypt everything before backing up your data and you can be certain that your data is safe or that you can at least do a roll back to the most recent version previously saved. 
 
 
Taking a few measures to securely navigate the valley of post-truth are of the essence in fearing no evil. Keeping our heads clear and taking action to protect the digital environment we expose ourselves to on a daily, without having to go to extreme lengths to do so, is the way to go in 2018.

Having a VPN in place is the smart approach to getting around all this. Think at a VPN as the middleman between you and the internet, where your ISP can only see a bunch of encrypted traffic. And since your VPN knows as much as your ISP would, it’s very important to choose a reliable one with a zero log policy and a strong encryption.

Services like MyIP.io will offer you a self-managed VPN platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service . This platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions: Personal, Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time. Whatever provider you may chose, remember that the smart approach is to use a VPN service that you feel is the best match for you. Until then, stay smart, use a VPN!

IP Proxy Services aka VPNs, A Safe Haven After The Net Neutrality Repeal

Photo Credit:Safe & Sorry, illustration by Kurzgesagt

A popular way to refer to a Virtual Private Network or a VPN is the term “ip proxy” a much more popular notion conveying a somewhat more self explanatory meaning. A VPN is thus a tool anyone can have in place to bypass geo restrictions, add another layer of security to their internet connections and finally  getting around the economics and politics of what is ultimately a bandwidth battle among serious players. On the economic side of things we have a new “bright” and “exciting” idea  called bandwidth throttling. This is something that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is now able to do without notice under the auspices of the new FCC rules – representing the political side of this affair.  Bandwidth throttling means that your ISP can slow down your connection if you happen to access service that your ISP is not partnered with. At the same time, your ISP could also create “fast lanes” to preferred partners creating unfair disadvantages if for example you watch Netflix, instead of Hulu.

Photo Credit:Safe & Sorry, illustration by Kurzgesagt

 

GETTING UNDER THE WIRE

Rather than getting wrapped in all the media headlines and speculation, we say it’s time we cut a shortcut through all the debate and aim for a solution to overthrow the effects of net neutrality repeal. It all sounds very sophisticated, but net neutrality is actually a common thing that can affect your internet connection in a very “tangible” way. If your ISP is no longer legally binded to remain neutral, think of how they can affect your connection by throttling access to services they are not partnered with.

The simplest way to go around this and regain control over the situation is to set yourself up with a VPN service. For example, under the new rules, you could be charged more for accessing Hulu instead of Netflix. With a VPN in place however, your ISP won’t even know what you are accessing, since all your data will appear encrypted.

 

BEFORE BUYING A VPN

But which VPN to pick, you may ask? Since your VPN provider can pretty much know all your ISP knows, it is important to chose a reliable one, ideally with a zero log policy. To spare you the trouble of reviewing different VPN services, we tested things like speed, encryption, locations and costs as main indicators of a good VPN service forMyIP.io VPN.

Here are the features that we you will most definitely find a value in when using our service:

1. High Speed: Fast uploads even for big transfers.

2. Open Ports: Not many VPNs will allow you to use PPTP and even fewer will help you use this feature by guiding you on how to do it. MyIP.io offers comprehensive support given by a very responsive customer support team.

3. Static IPs: Usually an extra feature, static IPs are marketed at extra fees. On a MyIP.io you’ll get a static IP on a $5 plan.

4. Cost: You’ll pay less than $6 if you go with an annual subscription and $8 for a monthly. The costs are even lower for a dynamic IP, which comes with the “personal plan” for less than $3 a month.

5. Master VPN Account for teams: If you decide to go with the “business plan” we will allocate a whole subnet to you or engineer a custom solution to meet your needs. In a nutshell, the business VPN solution allows multiple accounts into one master deck, a convenient scenario in term of having control, management and payment. Simultaneous connections up to 50, on this plan.

6. Strong Encryption and a Zero Logs Policy: My IP.io comes bundled with all the strong encryption protocols, supporting all the latest security protocols such as SSTP, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSTP and 128bit –AES, OpenVPN cipher. They will not keep any logs of your activity on their server, so you can be sure no 3rd party is spying on your data.

7. Locations: You’ll have a diverse location offering to chose from with My IP.io that you can use to bypass geo-restrictions.

In the end, whatever you chose, be aware that a VPN provider is the middleman between you and the world wide web, so make sure you get a reliable one that ticks all your boxes. For us, that’s MyIP.io.

KEY IDEAS THAT YOU CAN KEEP AND CALL YOUR OWN:

hoto Credit:Safe & Sorry, illustration by Kurzgesagt

With all the crazy headlines surrounding the online security, net neutrality ordeals, you kind of get the feeling that it’s been a pretty intense year. But wait 2018 it’s only half way through and signs of weird outcomes are seen almost everywhere, counting the World Cup results as one.

Whether it’s the Facebook scandal, self-driving cars or politics, there’s no denying that technology is taking over and chances are you are affected by all or at least some of these narratives.

Out of the bunch, net neutrality is the one we are focusing on here and how you can circumvent it.

Summing up, the common sense solution to go around net neutrality repeal is to set yourself up with a VPN service. If you take nothing but the main idea from this written material, this is it:

First, make sure your VPN provider has a zero logs policy. Most of VPN providers will claim they don’t keep logs, but will in fact document logging data that they can trace back to you. Going with a service that can not keep this information by design, like MyIP.io, is an exciting option.

And second, beware of throttling of traffic. Your ISP might try and throttle VPN traffic, however it is difficult for your ISP to do so since it can affect all traffic, including the one that goes to their partners and customers.

All in all, net neutrality could be at some point in the future revoked, but even if it is, naturally there will be a great deal of back and forth in this kind of matter. Attempts for another repeal might and will be pushed forward, if the case. ISPs have a lot at stake to simply give in that easy. While fighting a good cause is important, we think that focusing on circumventing the effects of net neutrality repeal is equally important. Especially since, going around it, requires just a simple education and making sure that we’re a bit more savvy then yesterday, when it comes to our individual rights and preserving them in an increasingly digitalized world.

 

Your Google Activity Should Be Nobody’s Business. How to take charge of your data.

Photo Credit: Google Space, illustration by Muhammad Rifqi Rizaldy

Your Google Activity Should Be Nobody’s Business. Literally. There are businesses taking place in the search bar and far beyond, not only pay per click systems but extensive data collection of all your Google activity, is at the basis of high profiling well.. you, with a big emphasis on your shopping preferences or political affiliation.
Taking a privacy stance when it comes to using the internet is the new “drink responsibly”, so prior to feeling entitled to a private life while online, let’s just start with a clear mind in recognizing how much of what we put out there is actually in our power, slash hands, slash keyboards. And yet another important amendment before we get started, let’s also rise above the inclination of brand association, of trying to find a scape goat.  Meaning that regardless if it’s Facebook, Google or big telecom names like say Verizon  or Comcast, whichever the brand hype media is taking a stand towards, let’s just admit that privacy breaches and privacy concerns are virtually everywhere. High and low. 

So, with realistic expectations of what the online environment means today from two main perspectives as informational medium and marketing tool, we can manage to reach a clearer understanding of what to do in order to preserve privacy, while enjoying all of the perks the online world brings to the table.

 

Credit Photo: Digital Trip, illustration by Caparo design crew

Today we focus on Google activity and how you can disable it. Google knows a lot about our digital personas, as I would not go as deep into saying that Google knows us, since I remain loyal to the idea that our multifaceted lives and personalities can not be reduced to our digital footprint. And yet the thought of having a personal record with everything you’ve ever clicked on, every character you’ve ever typed in, it’s none the less disenchanting. Bare in mind though, that deleting or disabling such functionalities will not guarantee that your data is being deleted from Google’s servers altogether, but it will sure keep your browsing history from following you around. On the other hand don’t always think that companies like Google or Facebook have all the frivolous reasons to store your data. On many occasions this set of information is used for a better overall experience with the product a particular company is selling, wether is tangible or a service. On top of that, for users performing illegal activities while online, the data Google stores about them can prove very helpful in identifying suspicious or fraudulent activity and in this case, depending on the country’s jurisdiction, Google can be asked under a search warrant or subpoena to provide logs to authorities. This is something that Google admits openly in their annual Transparency Report.

Long story short, if you simply feel more comfortable having your google activity disabled and you’re not looking for any trouble while online, your browsing data should be safe from prying eyes once you get to manage the data Google stores on you.

 

I also find that deleting this data is a good step in preventing the engine in always feeding you what you previously searched for or viewed.  That alone can be an enormous loophole you may find yourself into, especially in the case of Youtube, that you can also manage from your Google activity page.

 

For all the information stored by Google such as your location stored in maps, your contacts stored in calendars and apps, your voice stored in voice searches, your Youtube search and watch history, there’s a disable function you probably never heard about. Here’s a simple and safe guide on how to delete or disable unwanted functions in Google Takeout, Google Account and Google Activity pages.

 

  1. Back up If you’re feeling nostalgic you can download your data before deleting anything by going to Google Takeout here. You will receive an email when the download is complete containing a link where you can download your data.
  2. Google Activity
    Here you can delete virtually all Google searches.
  3. Stop or Pause Your Web and App Activity

    After deleting searches you will want to get Google to stop or maybe pause your activity. You can do that in your Activity Controls Page, the Web and App section here. Browse to the bottom and select which function you want disabled.

 

 

For enhanced privacy, people are also  turning to VPNs to reclaim or preserve online freedom and privacy and we strongly advice that you should consider doing the same.

No longer an exotic tool, VPNs are now entering the mainstream and given the context it’s easy to understand why.

Simply put, when you’re using a VPN, all your data travels through a tunnel encrypted from end to end. In other words, not even your ISP will be able make sense of your data, since you’ll have all your online data happen elsewhere, not going through your ISP servers and encrypted all the while.

But it’s not just Google or  your ISP that keeps track of your browsing data, it’s your cell phone provider too, most apps, operating systems, and other services do the same.

Smartphones with preinstalled tracking software, secretly bundled with tracking files are sold everyday, while some companies try to leverage the very problem they created by charging extra for privacy.

Having a VPN in place is the smart approach to getting around all this. Think at a VPN as the middleman between you and the internet, where your ISP can only see a bunch of encrypted traffic. And since your VPN knows as much as your ISP would, it’s very important to choose a reliable one with a zero log policy and a strong encryption.

Services like MyIP.io will offer you a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service , The platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions:Personal,Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time.

Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.