Public WiFi

Fifty years ago, people would have considered WiFi(or Wireless Fidelity)a miracle—a discovery that they couldn’t possibly have any explanation for.

However, slowly but surely, scientists and engineers started dreaming actively about something so amazing, yet far-fetched.

Only a few years later, those once unattainable dreams became a reality. Because of these brave dreamers, people today have access to the internet everywhere.

Today, we use the word WiFi to refer to the devise that allows computers, smartphones and other gadgets to connect to the internet and communicate wirelessly.

Continually, it seems to be almost everywhere these days. People are worried or worst upset when they enter a coffee shop or a mall that does not provide Wireless Internet. Furthermore, public or private users can enjoy the following properties of wireless connection.

  • Efficiency – It has never been easier to transfer information in such a great speed. Businesses can transfer their data from one place to another in a matter of seconds.
  • Flexibility – One does not have to be at the office to receive important business information, which means, information or data can be sent or received by anyone anywhere
  • Cost Effectiveness – Given that people spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on things they may or may never use, it is considered to be wallet-friendly and also a smart investment.
  • Accessibility – It would be safe to say that this technology has become somewhat a necessity over the last two decades. Needless to say, most public places intends to cater the needs of the people, which means that most of them (if not all of them) now provide Wireless Internet connection.public-wifi

Two types of WiFi

Most of us are exposed to the technology of the 21stcentury, the Internet know that there is a public and a private/home WiFi.

Consequently, it is fairly easy to extrapolate that public WiFi can be found in public places, such as shops, malls, cafes, bars, restaurants, and even playgrounds in city parks.

On the other hand, private refers to the wireless connection set up for a private user at one’s home or a private office.

Public WiFi (Pros and Cons)

As the name suggests, this internet connection is available for the public to use, or anyone who desires to connect to the Internet in public places such as airports, libraries, hotel lobbies or a café.

One of its major pros is that it is free and people do not have to worry about spending money to check their emails, communicate via Skype or transfer important information.

However, there is one major drawback to public wireless connection and that is WiFi Security.

WiFi Security

Unfortunately, using a public connection will put your computer at risk and your personal data very vulnerable.

This could be extremely dangerous when the user shares sensitive information, such as personal information, passwords or bank account details.

Hackers, in this case, are much harder to detect, because more often than not, they use the same network as their “prey”.

Subsequently, insufficient WiFi Security can cause myriads of problems, such as identity-theft, loss of funds and destruction of important information.

Government authorities in charge of street WiFi, and other owners of this public amenity are aware of this dire problem and are purportedly looking into finding a solution for inadequate WiFi Security.

password
One way to improve Public WiFi Security is by implementing VPN
—a Virtual Private Network is one key to a successful WiFi Security, its purpose is to encrypt data that make interception impossible.

Public users can also implement WPA/WEP which encodes data that is being transmitted between a user’s computer and the wireless router.

Subsequently, even though the hacker may get into one’s system, they will not be able to decrypt and interpret the information.

Pros and Cons of a Public WiFi

Pros Cons
It is easy to access Insufficient WiFi Security measures
Multiple users Slower speed
Internet on the go Needs additional VPN for better WiFi Security
It is free Needs additional WPA or WEP for better WiFi Security
Does not require a password If hacked due to insufficient WiFi Security, the party-to-blame is hard to locate

How to Detect If You Are Being Snooped On In Public WiFi

Accessing an open network with low (or no) WiFi Security puts the user at risk of being hacked. In other words without WiFi Security while using a public connection puts you at a higher risk that someone nearby will have access to your personal information.

Even though this may sound like an exciting science fiction movie, rest assured that it is our reality today, and if we are not careful enough, a “snooper” can surprise us at any local café, a hotel lobby or even the kids’ playground.

Fortunately, users can now take the following steps and attain a few helpful tools to detect if their data is being observed by unwanted parties.

  • Turn on Your Firewallcyber-ghost
  • Turn Off Sharing
  • Use HTTPS and SSL Whenever Possible
  • Turn it Off When You Aren’t Using It
  • Download Free Who’s On My WiFi Windows, Mac, or Android
  • Detection Agent
  • Download Wifi SPY Android app
  • CyberGhost VPN
  • Hide My Ass (HMA)
  • TunnelBear
  • OkayFreedom VPN

Home or Private WiFi

Home or Private WiFi is a facility that is available in one’s home or private business for their personal use of the Internet.

This does not necessarily mean that other users cannot connect to the internet using a Private connection, but unlike public WiFi, the private one requires a password.

This naturally leads us to conclude that it offers greater Security measures than its public counterpart.
home-wifiFirst and foremost, setting up a private WiFi is very easy, which means you do not need the assistance of a professional since you are probably more than capable to do it yourself.

Furthermore, one major and very important difference between a public and private WiFi is that the latter automatically encrypts outgoing and incoming messages which provides data security.

This way, individuals may it be a small business owner, an important CEO or just a stay-at-home mom who wants to surf the Internet need not worry about their personal emails or bank accounts being hacked due to an already embedded high WiFi Security.

Pros and Cons of a Home/Private WiFi

Pros Cons
High WiFi Security It can only be accessed within private premises
Due to its great WiFi Security, home WiFi requires a password, which means not everyone can access it Installation problems may occur, though it is not very likely to happen.
It is inexpensive Individuals (guests/employees) can only use it if the password is provided
Higher Internet Speed
It is easy to set up

Conclusion

The truth is, this facility has become a daily necessity. Without such in this fast-paced technological era would be unimaginable.

However, even though this indispensable facility may have a few cons, such as insufficient WiFi Security, the various pros will serve as a testament on how important it is in our daily endeavors.

Overall, since its discovery in 1991, Wireless Fidelity has drastically changed the way we transfer information, conduct business deals and communicate with each other.

In addition to that, it would be safe to say it made life more convenient and changed our daily routine for the better.

Thus, whether you are a private or a public user, the one little catch to look out for is WiFi Security.

FBI Allowed To Hack Anyone That Uses Online Anonymity Tools

2000px-US-FBI-ShadedSeal.svg (1)Last Thursday, the US Supreme Court approved a new rule that would make it easier for law enforcement agencies including the FBI to hack any computer, regardless of its location. This decision will take effect from December unless the Congress opts to bring up a competing legislation against the decision. The FBI will have the powers to search any computer (even those that are remotely located) that has online anonymity software installed in it. The new ruling also allows the FBI to hack into computers that have been hacked once or those infected by a botnet, which is a type of malware program that takes over many computers and infect them with viruses.

Beware Online Anonymity Seekers

Federal judges would now be able to issue search warrants that would allow law enforcement agents to search or seize any computer anywhere. The rule also incorporated a small paragraph that is related to computers using privacy software. According to approved change to Rule 41, a federal magistrate judge has the power to issue a search/seizure warrant for any computer anywhere in the world that uses online anonymity tools like VPN and Tor. The US Supreme Court has purportedly approved the rule change to combat the rising incidents of cyber-crime. Interestingly, this rule was approved just a day after advancement of a bill by the US House of Representatives that made it a prerequisite for the government to obtain a judge’s cause warrant before seizing stored data from company computers such as Dropbox, Facebook or Google.

John Roberts, Chief Justiceof the Supreme Court,submitted the rule change to Congress as part of the annual collection of amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.Kevin Bankston, Open Technology Institute director (policy advocacy group) opined that the changed rule would authorize much more of government hacking than what is happening currently. He urged the Congress to pose questions to the FBI in this regard. It is alleged that FBI is fighting cases in court to keep its spying tactics a secret from the public.

As a deviation from the current Rule 41 which allows a magistrate judge to issue search warrants only within their jurisdictions, the amended rule would allow the same magistrate judge to issue search/seize warrants on any computer if its location has been hidden through technical means.It is also possible for the government to search millions of computers all at once with just a single warrant. There was added concern that the computers searched would belong to the victims of the cyber-crime that seek online anonymity instead of the perpetrators in most cases.

Whereas many of the experts that testified against such changes of the rule and privacy advocates are smarting against the upper handedness of the government, many are calling on the Congress to reject the rule that could mean an end to online anonymity. Senator Ron Wyden, an advocate of privacy, added that the amendment was clearly a debate that the Congress and the elected representatives of the country should take up and resolve after adequate public vetting. This is important in the light of the fact that there are over a million people that use Tor and other online anonymity tools for very legitimate reasons just as some others are using it to hide their crimes.

2000px-US-OfficeOfJusticePrograms-Seal.svgAbsence of any opposition to the rule means that it will come into effect in December this year and will result in spying by the government on users of Tor or VPN services without the user having any knowledge of it. The Department of Justice, however, welcomed the amendment. Their argument was that this change would help to prosecute those criminals that use Tor or similar tools to maintain online anonymity while perpetrating their crimes.

Earlier in the month, an Oklahoma federal judge had to turn down evidence in a case relating to child pornography owing to the limitations of Rule 41. Though the amendment to Rule 41 was proposed in the year 2015 by the Department of Justice, Google, in collaboration with other privacy advocacy groups wrote a letter expressing concerns about the violations of international agreements that this amendment would bring about as a result of the authorization of the government to conduct searches on computers outside of the United States.

Question: Is It Illegal to Use a VPN for Anonymity?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rB70rSWxM8

Internet users use VPN in order to secure their connections. But is using VPN for online anonymity illegal?

Advantages And Boundaries Of Internet Anonymity

Ever since the beginning of the Internet there has been a huge discussion about user anonymity – is Internet anonymity justifiable and when; should we all just use our legal identities while browsing and communicating on the internet. Naturally, there are lots of pros and cons to both sides of the coin.

Pros and cons of Internet Anonymity

Internet FishingMajor advantage of Internet anonymity is the opportunity to speak freely about things that would otherwise bring about unpleasant consequences to a person. This allows people to talk freely about their sexual orientation without fear of judgment, still very present in many countries; unpleasant experiences, such as harassment, sexual abuse or diseases; expressing political views that are different from the government’s, which is true especially in countries with limited freedom of speech.

In these situations Internet anonymity comes in very handy, but the major disadvantage of it is the fact that it can be used by criminal organizations and for criminal activities. Internet criminals are quite skillful at hiding, and typically they will attack those who use their real identities. So, many people view Internet anonymity as a major threat.

Those concerned about Internet security in general are mostly in favor of the anonymity; while law enforcements have a lot of trouble catching cyber criminals precisely because the high level of Internet anonymity.

The most common delusion of the average Internet user is the belief that using aliases instead of a real name will provide them anonymity. The truth is that it won’t, and the reason is quite simple – every computer has its IP address and it leaves digital footprints wherever you go on the internet.

Preserving anonymity has become much trickier since the social media came into play. It really doesn’t matter if you’re posting on a forum under a pseudonym; because, even an average hacker will be able to trace back to your Facebook  profile for example, which in most cases is on your legal name. And if you happen to link your social media profiles to any of your third-party profiles – their job gets even easier!

From here they can do whatever pops into their head and there’s no way for you to know that, until some serious damage happens. What’s worse, with them using various anonymity tools it makes them difficult to find; so, you won’t be able to press charges against them. Now, imagine someone bulling other people in your name; posting racist articles; manipulating your stock market; spending money from your credit/debit cards… You can end up in a lot of trouble, just for not being careful enough.

Anonymity
Some General Safety Measures

Luckily, there are some actions you can take to improve your Internet anonymity and security in defense against hackers.

• The main thing is to make strong passwords using symbols, numbers and letters, both upper and lower case.

• Also, consider using different passwords for different platforms, since platforms have various tools for protecting users’ passwords and not all of them are reliable.

Using a VPN is another way of protection against hackers and preserving your Internet anonymity. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it will basically hide your computer’s IP address and your location. It is a most useful tool when using public networks, such as restaurants, airports, neighbor’s internet 🙂 etc. Plenty of hackers are just waiting out there for you to login into your Facebook account via the public network.

• Another thing you should be mindful of is to avoid giving your email address to untrusted sources and never (really, never!) use your social media accounts when creating a profile on third-party websites.

• Phishing is also something you should be very aware of. Hackers often send links to their potential victims in an email. These links lead to fake websites which look the same as their original counterparts; only their addresses are slightly different – for example it won’t be facebook.com but ffacebook.com or instead of skrill.com, you’ll see skrllll.com (triple l). People usually don’t notice these things and they just fill in the login information, practically giving away their usernames and passwords to hackers.

Social media is computer-mediated tool that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.We’re everyday witnesses of Internet being un-forgetful; everything you’ve ever done online is stored somewhere waiting to be used against you. And, hackers have a wide spectrum of tools they can use against you; no matter how careful you are they will always go above and beyond in discovering more creative and more subtle ways to get into your computer. You can never be careful enough, but you can make it a bit more complicated for them by being more mindful of your behavior online.

Tor And VPN For Internet Anonymity

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iYpL3wulDo

 

Tor (The Onion Router) is an Internet anonymity service that’s
free to install and use on your computer.
VPN is another helpful anonymity tool that can be used.

VPN And Tor Will Double Your Internet Security

Not too long ago, the internet was primarily used by most of us to do simple tasks such as checking our email. Now, it’s used for so much more. More complex and dedicate tasks can be carried out online and this of course requires much more sophisticated security.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to protect yourself from identity thefts, credit card fraud, or even government “spy agencies” – proper Internet security is a must.

Throughout the next few sections we’re going to expand on why Internet security is so important, we’ll then talk about Tor, VPN systems, and how they can help you stay protected online.

Why Is Internet Security so Important?

Identity theft, credit card fraud, and government “spy agencies” are all very real threats that could occur when you’re doing something as simple as browsing the web. Having proper Internet security measures in place will protect you from all of the above threats and much more

The need for Internet security has become more apparent with the rise of companies that help us protect ourselves when we’re browsing the web. If there wasn’t a need for these services then all of these companies wouldn’t be in business.

A Quick Introduction to Tor

Tor is a very complex network system that helps you stay anonymous when you’re conducting your online activities, whether you’re just doing general browsing or work that requires the utmost in anonymity. Every byte of information that you send through Tor is encrypted with the help of several servers.

Setting-up Tor on your computer is as simple as downloading Google Chrome or another other browser. Simply head over to the Tor’s download page and install the right browser for your operating system.

You can download or here: https://www.torproject.org/download/download

Tor is a great way to keep yourself anonymous online, but using Tor’s network is not the only step that you should take. It would also be a wise decision to pair Tor with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

An excellent resource I found on Tor, that every noobie should read, lists the 11 Do’s and Don’ts while using Tor.

It can be found here: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/do-donts-tor-network/

Finding the Right VPN

If you’ve ever logged onto a public Wi-Fi network, you would have seen a message along the lines of “any information sent over this network is not secure”. This means that your credit card information, social media passwords, anything and everything, can be intercepted and placed into the wrong hands.

Even your home Wi-Fi network can be hacked; it doesn’t just stop at public networks. A VPN encrypts your data and provides you with a secure way of connecting to the internet. All the information you send through the internet is first sent through a private server, before going to its destination.

There are numerous myths surrounding the whole VPN industry. For example, many people believe that all VPN’s are the same as they do the same thing. However, this could not be further from the truth. Different providers offer different levels of security, different encryption standards and most importantly different policies on keeping logs. You see some providers log your usage while using the VPN which makes the use of the VPN pointless if you are concerned with anonymity as you are when using it with Tor. There have been cases where VPN companies where subpoenaed for user data that was suspected of doing illegal activity. In one such case, the biggest VPN comapany in the world “Hide My Ass” handed over the user logs to the authorities and the user was then prosecuted.

Luckily there are companies out there with strict “No Logs” policies, so it means that they keep no logs on users usage what so ever. This gives you the added security and peace of mind that you are truly anonymous while online and you are getting what you pay for. To even go one step further I would highly recommend you do your due diligence and find a VPN provider that owns and manages their own network. These such VPN providers are called Tier 1 VPN’s. Most people don’t know but almost all of the VPN providers out there just rent rack space and the servers from 3rd party hosting companies and manage it remotely from a computer.  How would they know if the company they are renting the hardware from is not logging info or tampering with things? They wouldn’t. At least if the VPN company own and run the servers then if they say there are no logs then they can 100% prove it.

A great resource about combining a VPN with Tor is Jolly Rogers Security Guide For Beginners.

It can be found here: http://darkwebnews.com/help-advice/dark-web-beginners-security-guide/

And the VPN part here: http://darkwebnews.com/security-guide/combining-tor-vpn/

Closing Notes

As mentioned above, Internet security is extremely important and fortunately there are many ways that you can protect yourself online. One of the two most popular and most effective ways to do this is by using the Tor network, accompanied with a VPN.

If you want to check some VPN’s out then I have found a site here they review VPN’s and they are the only one on the net I could find that actually test them out with Tor.

You can find it here: http://topvpnsoftware.com/best-vpn-for-tor/

The advice and guidance provided above should help you get started with both Tor and a VPN.

Tor – Is it really anonymous?

Question: I have started using Tor to browse Deep Web sites, I’m now anonymous right?
Answer: Unfortunately, it’s not really that simple.

ISP-SPYING1

Using Tor to mask the sites you view on the internet is a great step forward on the road to anonymity. However, because of one major player in the internet game, you’re still not completely free from eavesdroppers. That player is your ISP, your internet service provider.

So what does your ISP know about you? I’ll explain with this commonly-used analogy: Think of your ISP as a virtual mailman. They know the addresses of everything that’s both sent and received by your computer. Now what this means is that your ISP can track every site that you view on the internet. Depending on where you live, they may also be required to store this information. For example, in the EU, ISPs must keep all their data logs for two years.

Most importantly however, your ISP knows your IP address. When you use Tor to mask whatever sites you are visiting, your ISP can see that someone is using Tor to browse anonymously, and because they know you IP address, they can tell that it’s you who’s trying to mask what sites they view. Also, if you’re not using a HTTPS connection within Tor, they still know your data usage. This can arouse further suspicion.

Tor-NSA1

There’s nothing technically illegal about using Tor. However, some companies such as Comcast have decided to ban its use under their fair usage policy, due to the strong links between its use and the viewing of illegal sites as published on DeepDotWeb. This shows that peoples Tor usage is being monitored and logged. While I don’t endorse censorship of the internet, and while I believe that everyone has the right to privacy, including not having multinational companies store their personal internet histories, a lot of pressure is being placed on ISPs at the moment to crack down on internet piracy as well the use of illegal Deep Web sites.

So the question remains, can you actually obtain anonymity on the internet? I believe that the answer is yes – you just need to have the right tools at your disposal. A good VPN (Virtual Private Network) is one such tool. A VPN allows computers that are connected over a public network to form a private connection between each other. Many businesses use them so that employees can access sensitive material, even when not on site. The same technology can be used to protect your anonymity online. When using a VPN correctly, all your ISP can see is encrypted data. This approach, coupled with using Tor to mask the sites that you’re viewing, is probably as close as you can get to total anonymity.

In reality, using the Tor browser should be enough to protect your privacy in most cases if you don’t care that your ISP and law enforcement suspects you are using the Darknet Market sites like Agora and BlackBank. However, if you wish to really achieve anonymity so that absolutely no one knows you are using the DeepWeb, the use of a good VPN that keeps no logs is a very wise choice to make.

TopVPNSoftware.com is a pretty good site I found that compares the best VPN’s. It goes into pretty deep detail and it looks like they actually tested them themselves instead of just making it up.