Friday, November 28, 2014

Why using VPN is important


Here are three words for you: Virtual Private Network (more commonly referred to as VPN). If you’ve never heard of the term, or aren’t sure about its exact nature in our info tech world, then chances are you’ve never utilized one. A VPN is facilitated for several reasons, by individuals and the business sector alike. Anyone who initiates one for their time on the internet will have a variety of reasons. They can vary according to the individual’s needs and wants; scaling from minimal personal usage to access international television programs not available in their region, to encryption and security during time spent in cyberspace. In essence, a VPN is used to secure and encrypt communications when using an untrusted network which is in the public domain.

The latter is the more common theme. In this day and age where big brother seems to lurk in every corner of our internet browser, more and more people, and companies, are resorting to the use of a VPN provider. In fact, as people are educating themselves on the realms of the digital jungle that is fast becoming a second home, the VPN is becoming a common household name. And why not? With hackers at the ready to steal your sensitive information, and government regimes watching and monitoring your every move, the VPN is now an essential addition to add to our daily internet rituals. In essence, public networks are cesspits, and if we dwell in them too long, without the correct protective elements, then we tend to ‘pick up’ those bugs which dwell in them.

When you use a VPN, the usual presentation is to launch a VPN client on your personal computer. You log in; your computer then “exchanges trusted keys with a server,” and once both systems have been authentically verified, your communication on the internet is secure.

However, not all VPNs are created equally. When searching for the right VPN for your own use, it is important to know what it is you are signing up for, and who with. You need to take into consideration connectivity protocols, features and server locations. The best VPNs will offer a good selection on these criteria. Most importantly, the VPN Provider should have a so called ‘no-logging policy’ which ensures that no user activity will be logged.

You need to be aware of other considerations such as trusting your provider with your data. In other words, what do they log? Everything outside of your VPN server is secure from eavesdropping, but those sharing the same provider may have access to your data. Some VPN providers keep logs in case a government requests them, so decide what is acceptable to you when it comes to logging. AnonHQ recommends IPVanish as it fulfills all criteria regarding speed, security, support of all mobile devices and most importantly anonymity and safety: “IPVanish does not collect or log any traffic or use of its Virtual Private Network service”

Other features you may want to consider are:
Does your VPN provider offers Anti Malware/Spyware?
Do you have the option of securing your phone along with your computer via Mobile Apps?
Pricing of the provider.
Exit Servers if you want a country specific VPN.

Essentially, the million dollar question to ask yourself when you are considering a VPN (or not) is: how secure do you want to be next time you surf the net?

Links: IPVanish VPN (recommended by

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

First Microsoft Lumia phone to be revealed on 11th November 2014


The first Microsoft Lumia smartphone is looming, with its unveiling set for Tuesday,11.11.2014

The company posted late Thursday a teaser of a smartphone with #MoreLumia hashtag, showing off an orange frame around what is presumably the front of the camera.

The new Lumia smartphone will mark the first time the product line drops the Nokia moniker in favor of Microsoft's name, signifying a new chapter for the mobile devices, which have struggled in the marketplace. The smartphones, which have featured bright colors and a reputation for powerful cameras, barely make a dent as far as sales go, except in a few emerging markets. But Lumia smartphones may have a new lease on life under Microsoft -- at least that's the company's hope.

"Microsoft is delivering the power of everyday mobile technology to everyone," states the new post on the renamed Conversations blog where Microsoft and previously Nokia share Lumia-related news.

The Windows Phone operating system likewise needs a spark. The OS has yet to catch on and powers just 2.5 percent of the world's mobile devices, according to market researcher IDC. In comparison, Google's Android OS runs on nearly 85 percent of mobile devices worldwide.

The orange frame of the teaser image ties together with the orange image that Microsoft revealed last month that touted the Microsoft logo alone. Although the image showed only part of what could be a new smartphone, the company name and Windows-shaped logo aren't actually joined by the word Lumia.

"We are looking forward to unveiling a Microsoft Lumia device soon," Tuula Rytilä, senior vice president of marketing of phones for Microsoft, said at the time, while denying that the name change would render today's Nokia Lumia phones obsolete.

The logo switch is part of Microsoft's effort to more fully take control over its new smartphone business. The Lumia line plays an important role as an ambassador of sorts for the company's Windows Phone platform. Even before Microsoft acquired Nokia's mobile devices unit for $7.2 billion in April, the Lumia smartphone line was often used to tout the latest version of Windows Phone.

Microsoft has increasingly attempted to push its platforms through its own efforts in hardware. On the Windows side, Microsoft has its Surfacetablets, which despite a rough start are beginning to see momentum. The company reported revenue of $908 million on Surface sales in its fiscal first quarter that ended September 30, up 127 percent from a year ago. It's hoping to do the same with the Lumia line of smartphones.

Even as Microsoft's logo begins to take over, the company has said the Nokia name will remain on entry-level devices, which continue to resonate in emerging markets.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Researchers Discover New 'WireLurker' Malware Affecting Macs and iOS Devices in China


 Most people today know that Apple products aren’t bulletproof, but 350,000 Mac and iPhone users in China are finding that out the hard way. New malware called WireLurker is quietly stealing data from their devices.
It’s a nasty little infection, too. Once it has infected a Mac, WireLurker waits in the shadows for an iOS device to be plugged it. It then takes advantage of Apple’s trusted pairing to siphon specific data off the device, including its serial number, phone number, and iTunes store identifier.
The device doesn’t have to be jailbroken for WireLurker to infect it (the malware abuses Apple’s enterprise provisioning plumbing to pull that off), but jailbroken devices do get special attention. WireLurker steals additional info from the iMessage history, address book, and a handful of other files. According to security researcher Johnathan Zdziarski, WireLurker’s primary target doesn’t appear to be the data in the devices it infects. Rather, it seems as though it’s trying to identify software pirates — nice to know, but not necessarily all that reassuring. Someone is still pushing your personal information to a remote server.

WireLurker also tries to sneak malicious apps onto the device while it’s connected — and many users won’t even notice their installation. Zdziarski says that “user education is the biggest problem” when it comes to WireLurker, adding that “Apple has a poor reputation for helping their users make smarter decisions about security.”

The good news is that there are tools out there to combat WireLurker. Palo Alto Networks offers a free WireLurker detector, and you’re probably not in any danger of infection if you don’t download warez from shady websites.
If your Mac is clean, then you should be fine. Just don’t go plugging your iPhone or iPad into someone else’s Mac for a little recharge or to swap some files without knowing whether or not it’s clean. You could end up transferring more than you wanted to.