There’s little doubt that the internet has developed incredibly over the last couple of decades. In the earlier years we were amazed at a few 256 colour pictures or some complicated ASCII art. Nowadays you can stream Ultra high definition movies through our computers or Smart TVs without a second thought.
There is one area though which has remained largely the same, and that’s the security infrastructure available by default on the internet. The primary security is supplied in much the same way as the end of 1990s in the form of SSL (secure socket layer). However this security is actually very vulnerable particularly if you’re using internet access points from untrusted sources. This could be anywhere from the local library to an wifi access point in your airport. We are completely reliant on these connections being secure and properly configured to ensure the security of our personal details when we use them.
Most of us now regard a VPN service as an essential resource for performing anything on the internet. In the event that you travel and make use of access points in places like hotels, cafes and airports – using a VPN is practically vital. If you do not then it’s virtually inevitable that eventually you’ll be the victim of some sort of cyber crime.
Among the main issues with these free Wi-fi points is that they are nearly always installed and set up with somebody without any appreciation of computer security. Many surveys have found a huge proportion of these devices are installed with default settings. Only the larger chain organisations are likely to have some specialized staff able to manage these appropriately and even then this isn’t often the case.
Think of all the places you make use of free internet access, who supports the connection do you imagine? Who would you get in touch with if there was a problem? In most cases the information would be extremely difficult to locate as they are probably set up in flying visit then some obscure telephone support at the end of the phone. In smaller companies it’s often the dreaded – ‘mate who knows a bit about computers’.
It’s the reason that all these access points are so appealing to identity thieves and cyber criminals. Here’s just a small choice of the primary issues:
- Central Access Points used often by thousands of people to check out secure sites such as e-mail, banking, paypal and so on
- . Frequently poorly set up with minimal security.
- Allow access to seize all sorts of data using Man in the Middle style assaults.
- Enables anonymity for attackers who don’t even have to present if they hack into the router.
They’re definitely a huge attraction for organized identity thieves for example who can take all sorts of data if they are able to hack into the router. The other well-known method is to simply put together a free internal access point in the same location and give it a similar name. Setting up this someplace near a hotel lobby or coffee shop means you can steal peoples information while they surf. This attack is often referred to as the “evil Twin” attack making use of a phony access point.
If someone compromises an access point or gets you to connect to a phony one then your data is in genuine difficulty. Forget about SSL or HTTPS all these can be bypassed if they have control of the access point you are actually using. Pretty soon the cyber criminals can have emails accounts, banking details as well as all sorts of private details.
Your only hope is to include your very own personal layer of file encryption which protects account names and details – when it comes to this you need a VPN. Now over the years many people have been using proxies and VPNs for a variety of reasons. However for individuals travelling then the overriding priority should be safety and security. The best VPN for BBC iPlayer like this one might not really be the best VPN to keep your web connection secure for instance.
Lots of people use Smart DNS systems to bypass geo-blocks on well-liked media sites however these should be steered clear of. Although they can work for bypassing blocks they offer no security whatsoever and there is no encryption layer added to any of the connections. The Smart DNS services are not secure nor where they designed to offer any online protection.
The same could be said for all the specialised proxies you find for sale too. A proxy will hide your identity to some extent from the website you are visiting and your ISP. It will provide virtually no security against any other kind of middle man attacks. Even some of the highly specialised ones such as the best rotating proxies used for retailing bots don’t really help. You can invest hundreds of dollars in the best rotating proxies you can buy, yet without a file encryption layer you are nevertheless at risk.
Thankfully there are some VPN solutions which provide the best of both worlds. They supply a proper level of security and provide the ability for streaming UK TV or other media sites. Firstly avoid those who sell themselves as TV watching services, they won’t take the security side seriously. They’ll likewise probably have slower servers as all the users will be continuously streaming online video through them. Look for service providers who stress the security of their system, make sure they don’t keep logs and have proper grown up responses to privacy issues.