Is Privacy Outdated in the Modern World?

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Sherry Turkle, a professor and psychologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  published her new book titled "Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology And Less From Each Other." She shares with the readers her point of view on the questions of privacy in the modern world.

The author claims that nowadays people, especially teenagers, don’t even know that they have a right to privacy. A lot of people just don’t worry about their privacy protection. They voluntary give out information about themselves on social networking sites or to numerous companies in exchange for some bonuses.

There is an opinion that such publicity is viable for democracy, but Sherry Turkle thinks that everybody needs to have “a certain amount of privacy in order to get their thoughts together, and they certainly need privacy in their e-mails.” Protecting internet privacy is of crucial importance, and the government should begin its defense with e-mail security.

Another of the author’s concerns are the social networking sites, where sensitive information is available for every user to see. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, said that privacy is not "a social norm" in modern society. On the one hand, Facebook allows to avoid providing information that can compromise the user, and everyone is always able to protect their account with privacy settings. But on the other hand, if you want to use some applications, for example, location based services, you have to reveal your private data.

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Do Sites like WikiLeaks Guarantee Anonymity?

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Nowadays there are a lot of sites created after the example of WikiLeaks. The most popular of them are Al Jazeera Transparency Unit and SafeHouse, launched by the Wall Street Journal. There are also a lot of regional sites such as Balkanleaks, Indoleaks and Brusselsleaks.

All these web sites support publicity and freedom of speech but very often they don’t guarantee anonymity to the users providing information. For example, the Wall Street Journal promises to protect its sources but at the same time SafeHouse terms of use read the following: "We reserve the right to disclose any information about you to law enforcement authorities or to a requesting third party, without notice, in order to comply with any applicable laws and/or requests under legal process."

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former WikiLeaks member and IT security expert, does not recommend using such sites because "they are insecure to begin with and people haven't thought about this properly before they started to run such a site." Recently Domscheit-Berg has created his own web site called OpenLeaks, that serves as a mediator between users providing information and media organizations that make it public.

However, to protect your online anonymity and privacy it’s better to use special tools that were developed to these purposes. The most popular of them are VPN and Tor. Tor isa  free software but it is not as secure as the best VPN services that you pay for. It doesn’t secure the whole session of data transmission, that’s why it is possible that your sensitive information will be compromised. VPN services, on the contrary, create a secure tunnel for the entire data transfer and minimize the risk of hackers’ attacks.

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Internet Censorship Spreads all over the World

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The Internet has already become the most popular tool for mass communication. Every year the number of people using Internet grows, but at the same time more and more governments implement online censorship in their countries. Nowadays there are about 40 countries that have web censorship; compared to 2002, when there were only four.

Protecting internet privacy is of crucial importance for users from different places. That’s why some people consider any form of government intrusion to be a violation of their rights. But others think that every freedom should have its limits and admit that some restrictions are reasonable, for example the prohibition of child pornography.

However, the toughest censorship usually is used in countries with repressive regimes such as China, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Iran. The repressive governments use censorship to achieve their own latent goals, to prevent protests and to find people that disagree with their policies. Usually, web sites that can jeopardize the current regime are banned in these states.

There are a lot of countries where only a limited number of users have Internet access. We have already reported about the situation in Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Yemen and many other countries where people are not allowed to visit the majority of sites. Many users in these countries have to bypass restrictions with the help of the best VPN services available, that provide them with secure browsing and the guarantee of high-end web anonymity.

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TUVPN Announces New VPN Pricing!

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With growth comes the ability to pass on economies of scale to our customers!

We are able now to pass on reductions of over 30% on all our pre-paid Shared IP VPN accounts!

* Currency depends on geographic region from which you sign up.

With this pricing revision also come reductions in our Starter Pack.
With your first TUVPN Shared IP account you get a 1 Month VPN service for €3.00 / $5.00 !

And just to improve things a little more, our Money Back Guarantee period has been increased from 3 days to 7 days. The same traffic limit of 1GB still applies.

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NB: Renewals will be invoiced at NEW prices.

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Protect your Facebook Privacy

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Facebook gives people a unique opportunity to stay always in touch with their family and friends. But on the other hand, it also enhances the chances of scams set up to steal the users’ sensitive information. That’s why it is better to protect your account properly, if you don't want to become victim of identity theft. Luckily,  Facebook lets us adjust our privacy settings so we can be more protected.

According to the latest changes in Facebook's privacy policy in May 2010, the social networking site divulges your personal data including your name, profile picture, gender and networks and makes it visible to all users. You can’t hide it, but you can still protect your photos and other sensitive information from being accessible for everyone.

It is wise to restrict your private information to "Friends Only" or "Only Me" until you decide that you want it to be accessible. If you don’t want to share all the information with some of your associates, make them "limited friends" and they will be able to access only a cut-down version of your profile. Moreover,  you can always remove friends if you don’t trust them anymore.

Consider browsing Facebook with the help of a VPN connection, whilst using wireless public networks. It will protect your account from illegal access from third parties. The usage of a fast vpn connection provides  you with reliable protection and it won't cost you a lot.

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How to Protect your Online Privacy

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Online banking and shopping have become an inseparable part of many users’ lives.  For these purposes, many people enter  their personal data online, such as account numbers and logging details. But there is a threat  of this information being misused by hackers. That’s why it is crucial to protect your private data. Here are some tips on available solutions for protecting  your internet privacy.

One of the most reliable ways is to use a VPN connection, that secures data transmission by creating a tunnel between your device and the network that you are accessing. It is important to choose one of the best VPN services, because they provide their customers with high-end web anonymity and secure internet browsing, as well as good access speed.

It is also a good idea to have privacy software installed. It is able to prevent hackers’ attacks, it provides browser cleaning and detects malicious software. The best privacy software can defend your computer from loggers that can steal your logging information whilst you type it in. Moreover,  it protects your privacy by removing cookie trackers that are used to purloin private data.

Good quality software protects your personal data, not only during internet browsing but also when you are not online. It will warn you when you are visiting an unsafe site that could intercept your private information during a login and deletes your internet history. Besides, it will detect spyware files on your computer and neutralize them.

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How to Access Social Networking Sites Safely

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Nowadays a lot of people can’t imagine their life without social networking sites. For many users it is the favorite way of communicating online with their friends and relatives. Social networking sites make it easier for people all over the world to stay connected. But in spite of many advantages, they enhance the opportunity for hackers to steal users’ private information.

It is recommended to tune in privacy settings to minimize the chance of data theft. However it will not protect your account if you are accessing it with public Wi-Fi. Many public places such as cafés and airports offer their customers free Wi-Fi connections that are very convenient to use, but that on the other hand can threaten your online security.

Protecting internet privacy is the main reason why a lot of users prefer to protect access to their accounts with the help of VPN. VPN service providers offer their users hotspot security  by encrypting the transmitted data, that’s why people do not need to worry about their sensitive information becoming available to third parties.

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India’s Internet Restrictions

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The Indian government has recently toughened the Internet censorship in the country. The new rules are an update of the IT Act 2000. It regulates the content of online posts. Indian officials claim that the new measures are in tune with international laws and do not violate users’ rights

According to the regulations, Indian users are not allowed to post information which is "grossly harmful, harassing, blasphemous,  defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, libellous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, racially or ethnically objectionable, disparaging, relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling, or otherwise unlawful in any manner whatsoever".

The Department of Information Technology can block websites that display content of the type mentioned above. Any citizen can demand the blocking of content that they consider to be objectionable. The task of doing the "dirty job" will lie with the Internet service providers and websites that publish user-generated content.

Even though the Indian government is attempting to regulate the published content, it does not agree with web anonymity. The rules require that cyber cafes store data about their customers including their name, address, photo and browsing history, making it possible to find a person who has placed prohibited data on the Internet with the help of a public computer. The cyber cafe owners are obliged to keep a one-year log of all sites accessed by their users. The rules insist that "all the computers in the cyber cafe shall be equipped with safety/filtering software, in order to avoid access to websites that contain pornography, obscenity, terrorism and other objectionable material."

The government says that these measures are essential for preventing crimes. But a lot of users consider many points to be vague and don’t agree with the new rules, because they can violate their right to free speech. They are afraid that any thoughtless comment can be a reason for arrest. But it seems that VPN service providers can gain from these type of rules.

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e-G8 Forum in France

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has organised the e-G8 forum, and has invited personalities like Mark Zuckerberg,  co-founder of  Facebook, Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive of Amazon and other famous and powerful names in the circle of Internet and media.

Participants of the forum are going to discuss issues such as Internet regulations, the influence of the Internet on society and economy, protection of Internet privacy, protection of copyright and the right to web anonymity. The results of the event will be reported to the G8 Summit, that opens in Deauville later this week.

The delegates have different opinions about governmental regulation of the Internet. Google and Amazon consider  the interference of governments to be unacceptable, because it violates users’ rights. European companies, on the other hand, think that it is necessary to control the Internet in order to eradicate cybercrime.

In a speech given last year, Nicolas Sarkozy showed his vision of the problem: "The Internet is the new frontier, a territory to be conquered. But it cannot be like the Wild West. It cannot be a lawless place, where people are allowed to pillage artistic works with no limits".

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How to Use Wi-Fi Safely on Vacations?

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Nowadays, wireless networks are widely accessible. With summer vacations nearing, it is important to remember about safety when using Wi-Fi whilst traveling. Wi-Fi is quite convenient to use so you can stay connected everywhere, but it is not safe. Publicly available Internet is the least protected from hackers’ attacks and from personal data theft. The information transmitted over wireless networks is not encrypted, that’s why it can be easily accessed by third parties. The following tips can help you secure your Internet access

It is very important to keep your wireless connection turned off whilst you are not using it. Make sure that the options of automatic reconnection are switched off on your device. In some cases it is the ability to reconnect wireless networks without your help that can make your information visible for hackers. 

For top quality protection, consider using a VPN connection. It provides you with hotspot security by encrypting all the data transferred. It is wise to use VPN to access your company network, because VPN services create a secure tunnel between your device and the destination network. 

Make sure that you use HTTPS instead of HTTP when doing online banking or shopping transactions, or  when entering your logging details. HTTPS means that your connection is protected and the data you are typing in will be encrypted.

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