Posts tagged “Online

Stop VPN and Tor Bias

In an age where governments spy on it’s own, common carriers such as AT&T and Comcast want to sell your data for profit and the NSA can spy on every communication channel that we have — is it so much to want a taste of anonymity online?


VPNs, Tor and other privacy tools have become synonymous with the “dark web” and online hacking; however, these tools are built to protect users; however, intelligent individuals can also use them to get away with certain activities online.  But what about the sophisticated user, who simply wants to protect his internet traffic from prying eyes and be safe online?  Why do some look at those people as if they are doing something wrong when they aren’t?  It’s simple: they are biased and ignorant.  Not only are they biased, they may not fully understand the technology if they only limit it to one side of the equation.

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I’ve spoken in depth about how VPNs (Virtual Private Network)s work and how I really don’t believe you should connect to the internet, especially any public WiFi without first being connected to one because it sends all of the traffic from your device through an encrypted tunnel to another host that allows you to browse the internet in that fashion, making your traffic look like a jumbled mess to anyone trying to snoop.  (Of course remember to sign up for a VPN provider that doesn’t log, such as Private Internet Access).  So, what is Tor?  Tor is a protocol that was actually implemented by the US government that sends your traffic, encrypted, through a series of relays (relays are formed from machines that are volunteered to the Tor network), usually thousands before reaching the final destination.  Usually browsing the web through Tor is a little slow because of this.


The one thing that a VPN and Tor has in common is that when viewed on a network where no one else uses these tools, your network traffic will look quite different, which could lead to someone believe that you are doing something insidious; however, now that you know how these tools work, you won’t think that way anymore, right?

TLDR; Since our electronic landscape is becoming scrutinized more and more to serve us ads, track us down and garner our personal information without our consent, users have the RIGHT to protect themselves, we’re not all hackers, most of us just want our information we transfer online to be private — deal with it.

Is Online Privacy a Thing of the Past?

With our data being pinched at by every company under the sun, many just assume that there is no such thing as privacy on the internet anymore.

Is this over-generalized statement true?

Yes and no. There is privacy to be had online, the key to obtaining it is to not use the web or interact on social media. That means no Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for you. Not only can you not use social media, how would you like to stop using cloud services such as Dropbox or your favorite and arguably the best email service, GMail.  If you fret about privacy — online is NOT where you want to be.

However, at the price of disclosing information about yourself to certain trusted services, which typically force you to agree to the terms of the service, you get to use the service for free.  Examples include every Google service, every social network, any online shopping destination and more.  However, web services collecting information about you and your data (surfing habits, email, articles in your email and more) only make your experience better. How? Instead of getting ads that do not relate to you, you can have ads served that actually make you want to click or entice you to try a new product that you’ve been looking for. In addition, if you’re in the Google ecosystem user your shipping information can be pulled from GMail so that you can track your packages easier, your emails can be monitored for spam or Google Now can tell your how far you are from work and let you know how light or heavy the traffic is. Now those are details that you should want to know! Just think, by you providing a little bit of your data you get a great user experience in return. So, why the bellyaching?

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Bottom line: Unless you want to lose free and convenient services on the internet, you might want to think twice about complaining.