Stay Anonymous Online Wed, 25 Sep 2019 01:39:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 DuckDuckGO vs Google /duckduckgo-vs-google/ /duckduckgo-vs-google/#respond Tue, 24 Sep 2019 21:52:04 +0000 /?p=94 Avoid Google (or Bing or Yahoo)
how to be anonymous online duckduckgo

Google, Bing, and Yahoo might be the three most popular search engines, but the trio also collects the most data about you in order to serve relevant ads and personalize services. Especially when logged in with your account, these search engines can collect your name, email address, birthday, gender, and phone number. Asides from that, Google and Bing can also collect important data such as device location, device information, IP address, and cookie data.

To avoid being tracked when searching on the web, we recommend you use a service like DuckDuckGo. This an independent search engine which doesn’t give you personalized search results. Everyone who searches sees the same results, and anything you search for won’t be collected or stored. The search engine also claims it has nothing to sell to advertisers, which means you won’t ever be subject to targeted ads seen when using Google and other websites.

/duckduckgo-vs-google/feed/ 0
IPVanish Review /ipvanish-review/ /ipvanish-review/#respond Tue, 24 Sep 2019 15:00:41 +0000 /?p=98 Windscribe

The need for online privacy and anonymity has increased every year: hackers are an ever-present threat, as they can intercept your connection and steal your passwords. Even your credit cards numbers are at risk of being duplicated and used without your authorization.

You can solve a lot of those security threats by hiring a reliable VPN service. Virtual Private Networks, or VPN, can mask the users?IP address and hide all of their shared data and traffic with the intention of avoiding being visible online.

The Internet is full of VPN clients of all types: free, paid, quality, and mediocre, there are dozens of providers out there. But only a few of them can claim to offer a complete, reliable service, and one of the most widely acclaimed is IPVanish. This article will give you in-depth insights of IPVanish. Stay tuned.

ipvanish review

IPVanish Review

With most of the VPN industry agreeing on its high speeds and overall good performance, IPVanish is one of the top five VPN clients available for users around the world. Based on the United States, IPVanish offers exciting features to go along with the ability to surf the web privately and anonymously.

IPVanish, being arguably the fastest VPN service provider in the field, is ideally suited for streaming lovers, even those that like to watch HD multimedia content. Users will have an almost no-hassle experience, but since it has so many configuration options, it may not be perfect for beginners in the VPN world.

Other features include the allowance of P2P activity, which means an excellent environment for torrenting is permitted, with safe downloads. IPVanish lets users configure their privacy needs and preferences, and it has over 850 servers in 60 countries around the world.

IPVanish makes sure you can implement strong encryption, which means that the data you share while connected will not be available to prying eyes around the web. The Windows client may be a little confusing, but overall, this option delivers outstanding service.

It has a desktop and mobile client, breakneck speeds in the UK and Europe, and highly configurable software as its primary positive points. The slowness of the customer and support service is another drawback.

IPVanish Servers

While IPVanish can’t offer 90, 80 or even 70 countries for the connection like a handful of other VPNs can, it is more than covered in that area, with over 850 servers in 60 nations strategically located around the globe.

Imagine having the possibility of accessing sites, series, movies, streaming channels, torrent pages and other services from 60 nations worldwide: it is a dream scenario for people who love to get entertainment options on the web.

ipvanish review for servers

Although it doesn’t have a server in Russia, IPVanish is prevalent in European countries, and also in its hometown, the United States of America: there, it has more than 400 servers in 17 different cities.

IPVanish for Netflix

Unfortunately, IPVanish is one of the victims of Netflix’s efforts to bring down VPN attempts to spoof the users?location and access distinct geographical regions. The company blocked IPVanish’s servers, and thus users can’t enjoy the international content of this online multimedia platform.

However, and since the currently reviewed VPN choice has the United States as its hometown, the American Netflix region (which has by far the most exciting and complete library of movies, TV series, and productions) is available in IPVanish. If you are big on Netflix, you might want to read our guide on best Netflix VPN.

IPVanish for Kodi

Kodi, as an open source multimedia platform, is a perfect choice for streaming addicts, as they don’t have to pay the Netflix’s subscription fee to enjoy the best movies, series, documentaries, short features, musicals, and other productions.

Kodi functions with official and unofficial add-ons. Since lots of them are available internationally, they can’t be unblocked from any location unless you have a VPN. IPVanish is one of the best VPN for Kodi users because of its 60 countries (that means, you can get add-ons from 60 nations!) and incredible speeds.

To run Kodi with your IPVanish VPN account, you just need to execute the app or client, depending on your device, and that’s it! You will have unlimited access to all the add-ons from anywhere you want.

IPVanish for Torrents

If you don’t encrypt your traffic and cover your identity, the Internet’s prying eyes will be able to see what you are doing. That, combined with some countries?laws regarding torrenting and P2P activity, can limit your online experience and entertainment.

Fortunately, VPN services can help you with that. IPVanish, in particular, provides an excellent atmosphere for torrenting and P2P activity, letting you interact without having to worry about governmental institutions prohibiting you from doing that.

There is nothing like torrenting with 100% privacy, and to do it, IPVanish is the perfect tool, providing a safe environment and advanced features, such as the SOCKSS5 technology that allows you to be completely anonymous.

IPVanish for FireStick

The amazing Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the most popular streaming devices in the planet right now, as it is highly portable and users can carry it around and use it wherever and whenever they may see fit. However, when combined with IPVanish, it works at its absolute best, because it protects the user from hackers and other threats with robust encryption and all the major protocols and it lets them access sites and content from 60 nations worldwide. In addition, IPVanish provides some of the fastest speeds in the industry, a perfect situation for streaming lovers. You can read more about the best VPN for FireStick.

/ipvanish-review/feed/ 0
13 Tips to Protect Your Data /13-tips-to-protect-your-data/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 10:51:55 +0000 Personal data privacy should be your personal mission!

One phrase that was in the news (and still is) at the end of 2016 was “Russian hackers.” Online overseas criminals were being blamed for hundreds of data breaches, including interfering with the Presidential election.

If there was ANYTHING good to come out of all that news, it was this:

  1. It put the spotlight on the never-ending attacks by hackers
  2. By now it should be obvious that everyone (including you and anyone running for President) needs to take measures to protect their data, protect their computers and protect their online lives.

Today’s world is totally different to the “non-online” world of the past. Before the Internet and all of today’s smart devices, only a handful of organizations had access to your personal information—the IRS, your bank, your doctor, etc.

And they didn’t store it all on computer disks. Even if they did, they weren’t connected to the Internet. That was then. That was before…

  • Social media
  • Mobile computing
  • The cloud
  • “Big data” and analytics
  • Smartphone, tablets
  • The Internet of Everything
  • …and hackers in every corner of the world

Take control. Protect your interests.

Take matters into your hand by doing a self-assessment of your Internet habits and your current level of risk or “exposure.” Then, take preventive measures to keep strangers, friends, hackers and enemies out of your computer and out of your personal data.

Here’s a list of ideas that can help you strengthen your privacy walls.

1. Review and secure your social media accounts.

  • Make a list of your accounts (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.) and decide which ones you need and those you can eliminate.
  • Change the passwords for each one. Consider using a password manager to create hard to break secret codes.
  • See which accounts provide an extra layer of security with two-factor authentication.

2. Change your passwords on all other accounts. Do it immediately (especially if you’ve had the same password on any one account for more than a year. Some people have more than 100 passwords that they’ve never changed. Some people have a few passwords for many accounts (a bad idea).

3. Use an Encrypted Operating System. It’s referred to as Full Disk Encryption on Windows 10, and File Vault on Mac OS. It makes data stored on your computer data unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have proper authorization. Encryption scrambles your data so that only you, with the right encryption, key can make the data readable again.

4. Get smart about smart device security. For many people today, a smart phone and/or table is the connectivity of choice. Smartphones can use passcodes (not passwords) and it’s a good idea to read up on how to create a strong one. A smart device is more likely to be lost or stolen than a laptop. Experts suggest you “Lojack” your iPad with a find my iPad app, for instance. There’s even a self-destruct mode you can enable. (It doesn’t blow up, but all the data is lost.)

5. Cut back on data sharing. Don’t be so agreeable when filling out forms online or in person. Companies ask for data from you because they want to collect, organize, use, and maybe even share or sell it! Be cautious who you are giving data to and why

6. Don’t use public computers. Think of a library computer or Internet cafe computer as a public toilet. You never know who was their before you. Not only could a hacker be nearby to spy on you using the available Wi-Fi, but the previous user could have set a trap to capture your data when you go online. Beware! Instead, take your own computer to the library.

7. Don’t use free Wi-Fi. What!? Give up the ability to shop, text and send emails from almost anywhere?! Yes, unless you have protected your device before hand with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

8. Use a VPN whenever you’re online. A Virtual Private Network is not as mysterious or secretive as it sounds. With a VPN account turned on, you’re Internet activity is tunneled through a hacker-proof, spy proof network. Hackers can’t steal and/or read your data transmissions when it’s in transit over the Internet. You open a VPN account online, then ensure it’s active or “running” before you go on the Internet.

9. Use an off-site online backup service. Think of this as a safety deposit box for a copy of your data, which is encrypted and stored on secure, high-storage-capacity server computers. If your computer’s data is ever corrupted, you can easily retrieve the backup copy. 

10. Keep operating systems and software up to date. Whenever there’s new software for your device, update immediately. Often companies release security updates to fix bugs that could give hackers access.

11. Look into encryption programs. But while encryption is important, the first line of defense is making sure you’re following basic security measures to protect your devices and your accounts.

12. Don’t get scammed. Learn how to spot and avoid phishing scams, where criminals use tricks to get you to open emails that can infect your computer or lure you into schemes that steal your money or your identity.

13. Double-check everyone. Learn to distrust “online strangers” (people you don’t know or who reach out to you first), especially those posing as authorities or representatives of companies you know. Check them out carefully however you can.

Hidden privacy tools – Free /hidden-privacy-tools-free/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 10:48:11 +0000 Did you know there are a handful of steps you can take today that can help you protect your browser and your personal information? Many of the things you can do involve changing the privacy menu settings/options on the Internet browsers you use or your favorite social media websites. Those options have been there all along, but you probably don’t know they exist.

For example are two privacy tools you can explore and switch on or off anytime you wish: One is on Facebook, the other on Google. But first, you need to know how to find them, because unless you’re a program explorer, you’re not going to find them easily on your own. Plus, you’ll be surprised at the security options that are available to you.

Have Facebook alert you if your account is used.

Most people just hop on Facebook, start finding friends, and make posts whenever they take vacations or go out to dinner. But there is much more to Facebook than that. Facebook gives everyone the option of setting their own security preferences. Here’s one:

You can click a setting that lets you know if someone logs in to your account from a device that you haven’t used before. If they do, you’ll get a fraud alert. You can choose to get notified by text or email.

But that’s only going to happen if you do this:

  1. Look for the “lock” icon in the blue menu bar (it’s between the “globe” and “menu-triangle” icons).
  2. Click the lock icon. At the very bottom of the menu box, look for the link “See More Settings” and click on it.
  3. You’ll be taken to a page called Privacy Settings and Tools, but look at the list of options on the left side of the page.
  4. Click on the Security option (right above Privacy).
  5. Scan the page for Login Alerts and click on the “Edit” icon to see your choices.

As mentioned before, in the process of exploring the login alerts, you’ll come across other ways to boost your privacy settings.

How to add security to your Google account.

Did you know you can ensure you’re the ONLY person who can ever open up your Google account (Gmail, Google+, etc.)? You can do it by setting up something known as 2-Step Verification, which will send/text a code to your mobile phone every time you start logging in to your Google account. Then, to complete the log-in process, you will need to enter a code you receive on your phone from Google.

You’ve likely experienced 2-step verification with other websites, perhaps with Yahoo or PayPal. Websites use it to ensure that you, and only you, are the person they’re communicating with.

However, 2-step verification is another best-kept secret. Here’s how to set it up from a Gmail account:

  1. Log in to Gmail, and then look for the small triangle next to your Gmail address at the top right of the page. Click on the triangle and a box appears with several choices, including Account. Click on that.
  2. You’ll go to the Account Settings page, where you can do a Security Checkup to “Protect your Google Account by reviewing your security settings.” For now, simply go to the Signing In section.
  3. There you’ll find 2-Step Verification as an option. It will read “Off” (if you’ve never set it up). To turn it on, just click anywhere on that line and follow the steps to activate the process.

It’s only the beginning.

Here are some more steps you can take to protect yourself on various popular consumer websites:

  • Learn how to keep hackers out of your Dropbox account.
  • Install a Privacy Manager add-on to the Google Chrome browser.
  • Discover how to stop Facebook and Twitter from using geotags to share your location.
  • Find out how to encrypt an Android-based phone.
  • Take steps to ensure that you’re always browsing over a secure connection, starting with Gmail.

Explore, learn, protect.

As mentioned earlier, this article may simply open your eyes to the great number of options you have to protect your account, your identity and your privacy on today’s popular websites and online services.

So it’s up to you to unearth those hidden options, explore your choices and take all the steps you need to keep your information at the privacy levels you feel most comfortable with.

What are the IP protocols? /what-are-the-ip-protocols/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 10:06:09 +0000 The details of an IP address and all the technology behind it is important mostly to IT guys, the Internet Technology experts who connect computers at your work or who design the networking hardware and software for your computers.

Thank goodness they have done such a good job that you never have to think about it—because most of us depend on an IP address for everything these days, from getting our news to staying in constant contact with friends and family.

Yet, even though the IP address is part of our everyday, ordinary lives, there is nothing “unordinary” about the way it all comes about. It is all part of a complex and marvelous technological system that runs a worldwide network—the Internet. Here’s one way to understand it all a little better.

IP addresses at work.

If you think about an office building somewhere in your city, you would assume that is has a mailing address. And it probably gets mailed delivered to it from advertisers, utility companies, local organizations and so on. It might even get mail from customers or businesses from another state or another country.

Think about that fact.

How does one single piece of mail or a package find its way from across the country to precisely that building, in a matter of days? After all, it’s traveling along with millions of other pieces of mail of all types. Letters, boxes (big and small), postcards and advertising flyers. And it all has to pass through multiple offices, trucks and hands.

And that happens every day, around the clock.

It is all possible thanks to processes, systems, transportation and computers that are intricately linked and working together. The Unites States Post Office, FedEx, and UPS all have in place systems and shipping protocols to make sure it happens quickly and accurately, so that a letter intended for you doesn’t end up somewhere in South America instead.

The post office of the Internet.

In the computer world, your letters, messages and communication (emails, Google searches and more) are also guided by a set of processes or protocols hardwired and programmed right into your computer.

The heart of delivering Internet traffic/data (your activity included) is what’s called TCP/IP technology. The “IP” part stands for “Internet Protocol”—where “IP address” comes from.

TCP/IP technology, the software of the Internet and networking, is designed to work for all us all of the time—no matter what kind of computer we’re using, who our Internet provider is, or what kind of modem or router we have. If you think about it, that’s pretty amazing!

The odds are stacked in your favor.

To make all of the network parts work seamless and perfectly, TCP/IP technology separates network functions into stacks or layers. Most technical books recognize five distinct layers:

  • The Physical Layer
  • The Data Link Layer
  • The Internet Layer
  • The Transport Layer
  • The Application Layer

And inside each individual layer are the unique protocols (instructions) for both the networking hardware and software in our computers.

It doesn’t stop there—TCP/IP also has scripted exactly what all those layers should do, as well as when and how it should happen. Those scripts or instructions are the protocols. Taking it one step further, it also defines how those layers should interact with each other.

Sounds complicated. But if you think about it, it all makes sense.

At the post office, just one mailperson isn’t responsible for delivering one piece (or hundreds of pieces) of mail all by themselves. It takes total cooperation from a network of facilities, and types of processes, working simultaneously and in harmony to deliver the mail.

That’s what all of the IP protocols are doing: making sure your Internet requests and email messages get from your lone computer to their correct destinations across town or across the country.

Featured image courtesy of ExpressVPN

15 Privacy Protection Tips /15-privacy-protection-tips/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:53:44 +0000 Do you have concerns about your personal privacy and the safety of your information on the Internet?

You should.

It’s not that the Internet is an inherently dangerous place, but it’s certainly not a safe, secure refuge where your personal information is carefully protected…even though it’s supposed to be.

All you need to do is follow the news to see how often companies’ computers are broken into and how many networks are “breached”—that is, how often hackers not only break into a network but also steal company (and customer) information off networks and computers.

Indeed, with the increasing number of hack attacks, the growth of our wireless/smart devices and the arrival of the Internet of Everything and globally connected world, it might be time to give some thought to your own online life:

  • Should you have a lower profile on the Internet
  • Do you need to be more cautious about what you share online?
  • Do you trust companies, apps and people more than you should, and assume everything will simply be okay?

Information Privacy

Forget about the Internet for a second and ask yourself this question: Would you be fine with just anybody and everybody having access to your personal information?

  • Your medical records
  • Your driving record
  • Your shopping habits
  • Your Internet browsing activity

Most people are more private than they think but they let their guard down on the Internet.

Surely, you wouldn’t tell strangers off the street many details about your life (or any!) just because they asked. But on the Internet, strangers can indeed learn details about your life that you don’t want them to know. It’s just that you’re not aware of it because they’re invisible to you.

Those strangers could be hackers who break into networks to steal passwords and other information. Yet, that’s not even always the case. They could be random people on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social medial platforms who simply take an interest in you.

Before the Internet—and the growth of databases, networks and the cloud—the personal information that doctors, stores and companies had about you was relatively safe. But with the Internet and global connectivity, the concept of information privacy has taken a hit.

Taking steps to boost your privacy.

You can take steps to help safeguard your personal information. They revolve around keeping a lower profile on social media sites and limiting what and how much you share online.

Here is a list of steps you can take to better safeguard your personal information. *

  • Fill in only necessary information for online rebate, warranty and registration forms.
  • Don’t provide your phone number, driver’s license or Social Security number to anyone unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Check to see if your landline phone number is unlisted.
  • Use cash as often as you can instead of debit and credit cards.
  • Remove your name from mailing lists to limit how often your information is shared.
  • Request a free credit report at least once a year to check for errors or fraudulent usage.
  • Put the minimum amount of information on website enrollment forms. Where you can (and when it’s not fraudulent) put down false birthdates, etc.
  • Explore antivirus/antispam programs and use a “cookie manager” to limit and filter cookies.
  • In an office or public setting (library, Internet cafe), clear your browser’s history file after an Internet session.
  • Set up a free email account you can use only for online merchant accounts.
  • Get help from a tech-savvy friend and install a personal firewall.
  • Never open an email without examining it carefully. Be on the lookout for spam and phishing emails every time you check email.
  • Consider using online tools or programs to surf the web anonymously (but check them out carefully).
  • Hide your IP address by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or other networks.
  • Use a VPN to keep hackers out of your business.
Online Shopping Safety Tips /online-shopping-safety-tips/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:50:22 +0000 As you probably know by now, you can buy just about anything online these days. Over the past 10 years, online shopping has grown tremendously over the Internet to the point that most have shopped online for clothes, airline tickets, sporting events, concert events and more.

It’s gotten so convenient that it’s easy to forget that we should be alert and take certain precautions when we shop online to make sure our personal financial information doesn’t wind up in the wrong hands. So here are a few reminders to those who are somewhat new to online shopping, or aren’t aware of the dangers that lurk out there.

Don’t Shop at Public Hotspots

Online shopping is convenient, but you shouldn’t make it too convenient for someone to hack your account while you’re shopping. So, avoid making online purchases when you are in a public place (coffee shop, restaurant, shopping mall) and using their free wireless Internet (“hotspot” or Wi-Fi). There’s no way to make sure that network is secure, and hackers know this. The only time you should enter sensitive information using a public Wi-Fi is if you’re using a virtual private network (VPN). 

Use Reputable and Secure Websites

Before you type your card details into a website, ensure 1) the website is trustworthy and 2) that the site is secure. If you were lured to website by a great offer—maybe one that seems too good to be true—that site might be selling illegal or pirated items. If you’re not familiar with the website, ask you’re tech-savvy, online shopping friends if they’ve used or heard of the site. If they haven’t, do some online research to see what you can find out.

When it comes to a site’s security, look out for a small padlock symbol in the address bar (or elsewhere in your browser window) and a web address beginning with “https://” (the “s” stands for secure).

Use Strong Passwords

Most sites will have set up an account before you’re able to make a purchase. This is a good idea, since it means you’ll have a user name and a password and an account that is set up for you and only you. You will want to use a strong password, one that isn’t easy for anyone to figure out and that you don’t use for other online shopping sites (or any other websites for that matter). That’s just a good practice to get into.

Additional Payment Security Steps

Websites, valid and trustworthy ones, may have one more layer of security for online credit and debit card purchases, to protect you. You might be asked for another password or piece of information. The Visa Card’s “Verified by Visa” and MasterCard’s “SecureCode” are examples of this.

Good Websites Also Ask for Your Security Number.

Just about anytime you use a credit card, you will be asked for the 3- or 4- digit number that is on the back of your card. It’s called your card’s “security number” or more accurately, the “CVV2” code. CVV2 stands for “Card Verification Value 2,” It is an important security feature for major credit cards and credit card transactions made on the Internet and over the phone. The code is located on the back of your card on or above your signature line.

What’s the purpose of this? Well, in theory, even if someone had captured your credit card number somehow, but not this secret code, they wouldn’t be able to make an online or phone purchase using just your credit card number.

Use PayPal for Added Privacy

In other instances, an online website may be provide the service of a payment “middleman” when you make a purchase on their website. You’ll typically see that at auction websites such as Ebay, where many people (referred to as vendors) are selling their own merchandise to the public.

PayPal is one of these services you’ve probably heard of. You set up a PayPal account first, and then you can make the payment for your purchase through PayPal. In turn, PayPal passes your payment on to the merchandise seller. The seller doesn’t see your actual credit card account details, which could be important in some instances.

Shopping online can be relative safe and stress free if you follow these and other smart safety tips. Fortunately for all of us, the media is very good about keeping us informed and alert when it comes to being smart online shoppers.

VPN Service Comparison /vpn-service-comparison/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:25:13 +0000 VPN services offer up different “gateway” cities, allowing you to choose where the IP address assigned to your computer is located. This allows you to access websites typically only available to users from that country. It also allows you to access websites that may blocked/censored in your own country. This application is particularly important for travelers who need to access websites from their home country, as well as for people living in regions rife with Internet censorship, such as China and Iran.

VPN Service Providers has compiled a list of VPN service providers. Click on the logo or name to visit their site to learn more about the services they provide.

Social Media Censorship by Country

Enemies of the Internet:

  • Bahrain, Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Countries Under Surveillance:

  • Australia, Egypt, Eritrea, France, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates.

The OpenNet Initiative classifies the magnitude of censorship and/or filtering in a country in four areas.
The level of censorship is classified as below:

  • Pervasive: A large portion of content in several categories is blocked.
  • Substantial: A number of categories are subject to a medium level of filtering or many categories are subject to a low level of filtering.
  • Selective: A small number of specific sites are blocked or filtering targets a small number of categories or issues.
  • Suspected: It is suspected, but not confirmed, that Web sites are being blocked.
  • No evidence: No evidence of blocked Web sites, although other forms of controls may exist.

The classifications of the following areas:

  • Political: Views and information in opposition to those of the current government or related to human rights, freedom of expression, minority rights, and religious movements.
  • Social: Views and information perceived as offensive or as socially sensitive, often related to sexuality, gambling, or illegal drugs and alcohol.
  • Conflict/security: Views and information related to armed conflicts, border disputes, separatist movements, and militant groups.
  • Internet tools: e-mail, Internet hosting, search, translation, and Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, and censorship or filtering circumvention methods.
How Using a VPN May Save You Money /how-using-a-vpn-may-save-you-money/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:11:00 +0000 Everyone who has to travel by plane wants to get an airline ticket at the best price possible. After all, airline travel can get expensive fast. You know by now that the distance of the flight, the airline you choose and the date you purchase your flight can affect the cost. It’s so hard to figure out.

But did you also know that your computer’s IP address—more accurately, your city or country—can affect airline ticket prices if you price-shop and buy online? And for the most part, it doesn’t work in your favor.

Yes, travel companies are using your online location and looking at your ticket-buying behavior to set a price they want you to buy at. And it’s often not to give you a discount, even if it’s not necessarily to cheat you or gouge you. They just want you to buy at their prices.

  • It’s not publicized, but travel sites will give you online ticket options and pricing based on where they think you are.
  • Someone else—in another city or location—can buy a ticket on the same flight for possibly hundreds of dollars less than you can! Prices differ by geographic location even if you’re looking at exactly the same date and flight at the same time!
  • Also, it’s not uncommon that ticket prices seem to be going up while you’re in front of your computer, getting ready to book a flight. Or you get a message saying that seats are going fast, so you need to decide and make your purchase NOW or lose out on the ticket and price.
  • Some flights are sold for less depending on where you are in the world.

Turning the tables.

But you can get around that trick, and turn the tables on them, using a few online tricks of your own. And you just might save yourself hundreds of dollars in the process.

The secret? Open a personal account with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider and trick the travel sites into thinking you’re in another country…while tricking them into a better price for the same ticket.

An example of VPN savings.

Here is an example from someone who used a VPN account to get a better price on an airline ticket:

Scenario: The individual lives in Los Angeles, California, and was shopping online for a ticket from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia.

“I live in Los Angeles, California, in the U.S. So I first went online like always and visited my usual travel site, where I searched for flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL) for my travel dates.

“I was quoted a price of $1,842. That was the lowest I came across, so I thought that was the best deal I could get.

“Then, I logged out of my search and went back online using my VPN account. That allowed me, I discovered, to link to a VPN server in Brazil…so my IP address would indicate, to any website tracking it, that I was shopping from Brazil. (They’d have no clue about my previous search.)

“I’d read somewhere that flights are sometimes pretty cheap from Brazil, so I went to the same travel website and did the exact same search—same travel destinations, same airline, same date and time.

“My ticket this time was around $475 lower than it was before…simply because the travel website thought I was in shopping online in Brazil instead of Los Angeles.”

Ready to save? Take these steps.

The first thing you will need to do, of course, is choose a Virtual Private Network provider:

Most VPNs offer a money-back guarantee or a free-trial period, so exploring the world of VPNs is virtually risk-free. More than that, take some time to learn why using a VPN is a good idea for almost all of your online activity, if you want to…

  • start exploring online to see if you can save on purchases
  • view content blocked in your region (sporting events, TV shows, online services)
  • stay protected from identity thieves or eavesdroppers

A personal VPN account can make it all happen—because as you’ve learned, by using a VPN you can move your IP address to any country or city around the world with the click of a button.

And you won’t need to go to a travel agency to do that.

Staying Anonymous Online: Can you fully protect your identity? /staying-anonymous-online-can-you-fully-protect-your-identity/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 08:59:05 +0000 Most of us don’t think too much about being anonymous… in our every day lives and even when we are online. That’s because over the years, especially in the U.S., people have been conditioned to provide some personal information to companies that we do business.

Mail comes to our house, with our name and address on it. Our phone numbers are “listed,” and our names are right next to them. And if we want to buy anything online, which many people do, we have to provide our name, address, and payment information.

Most of us are trusting souls. But that’s where trouble lies, and where some more and more of us are taking steps to be more invisible online. The word we used to describe that is anonymous.

That’s not necessarily an everyday word, so here’s a definition refresher. When you say a communication is anonymous, that means the person who sent it is unknown by name. If you want to remain anonymous in some situation, you’re choosing not to have your name attached to your message or action, whatever that it.

Internet anonymity is a little different. Why? Because want to keep more than our name from being known: We don’t want our personal, financial, and computer “identity” (from our IP address to our city and state) known as well. And we don’t want any of it hijacked by hackers and crooks

We can control only so much.

We do have some control when it comes to limiting our risk our exposure online. After all, we can choose how much to tell anyone about ourselves, from people we send emails to businesses we do transactions with.

But after that, we lose a lot of control. Fact is, there are entities out there—businesses, advertisers, hackers, thieves, police or government institutions—that will collect data (legally or not) to watch what we’re doing.

Privacy Rights

For a growing number of people, Internet anonymity means we should be able to conduct all or some activity on the Internet with anyone tracing that activity back to our individual computers… and ultimately, to us personally. Especially when a person has NOT given permission for anyone to do that.

Avoid Problems… Crime

Still, for most of us that just means we want to be treated decently and not have our private information (or private/personal Internet activities) abused. We don’t want to be victims of identity theft or other Internet scams. We might not like it (or even know) that businesses are tracking our Zip codes, or that online advertisers have captured our IP address and send out custom ads, but we won’t get up in arms about it.

For others (some decent folks, some not, some paranoid or activists), there’s the desire to have NO traces of any kind, by anyone, on any our their Internet activity.

Anonymity Advocates

Supporters of total for Internet anonymity argue that it is the most important aspect of free speech on the Internet. Anonymity allows for Internet users to express themselves freely without worry of being discovered or tracked, ridiculed, or harassed. They would say that is important to online discussions and forums, especially forums involving personal questions or topics, such as sensitive medical issue.

Advocates might also say that Internet anonymity is important when it comes to sharing or giving information that really should remain anonymous, such as reporting illegal activities through on online tip. Would you want someone (reporters, crooks, etc.) to trace your police tips back to you?

On the other hand, it’s no secret (or you just found out by reading this) that there are plenty of people who don’t want to be tracked because they’re into very illegal activities. They might support anonymity for some of the right reasons, but they also don’t want the authorities to shut down or interrupt their illegal activities.

What Should You Do?

If you went shopping at a mall, you wouldn’t give your name, address and phone number to any store that asked for it. And you wouldn’t want someone following you around the mall, watching what you buy, and seeing how much money you have on you.

If you want to protect your privacy, limit how much personal information you post on the Internet. Remember, if you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ve already given away a lot of privacy.

How far you go to protect your privacy depends on how you feel about anonymity. With a little research, you can find out how you can reduce how much advertisers, marketers others can find out about you.

ʱʱ׬ǮȺ 11ѡ5¿ ϿʮԤ pkʰ׬ƻ ֤ȯԶƽ̨ 㽭6ʮ1ѯ 11ѡ5©ͳ ʮһѡƱƽ̨ ֲʿ ũ 11ѡ5ͼ