Why More People Should Use Virtual Private Networks

If you were to look for a VPN service, you might stumble upon free virtual private networks and be compelled to use them. However, free VPNs are a liability. Since a reliable virtual private network service costs a couple of dollars per month, it should not be a problem to pay for one, given how much it provides.

Those who are on the fence about investing in a VPN should change their mind after reading what the service has to offer.

Security

The first thing that stands out about VPNs is the security, particularly if you plan to use public Wi-Fi. The internet at cafes or libraries is convenient to use because it is free and sometimes does not even require a password to join.

However, this convenience comes at the expense of security. When you are surfing the internet or chatting with your friends on social media, someone might be tracking your activities because public Wi-Fi lacks security protocols and makes it easy for potential hackers to access your banking information, passwords, browsing history, and other information. 

VPNs eliminate the threat by encrypting your data and changing your IP address. Ill-intentioned internet strangers will struggle to take advantage of security holes in public Wi-Fi if you rely on a virtual private network.

Data Privacy

Data privacy is another significant element, and it is not just about exposing your device via the public internet. 

Overall, the internet network at your home is more secure than public Wi-Fi, but there are still some threats. For example, if you have a MacBook and use Wi-Fi instead of an ethernet cable, the wireless connection still gives your ISP the opportunity to see your browsing history.

Using Mac VPN software or VPN for other devices when you connect to home internet will leave internet providers without opportunities to breach your data. Since a VPN changes your IP address, it limits how much information your ISP can collect. 

It is also worth mentioning applications and services that we rely on. Some of them collect user data and sell it to advertisers. 

A company that works with a lot of confidential information would benefit from a VPN as well. Data encryption obscures the meaning because of a coded format. If someone were to gain access to encrypted files, they would not make sense of it and would likely abandon their attempts to breach sensitive data.

Some governments also have policies to spy on their citizens. In fact, even if a government claims that they respect people’s privacy, it is too difficult to determine whether they are telling the truth or not. Those who do not trust authorities in their country should invest in VPNs to protect personal data.

Saving Money

Spending money on a virtual private network might actually save you money in the long run. If you were to take a bit of time researching available VPN services and testing them, you would find that location spoofing could lead to cheaper purchases, particularly when it comes to various services.

Many online businesses offer different prices depending on customer location. Steam is a great example of this. If you live in the United States, Canada, or Australia, switching your location to India or Russia would lead to Steam showing lower game prices. 

Subscription services, hotel bookings, and plane tickets might turn out cheaper as well since these businesses try to attract international customers and adjust prices according to their location.

Adaptability

Adaptability might not seem like that big of a deal, but most VPN providers offer a service that works on multiple devices. If you want to use virtual private networks not just on your computer but also on your smartphone or tablet, you can expect to find virtual private networks that function on different devices.

Sure, you might need to pay extra or spend money on a package plan that includes support for multiple devices, but the overall costs are more than fair for the most part. Keep adaptability in mind when choosing a service for yourself.

Blocked Content Access

Blocked content access comes in handy on different occasions. You might want to watch a movie or TV series on Netflix, but it is not available in your country. If you do not wish to pirate the media, enabling a virtual private network and giving yourself a different IP address and location would allow you to watch restricted media.

Virtual private networks also unblock websites you cannot visit because of their location. For instance, if you live in Europe, your internet browser is unlikely to load certain pages that are hosted in China or the United States.

Top Canadian VPS Hosting 2021

Many growing businesses in Canada may experience slower speeds and reduced performance on their website if it has lots of traffic and lots of new content being posted regularly. One thing that often limits the speed of websites is the type and quality of the web hosting, if your website is hosted on a shared hosting plan then that is likely the cause of performance issues. 

The best way to solve your website speed issues is to move it from a shared hosting plan to a virtual private server (VPS) where you have more control over the server and how your website is hosted. There are several benefits of using VPS hosting including better reliability, more bandwidth, guaranteed server resources, increased hard disk space, a managed service, and stronger security. 

If you are looking into dedicated VPS hosting for your business’s website site in Canada, then here are some of the top VPS hosting companies out there.  

4GoodHosting

Based in Ontario, 4Good Hosting provides a range of affordable VPS hosting throughout Canada suitable for both Linux and Windows systems. Hosting your website on their VPS servers also means you will have access to all the standard features, resources, and support. These include 24/7 server monitoring, custom configuration files and system libraries, and round-the-clock emergency support. 

WHC 

With data centers in Montreal, WHC hosts over 130,000 websites in Canada and has been around since 2003. Some key features of WHC’s hosting are:

  • The ability to quickly scale up server capabilities
  • The choice of self-management, assisted management or full management by WHC of the server
  • Customizable plan
  • Starter or Pro packages 

Hostinger

A European web hosting company operating in 178 countries including Canada, Hostinger provides a choice of six semi-managed service plans that function with a range of operating systems including CentOS, Fedora, and Ubuntu. Although Hostinger has 24/7 support via email and chat, it does not provide phone support. 

HostPapa

Founded in 2002 and run out of Burlington, Ontario, HostPapa has data centers located in Canada and around the world. There are also six tiers of VPS service available on HostPapa, with 125 GB of storage and 2 TB of bandwidth provided in the second tier which would be suitable for newer websites, however, you can scale up the service quickly. 

Kametera 

With over two decades of experience in web hosting, Kametera is well established with over 13 data centers around the world. Their VPS hosting plans come with a range of affordable price points and consist of all the usual capabilities and features, including customizable server settings and scalable options. 

Cirrus Hosting

Since its foundation in Toronto in 1999, Cirrus Hosting has been providing web hosting solutions to over one hundred thousand small and medium-sized businesses. Their VPS hosting service includes the usual scalability options, secure SSD drives, and reliable bandwidth. 

Canadian Web Hosting

Canadian Web Hosting has over 20 years of experience and offers a range of affordable VPS hosting and higher performance SSD VPS options. The VPS plan includes guaranteed reliability, full root access, a choice of operating systems, and customizable settings. 

If your website is starting to get more traffic which is affecting its performance then it’s probably time to upgrade to VPS hosting, However, it’s worth taking a look at the most reputable VPS providers in Canada first to see which suits your needs best.

Guide to Big Data and Privacy – How to Ensure You Are Protected

Have you ever just thought of buying a new couch, for example, and suddenly started seeing furniture ads on Facebook, Instagram, everywhere you went online? 

Or perhaps you started a conversation with your friend about your new fitness regime and then suddenly got bombarded with health and fitness sponsored posts on every social media platform? 

While it’s easy to assume that that’s simply your devices listening in on you, that’s not (always) the case. Most commonly, advertisers use the data they have about you to present you with the most relevant products/services you’re most likely to get. 

Your personal data that’s readily available online and that can easily be gathered and analyzed through any data scraping API can be used to determine who you are and to predict your online behavior. 

But that’s not all. Let’s take a closer look at the world of Big Data and see what you can do to take your online privacy up a notch. 

Big Data and Privacy Concerns 

You’ve likely come across the term “Big Data” by now, but do you know what it means? Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about Big Data, and not everyone is aware of just how impactful it can be. 

First and foremost, it’s critical to understand that virtually everyone collects your data, which is just a tiny fragment of Big Data, and that’s not always a bad thing. 

The Impact of Big Data 

You wouldn’t have such a great, personalized experience on e-commerce sites like Shopify or Amazon without Big Data. 

If your favorite local business didn’t build an online community and collect your data, you wouldn’t receive such relevant discounts and offers as you likely do.  

Every single type of business needs data to perform even the simplest of daily tasks. Sales data, consumer data, and more are critical for optimizing processes and pricing, developing better marketing strategies, and delivering a more immersive experience to the customer – to you. 

And you often willingly allow businesses to collect, analyze, and process your data without a second thought. 

Willingness to Share Data 

Over 90% of consumers would share behavioral data to receive benefits like cheaper or simply easier shopping experience. You willingly share your data with “free” social media platforms; you accept tracking cookies and terms of use without even scanning them to learn what they’re about. 

Even if you don’t care about your online anonymity and think that you’ve got nothing to hide, it’s still crucial that you understand that your data is potentially putting you at risk. 

Data breaches, for example, have become larger in number and impact, and a single breach could expose your financial records, medical records, personal online accounts, physical location, and more. 

And it doesn’t even have to be a breach in a company that you interact with directly. 

More and more businesses rely on data scraping API to understand their target market or build their email list. 

They collect your information that’s freely available on the internet. If they have a breach, it’s your information that will be leaked, even if you’ve never heard of the company before, let alone done business with it. 

Steps to Ensure Your Privacy 

While everyone’s always trying to collect your private data, whether it’s a valid or invalid reason, it doesn’t mean that you have no way of protecting yourself. 

Ensuring your privacy is neither a complicated nor an expensive process. A few preemptive steps can help you keep your private data private. 

Forget About Incognito/Private Mode

Many people are under the wrong impression that their browsers’ incognito or private mode keeps them anonymous online and secures their data. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Incognito mode provides only a false sense of security, and you should avoid it if you want to protect your data. 

Even in incognito mode, sites can still collect your data, monitor your online behavior, see your IP address, and identify you. Even your ISP still knows what you’re doing online. 

Incognito mode is only useful if you don’t want others who have access to your device to see your browsing history. After every session, incognito mode deletes your cookies and history and logs you out of your accounts. That’s it. 

So, only use it if you don’t want your household members to know what you do online. Don’t use it if you want to be anonymous online; it doesn’t work. 

Install Secure Browsers 

Believe it or not, your browser might be your biggest privacy concern. Google and Google Chrome are notorious for collecting every possible piece of information about you. 

And while that can be useful and bring unprecedented browsing convenience, it’s a nightmare if you’re concerned about your privacy. 

Firefox has much better privacy settings than Chrome, but if you want to stay anonymous, it might be in your best interest to use secure browsers like Tor. 

Always Use a VPN

If you want to take your privacy and security up a notch, you’ll need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It allows you to browse the internet cloaked in anonymity, even hiding your activity from your Internet Service provider. 

A VPN works by creating a secure, private, almost impenetrable “tunnel” between your device and the network, so you can safely use even public Wi-Fi without privacy concerns. 

It scrambles your IP and provides you with a fake new one, allowing you to browse the internet without a worry. More importantly, it encrypts all your data, so even if your connection’s intercepted, your data will remain unreadable. 

However, not all VPNs are made the same, and some can be more harmful than beneficial. Take a look at Cooltechzone VPN reviews to find an effective VPN that meets your needs and ensures your privacy. 

Update Your Software 

A simple yet easily neglected step in ensuring your privacy is updating your software. It’s more important than you may think. 

Software updates are rarely about introducing new features or bringing more functionality. In most cases, they contain important bug fixes and security patches that can help keep you safe. 

If you’re using an outdated piece of software with known security flaws, you’re exposing yourself to immense risk and data breaches. 

So, stop ignoring software updates on both your PC and your phone. 

Additionally, you might want to revise program and app permissions across your devices. Some programs on your PC and apps on your smartphone collect more information than they need to operate normally, so you should try and tighten up your permissions. 

Final Thoughts 

Unfortunately, achieving complete anonymity online is virtually impossible, but there are many steps you can take to regain some privacy and keep your data safe. 

VPNs, software updates, and secure browsers are just some of the things you should rely on if you want to keep your private data private.

Looking for a VPN Service? Here are Some Tips

The internet does have everything you need. Be it recipes for your next great dish or even gym equipment for your workout sessions at home this pandemic – everything is available online. What many don’t know is that the internet is more vast than they think. There are ways to unlock your browsing experience’s full potential.

You might have heard of the term, VPN before. VPN or virtual private network lets you browse the internet safely by sending your web traffic through an encrypted tunnel directly to a VPN provider’s server. 

There  are many merits that come with using VPNs. This is why more and more people are starting to use the software, whether for their private browsing experience or for their business. Some of the benefits include:

  • Safety and security against cyber criminals as VPN masks not only your web traffic, but also your location.
  • VPN lets you access content you wouldn’t normally access in your region. A good example of this would be getting region-locked content on video streaming platforms like Netflix.
  • From a business perspective, VPNs let you expand your network effectively. The cost of expanding traditionally can be expensive. With a VPN though, businesses can connect their various employees through a  central network for lower prices.
  • VPN can also prevent data throttling. This is when your ISP lowers you internet speed when they’ve detected that you’ve been consuming too much from your data plan.

These are just some of the immediate benefits of a VPN but there are many more to consider. When choosing a VPN, you need to be careful so that you get your money’s worth at all costs. With so many VPN providers to choose from though, it’s a big tough trying to find one that fits your needs. Here are a few considerations when getting one.

Why Buy A VPN?

Before you pick a VPN, you first need to answer one question: why do you need a VPN? There are many reasons why you’d want to choose a VPN.

If you are hoping to access region-locked content like streaming services and the content of these services, then you should look for a VPN service that cuts back on the speed reduction you can get while connected to a server. Of course, it’s also ideal to get a VPN that allows you to gain access to many servers worldwide.

Now, if you are looking for a VPN that’s going to be used by an entire household or even your small business, go for one that’s router based. Some ISPs offer routers with built-in VPN capabilities. As for connecting to the server itself, the ISP will do the work for you.

Check For Device Compatibility

When getting a VPN service, some providers allow you to use several devices on one account. This means the VPN you avail, can be used on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Before you buy a VPN make sure to check for its device compatibility first.

Ideally, you’d want a VPN with a ton of compatible devices. You never know when you’ll be forced to buy a new phone or a new computer.

Consider The Price

The price of VPN services vary from provider to provider but usually, you are looking to spend $100-$120 per year. You can choose to pay monthly or you can pay a bulk price upfront. While paying for the full year upfront is costly, it’s the more practical choice as the overall price of paying monthly is significantly larger.

What’s great is that you can easily snag discounts and coupons online if you want too. For instance, if you click here, you’ll come across big coupons for NordVPN. Always be on the look for your these as VPN providers usually partner with selling platforms to hold special sales.

Customer Service Is A Priority

Always read through reviews about the customer service of a VPN provider. It’s important that a provider is readily accessible to help 24/7 because in some cases, they’ll need to help you out with VPN problems.

For starters, the VPN provider must be reachable through various platforms such as email, live chat and telephone. Ideally, you’d want them to have live chat as this lets them respond to you as fast as possible. A fast responding provider can make a difference with regards to your security online.

Intuitiveness

VPNs should be an express service that you can access with just a few clicks or taps. As such, you should look for services that have a layout that’s easy to understand and an operator’s guide that can be understood by anyone. Not everyone is techy enough to make a VPN work in one go.

You should be able to use the VPN without the help of others. In most cases, VPNs are actually very easy to use. Developers have made them as such to make it more accessible to people from all corners.

Downsides To Browsing? 

The biggest downside to a VPN service is that it can reduce the speed at which you browse the internet. It’s a fair trade off considering the new content you’ll access, plus the security that you get along the way. However, as VPN providers continue to improve their services, the reduced speed becomes less and less impactful.

Some VPNs have very minimal impact on your browsing experience while still still have noticeable effects on the speed. Look for VPNs that promise to deliver fast upload and download speeds regardless of what type of service you are looking for.

Other than reduced browsing speeds, you should also check for reviews that expose the cons of the VPN you are eyeing. What you should look out for include poor customer service, consistent downtimes, and constant bugs and glitches.

Getting a VPN is a good way to supplement your browsing habit but you need to be smart about it. With so many options to choose from, it’s only a must that you take the time to find which VPN is right for you.

Expert Tips for Choosing the Right VPN

A VPN can be used for a variety of reasons, from use within your personal/home life, to use within your business and work life. No two VPN providers offer the same packages and because of this, it can make your decision a little more tricky. Choosing a VPN needs to be done once you have researched the market and once you have established exactly what it is that you want. If you are not aware of what is out there then it is wise to browse the market first and foremost. Once you have done browsing you will be able to compile a list of must-haves. So, what must-haves do you need – Is speed important, is server location essential?

How To Get The Right VPN – The Considerations

With a VPN provider, there are lots of other things you still need to consider. From cost and coverage to reliability and usability. With so many choices out there it can feel a little bit overwhelming so it is best to use VPNBrains who can, and will narrow down your choices to ensure that you get the right VPN for your personal use and business use. Comparing providers ensures you get the best value for money too! In addition to comparing providers you can also establish which VPN is right for you by considering the following:

Security And Protection On Offer

Not all VPNs offer the same level of security. For example, some cannot guarantee top-level security in certain countries. If security is one of the main reasons you want to use a VPN, for example, you want to use a public or shared computer but you don’t want to share your data and information, or, you want to browse websites with added security behind you then it is crucial you check the VPNs security offer. If they don’t highlight how good their security offering is then it is probably best to look elsewhere.

Price Monthly Or Annually

If affordability is a consideration you need to think about how you can pay and when you can pay. Some providers only accept PayPal or Payoneer. Is this right for you and your lifestyle. Some providers demand an annual subscription – Can you afford this. Price consideration is important as paying month by month can also end up costing you more in the long run. It is also wise to track prices for a few days as lots of well-known VPN providers change their prices, even by a few cents every so often to attract new custom.

Reviews and Recommendations

What other users are saying and how they are reacting to a brand is important. Pay attention to the customer service that they provide, and pay attention to how quickly issues get resolved. For example, if you have an issue will they resolve it quickly or will you be paying full subscription costs for a while until they can be bothered to rectify any issues you may be experiencing. Some reviews can be fake and malicious, so it is important to have your guard up when using reviews. Also, on the flip side, there can be fake reviews stating how good a VPN is, when it is a load of rubbish, so watch out for this too. Doing due diligence and utilizing a few recommendation and review websites will ensure that you don’t get caught out.

Usage Within Your Country

This sounds simple enough right, but in reality, not all VPNs work in your country or provide adequate servers for you to use. Choice and selection are important when choosing a VPN. Everyone deserves a good selection for their subscription price and if you are not getting it, or you are not going to get it within your country then look for another provider. If a provider offers limited coverage within your country of use then you will quickly be left feeling frustrated and annoyed. Coverage and quality are important especially when purchasing annual subscriptions so always check the terms and conditions before signing up and parting with any money, and, of course, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible.

A few days of research and use of comparison websites should be all that you need to ensure you choose the right VPN provider for you. Remember to ensure the site is legitimate and authentic before paying for any services as there are lots of fakes out there who look very similar to the real thing, and once you have parted with your money it can be very difficult to reclaim, so, always ensure you use real and trusted sites no matter what.

Fortinet VPN Troubleshooting and Common Issues: Using Fortinet

Access to the internet has been restricted in China since the 1990s, as the Communist government has sought ways to limit not only its citizens’ consumption of news and information but also their interaction with those outside of China. However, as both individuals and businesses seek access to information and an ability to conduct transactions with people outside of China, virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent these restrictions have become a necessary tool.

FortiClient, the Fortinet next-generation endpoint protection, provides users with secure remote access with a built-in VPN.

Accessing a VPN from China

Since China made it illegal to access the “foreign internet” without government permission in 1997, the use of VPNs as a workaround has proliferated. VPNs encrypt data, masking the user’s identity and activity while browsing the internet. VPNs hide a computer’s Internet Protocol (IP) address, its physical location, and browsing history, among other data. 

It is not just individual Chinese citizens or visitors to China who benefit from VPNs to access social networks and banned websites. Chinese corporations and multinational companies doing business with China also use VPNs to secure company data and make communications more private. 

Browsing the internet anonymously is not the only advantage of using a VPN. The security and privacy of VPN-encrypted connections should be the main reason users opt for VPNs when browsing the internet in China.  

Using Fortinet in China

China has also been known to target VPN companies, but luckily, it does not block the Fortinet FortiClient VPN. FortiClient is more than just a VPN. It also provides compliance and endpoint protection, which are needed for large organizations to enforce policies and track and report security issues. FortiClient also provides advanced threat protection against malware through its integration with FortiGuard. 

This endpoint protection offered by the Fortinet VPN safeguards users against the most advanced threats. While some internet users in China only want a way to access U.S.-based websites and social networks without government surveillance, malware in China is a growing problem. In fact, malware associated with the Chinese government has been identified as the driver of spear-phishing attacks. 

What Is VPN Troubleshooting?

Issues may arise when using a VPN to connect to the internet. Usually, the biggest issue is that the VPN simply cannot connect. Other times, the connection drops, or the connection is really slow.

In the next section, we will detail what you can do when you encounter particular issues.

How to Troubleshoot Some SSL VPN Issues

These troubleshooting tips can be used for the following versions of FortiGate: v5.4, v5.6, v6.0, v6.2, and v6.4.

There Is No response from the SSL VPN Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

Navigate to VPN >> SSL-VPN Settings and check the secure socket layer (SSL) VPN port assignment. Also, check the “Restrict Access” settings to ensure that the host you are connecting from is allowed.

Go to Policy >> IPv6 policy and make sure that the policy for SSL VPN traffic is configured correctly. Check the URL to connect to. It should follow this pattern:

https://<FortiGate IP>:<Port>/remote/login

Ensure that the correct port number in the URL is used.

Use a computer on the local network to connect to the VPN, rather than a computer using a remote connection.

If external authentication is used, create a local user and connect to the VPN using the newly created local account.

FortiClient Cannot Connect

Ensure that the version of FortiClient used is compatible with the user’s version of FortiOS.

Export FortiClient debug logs by doing the following:

  1. Go to File >> Settings. Under the logging section, enable “Export logs.”
  2. Set the “Log Level” to debug and select “Clear logs.”
  3. Attempt to connect to the VPN.
  4. Select Export logs after receiving the connection error.

The SSL VPN Login Hangs or Disconnects at 98%

A new SSL VPN driver was added to FortiClient 5.6.0 and later versions to resolve various SSL VPN connection issues. If the FortiOS version is compatible, upgrade to use one of these versions.

In addition, poor network connectivity can cause the FortiGate default login timeout limit to be reached. In FortiOS 5.6.0 and later, the following commands allow a user to increase timers related to the SSL VPN login.

# config vpn ssl settings 
   set login-timeout 180 (default is 30)
   set dtls-hello-timeout 60 (default is 10)
End

Tunnel-mode Connection Shuts Down After a Few Seconds

This issue can occur when there are multiple interfaces connected to the internet—for example, a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN). To fix this, allow multiple interfaces to connect without issue.

If FortiOS 6.0.1 or later is used, follow this command-line interface (CLI) command:

# config system interface
    edit <name>
    set preserve-session-route enable next
end

For FortiOS 6.0.0 or earlier, use this CLI command:

# config vpn ssl settings
    set route-source-interface enable
end

The following error message will be received: “Unable to logon to the server. Your user name or password may not be configured properly for this connection. (-12).”

Make sure that the browser has cookies enabled.

If a remote authentication server is used, confirm that FortiGate is able to communicate with it.

The Tunnel Connects, but There Is No Communication

Make sure there is a visual interface or a screen you can view, by going to Monitor >> Routing Monitor. 

Also, check the routing table—the data stored in a router that lists the routes to particular network destinations—on the user’s computer to ensure that the routes for the VPN are added (use the command route print on Windows, or netstat -nr on macOS).

Connects Remotely to the VPN Tunnel, but It Will Not Give Access to the Network Resources

Verify that the firewall policy for SSL VPN traffic is configured correctly by going to Policy & Objects >> IPv4 Policy and making sure that the source/destination addresses, user group, and destination interfaces are correct.

Use the command “# diagnose debug flow” to obtain more information about the network traffic. To learn more about this command, see How to use debug flow to filter traffic.

Users Are Unable to Download the SSL VPN Plugin

Go to VPN >> SSL-VPN Portals to make sure that the option to limit users to one SSL-VPN connection at a time is disabled. This allows users to connect to the resources on the portal page while also connecting to the VPN through FortiClient.

Users Are Being Assigned to the Wrong IP Range

Go to VPN >> SSL-VPN Portals and VPN >> SSL-VPN Settings and make sure that the same IP pool is used in both the VPN Portal and VPN Settings sections to avoid conflicts.

If there is a conflict, the portal settings are used.

SSL VPN Throughput Is Slow

Although many factors can contribute to slow throughput, one recommendation is to try the FortiOS datagram transport layer security (DTLS) tunnel option, available in FortiOS 5.4 and above.

DTLS allows the SSL VPN to encrypt traffic using transport layer security (TLS) and uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP) at the transport layer instead of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). This avoids retransmission problems that can occur with TCP-in-TCP.

To make sure the DTLS tunnel is enabled on the FortiGate solution, use the following command:

# config vpn ssl settings
    set dtls-tunnel enable
end

FortiClient 5.4.0 to 5.4.3 use DTLS by default. FortiClient 5.4.4 and later use normal TLS, regardless of the FortiGate DTLS setting. To use DTLS with FortiClient, go to File >> Settings and enable “Preferred DTLS Tunnel.

Did the Big Sur Update Affect All VPN Clients?

Big Sur had a pretty rocky start. Once installed, it actually allowed up to 56 Mac apps to bypass third-party security solutions – like VPNs and firewalls.

Basically, even though you were using a VPN while running an app like iCloud or Siri, a lot of data would leak out of the VPN tunnel. That means Apple would see your IP address and what country you’re using their apps from.

Not to mention hackers would just need to find a vulnerability in one of Apple’s apps, and they’d be able to take over your device since they’d bypass your firewall. Or they could take advantage of the fact that your VPN is leaking data, and spy on your traffic to steal sensitive information.

Want to learn exactly what happened? We’ll tell you all you need to know in this article.

What Exactly Caused That Issue?

Apparently the Big Sur update came with a special key called “ContentFilterExclusionList.” That key is a part of the NetworkExtension API which a lot of security tools like VPNs and firewalls now use.

Essentially, here’s how the ContentFilterExclusionList key affects firewalls and VPNs:

  • It lets Apple’s apps bypass the encrypted VPN tunnel.
  • It allows Apple’s apps to communicate with the Internet even if the firewall says they can’t.

Did the Big Sur Update Affect All VPNs?

Time for some good news – this update doesn’t impact all VPN services! It only affects VPNs that use the NetworkExtension API. Luckily, it’s not mandatory for them to do so. As a result, many VPN providers avoided it, and used different methods (utun devices or PFCTL, just to name a few examples).

Those services are not susceptible to Big Sur’s forced traffic leaks. You can safely use Mac apps with them without having to worry about your data being compromised. Also, it looks like Apple’s built-in VPN wasn’t susceptible to traffic leaks either.

If you need help finding the best VPNs for Mac computers, just follow that link. It’s a guide from ProPrivacy (a leading VPN review site) that showcases VPNs that work extremely well on Mac devices. ProPrivacy even interviewed most of the providers on that list to confirm that their services can’t be compromised by Big Sur.

Did Apple Fix the Big Sur Issue?

Yes – Apple got rid of this problem when they launched the Big Sur 11.2 update. To make Mac apps fully compatible with firewalls and VPNs, Apple simply deactivated the ContentFilterExclusionList key.

Besides that security issue, Apple also fixed numerous other bugs – like System Preferences not unblocking when you enter your admin password, or iCloud Drive turning off because you disabled the iCloud Drive Desktop & Documents Folders option.

Apple also fixed other security flaws – like a user being able to rejoin an iMessage group even though they were removed from it. To read about all the improvements, check out this support article from Apple.

To update to Big Sur 11.2, just do this:

  1. In the upper-left corner of macOS Big Sur, click the Apple logo.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Next, pick Software Update.
  4. Click Install Now.

Now just wait for the update to finish downloading and installing. Depending on your speeds, it could take a bit since it’s around 3.66GB.

Conclusion

While Big Sur brought a lot of improvements, it also endangered user data by allowing Mac apps to bypass firewalls and VPNs. Luckily, not all VPN clients were affected, and Apple solved this problem with the Big Sur 11.2 update (so be sure to download and install it ASAP).

If we forgot to mention anything about the Big Sur security issue, please let us know in the comments.

7 Reasons Ethical Hackers are a Must-Have to your Business

Reasons to Protect Your Business with White Hackers

Hacking is the process associated with spyware programs to gain unauthorized access to a business system. With malicious actions, a hacker can steal confidential information, download business files, etc. From the point of view of unauthorized access, such actions are illegal. The opposite person to a black hacker is an ethical hacker. Such a specialist legitimately sneaks into your business system to check for vulnerabilities. Login is only done with the permission of the business manager. Therefore, hire a hacker for business is the right decision.

Is there a demand for ethical hackers?

Let’s see what do ethical hackers do. White or ethical hackers provide services to increase information systems’ security with the knowledge and agreement with the customer within the framework of a contractual relationship or according to the program of reward for vulnerabilities found. Are you complicated to understand? Let’s make it simpler: white hackers hack you and your resources with your permission and for money and show how they did it so that you fix this bug and no one else hacks you.

White hackers will offer you penetration testing, or red teaming, ranging from $ 3,000 to millions of dollars, depending on the task’s complexity. The range of their services and prices varies significantly across the market and depends on specialists’ competence and company size. As you can see, the service fees are high, but darker if there were no demand, the price would not have risen so much.

What companies hire ethical hackers?

The American platform Bugcrowd has calculated that ethical hackers who help companies find bugs and holes in security systems make up to $ 500,000 a year. Virtually every major tech company and financial institution is working with ethical hackers, including Tesla, Amazon, and Facebook. Large companies are willing to pay large sums of money to hire burglars. Tesla and IJet pay hackers between $ 1,000 and $ 15,000 for finding a bug or loophole in the system, depending on its complexity and the severity problem. Mastercard is ready to pay ethical hackers from $ 3 thousand. This practice of finding errors for a fee is called bug bounty in the professional community. In American companies, there is a fairly common practice of creating separate bug bounty programs when any user can report security holes.

Do ethical hackers need a degree?

Ethical hackers usually work to find critical vulnerabilities with a price of $ 3-5 thousand. As a rule, such specialists have certificates of Certified Ethical Hacker, Offensive Security Certified Professional, and others. Accordingly, to master the direction of hacking, it is not necessary to have a scientific degree. It is enough to pass certified courses by good experts.

Ethical Hacking – Reasons to Use the Service

White hackers are known to partner with many companies that report their cybersecurity. A common task for a white hacker is to conduct penetration tests on a business system. White hackers conduct authorized hacking of the client’s systems and products while testing them for vulnerabilities and resistance to attacks. This is just a test, not to steal personal data. The system is hacked under the direction of the company. The expert records all the results and draws up a detailed report, which indicates where the vulnerabilities are in the system. Do you think about the service of white hackers? Do you want to hire a specialist, but you are not sure if? Then below, we have described important reasons.

An ethical hacker can skillfully handle a VPN

Regular networks of proxy servers can no longer guarantee complete anonymity and security. Virtual private networks have long replaced proxies. VPN provides isolated access to the network through VPN server chains and encryption of transmitted data. Therefore, if you want to hide your activity from the provider and third parties, you need to use VPN. But not all VPNs can keep you from hacking.

Only ethical hackers know how to handle the program and select the VPN servers list properly. The best service is VeePN. All you have to do is register on the VeePN website, then download the app to start using the VPN right away without the need to configure anything. You can connect to many countries because the developers took care of their users and created a huge selection of VPN server locations. You can enjoy an extensive network of VPN servers in 50 locations across 42 countries. VeePN is available on laptops, computers, and mobile devices. One account can use the service on several different devices. The program also offers a trial so that every user can be convinced of the quality of services.

Injection of malicious code

These vulnerabilities allow writing to the database of a site, service, or application. What is the threat? For example, if a hacker found such a vulnerability on the website, he could easily:

  • change any news and sections on the site, adding or deleting part of the data;
  • add or remove administrators, editors, moderators;
  • place your ad, links, text, code, script;
  • sell links from someone else’s site.

To avoid this, you must partner with ethical hackers.

Invalid authentication and session management

A fairly common vulnerability, as a rule, is caused by insufficient thoughtfulness of the authorization logic or additional session checks. From interesting examples of exploitation, we immediately remembered one exchange. Due to incorrect management of sessions combined with an IDOR vulnerability, it was possible to reset the password from any account by changing the email for recovery. Therefore, to avoid this threat, you need the services of an ethical hacker.

Cross-site scripting

The specificity of such attacks is that malicious code can use user authorization in the web system to gain extended access to it or to obtain user authorization data. Hackers can insert malicious code into a page either through a vulnerability in the web server or through a vulnerability on the user’s computer. The idea here is to force the attacked site to transmit data to the attacker’s site. Don’t want to get under attack – you need white hackers.

Ethical hackers are always proactive

If you use the services of a white hacker, then he will not wait until the cybersecurity of your business is violated, or a data leak occurs. The white hacker is immediately aware of the existing vulnerabilities before something threatens the security of the business. That is, an expert will prevent a cyber-attack.

Ethical hackers are cost-effective

Black hackers can do a lot of damage to a business, resulting in bailouts or significant money losses. If an ethical hacker can detect the weakest points in the business system and prevent an attack, you will save much more money, even though an ethical hacker’s services are high.

Ethical hackers know everything about black hackers

Even if you know how black hackers operate, you may not always stop his evil actions. Black hackers use many harmful programs that the average person does not know about in their work. In fact, by harming your business, they will earn money, although this is not legal. Ethical hackers, who know many programs and understand their functioning, will accordingly prevent any threat. You will be free from problems, and your business will flourish.

Everything VPN newbies should know about enhancing online safety

Do you know how safe you are online? Do you know what the most widespread cybersecurity threats are? And, most importantly, do you know how VPNs can help you prevent cybersecurity attacks? Find the answers to all these questions by reading below!  

Lately, everybody is talking about cybersecurity threats and how they are becoming more common than ever before. Now, this is no surprise, considering that technology is becoming more integrated into our lives by the day. We use technology on a daily basis for pretty much everything we do, from getting entertainment to ordering food, purchasing goods online, and working. So, now, it is more important than ever to consider your online security and safety when surfing the web, go through your emails, share photos on social media, or purchase goods on e-commerce sites. 

Cybersecurity threats are a real thing, and they can cause you a lot of harm, from stealing your identity to stealing your financial details and empty your account. But, before we move forward to how virtual private networks can help you prevent this from happening, let’s dig deeper into the most common online safety threats you need to protect yourself from. 

Common online safety threats

Not sure what kind of threats should you pay attention to? Here are the most common online safety threats that can put your security in danger. 

Computer virus

The most common and widespread cybersecurity threat is the computer virus. It can literally affect anyone who uses a computer. What do computer viruses do? They alter the way your device operates and can cause a lot of damage, such as deleting your data or giving access to hackers to your important and private data. 

Spyware threats

Spyware threats are another widespread threat, and some people would say the worst. This program basically monitors users’ online activity and provides hackers the opportunity to enter a users’ device without their content to steal personal information. 

Phishing

Fake companies, businesses, or individuals practice phishing to steal personal and financial information. They pretend to be something they are not to convince their victims to provide them with their personal and financial information. They use fraudulent emails and messages to do it. 

Hackers

It may seem like being a hacker is a well-paid job as there are more hackers out there than ever before. What do they do for a living? They create viruses, spyware, malware, and all the other cybersecurity threats that we’re telling you to protect yourself from. 

What VPNs are?

Now you know what threats are out there in the digital world. But the real question is, how do you prevent them and stay safe online? Our answer is: by using a VPN. You can find a directory and rating of VPN and proxy services at proxy.info.

You’ve likely heard about VPNs before as they have been growing in popularity lately. 

But what VPNs are? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It creates a private network when you use the internet from a public connection by establishing secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy. A VPN can keep your browsing history private, change your real location, and keep your internet activities anonymous. 

Benefits of VPNs

Why should you use a VPN? Virtual Private Networks provide plenty of benefits to users, including:

  • Remain anonymous online 
  • Access to geo-restricted entertainment content
  • Access to geo-restricted news and content sites 
  • Hide web browsing from the government 
  • Access to torrent sites and other restricted download sites 

The top benefits people use VPNs are because it allows them to access geo-blocked entertainment content from video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. It allows them to surf the web using public internet connections in a secure way. 

WireGuard- an extra layer of protection

When you’re not feeling safe enough online, WireGuard can add an extra layer of protection. 

WireGuard is a new technology related to VPN that has grown a lot in popularity lately among tech enthusiasts. WireGuard provides some really strong benefits such as speed and security features. 

It is an open-source VPN technology that ensures improved security online using cryptography, a method of protecting data and information by using codes. It creates a faster and simpler use of the VPN, which is why it is an excellent online security tool for VPN newbies. For improved security, WireGuard can work with other VPN technologies. In this article you can see the best VPNs for Wireguard if you are interested in ensuring that your online activity is private and your security is top-notch. 

Other things you can do to stay safe online

  • Use strong and complex passwords. Use different passwords for each of your accounts. 
  • Keep your antivirus and security software up to date.
  • Consider using proxies to secure your online connection, there are plenty of cheap proxies available 
  • Do not open links sent to you by brands or people you don’t know or trust.