VPN (virtual private network) clients have been around for sometime, and are utilized by many corporations. It is a technology that individual users should also take advantage of. Avast hope to make that security option a trend with a new effort to help the average user be more secure when using a laptop or other mobile device at the local Starbucks.
Citing a survey the company carried out, Avast has announced it is now releasing its own VPN client, called SecureLine. The company claims that it polled 340,000 users and 46 percent of worldwide respondents connect via public WiFi. The security firm also listed such numbers as “29 percent in the UK perform security-sensitive transactions such as shopping or online banking despite the risk of hackers accessing their credentials”.
To answer this growing need, Avast announces “We developed SecureLine due to growing demand from our customers”. According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Vincent Steckler, “half of PC users in the US access unsecured WiFi hotspots. And, about a third of them perform security-sensitive transactions – such as shopping, banking, or anything requiring a password”
SecureLine is now seamlessly integrated into all of Avast’s free and premium products, and when customers connect to unsecured WiFi, they will receive a message that provides them with some insight into the risks of using public and unsecured WiFi, as well as the choice of a secure VPN connection — at a cost of $7.99 per month.
With Avast now claiming usage on more than 184 million computers worldwide, the addition of more secure connections could make a noticeable difference, but it comes down to customer behavior and habits to really make a major impact. That, I am afraid, will not be improving anytime soon.
Photo Credit: BigStock
Young Swedes Going Covert On Internet With VPNs
As lawmakers across the globe attempt to pin down a wriggling Internet with rules aimed at stemming file sharing between users (but, curiously, increasing file sharing between governments and corporations), among other things, there appears to be a growing movement towards purchased privacy by the Internet community – particularly the younger folks.
TorrentFreak shared a study this week done by a research group from Lund University in Sweden showing a significant increase in the number of 15 to 25 year-olds buying and using VPN (virtual private network) services – some 40% more since late 2009.
As TorrentFreak points out, Sweden’s Internet community faces a unique strain of web surveillance with its spacious bandwidth and status as homebase to The Pirate Bay – the leading location on the Internet for getting things for free. That puts a lot of eyes on the Internet users of Sweden and, according to Lund University’s Cybernorms research group, 700,000 Swedes are paying for VPN services designed to hinder access to – and surveillance of – their online activities.
Compared to 500,000 Swedes using VPNs in 2009, the demographic pushing the nearly 30% increase in users looking to limit snooping on their web behaviors are young people in the 15 to 25 year-old age bracket. That demo comprises 15% of the total and is up by about 10% from 2009.
It’s not hard to see the pattern. As surveillance (by governments and private entities like Facebook and Google and other Internet entities) continues to heighten under the guise of hunting for file sharers, the technology to prevent such snooping will not only get better, but more people will be willing to shell out a few bucks for it.
If interested in learning more about VPNs, TorrentFreak put together a great list of which VPN providers actually do what they claim, and which ones don’t.
Image: VPN Net from BigStockPhoto.com
iTwin is solving more than just the capacity problem with thumb drives, they are also tackling remote access at the same time. It all begins with a very small device that looks like a pair of USB thumb drives fastened together back-to-back. It’s a bit more than something that simple though. Each time this device is plugged into a computer it automatically generates AES 256 encryption. Once it’s attached to your PC a virtual folder pops up that allows you to drag-and-drop all of the files you want, in fact you can drop your entire hard drive on it! After copying all of the files you want then you can split the device into two USB drives. Leave one on your home or office PC and take the other with you on the road. Now you have a secure VPN to the base computer without the hassle and expense that VPN can entail.
The iTwin is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. They have also solved a lot of the potential security problems and dynamic IP problems, as you will see in the video below. The iTwin is available now for a one-time cost of $99.99, no monthly fees like traditional VPN services. It’s available directly from iTwin or from many retail outlets.
Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net.
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