cyber-security home rats, business, protection

One simple and cheap tool in your protection arsenal with triple action & capabilities

What can I say? You know me. I always talk about secure behaviors but rarely about tools.

Well today I want to make an exception because my message is not to avoid tools. Instead, I promote a more holistic approach to security in which you get the most out of your protection with a combination of tools, mechanisms and control and the best protection approaches or as I call them behaviors and habits.

So, let me introduce you to a great tool which is called a VPN and it stands for a virtual private network.

In order to explain why a VPN is important for your protection arsenal let me introduce you to the three requirements for a software level cyber-attack.

What can I say? You know me. I always talk about secure behaviors but rarely about tools.

Well today I want to make an exception because my message is not to avoid tools. Instead, I promote a more holistic approach to security in which you get the most out of your protection with a combination of tools, mechanisms and control and the best protection approaches or as I call them behaviors and habits.

So, let me introduce you to a great tool which is called a VPN and it stands for a virtual private network.

In order to explain why a VPN is important for your protection arsenal let me introduce you to the three requirements for a software level cyber-attack.

In order for cyber-criminals to attack you they need the following three things:

  1. A visible IP address: which is your device id and an indication of your physical location
  2. An open port: think of your device like a house and ports as doors. Who you allow to pass those doors and how secure you keep them defines how easy is for a cyber-criminal to get in.
  3. A vulnerability on a service: we use services all the time. Services are your web browser with which you surf online, the Facebook app on your phone, Microsoft word, anything on your devices. These services can be vulnerable because their building component is code and this code is so complex and long that most of the time programmers make mistakes while writing it or someone introduces vulnerabilities for malicious purposes.

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cyber-security approach, philosophy, business, protection

What is a VPN and why do you need it?

In simple terms a VPN is a tool you use to hide your physical address, hide the open ports of your device and hide the content transferred from your device online from prying eyes.

How does it actually do that?

Your request for access to the internet does not go directly from your device to the internet. It goes through a series of servers which basically are computers located around the world. Those computers send your request through the internet as theirs which means that these requests cannot be traced back to you and your device. That way they cover both your IP address and your devices’ open ports.

Additionally, your data passes through the internet with let’s call it a protective pipe. Meaning that your online search, preference of settings and online services cannot be visible not even by someone on the same network as you. Most importantly when you type in your passwords they are hidden as well. This is called encryption and it is a methodology which allows you to basically hide your digital footprint. As you know your digital footprint allows cyber-criminals to explore your online behaviors and preferences on specific services to initiate a cyber-attack against you.

How to select the right VPN?

There are four factors which you consider in order to choose a VPN.

  • Factor #1: Price

Obviously there are free and paid options for VPNs and I recommend the paid ones especially if you do not wish the speed at which you surf online to slow down, to be able to select the country you seem to be, and most importantly to be more certain that you actually use a VPN, not having an impression that you do.

  • Factor #2: Location

Non-paid options do now provide a wide range of countries to be connected to or most importantly a series of servers which pass your request before releasing it to the internet which minimizes the possibility of somebody tracing a request back to you even more.

  • Factor #3: Reputation

You have all heard of the saying: reputation is difficult to build but it can be destroyed instantly by a mistake. Check the VPN providers’ track record. Is it a well-known company? What are the values they stand for?

  • Factor #4: Trust model

My absolute favorite is the so called “zero trust model” meaning in simple terms, that there is no possible way to trace a request back to you. There are so many companies claiming the sun and the moon but in reality, only a few are able to offer a true zero trust model.

Choose countries which do not have to create a backdoor for a governmental agency because those can easily open a backdoor for cyber-criminals as well. The last time I checked many CIA and NSA tools were leaked to cyber-criminals on the dark-net. Furthermore, your single point of failure can be the server accepting and distributing your request. Does it keep a record of who made the request and for what? Obviously, you cannot be a 100% certain if it is a true claim but if the company is using specific ways and approaches when building and operating the server it means that there are higher chances of them having a zero-trust model.

Now, please allow me to clarify something. A security tool or a VPN is not panacea. I could list and craft several ways to get access to your data and devices. Especially for those who turn it on but then they open their Facebook account, or they click everywhere they see a link and they have tracking cookies following them everywhere. That is why you need balance between your protection levels or as I call them in my “security strategy” seminars “your protection dimensions”. One of the major components for this balance is your secure habits and behaviors online. If you wish to dive into that and learn more about building secure habits and behaviors, then navigate my blog. You will find plenty of information.

Before we finish this episode let’s address one question, I am certain most of you have; what is the best VPN I trust and recommend.

That is easy. It is the proton VPN developed by exceptional scientists with solid values for online protection. Here is the link for those of you who are interested and by the way they have a huge promotion currently which if I was you, I would definitely take advantage of. And if you though I finished with the benefits of using a VPN this is by far not the case but let’s analyze those in another episode.

And some basic rules before we go. VPNs are not only to be used when you are in a public network. You should always be using them when surfing online even from your private networks. They are as important as the antivirus on your devices.

Let’s “hide” this episode with a tweetable:

Apply what you learn immediately. Download “Master your protection” free quick start guide.

cyber-security approach, philosophy, business, protection

That is all from me for today. Wishing you protection and success and I will see you all in the next episode of “Your Security Boost”. The podcast which seriously trains your protection muscles every Monday.

Remember to like and share. I am always here so leave me a message and let’s continue the conversation for your protection journey.

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