How Safe Are You in Cyberspace: Importance of Online Privacy


security

In our current time, the Internet has emerged into a necessity for several people from all walks of life. It is widely used in the area of communication, finance, education, and so many others. Therefore, living a day without it is as difficult as not watching television or using the cellular phone.

Ever since the Internet has come into the mainstream, there has been a lot of good and bad news surrounding its usage.

cyber-securityFor the good, people are now able to communicate with others worldwide. They likewise need not go to shops to buy items as they can simply process orders online with just a few clicks of their computer mouse or tablets.

However, its popularity has been exploited by many other advanced users. Often, the victims are those who are technically-challenged.

Therefore, it’s important that everyone takes some safety measures and makes oneself conscious about some possible risks brought by the Internet. Cybersecurity problems and solutions are the main trends now in IT sector.In order to give you a better picture of how the Internet puts users’ privacy on the line, take a look at the data provided by an independent research group:

  • 40% of respondents are more concerned about companies who collect and share their personal information with other companies
  • 38% likewise expresses concern about security threats to their personal data online.
  • 25% believes the government is monitoring their Internet activity.
  • 24% of respondents are likewise convinced that companies are tracking their Internet activity.
  • 21% of Internet users also dislike the possibility of social media sites using their activity details with advertising companies.

As a result of this research, more people have become more vigilant in their Internet usage and transactions.

  • 56% of the respondents have stopped clicking on online advertisements.
  • 53% chose to withhold providing their personal information when they were asked to.
  • 10% decided to delete or stop using their accounts online for security purposes.

Most of the respondents understand the need for some companies to monitor customer activities on their respective websites. However, they’re all calling for transparency on how their data are being used. A big population of the respondents is likewise urging the government to pass more legislation that would restrict businesses from enormously gathering customer details and activities on their websites.

Bottom line, it’s no longer sufficient to have an anti-virus installed on the computer or have the cache or cookies deleted every week or so. What’s needed is a good understanding of how the Internet works and how it may impact one’s privacy.

The Basics of Virtual Private Networks


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If there’s one important advancement made on the Internet, it’s the virtual private network or simply called VPN. By definition, the VPN is a private network that utilizes the Internet to connect to users and remote sites.

If, for example, you own a business in various cities, you can use the VPN to efficiently manage your people who are working in different locations. Of course, a fast and secure Internet connection is necessary to achieve this.

What’s probably the most important feature of the VPN is security. As its name suggests, the VPN utilizes a virtual connection that is routed through the web from the company’s private network to the employee or remote site. Anybody trying to intercept an encrypted data can’t, therefore, read it.

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Here are the two types of VPNs:

Remote Access

Also referred to as a Virtual Private Dial-up Network or VPDN, this is commonly used by companies who have remote employees who need to establish a connection to private networks. This user-to-LAN connection offers an encrypted connection between the user and the company’s private network. This is often accomplished through a third-party service provider.

Site to Site

A company may connect to various fixed sites over a public network such as the world wide web. A website merely needs a local connection to the same public network. This helps them save more money on long private leased lines.

What are the features of a well-designed VPN?

  • Network management
  • Policy management
  • Reliability
  • Scalability
  • Security

What benefits can companies get from a well-structured VPN?

  • Deliver faster return on investment (ROI) than traditional WAN
  • Enhance productivity
  • Extend geographic connectivity
  • Give telecommuter support
  • Minimize operational costs versus traditional WANs
  • Offer global networking opportunities
  • Reduce transit times and traveling expenses for remote users
  • Simplify network topology

Related: How Virtual Private Network Works?

What does a well-designed VPN use to keep data and connection secure?


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Confidentiality of data

What’s probably the most important benefit that one gets from the VPN is data confidentiality. By encrypting data, information sent from one computer to another is encoded into a form that only a computer can decode.

The most-used encryption protocols nowadays are:

  • Internet Protocol Security Protocol (IPsec)
  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/IPsec
  • PPTP/Microsoft Point-to-Point Encryption (MPPE)

Integrity of data

Most encryption protocols have a way of ensuring that the encrypted data are not changed while in transit. If tampering of data is detected, the encryption protocol will drop the packet.

searchAuthentication of data origin

The identity of a data source needs to be verified to prevent Internet attacks.

Anti-replay

VPNs may detect and refuse replayed packets. It likewise helps avoid spoofing.

Data tunneling

By definition, tunneling is a process of encapsulating a packet with another packet and sending it over a network. It is a helpful process in cases where the identity of a device originating the traffic needs to be hidden.

How Can You Give Yourself Protection in Cyberspace?


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You are always susceptible to the cyber attacks as soon as you connect to the Internet. Hackers, stealers, spyware programmers, etc., can steal your personal data and information you provide to the websites and pages, your credit card and other bank details, passwords, and tax records, etc. They can even entirely disable and immobilize your system. You need to be extra beware when you are going to provide your passwords, and other personal data and information to the web sites. A great many websites are there that are scams and cheat on you by utilizing your personal data for their own hidden purposes. Follow the below tips to protect yourself in Cyberspace:

Set Strong and Smart Passwords

Always set passwords that are difficult to memorize. You can put special characters, symbols, numbers, capital letters, and employing characters more than six in number. It should be difficult enough for cracking by hackers. For instance, Dol3#$mM9 is a strong password.

Use Email Prudently

You are strictly advised to employ your email wisely. Email is one of the paramount ways to be connected to your family, friend, and colleagues. It is an essential tool to carry out your business too. You must install competent security software in your system. Even, this will not secure you altogether. Because it might be possible that your comrades to whom you are sharing your personal information with, by the means of email have no such security software installed in their system. Never send social security passwords, credit card details, and other personal information via email.

Be Wary! While Employing Instant Messaging Programs

If you employ an IM program to be in touch with comrades, avoid sending your personal data and information via online communications. You may protect yourself by creating a pet name for IM screen. In this way, your name will not be recognized by the means of IM. Do not accept unfamiliar persons into your IM programs and groups. At work, you need to be careful with respect to the use of IM as your employer may be able to see your messages.

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Shop Safely

If you are shopping online, make sure that the website is real and not the scam. The website must employ secure technology. Check the Web address whether it starts with ‘https’. ‘Https’ indicates that the site is secure. A small padlock symbol should be visible at the bottom right of the page. The checkout screen should have the statement stating that the website is secure with the help of security or privacy technology vendor. See, whether the security technology exists by examining the security/privacy technology firm’s website.

Spy On the Phishing Scams

Phishing scams utilize fraudulent and fake emails and websites, camouflaged as genuine businesses. Whenever you receive any email from a company that involves a link to the page or website, make sure that the website is lawful and legitimate. Do not click the site inside the mail. Rather, see the company or business by opening a separate Web browser. Directly perform the essential actions on the website opened in the separate browser. You can further verify by calling the agency or business directly.

Carefree and Fun Online Gaming

Internet games are very popular nowadays. When communicating with the other participants and players, make sure you are safe. It can be done by making your security software functional when you are playing games.

Monitor on Your Child’s Online Activities

Place your home desktop or system in the community area in order to check on your children’s activities.  You can employ age-appropriate children’s software too. Restrict their time to use the Internet. Many a parental control software is available these days. You can install them in your system to keep an eye on children’s browsing. This will prevent them from reaching out the unwanted websites and sharing their personal data and information through online communication.

Subscribe to McAfee System Security and Privacy Service

McAfee security software is forever active when you switch on your system. It will keep you safe by protecting and updating whatever you visit online. McAfee software provides consumers with comprehensive, unmatched protection from the cyberspace menace such as spyware, spam, viruses, adware, and identity theft.

How Virtual Private Network Works?


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When your business matures, the network might spread out from corner to corner in the country and/or across the world. For things to run efficiently, you must need a secure, durable, and fast way of connection to share all the information with people across the computer network. In addition to that, your nomadic employees such as salespeople require an equally durable and secure connection to hook up to their business’s system network from distant and remote locations.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one powerful technology to bring about this goal. VPN is the private network that employs the public network (generally the Internet) to join distant users or sites together. It utilizes ‘virtual’ links routed via the Internet from your company’s private network or connection to the distant employees or sites. VPN ensures your business’s security as anyone who captures your encrypted data will be unable to read it.

An archetypal VPN has the central LAN i.e., local-area network at the company’s headquarters, further LANs at distant facilities or offices, and individual mobile users that may connect or join from outside in the fields. VPNs are of two types.

Remote-access

It is also known as VPDN i.e., Virtual Private Dial-up Network. It is the connection from user-to-LAN. This network is used by the organizations that have workers and employees who require joining to the private network from different remote locations. Characteristically, the organization that wants to use a large remote-access network needs to provide Internet dial-up account to its consumers and users who employ an ISP i.e., Internet Service Provider. This is how the telecommuters become able to dial the 1-800 number as to access the Internet and utilize their VPN punter software to have the access to the company’s network. The remote-access VPN allows encrypted and secure connections between the remote users and organization’s private network by means of the third-party service supplier.

Site-to-Site

The Site-to-Site connections permit branch and division offices to employ the Internet as the channel to access the main company office’s intranet. This connection expands the organization’s network, making the fixed location computer resources, available to workers at other sites. A rising organization with several branch offices needs this VPN connection.

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VPN Products

There are certain components need to set up to construct your VPN. These includes:

  1. Desktop software punter for every remote or mobile user
  2. Devoted hardware like VPN Cisco Concentrator or Cisco Secure PIX Firewall
  3. Devoted VPN server for services like dial-up
  4. NAS, i.e., Network Access Server that is employed by service provider for having the access to distant users
  5. Policy managing center and a private network

Because the broadly accepted protocol to implement the VPN is missing, many corporations have built key solution all by themselves. For instance, Cisco provides various VPN solutions including:

VPN Concentrator

Cisco-VPN concentrator is specifically built to create a site-to-site or remote access VPN and preferably arranged where the necessity is the single piece of equipment to hold an outsized number of VPN tunnels. It incorporates the most sophisticated authentication and encryption techniques present at the moment. These concentrators present high scalability, high performance, and availability and involve components, known as SEP i.e., Scalable Encryption Processing modules. It permits users to easily elevate capacity.

VPN-Optimized Router

Every Cisco router that runs Cisco-IOS software holds up IPsec VPNs. The only necessity is that a Cisco IOS image is must run by the router with the suitable feature set. This VPN solution completely supports the distant and remote access, extranet and intranet VPN necessities. It indicates that Cisco router performs just as well whether connected to the VPN device like the router and VPN Concentrator or when attached to the distant host running the VPN Client’s software.

Cisco VPN Clients

Cisco offers software as well as hardware VPN clients. With no extra cost, the software Cisco VPN Client comes along with the 3000 series concentrator of Cisco VPN. This can easily be inserted into the host device and employed to securely connect to the fundamental site concentrator or to any VPN device like firewall or router.

The selection of equipment that you use to put up VPN solution is eventually the design subject that depends on a variety of factors such as the number of clients/users and the preferred throughput.