Take a moment to think about your internet usage: how often do you go online, how much potentially sensitive information do you send across the net, and how many of your regular sites use the same password? We are all guilty of lax security when online – of course, it will never happen to us – but the truth is we are automatically susceptible to the actions of less than scrupulous users who, for example, might like to have access to our banking details. So what can we do to enhance our online privacy?
Be Extra Careful All The Time
Much of the advice regarding internet security is common sense: use a different, unique password for everything – not your birthday, or name – and use only sites that are secure. Do not give your password to anyone, and make sure your anti-virus protection is up to date. Use social networking sites with care: Facebook is great fun and very useful, but all too often people post data and pictures that give too much away. Make sure you have the right security features installed on those sites, also. Perhaps more than anything, you should invest in a VPN.
Why a VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN, is fast becoming the most popular method of enhancing online privacy and security. Not only do these services offer you the opportunity to bypass geo-restrictions on content in some countries, but they also encrypt all your information and give you complete anonymity when browsing. They work by diverting your information from your ISP providers servers to servers that are operated exclusively by the VPN operator, and the guarantees are worth the small payment they ask for.
Further Internet Privacy Tips
Another golden rule when considering internet security and privacy is this: never open a link, by email or otherwise, that you were not expecting to receive. This is a common method of implanting spyware or malware in your system, and should be avoided at all costs. If you are not sure about the origins of an email, delete. Generally, paying careful attention to security when online is the best way; if something looks suspicious, it probably is, and invest in the best VPN you can afford.
For most of us across the world social networking sites have become a daily source of information and fun, but for some this sort of internet content is censored. China springs to mind, as it is home to the ‘Great Firewall’, a government run project designed to control internet access among the people in that country. Sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are blocked within China, and for those who use Twitter to communicate regularly, when travelling in China this can present a real problem. So, how do you unblock Twitter in China? In fact, it may be easier than you think.
Why is Twitter Blocked?
The Chinese government is concerned at the way the internet allows users to access content that may be considered subversive, obscene, or that it simply considers to be not fit for the people. As social networking sites such as Twitter are largely a free chat forum, Chinese users could easily read comments that the government does not want it to see, either from anti-Chinese commentators or political adversaries. Wikipedia, and Google to an extent, are similarly censored.
Why A VPN is Essential
As the 21st century rolls on so China becomes not just a major economic power, but a country increasingly popular with tourists. The government cannot restrict the carrying of handheld devices by those entering the country, so it implemented the Great Firewall as a way of keeping content restricted. It does so by using a select few government controlled DNS servers; a virtual private network, or VPN, gets around this by allowing users to choose a server, from within China, that is not inside the firewall restrictions.
How Easy is it?
It is very simple indeed; you simply download your chosen VPN package – they cost a small amount that is well worth the investment – and use it as your chosen access server each time you log on. You can choose servers from all over the world, and instantly access Twitter, Facebook and more, from within countries that geo-restrict content, including China. It’s a vital tool not just for tourists, but also for business users who may wish to contact others in their down time.
Anyone who has traveled to China and attempted to access certain content via the internet will undoubtedly have encountered the famous Great Firewall of China, officially known as the Golden Shield Project. A government-implemented policy that aims to censor access to a variety of content, ranging from the politically subversive to that considered inappropriate for the people of China, this notorious firewall is one of the most powerful in the world, yet it is possible – and quite simple to break through it if you know how. Many believe the Great Firewall also incorporates surveillance techniques, making it more sinister than at first thought.
What is Blocked?
The Golden Shield Project is part of the Chinese governments continued desire to control the internet in the country, and is aimed at censoring material considered too ‘Western’ or politically sensitive; these range from the teachings of the Dalai Lama, sites supporting political groups in favour of democracy, and many social networking outlets. Even Wikipedia, the online free content encyclopaedia, is blocked in China, although there are signs that some of these sites are being slowly freed from their shackles.
How Do I Get Around it?
The Great Firewall uses, in general, standard DNS server programming to implement its purpose; anyone requesting information that is not permitted by the government run servers will find access denied. However, by using a virtual private network – VPN – which access content by a server that is beyond the firewall, in other words not within China, visitors can access the content they require. The many VPN services use servers in countries throughout the world, so you would be accessing as if you were in, say, the UK or USA.
Is This Legal?
There are in fact no direct laws against using a VPN in China, although the authorities take a dim view of persons who are found to be accessing blocked content. However, the second major advantage of a VPN is that it encrypts all data and therefore hides your identity. So long as you are not accessing content it in itself is illegal, and you go about your ways discreetly and without making it too obvious, then you can use a VPN to browse the content you would at home when in China.
Students are among the most prominent users of the internet, and as such will know only too well that schools and universities often apply restrictions to what can and what cannot be viewed in the establishment. With hand held devices such as smartphones and tab lets now the most popular way of surfing the web it is no surprise that schools have taken the time to make it difficult for students to access the web in school time, but did you know there is a way to get around these firewalls? All you need is a simple service known as a VPN, or virtual private network.
How Does it Work?
When you access the internet from school or university you will likely do so via the internal WiFi; this will use a designated server to access any information you request. It is this server that knows what to block as instructed, so you need to use a different server. This is what a VPN does; there are many such services with servers in different locations around the world, and by choosing one of these you are bypassing the restricted school server. It’s simple, effective and cheap, and it also has many other benefits.
What Else is Great About a VPN?
Not only will a VPN allow you to gain access to content restricted by your school or university, but it also provides you with increased levels of security. A public WiFi network can be accessed by a lot of people and, as such, provides easy picking for those who wish to steal information that is being sent back and forth using that network. With a VPN service you are no longer susceptible to such risks as the system will not only use a remote server, but will also encrypt all information you send. This protects not just your information, but also gives you added protection where your online identity is concerned. The dual purpose of the VPN – to protect you when online and to bypass those school and university firewalls – make it a valuable purchase for only a small monthly outlay.
Among the many superb features you can get from Sky is Sky Go, an online TV service that allows you to catch up with and watch many different channels using your laptop, computer or smartphone when on the move. With a comprehensive collection of channels and content, Sky Go is a popular choice for people who are often in a different location or country, and many of those will have already discovered that, in fact, not everywhere allows you to access the content you want. This can be for a number of reasons, the most prevalent being where the government of the country has restricted access, or where copyright issues are present. We are here to tell you how to get past these restrictions using a VPN.
The Benefits of a VPN
A VPN, or virtual private network, has become one of the must-have services for travelers and those who want to enhance their online privacy. There are many such packages on the market – some free, and the more impressive with small fees to pay – and they work by bypassing the usual local servers that would normally be used to connect to the content you are searching for. By using a server in a non-restricted country or region you are able to access information that would usually be restricted in your location, and you can get your Sky Go content no problem!
Sky Go on The Move
As Sky Go is designed to allow you to access content that you may have missed or want to watch when you are elsewhere it is clear that, for those who want to watch UK content when elsewhere in the world, a VPN is a great choice. For just a small outlay you can ensure that, whether on business or abroad for pleasure, you are able to watch what you want, when you want, where you want. Governmental and copyright restrictions may apply to much of the UK Sky Go content; hence the installation of a VPN service like HideMyAss, which takes just a few minutes, gives you greater viewing flexibility wherever you happen to be.