This might be the easy solution to connecting to the internet on your mobile
Anyone who has tried to access restricted content like Netflix from outside the US has undoubtedly made use of a proxy or virtual private network (VPN) service. Unfortunately the folks over at Netflix have gotten wise to our tricks, and is blocking users trying to sneak their way in.
While this is a bit of a drag, it is worth remembering that VPNs actually have a more important role than just helping us keep on our shows. VPNs give users access to a “tunnel” that connects them to the rest of the web, more securely (remember that nothing is perfect) and anonymously than the basic connection through our internet service providers.
Security becomes more of an issue when we try to connect on “public” networks at places like airports and cafes that can be accessed by all kinds of characters, including the less than savory like hackers who can break into our communications with “man in the middle attacks” or other dastardly do.
One of the most vulnerable points of attacks is on our mobile phones. Most folks leave their Wi-Fi open, looking to save on data and not wanting the hassle of having to turn it on each time we reach a friendly hotspot. Like a good soldier, our phones are constantly looking for networks with which to connect, letting us check our email or social feeds while waiting in line at our favorite coffee spot.
Unfortunately, this leaves the phone open to attacks. If you have a VPN subscription, you have to remember to turn it on when connecting, and even then you are exposed until the secure tunnel is established. It is a lot to remember without a guarantee of any real security.
Thankfully, an Israeli VPN provider has come up with a potential solution. SaferVPN has announced a new app for their users that will protect them from dangerous networks. Built for iOS and Android (with a Mac and Windows version on the horizon), their new app will automatically connect the user to their (more) secure VPN 256-bit bank-level encrypted VPN channel, and warn them if the network is not rated as safe.
“The new feature also provides smart and instant notifications to let the user know that their devices has connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi network and is being protected by SaferVPN – automatically,” SaferVPN CEO Co-founder and CEO Amit Bareket tells Geektime. “This is the next generation of cybersecurity protection as it provides both immediate, holistic security and user-friendly alerts for increased transparency.”
“Attackers are taking advantage of the gap between how technology is supposed to work and how it works in reality.,” he says, telling Geektime that, “We are closing this gap.”
This means that when your phone picks up a new Wi-Fi network, it will automatically activate the SaferVPN connection, without you having to manually turn it on.
While most folks might not believe that they would be a target for hackers, a Kaspersky Lab report from June found that travelers are particularly at risk, due in part to their reliance on public Wi-Fi networks while abroad.
According to the report, “People more likely to be robbed of their data than their travel money abroad.” Their study found that, “one in five people generally, and three in ten senior business managers, have been hit by cybercrime while abroad.”
Bareket notes to Geektime that mobile is more vulnerable than PCs, mostly because we do not walk around with our laptops scanning for a connection in our pockets. He adds that mobile devices are relatively secure devices, referring to our use of apps, but are very open to man in the middle attacks where the hacker intercepts your data.
5 Tips for more security
To help limit exposure while out and about, he offers readers a few tips for safer internet use for both home and while out and about.
Check for HTTPS:
When browsing on websites, look for the green mark next to the browser url. This is a sign that the website’s traffic is being encrypted over a SSL connection and is considered to be secured.
Use different passwords for different websites:
Using the same password for all of your accounts is like having one key that unlocks every door in your life. Therefore, it is crucial to use different passwords for different types of accounts and websites. (I couldn’t agree more. Use a password manager!)
Make use of SaferVPN’s Automatic Wi-Fi Security protection:
This will create a private and secured tunnel for your online data, providing you with holistic, 360 degree security when on unsecured Wi-Fi. (Geektime does not endorse one provider over another, but strongly recommends using a VPN service of which SaferVPN is a great one)
Forget the Network:
Once you are all done with your web browsing, make sure to log off any services you were signed into. Then tell your device to forget the network. This can easily be done via the device Wi-Fi settings screen.
Do not use untrusted mobile apps:
Try to avoid using untrusted mobile apps which may include security vulnerabilities or password stealing capabilities. This is more risky for Android users but iOS folks should still remain suspicious.
Why I love this idea
In recent years, the battle between usability and security has been gaining more exposure. If you make too many security barriers, then nobody will want to use it. If there are no checks, then it is insecure.
Bareket tells Geektime that, the public is becoming more aware of the risks. Technologies like SaferVPN’s new mobile product are working to close the gap of what the user is required to do to keep safe. The less that is asked from users to perform security checks, the better. Biometrics that ask for fingerprint authentication are also helping, removing the need to enter yet another password.
All that said, two-factor authentication is still super important, even if it can be a little annoying.
At the end of the day, people will need to take responsibility for their own security online. This means basic internet hygiene, and utilizing some of the great tools that are being put out there on the market by companies like SaferVPN and others.