23 Jul 2013

How Does VPN work as part of a Layered Internet Data Security Strategy? (Part 2)

Advice, Consumer, Data Breach, Employer No Comments

Dear Reader,

How a VPN works in conjunction with an overall personal Internet Data Security Strategy is the subject of this blog post.  In my previous post, I outlined how we use layered security without even knowing it when it comes to everyday life.  I used an analogy of how we use a layered security in protecting our vehicles and then we had you think through how you would do the same for your home.

Here is how I protect myself while using the Internet (a layered security)

  1. My computer requires a strong password to sign-in when turned on.
  2. My screen saver will timeout and then requires a password to resume use again
  3. I always connect through my http://surfsafevpn.net VPN service
  4. My Wi-Fi and router have a strong password protected (no “admin” or “1234″)
  5. My virus and malware software is up to date (automatically updated several times a day)
  6. I am aware of my presence on the Internet (whether the site is http: or a secure https: site or page)
  7. I never click on a link inside an email that I do not have full confidence that it is legitimate (by hovering my cursor over it to reveal it’s true destination – then watch out for re-directs once there)
  8. I never click on an advertisement that does not have a clearly valid and known domain name (see hovering technique above)
  9. All my system software is kept up to date to ensure all known security holes are fixed
  10. I clear out my cache on a regular basis – just to keep things from auto-populating. 

My “key” through the Internet Doorway is through my SurfSafeVPN.net.  You should use SurfSafeVPN.net for your key to the Internet as well. Give it a 7-day free test drive available at http://surfsafevpn.net.

My next post will discuss “How a VPN Can Keep You Anonymous While on the Internet.”  Beware, as not all VPN services provide the same privacy protection. 

Until then … Stay Secure!

Bob Listerman

Your Data Risk Manager

Check out our VPN tool at http://surfsafevpn.net

Twitter: @DataRiskMgr

Stats for 2013 to date: 1,521,303 records lost from 271 data breaches. 81 of the 271 were from Hackers.  That’s almost 30%! Source: Privacyrights.org

 

20 Jul 2013

How VPN works as a “Key” to a Layered Security Strategy (part 1)

Advice, Consumer No Comments

I submit that when you secure anything important to you, you are habitually using  a Layered Security Strategy.  Let’s use your vehicle as an example.  If you are parked in public lot where you believe your vehicle could be stolen or damaged (like at a shopping mall) you automatically apply a Layered Security Strategy.

  1. You secure the windows by making sure they are fully rolled up.
  2. You remove any articles or possessions that may attract a thief to break into your car.
  3. Then you secure your keys by withdrawing them from the ignition and taking them away with you.
  4. You lock your doors (physically locking them or by pushing an electronic button).
  5. And most vehicles have an alarm associated with being disturbed by a non-key holder.
  6. Some will even hide a “kill switch” that would foil a thief.

This is a simple example of a Layered Security Strategy.

Now, think how you would secure your home, knowing you are not returning for two weeks. How many Layers of Security would you apply for your extended time away?  Stopping delivery of the mail and your newspapers are components to a layer of security.

Securing your data, your personally identifiable information (PII), is no different.  Next week, I’ll reveal how a professional data security advisor secures their PII using a Layered Data Security Strategy.

07 Jul 2013

How does an ISP VPN (Virtual Private Network) work?

Advice, Consumer No Comments

Many of you are familiar with using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).  The first time I used a VPN was when I was accessing my company’s server across a remote telephone connection.  Yes, a telephone connection before the Internet folks!  I understood how this worked, because I knew that I started by first establishing a connection and then through a password login, the software on my computer encrypted all my input “traffic” to the server.  We use to call it a “handshake” between two devices.  It was easy to understand how a direct connection between two devices could be protected.  Each device had software that encrypted and then on the other end decrypted the information.  But how does this protect you while surfing the Internet when your remote device is an ISP (Internet Service Provider)?

First, allow me explain an ISP.  The ISP is your remote “server.”  Without a program to direct you to a specific ISP, you will be automatically connected to an ISP your subscription Internet service (i.e. AOL, Comcast, etc) sends you to for your launch into (or onto) the Internet.  They may even provide that first server.  Once you are launched onto the Internet, you bounce around between servers until you reach the server that contains the content you desire.  You either have a direct domain address or you searched for content through a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) and clicked on the link discovered by the engine. (BTW, this is why it is important to be optimized or be findable by these search engines if you desire organic traffic to your website content.)

So what a VPN like SurfSafeVPN does is it programmatically controls you to one of their ISPs (there are many of them in the system).  You pass through your subscription Internet service to a specific SurfSafeVPN ISP.  Now you have established a handshake between your computer (or smart phone) and the SurfSafeVPN ISP.  Meaning you have established a secure (encrypted and decrypted) connection.  If a hacker was to break into your connection, which is known as the man in the middle hack, they could not read your encrypted data transmission.  This is why it is very important to use SurfSafeVPN when at a public location.  Even if you were to log onto a hacker’s Wi-Fi connection by mistake, they cannot see your information.  This will foil the vast majority of hacking type breaches.

My next post will discuss, How does a VPN fit into my overall data security or privacy strategy?

Until then … Stay Secure!

Bob Listerman

Your Data Risk Manager

Check out our VPN tool at http://surfsafevpn.net

Twitter: @DataRiskMgr

Stats for 2013: 1,233,554 records lost from 255 data breaches. 76 of the 255 were from Hackers.  Source: Privacyrights.org