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The VPNUK Blog

JaneĀ“s Brain
"Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks." Anon.
Twitter Hack
December 15th, 2015 5:02 pm
Twitter has gone to the extraordinary steps of warning a number of its key users that they may have been the target of what the social media company believes to be a state-sponsored cyber attack.
Twitter security staff has apparently sent out warnings via email to more than a dozen of these users, all of which contain the same details. The email states: "We believe that these actors (possibly associated with a government) may have been trying to obtain information such as email addresses, IP addresses, and/or phone numbers." The email continues, "At this time, we have no evidence they obtained your account information, but we're actively investigating this matter. We wish we had more we could share, but we don't have any additional information we can provide at this time."
Other Internet companies such as Google and Facebook already have warning systems to alert users who may be targeted by state-sponsored hackers.  Google’s warnings were introduced in 2012, while Facebook began mailing its own in October of this year. 
Twitter’s specific warning has sparked criticism from those who received it, however, the company advises users to use ta well known anonymous browser to keep their identity secret in the face of future security breaches. However, users have often complained about Twitter blocking accounts that log in using the service. Users whose accounts are blocked in this way can get them back by verifying with a phone number – of course its these very phone numbers which are one of the pieces of information that Twitter has warned may have been the target of these attacks. This is where a much more secure VPN service could be advise-able. Even data privacy whistler blower Snowden himself proved that he isn't infallible to security settings errors after joining the social network earlier this year. He apparently forgot to turn off his email notifications resulting in hoards of emails bombarding him with messages from new followers.
James Lewis, a cyber security expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, stated that government-backed attackers have far greater resources at their disposal than criminal hacker gangs. The 2014 Sony Entertainment hack crippled the company and revealed the inner workings of the studio. 
Google and Twitter are under increasing pressure to ensure the safety of user data following the breakdown of the Safe Harbour agreement, which had protected US and EU data from being spied on, after an EU test case involving Facebook, exposing the flaws in Safe Harbour and i...
Even Your Broadband Is Slowing Down Over The Festive Period!
December 15th, 2015 11:01 am
Reports from Ofcom, a British communications regulatory body, claim that the fairy lights on Christmas trees and adorning your home over the festive period could be the cause of your broadband speed slowing down this Christmas. Ofcom says wireless Internet networks often suffer ‘interference’ from electronic goods including baby monitors and microwave ovens – and even festive fairy lights. As a result connections may become lower and less efficient.
To ease the frustration Ofcom have conveniently released an app for both Apple and Android smart phones so you can check your home broadband network for interrupted signal between your wireless router and devices like phones and tablets. Ofcom says that up to six millions homes and offices could improve their broadband connection. They claim networks are often not set-up correctly, and can suffer interference from electronic devices which may emit radio waves which can affect Wi-Fi transmission.

You are advised to keep your router as far away as possible from other electronic devices. The free Wi-Fi Checker app allows people to test the quality of their Internet signal and suggests ways to enhance it. If you don’t fancy downloading the app then try these handy tips they suggest might work.
Keep your router away from electrical devices: lamps, dimmer switches, music systems, baby monitors or computer screens and speakers, fairy lights, TVs and AC power cords as these can all cause interference to your routers and impact on the speed.
Ideally routers should be kept centrally within the home and placed on a table or shelf rather than on the floor. If a central location doesn’t work for you try moving your router to a different part of your home. Walls and even furniture could act as an obstacle to the Wi-Fi radio frequencies.
Or you could try using an Ethernet cable: Although obviously this prevents a wireless connection, an Ethernet cable is a computer networking cable which provides a faster, more reliable connection.
Merry Christmas ;)
Bitcoin Is Back!
December 15th, 2015 10:56 am
You’ve probably noticed that we take Bitcoin as a payment for your VPNUK service and I bet some of you are wondering just what is Bitcoin?
In We accept BitcoinNovember 2008 a software developer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto proposed Bitcoin a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. It is a currency independent of any central authority therefore it is decentralized, no single institution controls Bitcoin. Bitcoin is transferable electronically, more or less instantly, with very low transaction fees. No one controls it they aren’t printed like normal currency such as Euros and GBP – people produce Bitcoins, and Internet based businesses using software that solves mathematical codes. It’s the first of its kind, a type of money known as crypto-currency.

Conventional currency is based on gold or silver. But Bitcoin is based on mathematics. Worldwide people are using software programs that follow a mathematical formula to produce Bitcoins. The mathematical formula is freely available, so that anyone can check it. However, Bitcoin is limited to 21million Bitcoins mined/in circulation.
What Makes Bitcoin so easy to use?
Bitcoin has several important features that set it apart from the normal currencies. It's easy to set up. Conventional banks make you jump through hoops simply to open a bank account. However, you can set up a Bitcoin address speedily and with relative ease, no questions asked, and with no set fees.

Anonymity? - Sort of! - One can hold many Bitcoin addresses, which aren’t linked to names and addresses, or other personally identifying information. However it is transparent…Bitcoin stores every single transaction that ever happened in the Bitcoin network in a sort of virtual accounts ledger called the blockchain. If you have a publicly used Bitcoin address, anyone can tell how many Bitcoins are stored at that address. They just don’t know that the account belongs to you.

Bitcoin doesn’t incur transaction fees and you can send money almost instantly. Bitcoins are non-refundable, when your Bitcoins are sent, they are sent, as simple as that, unless the recipient returns them to you.

So, Bitcoin does have a lot going for it and the latest new suggests that the crypto-currency is getting stronger and more valuable in recent months.
"Warning: the Internet may contain traces of nuts." Anon.

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