School Me on VPNs

Tue, Mar 24, 2020 12:28 PM

Received an interesting email (below).  This is the first I've ever had that I think is creepy AF, b/c the password that was sent in the email is indeed one of my passes.  I do not use a VPN, and our family definitely should.   What are the best free VPNs out there?

Email:

Actually, I placed a virus on the xXx vids (sex sites) site & guess what, you visited this web site to have fun. While you were viewing videos, your web browser started working as a Remote Desktop having a keylogger which gave me accessibility to your display and also cam recording. 
Just after that, my software collected all your contacts from your Messenger, social networks, and email. 

"xxxxxxxx" is one of your passwords. 
if you send me $993 as a donation through Bitcoin, I will erase the recording immediately. 
(search for in Google "how to buy bitcoin"). my BTC Address: 3DZJSkXGTv9Y3bvx1QbEtky3QPZih8mVfX 
If I don't get the BitCoins in 24hrs, I will definately send your video to all of your contacts, don't reply to this email it's hacked. xkQn

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  • Tue, Mar 24, 2020 12:33 PM

    LOL....lots of passwords have been comprised over various hacks over the years.  If you use a favorite multiple times, they have a pretty good chance of one of those old exploits still being an active password of yours.

    I got a similar email....except it was sent from my school email address to me.  But I know they have "worms" occasionally that do this, and there were some other tells.  Still, I could see how it would be pretty convincing/alarming for some.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 12:38 PM

    Gut... VPNs

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 12:39 PM

    So I don't think a VPN really protects you from this type of phishing attempt.  For peace of mind, get yourself a privacy protector for your webcam.

    A VPN is good for when connecting on public networks, but otherwise from home it really only matters if you want to hide your web activity from your IP provider.  It can also be helpful to change locations at times for Netflix, Hulu, etc...I do that so I can get NFL Europe gamepass.  I also like it for when I'm at a client if I connect to their internet it keeps all my stuff encrypted.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 12:58 PM

    So...did you visit that site for a little fun?

     

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 1:02 PM

    I use Private Internet Access vpn.  It's highly rated.  More expensive than some other services, but it has a client that you can install for mostly maintenance free security.  Or they have Chrome and Firefox add-ons that you can install just to encrypt your web traffic.

    Not sure what their subs entail, perhaps installation on up to 5 clients.  There's also an Android app, though I don't use it on my phone.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 1:03 PM

    As for VPNs, I believe gut is right in that they wouldn't really help in this instance.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 1:41 PM

    VPN won’t help you here. But they are a good idea to use regardless, for other reasons. As Gut stated, always want to use a VPN in public places (hotel, airport, etc). If you are online there, you are sharing a network with everyone else. Going VPN will help your data be sent to their servers first — essentially, any “hack attempt” goes to them and not your computer. At home though, the only others on the network are family and friends. A VPN in this instance is mostly used to fake a location from your ISP. That said, it can help, just likely wouldn’t have stopped what happened to you. You could try and hide the SSID, so ransoms can’t try and log onto it?
     

    It’s quite possible you were hacked, and a keylogger could have easily gotten strike info. My guess is they don’t have any videos or anything. Simply have your PW/old PW. I’d change everything and run some malware software to see if you can delete the access point they got in through. 
     

    I use ExpressVPN. Not free, but highly rated. Haven’t had an issue with them yet.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 2:16 PM
    posted by justincredible

    So...did you visit that site for a little fun?

     

    All that stuff is on mobile, and not computer.  I mean, I plead 5th.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 2:17 PM

    Express VPN is what Shapiro advertises. 

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 2:32 PM

    Wasn’t this the plot to a Black Mirror episode?

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 3:03 PM

    Got my debit card stolen today.......has been used in Pennsylvania, the Netherlands and in Vermont,

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 4:07 PM
    posted by Spock

    Got my debit card stolen today.......has been used in Pennsylvania, the Netherlands and in Vermont,

    That's some fast driving over the Atlantic Ocean Bridge. 

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 6:34 PM

    VPNs aren't going to help against phishing.  They will help against some spyware and tracking.  They're not a bad idea (though depending on what kind of Internet speed you have, you may or may not notice a slight speed difference).

    As for which to use, I don't recommend free ones.  I use HideMyAss.  Have for years.  They're solid enough, and they're very affordable ($12/mo).

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 7:11 PM
    posted by O-Trap

    As for which to use, I don't recommend free ones.  I use HideMyAss.  Have for years.  They're solid enough, and they're very affordable ($12/mo).

    Damn, I only pay $35 per year for PIA.   That's with a 2-yr sub.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 8:30 PM
    posted by O-Trap

    (though depending on what kind of Internet speed you have, you may or may not notice a slight speed difference).

     

    One of my larger concerns.  We have country internet, and it sucks ballsack.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 9:37 PM
    posted by gut

    Damn, I only pay $35 per year for PIA.   That's with a 2-yr sub.

    I've contemplated shopping around.  I'm mostly just accustomed to their versatility and cross-platform support.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 9:39 PM
    posted by ernest_t_bass

    One of my larger concerns.  We have country internet, and it sucks ballsack.

    That's fair.  A word of advice: Don't buy into much of the faster or slowed VPN claims.  The difference is negligible.

    Tue, Mar 24, 2020 10:17 PM
    posted by O-Trap

    I've contemplated shopping around.  I'm mostly just accustomed to their versatility and cross-platform support.

    No complaints for PIA, and it's consistently one of the top rated.  It's cross-platform.  My only issue is some financial sites sometimes don't like it, and sometimes my emails with large attachments seem to hang.  You can create exceptions for those if you use just the browser extension, but for some reason their windows app can't do that.

    Wed, Mar 25, 2020 3:06 AM
    posted by gut

    No complaints for PIA, and it's consistently one of the top rated.  It's cross-platform.  My only issue is some financial sites sometimes don't like it, and sometimes my emails with large attachments seem to hang.  You can create exceptions for those if you use just the browser extension, but for some reason their windows app can't do that.

    Well, it might be time for me to look into changing providers, then.

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