PDA

View Full Version : Internet Security with Mac



Seevee
01-12-2016, 02:09 PM
All,

What are the best options for browsing the web with a secure server or service of some kind. So others cannot see my IP address or identify me in any way. Both for emails over the web and browsing.

I work in an extremely sensitive area and just need more protection. Thanks.

pigoo3
01-12-2016, 02:25 PM
Here's one solution:

http://www.hotspotshield.com/hide-ip-address/

If this is not satisfactory…do an internet search with the term "how to hide your ip address for free (https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=how+to+hide+your+ip+address+for+free&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8)"…or a similar term (could omit the free part for example).:)

- Nick

Seevee
01-13-2016, 12:34 AM
Here's one solution:

http://www.hotspotshield.com/hide-ip-address/

If this is not satisfactory…do an internet search with the term "how to hide your ip address for free (https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=how+to+hide+your+ip+address+for+free&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8)"…or a similar term (could omit the free part for example).:)

- Nick

Nick,

Tried it... horrible. It totally shut down my Macmail. Everything showed online, but could not send or receive. Once I uninstalled it, mail worked fine!

Need a better product.

RadDave
01-13-2016, 12:59 AM
All,

What are the best options for browsing the web with a secure server or service of some kind. So others cannot see my IP address or identify me in any way. Both for emails over the web and browsing.

I work in an extremely sensitive area and just need more protection. Thanks.

Hi Seevee - you've really not provided much information here to help understand your situation or make suggestions, e.g. is this a business and/or home/personal concern, what security issues are of most concern (mail, websites, cookies, etc.), and what else have your tried to avoid others from making recommendations that you have already rejected, as in Nick's suggestion?

For starters, have you considered a VPN (Virtual Private Network) - retired now but when I was working at a medical center, I used a VPN to contact my departmental servers for checking patient reports, dictations, etc. Which browser are you using and have you looked at ones w/ better security features, especially w/ the addition of extensions? Finally, have you visited the GRC Website (https://www.grc.com/intro.htm) - Steve Gibson's site w/ Shields Up which allows you to check ports and assess whether your IP is being broadcasted, your computer can be pinged, and which ports are closed or more importantly in stealth mode? Let me stop there to allow you to respond - Dave :)

pigoo3
01-13-2016, 01:20 AM
Nick,

Tried it... horrible. It totally shut down my Macmail. Everything showed online, but could not send or receive. Once I uninstalled it, mail worked fine!

Need a better product.

The link was just a suggestion to get your search started. If the product is not acceptable...keep searching as suggested. You are the best judge of what you need.:)

- Nick

Seevee
01-13-2016, 01:41 PM
The link was just a suggestion to get your search started. If the product is not acceptable...keep searching as suggested. You are the best judge of what you need.:)

- Nick


Nick,
I appreciate your help. My comment was hoping that there would be a solution for that software. I've emailed them twice, without a response, so I'll continue for other solutions, but thanks regardless. Better try and fail than not try at all.

pigoo3
01-13-2016, 01:45 PM
Better try and fail than not try at all.

That's the spirit!!!:)

- Nick

Seevee
01-13-2016, 01:47 PM
Hi Seevee - you've really not provided much information here to help understand your situation or make suggestions, e.g. is this a business and/or home/personal concern, what security issues are of most concern (mail, websites, cookies, etc.), and what else have your tried to avoid others from making recommendations that you have already rejected, as in Nick's suggestion?

For starters, have you considered a VPN (Virtual Private Network) - retired now but when I was working at a medical center, I used a VPN to contact my departmental servers for checking patient reports, dictations, etc. Which browser are you using and have you looked at ones w/ better security features, especially w/ the addition of extensions? Finally, have you visited the GRC Website (https://www.grc.com/intro.htm) - Steve Gibson's site w/ Shields Up which allows you to check ports and assess whether your IP is being broadcasted, your computer can be pinged, and which ports are closed or more importantly in stealth mode? Let me stop there to allow you to respond - Dave :)

RadDave,
This is a personal computer, but used for some business and financial activities where others are involved. I've tried TorBrowser, but find it confusing and just doesn't work well. That and HotSpot Shield is it. However have been doing some searching, but would like to get recommendations from others that have had success.

Security is important anyway someone can get to my computer, following my emails, web browsing and/or know my IP address, location, etc. I'm using Safari. Have Chrome and Firefox, but they lack a lot of features and are awkward to use (but could, if they solve the problem).

Will check out the sites you recommend. Thanks!

How does a VPN work?

chscag
01-13-2016, 02:45 PM
Security is important anyway someone can get to my computer, following my emails, web browsing and/or know my IP address, location, etc. I'm using Safari. Have Chrome and Firefox, but they lack a lot of features and are awkward to use (but could, if they solve the problem).


How does a VPN work?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) may be your best solution and is what I would recommend. But be sure to investigate the various VPNs that are available before committing to one. The good ones provide security and also anonymity during your browsing session. The con for using a VPN is that it may slow your on line browsing down somewhat. However, that will vary depending on which VPN you choose. Do your homework and read reviews before choosing. Also note that the good VPNs are not inexpensive.

RadDave
01-13-2016, 04:34 PM
RadDave,
This is a personal computer, but used for some business and financial activities where others are involved. I've tried TorBrowser, but find it confusing and just doesn't work well. That and HotSpot Shield is it. However have been doing some searching, but would like to get recommendations from others that have had success.

Security is important anyway someone can get to my computer, following my emails, web browsing and/or know my IP address, location, etc. I'm using Safari. Have Chrome and Firefox, but they lack a lot of features and are awkward to use (but could, if they solve the problem).

Will check out the sites you recommend. Thanks!

How does a VPN work?

Hi again Seevee - appears that Chscag has already given you some great information - there is a nice Wiki article on VPNs and likely plenty of other sources - here’s just one from PC Mag of probably many reviews available - Best VPN Services for 2015 (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403388,00.asp) - let us know your results. Dave :)

cwa107
01-14-2016, 05:56 PM
Just to clarify, the term "VPN" has a specific definition that has been stretched over time to include services other than what VPN is intended to do. VPN is simply a way to channel traffic through an encrypted tunnel when communicating across the public Internet. A good example is an employee trying to transact data with their company, while working remotely. They start a VPN client, connect to a VPN server at the company and from that point forward all of the data transacted travels across the VPN.

Now, there are services that are intended to provide a degree of anonymity for your computer by allowing you to establish a VPN connection directly to them, and then they act as your proxy, fetching data and/or sending it on your behalf over a VPN. It doesn't necessarily protect you from hacking. You also don't have any assurance that the VPN service isn't logging your transactions. The primary benefit is that it can provide a degree of anonymity... though it may not protect you from government agents of the state that the proxy resides in.

Tor can protect your transactions with web servers by channeling the traffic through MULTIPLE proxies around the world and is probably one of the better means of surfing the web anonymously - but that protection comes at a cost. Performance will be poor and certain websites that require a tracking cookies (think eCommerce sites) won't work at all. You'll also note that Tor is a web browser only, it will not secure your email transactions.

If you google "secure email", you'll find a ton of supposedly secure email servers that use different means to protect your data. But you will likely need to use a web-based mail client. You'll also have to trust that the email server they house is appropriately secured. Honestly, unless you own the mail server, you can never be certain that your mail is completely secure.

Not trying to point fingers, and I'm not sure what your motives are, but remember that the Internet is an inherently public place. If you are doing something that could have a negative financial, legal or moral consequence, there is no simple and bullet proof way to protect yourself, other than to abstain from doing the thing you're trying to hide in the first place. :)

Seevee
01-15-2016, 04:42 PM
Questions:

Do some of the VPN providers offer email security, or do I need to shop elsewhere for that?

Can anyone recommend providers they have had good experience with?

Seevee
01-15-2016, 05:00 PM
Just to clarify, the term "VPN" has a specific definition that has been stretched over time to include services other than what VPN is intended to do. VPN is simply a way to channel traffic through an encrypted tunnel when communicating across the public Internet. A good example is an employee trying to transact data with their company, while working remotely. They start a VPN client, connect to a VPN server at the company and from that point forward all of the data transacted travels across the VPN.

Now, there are services that are intended to provide a degree of anonymity for your computer by allowing you to establish a VPN connection directly to them, and then they act as your proxy, fetching data and/or sending it on your behalf over a VPN. It doesn't necessarily protect you from hacking. You also don't have any assurance that the VPN service isn't logging your transactions. The primary benefit is that it can provide a degree of anonymity... though it may not protect you from government agents of the state that the proxy resides in.

Tor can protect your transactions with web servers by channeling the traffic through MULTIPLE proxies around the world and is probably one of the better means of surfing the web anonymously - but that protection comes at a cost. Performance will be poor and certain websites that require a tracking cookies (think eCommerce sites) won't work at all. You'll also note that Tor is a web browser only, it will not secure your email transactions.

If you google "secure email", you'll find a ton of supposedly secure email servers that use different means to protect your data. But you will likely need to use a web-based mail client. You'll also have to trust that the email server they house is appropriately secured. Honestly, unless you own the mail server, you can never be certain that your mail is completely secure.

Not trying to point fingers, and I'm not sure what your motives are, but remember that the Internet is an inherently public place. If you are doing something that could have a negative financial, legal or moral consequence, there is no simple and bullet proof way to protect yourself, other than to abstain from doing the thing you're trying to hide in the first place. :)

Thx for the detailed explanation. I don't mind a reasonable cost in accomplishing this, but we are a small company. Tried Tor, and was awkward and very slow. Need something a bit better.

Motive is to protect sensitive areas (as mentioned before), which would include any business activity, financial, shopping surfing, emails, etc. There are many of us that just want more security. I've had a few things stolen, and it's a pain, but would rather just eliminate the witch hunters, competitors, intrusion of any kind.

Still shopping.

Cr00zng
01-17-2016, 12:15 PM
Thx for the detailed explanation. I don't mind a reasonable cost in accomplishing this, but we are a small company. Tried Tor, and was awkward and very slow. Need something a bit better.

Motive is to protect sensitive areas (as mentioned before), which would include any business activity, financial, shopping surfing, emails, etc. There are many of us that just want more security. I've had a few things stolen, and it's a pain, but would rather just eliminate the witch hunters, competitors, intrusion of any kind.

Still shopping.
There's no single solution that would address your concerns, as the matter of fact pretty much you'd need to address each items separately.

For example it would be hard to conduct business and financial activities anonymously, you'd probably don't want to do that. These activities do protect transactions between workstation and the destination by encrypting the connection between endpoints.

Shopping online is pretty much the same, since it is a financial transaction, where SSL will protect the information transferred between your workstation and the web server for the most part. You have control of the security, or should have, of your workstation, but not the destination if it's on the web. It's pretty much a leap of faith for the destination's security.

Email can be secured between your workstation and email server, either by web based email's SSL connection or setup your email client's SSL/TLS connection to you email server, if supported. While doing so you've done your part of securing connection to your email server, the sender may not do the same and email may not be secured from/to your email server. The alternative is both the sender and recipient use the same email encryption client, in which case the email is protected from the sender to the recipient's workstations, regardless what the email server does.

Browsing mostly anonymously can be done, but not without issues. In my view, using VPN connection for this purpose has just as much issues as the Tor browser, if not more. I do most of my browsing in Tor browser and switch to other browser, if need to connect to business/finance related activities. It's npot a perfect solution, but there's no such thing anyway...

PS: This post had been created in the Tor browser, just as fast as other browsers on my system...

Cr00zng
01-17-2016, 12:36 PM
Interesting...

After my post, browsing this forum resulted in "The administrator banned your IP address...." error message. Closing/reopening the Tor browser got rid of the error message, presumably since the new session has a different IP address.

Seevee
01-20-2016, 11:10 AM
Interesting...

After my post, browsing this forum resulted in "The administrator banned your IP address...." error message. Closing/reopening the Tor browser got rid of the error message, presumably since the new session has a different IP address.

Thx for the info, very helpful. Perhaps I should try Tor again. Question... where can I get help with Tor? Can't figure how to download Bookmarks, or set a new page opens to current page, etc? Also, when I click on help, it gives Firefox help... assume they are related? Can I use bookmarks from Firefox?

Also, is there a way to be sure Tor is working?

Thanks much.

Cr00zng
01-21-2016, 07:42 AM
Thx for the info, very helpful. Perhaps I should try Tor again. Question... where can I get help with Tor? Can't figure how to download Bookmarks, or set a new page opens to current page, etc? Also, when I click on help, it gives Firefox help... assume they are related? Can I use bookmarks from Firefox?

Also, is there a way to be sure Tor is working?

Thanks much.
You can find some help with Tor at the same site, you've downloaded Tor from (https://www.torproject.org/docs/documentation.html.en). It's a lot of reading, I know...

Tor browser will establish a circuit that you can view by clicking on the onion icon in the top left side of the browser:

23673

If you don't see the circuits, Tor doesn't work.

Managing Tor Firefox isn't much different from the "regular" Firefox, for example, managing bookmarks...

Click on the hamburger menu in the top right corner that brings up this menu:

23674

Click on "Bookmarks":

23675

Then click on "show all bookmarks" in the bottom:

23676

You can import/export bookmarks in this window.

The start up page can be change by "Menu\Option\General" tab. By default, clicking on Option menu item will bring up the general tab where you can change the home page:

23677

hagios1972
01-22-2016, 10:01 PM
chscag, as per your explanation of vpn, is Citrix a vpn?

dtravis7
01-22-2016, 10:49 PM
chscag, as per your explanation of vpn, is Citrix a vpn?


See if this helps.

http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/internet/difference-between-citrix-and-vpn/

Seevee
01-23-2016, 11:56 AM
Cr00zng ,


Thanks MUCH for the detailed explanation, really helps.

Question: Is there a way to have a new window come up as the same as the current window?

cwa107
01-23-2016, 03:19 PM
chscag, as per your explanation of vpn, is Citrix a vpn?

Citrix is a company that makes several different products, including VPN-based solutions. However, when most people say Citrix, they're referring to Citrix XenApp, which is a technology used to run an application on a remote server, but make it appear as though it's running on your local device, be it a PC, Mac or a mobile device. As a Citrix XenApp host, you can choose to provide just one application, or an entire Windows desktop. Often, big companies will provide a Citrix secure gateway with a web interface to allow remote employees to connect to a hosted desktop. In this way, company data is kept securely in the corporate data center and the employee's remote machine behaves like a dumb terminal, more or less.

This is really the ideal way way to provide remote access, so most Fortune 500 companies run a Citrix infrastructure of some sort.

LauraSmithMS
06-20-2016, 09:47 AM
the internet is not a secure place nowadays to move around and browse without any security shelter a VPN, however, is the best option so far for the Anonymity, security and online Privacy protection plus it gives the power to access all the blocked content from anywhere in the world.

cwa107
06-20-2016, 11:20 AM
the internet is not a secure place nowadays to move around and browse without any security shelter a VPN, however, is the best option so far for the Anonymity, security and online Privacy protection plus it gives the power to access all the blocked content from anywhere in the world.

The Internet was never a secure place. A VPN service doesn't necessarily make it one either. Sounds like you have some kind of agenda -- probably to promote one particular company. But assuming you're not a spammer, be aware that using a VPN service doesn't guarantee anonymity or security. It's only as good as the integrity of the company. If you don't know that company's infrastructure beyond their public facade, then you have no assurance of security.

LauraSmithMS
06-21-2016, 08:26 AM
NO, I am just a VPN user and amazed by its features VPN, of course, can't make the entire internet secure but at least our online security is secure, obviously we only trust the reliable VPN services for online security and privacy shelter.

cwa107
06-21-2016, 09:04 AM
NO, I am just a VPN user and amazed by its features VPN, of course, can't make the entire internet secure but at least our online security is secure, obviously we only trust the reliable VPN services for online security and privacy shelter.

How do you know your "online security is secure" when all of your traffic is being sent to a private corporation who you have no insight into? What if the government subpeonas that company and asks for a transaction record of your activities? What if a hacker compromises that company and redirects or otherwise alters the behavior of their proxy?

Those are extreme examples, but something to be mindful of when you use a VPN service. You are tunneling all of your traffic to a single entity. If that entity is vulnerable (and you can never be assured it's not, unless you happen to work for the company), you too are vulnerable.

Cr00zng
06-21-2016, 09:42 AM
How do you know your "online security is secure" when all of your traffic is being sent to a private corporation who you have no insight into? What if the government subpeonas that company and asks for a transaction record of your activities? What if a hacker compromises that company and redirects or otherwise alters the behavior of their proxy?

Those are extreme examples, but something to be mindful of when you use a VPN service. You are tunneling all of your traffic to a single entity. If that entity is vulnerable (and you can never be assured it's not, unless you happen to work for the company), you too are vulnerable.
To quote Billy Joel, "It's a matter of trust...". There's no other way to put it...

The tunneling between end points is reasonably secure, provided by SSL and/or TLS. The transfers through this tunnel could include malware, provided there's no protection against malware being utilized at the VPN server. Client based malware protection can negate the lack of protection at the VPN server side.

The Tor routers do not have any malware protection, but on the other hand the nodes do not keep a log of the traffic. I don't use VPN services for private browsing, use ToR, but have doubt that most VPN services would provide protection against malware.

Dysfunction
06-23-2016, 06:28 AM
To quote Billy Joel, "It's a matter of trust...". There's no other way to put it...

The tunneling between end points is reasonably secure, provided by SSL and/or TLS. The transfers through this tunnel could include malware, provided there's no protection against malware being utilized at the VPN server. Client based malware protection can negate the lack of protection at the VPN server side.

The Tor routers do not have any malware protection, but on the other hand the nodes do not keep a log of the traffic. I don't use VPN services for private browsing, use ToR, but have doubt that most VPN services would provide protection against malware.

Not all VPN providers operate in the same manner as Tor in regards to tracking your usages. Ultimately Tor is more of an anonymizer than a VPN. The two concepts are coupled, but not tightly.. as such should be referred to separately to avoid confusion.

LauraSmithMS
06-25-2016, 10:03 AM
in that case, you can't even use the internet as all your traffic is passed through your ISP, I mean when we trust one company for our internet so why not others for privacy ? agreed with cr00zng we have to trust no way out

Rod Sprague
06-26-2016, 04:32 AM
SeeVee, if you have come to the conclusion as I did being an Australian living in Indonesia that a VPN is the best alternative for your situation then I may be able to save you some time.
I recently tried a number of the best rated free and paid for VPN providers for a friend and may I say you pretty much get what you pay for. I had been going to advise him to try the service I use but I thought I might be able to find better, I didn't. Of course different people may have different requirements but for ease of setup, number of servers, speed and good 24Hr support it was impossible for me to better https://www.expressvpn.com
A couple of warnings though; initially I only used it to access content only available in my native country or legitimate news feeds that were blocked here (like CNN) and for online transactions that I thought were critical like online banking.
This resulted in me receiving "suspicious activity" notices from email service providers Microsoft and Yahoo requiring me to login and verify it was me in the case of Microsoft. I also found that the Google search engine also occasionally requires me to fill in a Captcha to prove I'm not a robot.
I have overcome the email service provider issue by running the VPN full time from startup but Google persists in occasionally blocking me until I prove I'm not a robot.
Of course if you are using a VPN location in the country you are in (i.e. if I was using an Indonesian location) this may not occur but for me that would defeat the point.
PS I have written to Google support about this matter and FYI here was their initial reply:

"Hi Rod

What Google considers automated traffic

· Sending searches from a robot, computer program, automated service, or search scraper

· Using software that sends searches to Google to see how a website or webpage ranks on Google

What to do when you see this message

The error page most likely shows a CAPTCHA (a squiggly word with a box below it). To continue using Google, type the squiggly word into the box. It's how we know you're a human, not a robot. After you type the CAPTCHA correctly, the message will go away and you can use Google again.

The blocking might be related to your use of a VPN browser plugin or program. You might try uninstalling the VPN from your computer or network and see if that makes a difference.

If you are an Internet Service Provider (ISP), explain to your users why it is important for them to uninstall VPNs that utilize users' devices and networks to send traffic that violates websites' terms of use or violates the law. When the abuse hitting Google's network stops, we automatically stop blocking the IP(s)/ISP(s) that were sending the bad traffic".

Good solution huh? Just uninstall the VPN.

zugzwang
06-27-2016, 12:02 AM
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) may be your best solution and is what I would recommend. But be sure to investigate the various VPNs that are available before committing to one. The good ones provide security and also anonymity during your browsing session. The con for using a VPN is that it may slow your on line browsing down somewhat. However, that will vary depending on which VPN you choose. Do your homework and read reviews before choosing. Also note that the good VPNs are not inexpensive.

I use StrongVPN. I live in China, so I cannot access Facebook, Twitter, anything Google, or any... adult material without one. So it is vital to me.

I recommend strong. I use it on my iPhone, macbook, and iPad. No issues, mobile or computer. You can choose your server location, which is convenient for speed purposes (for example, here I run my IP through Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, or Korea. A US IP is too far away, and thus slow. If I for whatever reason wanted to use it when I am home in the states, I can switch to a US server location.) I can choose between several different types (PPTP, LPTP, Open, etc.) depending on my needs of speed vs. security on any given day.

Technically, using one is illegal here, but all foreigners do. Periodically, the government will shut them down. So far, Strong is up and running as fast or faster than any of the others.

LauraSmithMS
08-21-2016, 10:10 AM
undoubtedly China is tough region for the internet with the strictest censorship policy and the most sophisticated security technology The great Firewall of China they just keep blocking VPNs time to time, so for such a region only a reliable, strong and premium VPN service which is optimized for China and has servers near China like in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan etc. works best in China and such VPN can never be free, it can be affordable, but I am unaware of any free VPN which works sustainably in China

KevinJS
08-21-2016, 04:45 PM
Interesting...

After my post, browsing this forum resulted in "The administrator banned your IP address...." error message. Closing/reopening the Tor browser got rid of the error message, presumably since the new session has a different IP address.

I can't speak for this forum, but on other forums where I act as a moderator, one of the tools we use for tracking down potentially dodgy behaviour is strange IP addressing. So when a member claims to be in NYC and their IP shows they are apparently in China, the red flags go up. I had a couple of instances where my posts were sent for moderator approval, apparently because my son joined and posted, confusing the forum software.

Seems to me that hiding/spoofing an IP when financial transactions are involved could have unforeseen consequences, particularly if the apparent IP has given past problems.

pigoo3
08-21-2016, 05:11 PM
...but I am unaware of any free VPN which works sustainably in China

Just to clarify...was this the question (you're looking for a free VPN that works well in China)?

- Nick