1. Casey Cheung's Avatar
    I have a new/larger Lenovo Thinkpad that I keep at home. Although it's portable, I don't like to take it out because it's a bit too cumbersome with the weight and size. More importantly, I store personal information on that Thinkpad that I'm afraid might get stolen/lost/damaged if I were to carry around that laptop with me. So it simply lives at home, like an indoor cat.

    That's why I also got the Surface Go, cuz it's small and compact that I can simply throw in my backpack easily, along with my lunch and other supplies. However, because I tote around my Go with me, I worry that I might lose it somewhere or maybe it might get stolen or whatever. Hence I don't like to store any personal information on it (eg: financial information, documents, files, etc). I try to store as little personal information on my Go as possible.

    You might ask why I'm not paranoid about personal info stored on my phone? Well, I am. But in the case of my smartphone, the thing lives inside my trouser front pocket at all times when I'm outside. I have never lost a phone in my life, not even a PDA back in the days of the old Palm Pilot. But a laptop is different, because I may have to set it down on a table or something. Certainly can't place the Go in my trouser pocket, haha.

    So am I being a bit too paranoid??
    TechFreak1 and HeyCori like this.
    08-06-2019 03:22 PM
  2. TechFreak1's Avatar
    To be honest?

    No, especially with digital and AI facial mimicry combined with man in the middle attacks.

    As technology and security becomes sophisticated along with reliance on digital media for authentication as well as communication i.e governmental departments relying on the internet for the means of processing applications and authenticating a person. The risk for identity theft and damage increases substantially, case in point there was a disturbing trend with AI enabled face swaps.

    But it's pretty low key at present because we are not at the point where facial recognition or other form of biometric authentication is being used in our daily lives but that will change at some in time when convenience out weighs concerns of privacy.

    However, that risk factor in terms of governmental departments is often mitigated by requiring individuals to attend at an office to show original documents.

    But what happens when that is not required or due to cuts or due to 'efficiency measures' the entire process becomes automated. This is what happened with Universal credit, where scammers were able to take peoples details and open up claims on those details and get an advance payment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/...-out-of-pocket

    So no, I'd say you aren't being paranoid.
    HeyCori and Casey Cheung like this.
    08-06-2019 07:43 PM
  3. Casey Cheung's Avatar
    To be honest?

    No, especially with digital and AI facial mimicry combined with man in the middle attacks.

    As technology and security becomes sophisticated along with reliance on digital media for authentication as well as communication i.e governmental departments relying on the internet for the means of processing applications and authenticating a person. The risk for identity theft and damage increases substantially, case in point there was a disturbing trend with AI enabled face swaps.

    But it's pretty low key at present because we are not at the point where facial recognition or other form of biometric authentication is being used in our daily lives but that will change at some in time when convenience out weighs concerns of privacy.

    However, that risk factor in terms of governmental departments is often mitigated by requiring individuals to attend at an office to show original documents.

    But what happens when that is not required or due to cuts or due to 'efficiency measures' the entire process becomes automated. This is what happened with Universal credit, where scammers were able to take peoples details and open up claims on those details and get an advance payment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/...-out-of-pocket

    So no, I'd say you aren't being paranoid.

    Thanks for agreeing with me! I read the article, thanks for that. Just goes to show you always have to be on guard. That's another reason why my main Thinkpad laptop stays home and is only connected to my trusted home wifi, so I don't have to worry about catching a virus as much. But my Surface Go gets to go outside to play and fraternizes with outside free wifi, and who knows what internet herpes is out there to contract? If my Surface Go catches a virus, it won't be too much trouble to just wipe out the entire hard drive and start fresh again. Plus with little personal information stored on my Go, there's really not much info that a fraudster could gain if my Go were to get hacked. For example, I don't really have to worry about my Go having a ransomware attack because there's really nothing valuable to be gained in the first place. I don't even do online banking on my Surface Go while using outside free wifi, I always use my smartphone bank app using my Verizon signal instead. Plus in a pinch, I simply turn on my mobile wifi hotspot signal on my Samsung smartphone to provide a secured wifi signal to my Go laptop. These are all the things I do to protect from getting hacked. A little precaution goes a long way.
    08-07-2019 12:08 AM
  4. ochhanz's Avatar
    Thanks for agreeing with me! I read the article, thanks for that. Just goes to show you always have to be on guard. That's another reason why my main Thinkpad laptop stays home and is only connected to my trusted home wifi, so I don't have to worry about catching a virus as much. But my Surface Go gets to go outside to play and fraternizes with outside free wifi, and who knows what internet herpes is out there to contract? If my Surface Go catches a virus, it won't be too much trouble to just wipe out the entire hard drive and start fresh again. Plus with little personal information stored on my Go, there's really not much info that a fraudster could gain if my Go were to get hacked. For example, I don't really have to worry about my Go having a ransomware attack because there's really nothing valuable to be gained in the first place. I don't even do online banking on my Surface Go while using outside free wifi, I always use my smartphone bank app using my Verizon signal instead. Plus in a pinch, I simply turn on my mobile wifi hotspot signal on my Samsung smartphone to provide a secured wifi signal to my Go laptop. These are all the things I do to protect from getting hacked. A little precaution goes a long way.
    , yeah free wifi is often not safe, better to use hotspot idd. I also don't save to much files or accounts on my Surface tablet just in case it gets stolen. Same goes for the phone, which is often even more prone to attacks since they quite often have outdated Android versions or such and more background trackers.
    Slightly offtopic but do you already use an adblocker like Ublock Origin or Adblock Plus or such? (that helps a lot with blocking malware from ads/websites)
    08-07-2019 08:45 AM
  5. Casey Cheung's Avatar
    , yeah free wifi is often not safe, better to use hotspot idd. I also don't save to much files or accounts on my Surface tablet just in case it gets stolen. Same goes for the phone, which is often even more prone to attacks since they quite often have outdated Android versions or such and more background trackers.
    Slightly offtopic but do you already use an adblocker like Ublock Origin or Adblock Plus or such? (that helps a lot with blocking malware from ads/websites)
    Yes, I use Avast antivirus, plus Comodo Firewall, plus some type of ad blocker but don't remember the name, plus the Windows Defender is always on. Also use CCleaner too.

    My Samsung S9 smartphone has the latest Android version 9 One UI. Sometimes, if I'm skeptical about surfing a particular site via free public wifi, I will use my old outdated Samsung Note 4 phone to log onto the site. My old Note 4 Android phone has absolutely no information on the phone, so I don't care if it catches a virus, just do a full restore if need be.

    So am I paranoid? ...yeah, kinda, sorta, maybe, somewhat...haha!
    08-07-2019 10:31 AM
  6. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Thanks for agreeing with me! I read the article, thanks for that. Just goes to show you always have to be on guard. That's another reason why my main Thinkpad laptop stays home and is only connected to my trusted home wifi, so I don't have to worry about catching a virus as much. But my Surface Go gets to go outside to play and fraternizes with outside free wifi, and who knows what internet herpes is out there to contract? If my Surface Go catches a virus, it won't be too much trouble to just wipe out the entire hard drive and start fresh again. Plus with little personal information stored on my Go, there's really not much info that a fraudster could gain if my Go were to get hacked. For example, I don't really have to worry about my Go having a ransomware attack because there's really nothing valuable to be gained in the first place. I don't even do online banking on my Surface Go while using outside free wifi, I always use my smartphone bank app using my Verizon signal instead. Plus in a pinch, I simply turn on my mobile wifi hotspot signal on my Samsung smartphone to provide a secured wifi signal to my Go laptop. These are all the things I do to protect from getting hacked. A little precaution goes a long way.
    Yup, I agree a little precaution does a go a long way.

    You should always read the small print / check the settings for apps + services too.

    Additionally there are some firewalls / anti virus suites that provide additional protections like O/S fingerprint protections and TCP resquencing that prevent some IP spoofing. However they are usually found in corporate firewall software.

    I'd recommend having BitDefender's rootkit remover for anyone's virtual toolbox .

    https://labs.bitdefender.com/2013/02...download-page/

    Personally, I don't use any free WiFi as I get unlimited 4G LTE data with my phone contract lol - only pay £24 a month for unlimited minutes, texts and data. The only downside with the provider - Three is that their reception inside buildings is pretty abysmal.

    The list of steps you've taken is pretty impressive however nothing is truly infallible lol.
    08-07-2019 12:30 PM
  7. Casey Cheung's Avatar
    Yup, I agree a little precaution does a go a long way.

    You should always read the small print / check the settings for apps + services too.

    Additionally there are some firewalls / anti virus suites that provide additional protections like O/S fingerprint protections and TCP resquencing that prevent some IP spoofing. However they are usually found in corporate firewall software.

    I'd recommend having BitDefender's rootkit remover for anyone's virtual toolbox .

    https://labs.bitdefender.com/2013/02...download-page/

    Personally, I don't use any free WiFi as I get unlimited 4G LTE data with my phone contract lol - only pay £24 a month for unlimited minutes, texts and data. The only downside with the provider - Three is that their reception inside buildings is pretty abysmal.

    The list of steps you've taken is pretty impressive [IMG=20x20]https://forums.windowscentral.com/images/smilies/wpcentral20/grin.png[/url] however nothing is truly infallible lol.

    I also have have Verizon unlimited data for many years. But every time I try to use the mobile hotspot on my Samsung smartphone, I always get slow speed because Verizon throttles down connection to my devices. Although technically, I am receiving the contracted "unlimited" data from Verizon, the hotspot speed is sometimes so slow that it's almost unusable for anything intense.

    Geez, you also have bad Verizon signal while indoors? This happens to me OFTEN! I have plenty of near dead zones while inside buildings. I live in a major metropolitan city, so there is no excuse for this. Pathetic.
    08-07-2019 12:41 PM
  8. TechFreak1's Avatar
    I also have have Verizon unlimited data for many years. But every time I try to use the mobile hotspot on my Samsung smartphone, I always get slow speed because Verizon throttles down connection to my devices. Although technically, I am receiving the contracted "unlimited" data from Verizon, the hotspot speed is sometimes so slow that it's almost unusable for anything intense.
    Ooh I see and how much do you pay for your phone contract?

    Sounds like WAP speeds hahaha...

    My previous contract with O2 had unlimited tethering but that was before 4G LTE, Three gives me 4 gigs of tethering data a month with no speed restrictions.

    Geez, you also have bad Verizon signal while indoors? This happens to me OFTEN! I have plenty of near dead zones while inside buildings. I live in a major metropolitan city, so there is no excuse for this. Pathetic.
    Haha, no I don't have access to Verizon because I live in the UK not the US... . I did say Three... I'm confused where did I say verizon in my previous comment/post haha.

    The only item branded Verizon I have is a Touch Pro 2 as the US variants had a 3.5 mm headphone jack as the EU versions didn't (so had to buy it via ebay.com). I blame the Google G1 for setting that annoying trend
    08-07-2019 12:53 PM
  9. Casey Cheung's Avatar
    Ooh I see and how much do you pay for your phone contract?

    Sounds like WAP speeds hahaha...

    My previous contract with O2 had unlimited tethering but that was before 4G LTE, Three gives me 4 gigs of tethering data a month with no speed restrictions.



    Haha, no I don't have access to Verizon because I live in the UK not the US... . I did say Three... I'm confused where did I say verizon in my previous comment/post haha.

    The only item branded Verizon I have is a Touch Pro 2 as the US variants had a 3.5 mm headphone jack as the EU versions didn't (so had to buy it via ebay.com). I blame the Google G1 for setting that annoying trend
    Oh whoops, sorry...duh! I'm paying about $100 U.S. every month for Verizon unlimited everything. But even though I have unlimited data, the "fast" speed only applies to my phone. If I try to use the phone's built-in mobile hotspot feature, my devices such as my laptops/tablets receive "slow" speed due to the carrier throttling down connection speeds to my other devices.

    Here's a link to the Verizon forum whereby customers are complaining about the throttling issue:
    https://community.verizonwireless.co...g/td-p/1026258
    08-07-2019 01:12 PM
  10. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I do use public WiFi, but I always use a VPN when doing so. I have the same VPN (Tunnel Bear) for Windows and for Android.
    HeyCori likes this.
    08-07-2019 02:41 PM
  11. Casey Cheung's Avatar
    I do use public WiFi, but I always use a VPN when doing so. I have the same VPN (Tunnel Bear) for Windows and for Android.

    I'm curious about the whole VPN thing. How do I obtain a VPN? What is the cost? Thanks!
    08-07-2019 02:52 PM
  12. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I'm curious about the whole VPN thing. How do I obtain a VPN? What is the cost? Thanks!
    Cost varies based upon each VPN. You want one that is secure and doesn't keep log files. Having more servers available will make the VPN faster. Some will even accept Bitcoin to keep all personal details private, including payment details.

    Here is a good article. https://www.androidcentral.com/best-vpn-apps-android
    HeyCori likes this.
    08-07-2019 03:26 PM
  13. Casey Cheung's Avatar
    Cost varies based upon each VPN. You want one that is secure and doesn't keep log files. Having more servers available will make the VPN faster. Some will even accept Bitcoin to keep all personal details private, including payment details.

    Here is a good article. https://www.androidcentral.com/best-vpn-apps-android
    Great, thank you for the link! I ended up going to PCMag review about VPN services and settled on the free version called ProtonVPN. I just installed it to my SurfaceGo.
    https://www.pcmag.com/review/360665/protonvpn#
    Laura Knotek and HeyCori like this.
    08-07-2019 05:15 PM
  14. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Oh whoops, sorry...duh! I'm paying about $100 U.S. every month for Verizon unlimited everything. But even though I have unlimited data, the "fast" speed only applies to my phone. If I try to use the phone's built-in mobile hotspot feature, my devices such as my laptops/tablets receive "slow" speed due to the carrier throttling down connection speeds to my other devices. Here's a link to the Verizon forum whereby customers are complaining about the throttling issue: https://community.verizonwireless.co...g/td-p/1026258
    $100!! That's $1,200 a year?!

    Even with the low currency rate for sterling, hardly anyone in the UK's bill will reach that level lol. Read your other posts in this thread I thought you would have been using VPN already... lol.

    Thanks for the link, checking it now.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    08-08-2019 04:04 AM
  15. tgp's Avatar
    $100!! That's $1,200 a year?!

    Even with the low currency rate for sterling, hardly anyone in the UK's bill will reach that level lol.
    The US has higher priced mobile service in general. While I certainly do not know all the reasons for this, one is that the US is relatively large and sparsely populated compared to Europe. The continental US (US states excluding Alaska and Hawaii) population density is roughly 1/4 that of the EU countries. This means that the average cell phone tower in Europe has 4x as many potential customers within its range as the average cell phone tower in the US. Who do you think is going to pay more per customer?

    Another reason might be the cost of the infrastructure in the US because of the vast size. Until recently there was a problem with running into roaming charges in Europe. Countries are very small. In the US, there is no roaming for the most part. You can take your Verizon phone from Portland, Maine to Honolulu, Hawaii and then go to Fairbanks, Alaska without even thinking about roaming. It's all local. Try traveling to three cities in Europe with 18,000 km/11,000 miles between them altogether and not running into roaming charges! What do you think it costs Verizon to maintain the required infrastructure?
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    08-08-2019 05:07 AM
  16. TechFreak1's Avatar
    @tgp you do realise that a) The EU eliminated roaming charges and b) you are rationalising the profit mongering of corporate greed.

    If the infrastructure was that expensive then explain why Verizon has continued to make YoY profits in terms of operating revenue, hmm?

    a) http://www.europa.eu/youreurope/citi...s/index_en.htm

    b) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ve...-idUSKBN1KE1HG
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    08-08-2019 09:31 AM
  17. Tech Guru2's Avatar
    I do use public WiFi, but I always use a VPN when doing so. I have the same VPN (Tunnel Bear) for Windows and for Android.
    I am also doing the same. It really helps for security reasons.
    08-08-2019 09:33 AM
  18. Casey Cheung's Avatar
    Before the "internet" became popular among the masses, making a "phone call" and using minutes was the premium service. The carriers would dole out precious limited minutes for your given plan, such as 60 minutes of talk time. Nowadays, hardly anyone "talks" anymore, preferring instead to send messages and using the internet. Hence, data is now the king, especially fast data.

    Verizon has been charging approximately $100 U.S. monthly for their individual package plans for many years now. It's a little less with a so-called family plan, but it's still expensive. Plus all the crazy taxes imposed on top of the monthly fees really add up. In the United States, Verizon and AT&T are the 2 most expensive carriers on a monthly basis, and they both charge all kinds of hidden fees up the ying-yang.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    08-08-2019 10:42 AM
  19. Casey Cheung's Avatar
    $100!! That's $1,200 a year?!

    Even with the low currency rate for sterling, hardly anyone in the UK's bill will reach that level lol. Read your other posts in this thread I thought you would have been using VPN already... lol.

    Thanks for the link, checking it now.

    I have always been intrigued by VPN service, but never actually looked into it. For many years, I had been using my mobile hotspot feature of my smartphone to give wifi access to my laptops, so I didn't have to worry about internet security so much. I rarely use public wifi, almost never, especially with the advent of "unlimited" data by the carriers. Before "mobile hotspot" service was added to smartphones, there was a "secret" app called "Foxfi" that Android users took advantage of for providing wifi signal from the phone to another device. I used the Foxfi app for a few years which worked great until it got blocked by the cell phone carriers.

    Foxi app info:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...foxfi&hl=en_US
    08-08-2019 10:49 AM
  20. TechFreak1's Avatar
    @Casey Cheung To be honest with you the price gouging people in the US experience is due to lack of proper fair market regulations, basic consumer regulations and classification of ISPs and Cell carriers as utilities. As long there is no such regulation to prevent price gouging and corporate malpractise such as misselling which is illegal in most countries.

    However it's not all lavendar and roses here in the UK either - it's a known policy that anything that has the moniker unlimited is subject to a "Fair Use Policy" meaning if you constantly hog bandwidth such as dowloading incredibly large files and uploading large files on a daily bases then you would be subject to throttling. As the bandwidth pipe is being saturated thus slowing the network for other users (contention ratio).

    It only applies to edge cases due to the strong consumer regulations and independent bodies we have that enforce the laws on companies when they break them.

    In regards to VPN, sometimes there are lifetime sales on but never really splashed out due to budget constraints.

    I do remember foxifi, haven't heard/read about it in ages lol - the perks of living in a multiplatform household lol.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    08-08-2019 08:09 PM
  21. Gayle Lynn's Avatar
    Routers are not immune free. Not Cisco, not your home consumer model.

    Just bought lifetime Adguard for all my devices. It does add VPN.
    XDA had offers for VPN, or was it BGR.com that did? A must.
    08-17-2019 02:54 PM

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