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Jun 26, 2018

Is your data safe when you are mobile? Craig discusses all about data transfer and virtual private networks in this daily podcast.

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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.

Airing date: 06/25/2018

Is Your Data Safe At The Beach

Craig Peterson:[00:00:00] Hi everybody, Craig Peterson here. It is a beautiful day in the Northeast. I am just enjoying it. It got me to thinking about being outside of course, its summertime. We love to go to the beach, we love to travel around. So, we can talk a little bit today about some of the misconceptions people have about traveling and using Wi-Fi and security, because yeah, I do. A friend was over last night and while we got to talk about this. Yeah, I had a friend come over last night and he was here, talking about Wi-Fi and going online. He was very interested in the whole concept of being private and safe online. And this is a really big topic for us, as we're talking about, right now. In the summertime, we go to coffee shops, we go to restaurants, we go to the beach and we're often jumping onto Wi-Fi, public Wi-Fi. Many times, we're using our cell phones to get to places and you know the cell phones, of course, many of them have shared data plans. Mine does. And on top of that, I have the ability to use my cell phone as a wireless hotspot, as a personal hotspot, which is really, really, cool. So, what should you do? What should you avoid? This is kind of a really, big deal.

[00:01:28] Now, he was saying that he heard an ad and this ad was guaranteeing, it was promising him, that if all he did was use their VPN software that he would be safe, and no one would be able to monitor him. Of course, he is concerned about the bad guys, but they were saying, listen this is so safe, that even the FBI and the government can't monitor you. Not, that he's concerned about that, right, but you know you don't want your information stolen, no matter who it is. And, we know that the Russians are busy doing that right now, and are the Chinese, et cetera, et cetera. So, he thought that just having this VPN would make his life simpler, would make it easier, he wouldn't have to worry about having his bank account information stolen, for his business, right. Imagine one day finding out your payroll checks bounced, because someone had emptied your bank account, right. Can you imagine that? Has that happened to you before? It happened to me once. It was my bank account. Man, this would have been back in the 80’s, it my business bank account. All of a sudden, checks started bouncing. It's a terrible, terrible, feeling. And, he didn't want that. He has a lot of employees and I'm sure you can relate to that too. 

[00:02:45] Well, looking at all of this, and looking at the problem, looking at the guarantees, he was saying, hey, listen, is this going to work for me? Is my data going to be safe? If I use this VPN, that's being sold by this company. And, I had to tell him ultimately, No, because there are there's a few problems here. One is, that a VPN is only going to take the data from your computer. Let's say you're running a VPN, on your computer, So, it only can take the data from your computer to their VPN exit point, in an encrypted manner. So, they've got a server, let's say, they have a cloud server, right. Whatever, that means. And, their server is sitting, physically, let's say it's in Kansas City Missouri, just for the heck of it. So, here's what would happen. You're sitting on the beach, here in New Hampshire, or Florida, wherever you are. You're sitting on the beach and you're enjoying the day. You can just feel the rays of the sun coming down, and you're a little worried about getting that sunburn, right. You're watching the kids, you’re just enjoying the day and you've got to get on to your computer, because you just got a little note from somebody at work.

[00:04:05] So, you open up your laptop, and you connect to the VPN. In this case, he's talking about a third-party VPN. We'll talk about business ones, probably some other day, so he connects to this vendor X Y Z, the data from his computer goes to, in this case, were saying Kansas City, Missouri. That data is now safe. Well relatively, depends on the encryption they're using, etc.. But, let's say for all intents and purposes that data is safe. So, that data is hauled to Kansas City Missouri. But, it can it be encrypted forever. Facebook can’t understand what you're saying. Your mail server needs to know, what it is you're trying to do. The e-mail you're reading, what you're trying to send, right. All of these systems have to know. So, once it hits the server in Kansas City, Missouri, it is no longer encrypted. So, all you're doing with that type of a VPN, with one of these public access VPNs is that you pay a little bit and for some of them, they are free. All you're getting is data being safe from the beach, over to Kansas City, Missouri. Now, what some of these VPN companies, do and think about this one for a second, is they monitor your data and your Web sites to know where you're going. Some of them even go so far, as to insert their own advertisement portfolio into the web pages you're going to. So, he was asking me is my data safe right? Have you ever had that question? Have you thought about that?

[00:05:49] Is my data safe? When is it safe? Where's it safe? Well, in this case, we're talking about data is reasonably safe until it gets to that X Y Z VPN vendor in Kansas City, Missouri, because now there's this one exit point. So, think about that, if you're a black hat, when you're out there, and you're trying to break in. Do you want to go after just a regular little business? Or are you going to focus in on maybe one of these VPN providers, compromising their systems. And, now you’d have access to all of the data from 100 million people or 100 million sessions that people are creating and using through X Y Z VPN company. You see what's happening here now. And once the data is over on the other side and it's in the clear, their ISP could be monitoring it. They could have problems with the DNS, sending you to the wrong place, where it adds up to darn quickly. So, the question he asked me, my answer was, no right. What do you think the answer would be? Yeah, it's a little safer. What I said, Right. Craig you're always hedging your bets right. How many times have you said that? Obviously, data is a little safer because, from the time it left the computer on the beach, as you're sitting there, until the time it got to Kansas City. Missouri, it was safe, but you may well, have a very bad company that's doing nasty things with your data. 

[00:07:23] Once, it hits the other side of the VPN, and then on top of it their systems might be compromised, and now your data is not safe, that way either. So, remember all of this. Keep this in mind, here, when it comes to keeping your data safe, a VPN can be an adjunct, but be very careful about who you use. And some other day, if you're interested, let me know, and we'll do this, we can talk about your own private VPN. One doesn't make sense, and this is what I do for my business, and also for my clients businesses. So, have a great day, enjoy the weather. I am going to be sitting back enjoying it. It is that perfect. There's no humidity. It's in the 70’s, which is the way I like it. The sun is out, and you probably know I am little kind of a gentleman farmer here too. I’m going to enjoy some of our animals, while I'm here and as always have a Great Day. Make sure you visit me online at Craig Peterson dot com and we'll be back tomorrow.


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