Posted on

How to Encrypt Data on an iOS and Android Device

The FBI’s war with scammers has focused a renewed emphasis on the need for data encryption and urgent data protection. Regardless of your feelings about the case, I shouldn’t have to tell you how important it is to protect your personal information, and it all begins with your mobile.

With the plethora of corporate sensitive data leaks, hacking, sim swapping, and ransomware on the rise, security and privacy are popular subjects these days. You should know how to set up data encryption on your Android or iOS device, regardless of whether you favor Android or iOS.

Encrypt your Android and iOS devices by following the steps below. Once completed, you will only need to input a password to decrypt your data when turning on or waking up your device.

Encrypt data on your iPhone or iPad

Data Protection is a file encryption feature found on iPhones and iPads. Here’s how to turn it on or confirm that it’s already on.

Open the Settings app on your iOS device and tap on Face ID & Passcode or Touch ID & Passcode according to your device.

Locate Face ID & Passcode

Put your passcode in here.

If it is not already enabled, scroll down and select Turn Passcode On. If it wasn’t already turned on, you’ll be guided through the process of creating a passcode.

Turn passcode on in case you haven’t already

Look for Data protection that is activated towards the bottom of the screen as you scroll down. Your iPhone data is encrypted if you view it.

Data protection enabled

FYI, the passcode locks the screen and encrypts some of the data on the iPhone or iPad, but not all of it. Your personal data, texts, emails, attachments, and data from select apps that support data encryption are all encrypted using this manner.

Android Data Encryption

The lock screen and device encryption are independent but coupled on Android devices. Without the screen lock enabled, you can’t encrypt your Android device, since the encryption password is linked to the screen lock passcode.

If your device’s battery isn’t fully charged, plug it in before continuing.

If you haven’t already, create a password with at least six characters and at least one number.

Select Settings > Security > Encrypt Device from the drop-down menu. To access the encrypt option on some phones, go to Storage > Storage encryption or Storage > Lock screen and security > Other security settings.

Navigate Security residing in your settings corner
Click on encrypion & credentials – this vary per Android device
Encrypt your device

To finish the process, follow the on-screen directions. During the encryption procedure, your device may restart many times. Before using your device, wait until the entire process is completed. Please note that many phones allow you to encrypt an SD card from the Security settings page.

BONUS – How to encrypt your MAC and Windows

This was unexpected BUT we care for your privacy and securing your sensitive data. Here’s how to encrypt your MAC:

FileVault may be found under System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault.

Encrypt your MAC

Select “Turn On FileVault…” from the drop-down menu.

Vital: Write down the recovery key that appears and keep it separate from your Mac.

Wait for the encryption to complete before continuing to use the computer.

For Windows encryption, do the following:

Note that BitLocker might not be available in all Windows versions.

To access BitLocker Drive Encryption, go to Control Panel > (better type in) BitLocker Drive Encryption. Next to the drive you want to encrypt, click “Turn on BitLocker.”

Look up for BitLocker Drive Ecryption > Control Panel

Enter a password or passphrase that is long and diversified in alphanumeric characters.

Vital: Use one of the techniques shown to create a backup of the recovery key.

Should you encrypt your Android device, really?

There are several reasons why you should not encrypt your Android handset. Although it may appear that encrypting your phone is a no-brainer, there are a few reasons why you should wait. Each device has a somewhat different technique. For instance, Motorola allows you to use a pin and pattern once the phone has been encrypted, whereas Samsung only allows you to use a fingerprint or password.

After each reboot, Samsung also requires you to enter the password. While this reduces the chance for hackers to access your sensitive information, some people may find it too inconvenient. When you encrypt your Android device, it will suffer a minor performance hit. On modern high-end phones, it’s barely perceptible, but older models and low-end phones may be affected.

Only recent high-end gadgets, such as the Galaxy S6, LG G4, HTC One M9, and their subsequent variants, should be encrypted (Galaxy S7, LG G5 and so on) as a recommendation.

Sidestory

The advantage of robust encryption is the additional security it gives for your sensitive data. The disadvantage of encrypting your mobile data is that it takes longer to log in to your smartphone, at least on Android devices, because it decrypts the data each time you do so. Also, once you’ve decided to encrypt your Android smartphone, there’s no way to back out except by doing a factory reset.

For many people, keeping personal information really private and safe is worth it. Encryption isn’t an option for mobile professionals in certain industries, such as finance and health care. You must safeguard all devices that hold or access consumers’ personally identifiable information, or you will be in violation of the law.

Conclusion

Encryption does more than prevent unauthorised access to your mobile device’s data. Think of the lock screen as a lock on a door: Without the key, uninvited criminal can’t trespass in and steal all your belongings. Even if a hacker manages to get past the lock screen, encrypting your data renders it unreadable and useless.

Vulnerabilities in software and hardware are continually being discovered, while the majority of them are rapidly patched. Passwords for lock screens can even be hacked by determined attackers. It is always good to protect yourself against hackers and secure our device with Efani and their premium services.

Ciao Adios!

Source
Posted on

How to connect VPN on iOS devices

VPN support is strong on modern iPhones and iPads. The protocols L2TP/IPSec and Cisco IPSec are combined. 

You can use third-party applications to connect to other types of virtual private networks.

FYI, before iOS 8, when an iPhone went into sleep mode, it automatically unplugged itself from the VPN. Even when the screen is turned off, iOS devices will remain connected to the VPN. You won’t need to rejoin the dedicated VPN all the time.

As told in the previous blog, the easiest and quickest method would be to use a dedicated VPN. StrongVPN is good for advanced users, whilst ExpressVPN and TunnelBear are more user-friendly. Although ExpressVPN offers relatively faster connections, TunnelBear offers a free tier for people just getting started.

TunnelBear Interface
Interface [2] – peek-a-boo!

Please NOTE that we do NOT endorse any third-party applications. This is for educational purposes and Efani will not be liable by any means.

Configure iOS built-in VPNs

In iOS, you can connect to IKEv2, Cisco IPSec, and L2TP/IPSec VPNs. If your preferred VPN doesn’t have an iOS app, you can use iOS’ built-in settings to set up a VPN. On your iPhone or iPad, tap the Settings app, select General, and then VPN [check image below for illustration]. To add your first VPN configuration to your phone or tablet, tap “Add VPN Configuration.” You can also add several VPNs from this screen if you need to do so.

Navigating VPN

Depending on the type of VPN you wish to connect to, choose IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP. To connect, enter the connection details for your VPN on this screen. If your workplace provides your VPN, it should be able to give you these details.

IKEv2

FYI, iOS 10 has abandoned PPTP VPN support. If possible, opt for a VPN of your choice and avoid using PPTP, not only because it is old but an insecure protocol as well.

Certificate Files

If you need to connect to the VPN using certificate files, you’ll need to import them when you’re setting up your own VPN. If the certificate files were delivered to you through email, you can open them in the dedicated email app, click on the attachments, and subsequently import them. You may also use Brave or a similar browser to find them on a website and tap them to import them.

Let’s dig further … Psst, grab a cuppa in the meantime of tea if you’re from Europe?

Certificate files in the PKCS # x (possibly in these formats .cer,.crt,.der) and PKCS#12 (.p12, .pfx formats) are supported by iPhones and iPads. If you really need these certificate files to be accessed, the company that provides you with the VPN server should provide them and include them in the VPN setup instructions. If you wish to get rid of any certificates you’ve installed, go to Settings > General and search for Profiles.

Organizations who want to control their iOS devices from a central location can use a mobile device management server to transmit certificates and VPN settings to their devices.

How to disconnect VPN?

ICYMI, in order to connect to or disengage [disconnect in the simplest terms] from a VPN, visit the Settings window and toggle the VPN slider near the top of the screen. When you’re connected to the VPN, a “VPN” icon will appear in the status bar at the top of the screen.

If you have numerous VPNs set up on your iPhone or iPad, you may choose between them by going to Settings > General > VPN — the same window where you added these VPNs in the first place.

Toggled ON i.e., connected

Remember OpenVPN Connect?

Let’s test your knowledge. In our previous blog, we spoke about OpenVPN Connect. If you want to connect to an OpenVPN server, skip the entire procedure stated above. This section is dedicated to OpenVPN Network only. Keep in mind that OpenVPN servers are handled differently.

Import File

In the case of OpenVPN, you can download the official OpenVPN Network app. Install the app, launch it, and connect to an OpenVPN network. You’ll need to import a profile (.ovpn file) into the OpenVPN Connect app to configure your VPN server. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer, open iTunes, and choose the linked device if you wish to do it manually.

Authentication Process

They establish a VPN connection at the system level, which means that all of your device’s apps will connect to it—just like VPNs you connect to using the built-in Settings app. You can copy the .ovpn file, as well as accompanying certificate and key files, to the OpenVPN app under the Apps area. You can then use the app to connect to the VPN. The OpenVPN Connect app, like others, isn’t just another app you use.

Connected

That’s all there is to it for the average home user. Large enterprises that manage iPhone or iPad deployments centrally will want to avoid per-device settings and instead use configuration profiles or a mobile device management server to specify a VPN server.

Source

Posted on

How to set up a built-in VPN on your Android

You’ll need a VPN if you want to download an app that isn’t available in your country, connect to a company network on the go, or simply keep safe on public Wi-Fi. Here’s how to use your Android phone [built-in option] to connect to a VPN. 

As we all know, we have one of the easiest methods to connect to a standalone VPN application, but we have learned why we shouldn’t trust this option. Contrary to this, there is an option to install a third-party app – OpenVPN Networks.

OpenVPN Networks

Android doesn’t have built-in support for OpenVPN servers. You’ll need to install a third-party app if you’re using an OpenVPN network. The official OpenVPN app is compatible with Android 4.0 and higher and does not require rooting. You’ll need to root your device to connect to an OpenVPN network if you’re using an older version of Android. Figure 1 shows a typical interface of this application.

Figure 1
Figure 1

Disclaimer – please NOTE that we do NOT endorse any third-party applications. This is for educational purposes and Efani will not be liable by any means.

The built-in VPN on Android

PPTP and L2TP VPNs are supported natively in Android. You can use these VPNs without installing any third-party software, but neither option is ideal. PPTP is often viewed as obsolete and insecure, while L2TP has its own set of security vulnerabilities (notably its use of pre-shared keys, which many VPN providers publish publicly). Instead, it would be optional to utilize OpenVPN or a separate/standalone application if you have the better option (at your discretion). Here’s how to utilize PPTP and P2TP if you have to.

Step 1: Go to settings and click on “more connections”. This option may vary from android to android.

Figure 2

Step 2: Click on the VPN option.

Figure 3

Step 3: Tap the Add [+] button and enter the VPN’s information. Select the sort of VPN server you’re connecting to, and enter the VPN server’s address into the Name area to assist you to remember which VPN is which (either an address like vpn.xyz.com or a numerical IP address).

Figure 4

Step 4: Once you’ve set up the VPN, tap it to connect. Multiple VPN servers can be established, and you can move between them from the VPN page. When you connect, you’ll need the username and password that your VPN demands. You can, however, save these account details for future use.

FYI, a constant “VPN enabled” message will appear in your notifications drawer while connected to a VPN. Tap the notification and then Disconnect to disconnect.

Bonus – Always-on VPN

Google introduced the ability to enable always-on VPN mode in Android 4.2. When you enable this option, Android will only allow data to be transferred through the VPN. If you’re utilizing public Wi-Fi and want to make sure your VPN is constantly on, this is a good option.

Toggle the “Always-on VPN” slider after tapping the cog symbol next to the VPN name to enable it.

VPNs aren’t necessary for all; in fact, the majority of users will be dandy  However, if the need for one comes, it’s useful to know how to use one and which ones can be trusted. As always, value your privacy.

Source
Posted on

Part 1 – A simple guide on how to set up your own VPN [2021]

The internet is a challenging place for those who value their privacy. People are (legitimately) concerned about their privacy after the senate voted to allow internet service providers (ISPs) to sell your personal information to advertisers. While protecting your privacy is crucial, this does not need signing up for a VPN service and tunnelling all of your internet activity via VPN servers.

Enough jibber-jabber from me; let’s get on with the guide.

[1] Theoretical understanding

Section (a) – What is a virtual private network (VPN)?

The term VPN refers to a virtual private network that uses the Internet as its transport mechanism while keeping the data on the VPN “secure”.

Section (b) – But what exactly IS a virtual private network (VPN)?

This question can be answered in a variety of ways. It all relies on how your network is set up. The most frequent design is to have a single primary internal network with remote nodes accessing the central network through VPN. Remote workplaces or employees working from home are prominent examples of remote nodes. You can also join two small (or large) networks together to create a single larger network.

Section (c) – So, how does a virtual private network (VPN) work?

Simply put, a VPN is created by creating a secure tunnel between two networks and routing IP via it. Here are some diagrams to help visualize this notion (using IP masquerading):

Figure 1 – IP Masquerading by  Wilson, M.D., 1999. VPN HOWTO

The Client Router is a Linux system that serves as the remote network’s firewall or gateway. The local IP address 192.168.12.0 is used by the remote network. Local routing information on the routers was excluded for the sake of a simplified diagram (Figure 1). The main concept is to use the tunnel to transport traffic for all private networks (10.0.0, 172.16.0.0, and 192.168.0.0).

This is one way of doing things. To put it another way, while the distant network can see the private network, the private network cannot always see the remote network. You must declare that the routes are bidirectional in order for this to happen.

[2] Prerequisites

Section (a) – Keeping uninvited folks out 

A VPN’s security is extremely crucial. Isn’t that why you’re making one in the first place? When setting up your server, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Disallow passwords – You don’t use passwords, you disable them totally. SSH’s public key authentication system should be used for all authentication on this workstation. Only those with keys will be able to enter because remembering a binary key that is 530 characters long is very hard.
  • So, how do you go about doing that? It necessitates the modification of the /etc/passwd file. The second field contains either the hash of the password or an ‘x’ indicating that the authentication system should look in the /etc/shadow file. Rather than “*,” you modify that field to “*.” This informs the authentication system that no password exists and that no password should be used.

[3] Myths vs Reality

Section (a) –  A virtual private network (VPN) does not make you “private”

You probably already know what a VPN is, but just in case you don’t, here’s a situation (or a refresher!). You’re engrossed in a film. In a sports automobile on the highway, a criminal tries to flee a crime scene. From the above, a helicopter is chasing the automobile. The helicopter loses track of the automobile as it reaches a tunnel with many exits.

A VPN works in the same way as the tunnel in this movie scene does: it joins multiple routes and merges them into one, and a helicopter can’t see what’s going on inside. I’m sure a VPN service has been recommended to you by a number of people. They usually tell you that a VPN is fantastic because it allows you to access geo-restricted content, bypass China’s Great Firewall, and browse the internet safely.

Governments can spy on you, internet companies can sell your surfing history, and tech giants can amass massive quantities of data to track you throughout the web. Many people believe that VPNs, or virtual private networks, can shield them from snoopers and spies. However, if VPNs attempt to fix a problem, they can expose you to far bigger privacy threats.

VPNs do not protect your privacy or provide anonymity by default. VPNs simply redirect all of your internet traffic away from your internet provider’s servers and toward the VPN provider’s servers.

That raises the question of why you should trust a VPN that claims to secure your privacy better than your ISP. You can’t, and you shouldn’t, rather set up your own VPN.

Section (b) – Should I use a VPN to keep myself safe online?

You have an immediate answer NO. Here is the rationale behind it – many cafes and motels do not devote a significant amount of time to safeguarding their Wi-Fi infrastructure. It implies that a user may see another computer’s user on the local network, much like at home. Furthermore, if a hacker is present in your favorite coffee shop, they may be able to snoop on your internet traffic in order to gather information about you.

Yes, you. You are popular but in a dangerous way! Assume that all of the free VPN apps in the App Store and Google Play are there for a reason. Free VPNs are by far among the worst offenders. If it’s free, you’re the product, as the saying goes. That is to say, they profit from you – specifically, your sensitive data. VPNs, like any free service, are frequently sponsored by advertisements. This entails selling your internet traffic to the highest bidder in order to give you tailored adverts when connected to the VPN. They’ll track your online behaviour, sell it to marketers, place their own adverts on non-secure pages, or steal your identity. Free VPNs should be avoided at all costs. Other free VPN services have been accused of introducing advertisements into the websites you browse.

When it comes to premium services, you can get internet privacy for (in between) $5 to $20 each month. But first, take a look at their terms of service and  privacy policy. I’ve encountered a lot of VPNs that record your internet traffic, exchange data with government police, and other things. Pay attention to the small print [I mean it!].

Some VPN services claim to preserve your privacy by not storing records or tracking which websites you visit or when you visit them. While this may be true in some circumstances, there’s no way of knowing for certain.

In reality, several VPN companies have stated that they don’t keep any logs, but this has been proven to be incorrect.

[4] Cut to the chase!

When using public Wi-Fi, a home VPN creates an encrypted tunnel for you to utilise, and it can even allow you to access country-specific services from outside the country—all from your Android, iOS, or Chromebook. The VPN would give you secure remote access to your home network. You could even grant other individuals access, making it simple to offer them access to servers you host on your home network.

You might also set up a VPN server on one of your personal computers. However, you’ll want to utilize a computer or device that is always on—not a desktop PC that you would probably turn off when you leave the house. Windows has a built-in means to host VPNs, while Apple’s Server program also has a VPN server option.

Windows has a built-in means to host VPNs, while Apple’s Server programme also has a VPN server option. However, these aren’t the most powerful (or secure) solutions available, and they can be difficult to set up and get running properly.Windows has a built-in means to host VPNs, while Apple’s Server programme also has a VPN server option. However, these aren’t the most powerful (or secure) solutions available, and they can be difficult to set up and get running properly.

Installing a third-party VPN server, such as OpenVPN, is also an option. VPN servers are accessible for almost any operating system, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. All you have to do now is forward the required ports from your router to the PC that will execute the server software.

Section (a) – Windows built-in VPN

Although this option is relatively buried, Windows has the ability to function as a VPN server utilising the point-to-point tunnelling protocol (PPTP). Here’s where to look for it and how to set up your VPN server.

NOTE – Some users who have installed the Windows 10 Creators Update may experience difficulties setting up a VPN server because the Routing and Remote Access Service does not start. This is a known problem that has yet to be resolved through software updates.

Method 1:

Step 1 – To set up a VPN server on Windows, go to Start > Settings > Network Connections.

Step 2 – Go to Network & Internet.

Step 3 – Go to VPN and click on “add a VPN connection”.

Step 4 – Go to https://www.vpnbook.com/, click on PPTP and copy the details in a notebook/ sticky notes

Step 5 – Once you click on “add a VPN connection” you will see a pop up window like this:

You have to click on the VPN provider where you will see Figure (b) and add fields like in Figure (c)

                                                            Figure (a)

                                                                        Figure (b)

                                                                        Figure (c)

NOTE – wait unless you’re connected or if you run into problems then you may have some problems with your network drivers.

Creating a VPN Server (continued)

Method 2:

Step 1 – To set up a VPN server on Windows, go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections. To do so quickly, go to Start, type “ncpa.cpl,” and then click the result (or simply press Enter).

Step 2 – To open the full options in the “Network Connections” box, use the Alt key, open the “File” menu, and then select the “New Incoming Connection” option, subsequently.

                                                              Figure (a) – before ALT key

                                                            Figure (b) – after ALT key

                                                      Figure (c) – New Incoming Connection

Step 3 – Select the user accounts that will be able to connect remotely next. Instead of allowing VPN logins from your primary user account, you may wish to create a new, limited user account to boost security. By clicking the “Add someone” button, you can do so. Whatever user account you choose, make sure it has an extremely strong password, as a weak password can be cracked with a dictionary attack.

Click the “Next” button once you’ve chosen your user.

Step 4 – To allow VPN connections over the Internet, select the “Through the Internet” option on the next screen. You’ll probably just see that choice here, but if you have the dial-up hardware, you could also enable incoming connections using a dial-up modem.

Step 5 – The networking protocols that should be enabled for incoming connections can then be selected. You can uncheck the “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” option, for example, if you don’t want anyone connected to the VPN to have access to shared files and printers on your local network.

When everything is in place, click the “Allow Access” button.

Step 6 –  After that, Windows configures access for the user accounts you choose, which can take a few moments.

Your VPN server should now be up and running, ready to accept inbound connection requests. Return to the “Network Connections” window and eliminate the “Incoming Connections” item if you wish to disable the VPN server in the future.

Router Setup

If you’re using the Internet to connect to your new VPN server, you’ll need to configure port forwarding so that your router knows to transmit traffic of that sort to the correct computer. Forward port 1723 to the IP address of the machine where you set up the VPN server on your router’s settings page. Check out our tutorial on how to forward ports on your router for additional information.                              

Create a port forwarding rule that passes a random “external port”—such as 23243—to “internal port” 1723 on your machine for optimal protection. This allows you to connect to the VPN server using port 23243 and protects you against harmful programmes that scan for and attempt to connect to VPN servers using the default port.

You might also use a router or firewall to enable only particular IP addresses to connect to your network.

Connecting to Your VPN Server

You’ll need your computer’s public IP address (your network’s Internet IP address) or, if you’ve set up a dynamic DNS service, its dynamic DNS address to connect to the VPN server. Follow method 1 Figure A to C for this.

Section (b) – macOS Server for $19.99

If you know your way around a network, it shouldn’t take you more than a half hour to set up. And if you don’t, this is an excellent opportunity to learn.

MacOS Server, Apple’s server software, has an easy-to-configure VPN service that gives you encrypted internet access from anywhere while also allowing you to view your files remotely. All you’ll need is:

  • A Mac desktop that is always ethernet connected to your network. On Craigslist, you may locate an inexpensive Mac Mini, or you could use an existing iMac if you already have one.
  • macOS Server costs $19.99 and can be downloaded from the Mac App Store.
  • A router with port forwarding and dynamic DNS that you can set up.
  • Because of their integration, Apple’s AirPort routers make things incredibly simple, but other routers should function properly.

Step 1 – macOS Server Installation

If you haven’t already, get macOS Server ($19.99) from the Mac App Store and install it on the computer you’ll be using as your VPN. If you have an iMac, you could utilise it as a server, or you could use a Mac Mini purchased particularly for that purpose.

This page can be handy.

Please feel free to run the software when it has been installed; it will set up a few variables and then be ready for your use. Also, before we can utilise the VPN, we’ll need to set up a few things on your network.

Step 2 – Configure Port Forwarding

Port forwarding, which must be configured at the router level, is required to connect to your VPN. If you have an Apple AirPort router, you’re in luck: macOS Server will take care of this for you when you set up your VPN. You may skip this section and instead follow the directions when they appear later. To begin, type your router’s IP address into a web browser to gain access to its admin panel.

Image by Justin Pot via Howtogeek

Then, select the port forwarding settings and forward the following ports to the IP address of your macOS Server:

UDP 500 – ISAKMP/IKE;

UDP 1701 – L2TP; and

UDP 4500 – IPsec NAT Traversal.

Step 3 – Configure Dynamic DNS

Instead, you’ll need to configure dynamic DNS on your router, which will provide you with a web address that you may use to connect to your home network from away.

Step 4 – Turn on the VPN service.

Return to your macOS Server and open the macOS Server application. Go to the VPN area of the website.

Step 5 – Turn on the VPN service.

Return to your macOS Server and open the macOS Server application. Go to the VPN area of the website. Type the Dynamic DNS address you set up above (or your ISP’s static IP, if you have one) in the “VPN Host Name” field. In that box, create a unique “shared secret”: the longer and more random it is, the more secure your connection will be. For usage on other devices, copy this secret.

Everything else on this page is purely optional and geared toward more advanced users. You can assign a block of local IP addresses for connected devices using Client Addresses. DNS settings allow you to specify which DNS servers linked devices utilise. Routes, on the other hand, allow you to specify the connection path followed by connected devices.

When you’ve finished configuring everything, click the huge On/Off switch in the top-right corner. Your VPN will be activated.

Image by Justin Pot via Howtogeek

Eventually, there’s a button labelled “Configuration Profile.” This will create a file that you can send to iOS and macOS devices to rapidly configure a VPN connection, sparing you and any other users the time and effort of typing out the Shared Secret and setting things.

Time to ACT!!

How to Set Up a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

It’s time to connect to your VPN from a different device now that it’s been set up. It’s worth noting that you can’t connect locally; it’ll only work if you’re not connected to your home network. To test things, I used my neighbor’s Wi-Fi, but you could also disable Wi-Fi on your phone and connect using your data connection instead.

On a Mac, the simplest method is to establish a Configuration Profile on the server that hosts your VPN connection, then open that Profile. This will set up your Mac to connect to your VPN with only a username and password required.

If that isn’t an option, you can always do it manually. To create a new network, go to System Preferences > Network and click the “+” button in the bottom-left corner. Select “VPN.” Choose “L2TP over IPSec” as your VPN type, and then call it whatever you want. Select “Create”.

Image by Justin Pot via Howtogeek

Use your static IP or dynamic DNS address as the server address, and the primary account on your macOS Server as the account name. After that, go to “Authentication Settings.”

Image by Justin Pot via Howtogeek

Enter your Shared Secret and, if you want to avoid having to type it in every time, your user password.

You should be able to connect to your VPN at this point! If your device supports L2TP, you can connect from iOS, Windows, Linux, and Android. All you’ll need is:

  • Your IP address or dynamic DNS address
  • The VPN protocol used is L2TP with IPSec.
  • Your Confidential Information
  • A username and password are required.

Conclusion

If you submit sensitive information to an unencrypted website or download malware by accident, a VPN will not protect you. In other words, a VPN protects you while you’re in transit from one site to the next, but it won’t protect you from acts you take after you are at your destination.

P.S We hear you, you want a VPN set up for your Android and iPhone or iPad? Keep an eye out for part (2) of this guide.

Source
Posted on

7 Must-Have Cybersecurity Apps for Android

These days, cybersecurity apps are a must-have. Cybersecurity apps protect you against security threats that might be quite costly. Vulnerabilities might arise as a result of a lack of awareness or laziness.

When slackers are linked to the internet, they are never safe. Nowadays, security is a top priority, and many third-party apps have worked to improve it.

The applications listed below will assist you in safeguarding your Android smartphone from online identity and security concerns.

1.      SecurityAnywhere

Antivirus and malware protection with multi-vector protection against Trojans, keyloggers, phishing, spyware, backdoors, rootkits, zero-day threats, and advanced persistent threats. When utilizing the Internet, the built-in Identity & Privacy Shield prevents data from being stolen or taken, and the outbound firewall prevents viruses from stealing data. 

It is among those cybersecurity apps for your android that you really need to look into. Cloud-based security eliminates the need to worry about or perform updates, ensuring that endpoints are always up to current.

2.      Google Cloud Platform

The Cloud Platform is a collection of cloud-based services that can be used to build anything from simple websites to sophisticated applications.

3.      Avast Mobile Security

Avast is an excellent software for protecting your Android phone from viruses and other threats. Avast is a trusted free antivirus for Android that warns you when spyware and adware are installed and intrudes on your privacy. The current Android malware has a detection rate of roughly 99.9%, with nearly 100% of malware discovered in the recent four weeks. This is one of the best cybersecurity apps for you if malware and safe browsing are your main concerns.

4.      SafeDNS

Web security solutions to protect your organization and resources from data theft, phishing, botnets, and other malware.

5.      MalwareBytes

Malwarebytes sophisticated security will safeguard your Android devices against ransomware, malware, and other threats.

It can effectively detect and remove hazardous threats before they compromise your device. While using the Chrome browser, Malwarebytes provides real-time protections and scans for even the most complex phishing URLs. It will also notify you if it detects anything unusual.

6.      Secure Call

It protects your calls by ensuring that no one can hear them. Secure Call encrypts all of your private calls from beginning to end, preventing strangers from listening in.

Use Secure Call if you’re seeking for cybersecurity apps that provide end-to-end encryption for phone calls.

7.      LastPass

With people having several accounts online and each account having a different password, remembering passwords is becoming increasingly difficult.

LastPass is one of the best password managers on the market, allowing you to save passwords for many accounts with additional protection layers.

NOTE:

Please note that we do NOT endorse any cybersecurity related app aforementioned. It is advised to design security measures as per your risk appetite and research/explore the subject matter thoroughly. If you find any ambiguities, please feel free to contact us

Conclusion

I hope the cybersecurity apps listed above will assist you in keeping your Android mobile/devices safe and secure. On top of these security features, our readers would like to take a step further on securing their cell phone numbers. Efani would love to facilitate this new journey of securing our users against probable sim swapping vectors with our guaranteed protection and $5 million insurance.

Source

Posted on

How to Turn Off Location Services on Android? [2021]

Location services on Android can be turned on and off without you knowing properly.

There’s a reason why apps ask for permission to use your location so regularly, even if they work fine without it. Many organizations, such as Google, rely on your location data to give accurate weather forecasts or the most up-to-date traffic events.

In some circumstances, apps may just require your location data for market research purposes. If you’re not sure what information you’re transmitting or just want to remain anonymous, here’s how to turn off location services on Android phone.

Note: While it’s simple to turn off location services entirely on your iOS or Android smartphone, you can also turn them off for certain apps. Because some apps rely on location services to work, you may want to make some exceptions.

Disable Location Services on Android

Android versions work on “stock” as well as custom interfaces depending upon the manufacturers. The procedure, though, should be comparable enough to follow.

We are going to use Samsung S20 with Android 10 running under OneUI of Samsung.

 To disable location services on Android, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open “Settings” from the app drawer or simply go to them via the top right corner of your notifications panel.

samsung settings

Step 2: Tap on the “Location”.

samsung settings location services on android

Step 3: Toggle it “Off”.

location settings

Disable Location Services on Android for Specific Apps

Specific apps run on android’s location services. If you frequently use Google Maps, or apps that may use location, you may not want to disable the location services on Android. If you don’t, then you can disable the location services for the specific app instead of the whole.

Follow these steps to do so:

Step 1: In the “Location” settings, go to “App permissions”.

app permissions

Step 2: Select the app you want to disable the location services for.

location settings for specific apps

Step 3: Make sure you toggle “Deny”.

deny location services on android

Disable Google Location Services

No matter what Android you are using, Google will have its location-specific apps running and turned on in the background.

If you are a privacy paranoid, follow along these steps to disable these Google Location Services:

Step 1: Go to the “Location” in the settings.

samsung settings location services on android

Step 2: Here you will find Emergency Location Service, Google Location Accuracy, Google Location History, Google Location Sharing, and Location in Search.

google location services

Step 3: If you find it “On”, you can disable it by tapping and toggling them Off.

turn off location services on android

One-time Access

android one time access

You can allow apps to ask for one-time access to location services on android to complete certain tasks. When the notification appears, select “Only this time” to allow the app to access your location for a single time before disabling it (iOS has a similar feature). This is a great way to get specific information without having to give an app broad access.

The Bottom Line

The privacy implications of location tracking data, which is at the center of our modern life, are rarely discussed. The information about a person’s whereabouts is extremely sensitive. It’s not so much about personal privacy as it is about a web of interconnections. If you’re a victim of a data breach, you’re not the only one who suffers; anyone with whom you have a relationship also suffers.

What is the answer? Keep a close eye on the apps you download and the rights you provide them. Be aware of the implications of allowing location services. Examine your social media privacy settings to improve your privacy.

Source

Posted on

An Extensive Guide on How To Reset Network Settings of Your Android [2021]

Facing problems connecting to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth? It might be time to reset network settings on your Android. This will remove the errors that are causing this to happen.

Before starting, let me tell you a little bit about the Android Interface. Android fragmentation is well-known and well-documented, with settings menus varying from device to device.

Thankfully, many Android device manufacturers are increasingly opting for the “stock” Android experience rather than customizing their devices with a proprietary UI.

So without more wait, let Efani guide you with the “stock” android first. Then we will take Samsung as a model to reset network settings.

You may like: Android Privacy Tips You Didn’t Know

Stock Android: Reset Network Settings

If you are running an Android device with “stock” interface, 8.1 Oreo or newer, these steps to reset network settings will be helpful.

But don’t worry, next section is for other models taking Samsung as an example.

Let’s start then…

Step 1: Go to “Settings” to reset network settings. You can either go by tapping the app from drawer or through your notification panel (top right corner).

stock android settings

Step 2: Tap “System” here.

stock android system

Step 3: Now, tap “Reset options” to view reset options of your device. Else, you might need to tap Advanced> Reset Options, depending on your device.

stock android reset options

Step 4: Here you may find various reset options. Tap “Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth” or “Reset Network Settings”, depending on your device.

reset wifi

Step 5: Confirm and tap “Reset Settings”.

stock android reset settings

Step 6: Input your screen lock, PIN password, biometric or your active form of authentication and tap  “Reset Settings” again to confirm.

stock android reset settings confirm

Once this is done, your Android device’s network settings will be returned to factory defaults, and you’ll need to restart it to apply the changes. You’ll need to reconnect to your Wi-Fi or mobile network, as well as restore any previous Bluetooth connections.

Summary

Settings> System> Reset Options> Reset Network Settings> Reset Settings> Confirm

Samsung Device: Reset Network Settings

While other manufacturers may use “stock” android, Samsung is among those that use their own OneUI interface.

Let’s guide you to reset network settings on your Samsung device.

Step 1: Go to “Settings” to reset network settings. You can either go by tapping the app from drawer or through your notification panel (top right corner). Just like in “stock” android.

samsung settings

Step 2: Tap “General Management” in the settings.

samsung general management

Step 3: Here, tap on the “Reset” option to view the reset options.

samsung reset

Step 4: Tap “Reset Network Settings” in the reset menu.

samsung reset network settings

Step 5: This will remove all the network settings meaning that all the connected devices and data connections will be removed along with the Wi-Fi connections.

If you are willing, tap “Reset Settings”.

samsung reset network settings confirm

Step 6: Input your screen lock, PIN password, biometric or your active form of authentication and tap  “Reset” again to confirm.

samsung reset confirm

Restart your Samsung phone or tablet once you’ve reset your network settings. Once this is done, you’ll need to reconnect to your devices and Wi-Fi or mobile network connections.

Summary

Settings> General Management> Reset> Reset Network Settings> Reset Settings> Reset

Conclusion

We understand this might be frustrating that your network connections are being problematic. But you can always reset network settings and your connection problems will be stored.

Just to let you know, Efani cares about your mobile security and privacy concerns and you can always get yourself boosted up with our privacy and security tips.

Cheers!

Source
Posted on

How to Turn Off iPhone Location Services? [2021]

iPhone location services might look quite normal to you but they are a very serious privacy threat. This post will guide you on how to take control of your iPhone location services and monitor what apps are harvesting data through it.

Have you ever wondered why apps ask for your location services permission? They mine through your private data to make use of it. And how would you know what apps on your iPhone are tracking your location? Even if you are not using your phone, still these apps can record your data possibly after every 2 seconds.

Even though Apple has a very secure server and they claim not to sell your data. But many other apps do use this data.

How to check your iPhone location history?

iPhone’s default setting automatically records your location. You can log in to view your iPhone location history just to get a head start of how important this really is. As per Apple, “your iPhone and iCloud connected devices will keep track of places you have recently been, as well as how often and when you visited them, in order to learn places that are significant to you. This data is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be read by Apple.”

Here’s how you can view the iPhone location data

Go to Settings> Privacy> Location Services> System Services> Significant Locations> History. You can also turn this off.

How to stop iPhone Location Sharing?

It is sort of convenient to share your iPhone’s location with your contact but if you are a privacy paranoid, turn this off with these steps:

  • Go to the “Find My iPhone” app.
  • Tap “People”.
  • Tap and select the contact’s name.
  • Select “Stop Sharing My Location”.
  • Tap and confirm “Stop Sharing Location”.

As a privacy freak, you would love to view these iPhone privacy tips.

iPhone Location Settings

iphone location for apps

App permissions are very significant. You really need to be careful which app are you permitting to track your iPhone or look into your iPhone location services. Apps can use your location and even display at times without your knowing. They may use this data for machine learning and/or targeted ads but hackers are loving these location data services. Stay safe.

How to turn off iPhone location services for selected apps?

Go to Settings> Privacy> Location Services. For each app, you will be asked to choose between Never, Ask Next Time, or While Using the App. You can select as per your preference but we advise you to go for Never if you don’t want apps to track you at all.

When to turn off iPhone location services?

Ride-sharing, delivery, or fitness apps need your location to work appropriately, yet numerous apps run behind the scenes discreetly assembling information when they’re not effectively being utilized. Restricting or turning off iPhone location services totally could have results. Understanding what organizations don’t esteem your privacy is vital to staying away from smartphone apps taking your information.

How to turn off the iPhone location services completely?

turn off iphone location services

Go to Settings> Privacy> Location Services. Simple toggle/tap the button above and the location services will turn off completely.

You can also reset your iPhone location settings to factory default. This means you will need to grant the apps permission of your iPhone location services again. For this, simply go to Settings> General> Reset> Reset Location & Privacy.

Conclusion

We hardly pay attention to the privacy implications of location tracking data, which is at the heart of our modern lives. Data about a person’s location is highly sensitive. It’s not really about personal privacy, but rather about a network of connections. If you’re vulnerable to a privacy breach, it’s not just you who suffers; anyone with whom you have a relationship suffers as well.

What is the solution? Pay special attention to the applications you install and the permissions you grant them. Be mindful of the consequences of enabling location services. To improve privacy, take a look at your social media privacy settings.

Source
Posted on

7 Practical Android Privacy Tips You Didn’t Know Before

Android privacy tips are very commonly wanted and also many people are unaware of such android privacy tips. Your android phone keeps your daily activity records and it keeps track of your location, browsing and communication.

This is an alarming thing for us privacy freaks, right?

Google is a company that literally earns via mining and harvesting your data. You really need to be aware of your privacy on a phone being run on Google’s OS. We really want ourselves to be super safe in the digital world.

Don’t worry!

Android still has very amazing features that you are unaware of to control your data throughout. Let us guide you through these practical android privacy tips.

The Android Privacy Tips

Despite the fact that you’ll never be absolutely off the lattice from your cell provider, and it’s almost difficult to impede all that tracks you across each stage, it is feasible to in any event move toward your android privacy settings for all intents and purposes.

A portion of these android privacy tips come at the cost of comfort, so consider the compromises before you incapacitate (or empower) the things we detail beneath. (These android privacy tips and settings will change contingent upon which variant of Android you have and which phone you have.)

7. Strong Screen Lock

android screen lock

First of all, you should consider disabling your fingerprint or face recognition as your lock. These locks are quite easy to break or sneak into.

In case, if you leave your phone somewhere or some gets a hold of your phone, you don’t need them to get into your phone to skim through your private data, right?

So, a strong screen password or PIN that is only remembered by you can help you save your data.

The biometrics are easy to break since a person may have access to your clear image or fingerprint that that may use to hack into your device.

6. Audit App Permissions

android app permissions

Whenever you install an app, it asks permission to access your data like location, contacts, gallery, camera, microphone, and/or notifications. These apps like Facebook, etc do this to harvest your data and show you targeted ads or use it for machine learning.

You need to look into this because you don’t need your private information to roam around the internet.

Simply go Settings> Privacy> Permission Manager and read through the section to make sure apps don’t have unnecessary access to your data.

5. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

2fa

2FA or two-factor authentication is a very safe second layer of security on your phone. Every time you log in using your password, it going to send a second check with the one-time code on your number, Google Prompt or via phone/email which you need to enter alongside your password in order to log into your Google.

Follow these three steps:

  • Go to myaccount.google.com/security on your phone and sign in.
  • Select 2-Step Verification and sign in again.
  • Tap Try It Now and follow the on-screen instruction to approve the login and get backup codes.

You can also go through the detail guide on 2FA and how to enable it here.

4. Find My Device

find my device

Find My Device is a super feature you can use if you get a jump-scare of not finding your android phone in your pocket. Among the android privacy tips, this one is among my favorites.

In case, if you leave your phone somewhere or it gets lost, you can use Find My Device to quickly find its location. If you are unable to find it, you can still use this feature to remotely wipe your data from your device completely so that the finder is not able to access your data.

This feature saves you even if your phone gets into the wrong hands. Simply go to Settings> Security> Find My Device and make sure it is enabled. Once it is toggled on, you can wipe or locate it from any browser on the Find My Device page.

3. Enable Automatic Updates

automatic updates

Automatic updates are very important for your android privacy. At certain times, apps sends new privacy features or new privacy fixes to the new problems that help you control your data in a more convenient way.

For automatically updating the apps, go to Google Play Store and go to top right corner to access Menu> General> Auto-update apps. You can also double check if your OS is automatically updated regularly by opening Settings> System> Advanced> System Update.

2. Sensitive Information and Lock Screen Notifications

notifications

Your lock screen may get notifications of everything. You need to hide those notifications if they are very sensitive because people may see them if they are with you or if your phone is on table or another room.

For disabling this revealing notification, go to Settings> Privacy> Notifications and then select Show sensitive content only when unlocked.

1. Third-party Messaging App

third party messaging

Android has its own messaging when it comes to communication. But it not encrypted and basic features like deleting is are not always an option.

Instead of using default messages on your android, use a safe encrypted communication way. These apps are Signal or Telegram or WhatsApp.

The Bottom Line

Privacy is a hot topic. Privacy protection and cyber security should be thought of as interconnected: as more and more personal information is processed or stored online, privacy protection increasingly relies on effective cyber security implementation.

Efani ensures that readers are facilitated with utmost (mobile) privacy measures and gear up their response to threat landscape.

Source

Posted on

7 iOS Privacy Tips and Tricks You Didn’t Know Before

You might probably be wondering about iOS privacy tips and hacks to keep you safe.

But at the same time you might be wondering what else is left after screen lock or SIM Card Lock?

Let us tell you…

There are more ways of penetration than you may think of.

Don’t worry! Let Efani be your savior and guide you through the 7 iOS privacy tips and tricks you can implement right away on your iPhones or iPads.

Quick Fact: As per statista, about 47% of the total US population of mobile users, use iPhones. Just imagine the importance of these iOS privacy tips.

iOS Privacy Tips and Tricks

Privacy and cybersecurity are becoming super significant to all the tech users out there. We know you are concerned about your iOS privacy tricks so let’s not keep you waiting.

7. Create Encrypted Local Backups

Encrypt iPhone Backups
Encrypting backups on your computer isn’t a convenient way of backing up data but it is among the most secure ways.

While Apple’s servers are without a doubt secure, anything put away in iCloud is fundamentally out of your hands similar to privacy. Despite the fact that it’s exchanging accommodation for genuine feelings of serenity, you might need to consider utilizing privately put away and scrambled iTunes backups rather than iCloud Backups.

Just connect to iTunes via your laptop or computer and navigate to the “Backup” section. Make sure you select the “Encrypt iPhone Backup”.

6. Revoke 3rd Party App Permissions

ios privacy tips and settings
Third Party apps can access your data.

Third Party apps can access and skim through your data as you have unsolicited granted them permissions to do so for their working.

Simply go to Settings> Privacy to view the types of data your iOS apps ask to access. The list includes:

  • Location Services
  • Contacts
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • and more

Tap each option to see the list of installed apps that requested to access that data. You can simply approve or revoke the permission using the toggle next to each app. It is recommended to revoke the permissions if they are not important to keep your data safe.

5. Uninstalling Untrustworthy Apps

Instagram on iOS
There are some applications which are notorious for collecting data from their users.

Apple is a company that really takes the security of its users very seriously. Although iOS is itself super secure, still there are some third party iOS apps that collect the personal data from you and breach the iOS privacy.

Some popular apps are by Facebook, Amazon and Google. Their apps harvest data using permissions so you can uninstall them if you are really privacy freaks and don’t want apps to access your data.

You can still use such apps using safety browsers like Safari Private browsing or use an iPad.

4. Built-in Password Features

iPhone created a strong password in Safari
iOS’s suite of password tools.

You should have long and unique passwords for your device, apps, or accounts. You may require a password manager to manage these passwords and thankfully Apple offers the “Password Reuse Auditing” feature after iOS 12 that automatically tells you if you are reusing the passwords stored in iCloud Keychain. It also suggests strong and unique passwords.

3. Restrict iPhone Analytics

iPhone Analytics Improvements settings
Apple tracks the data but also lets you control it.

We stated it earlier that apple protects your data but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t collect or harvest your data for itself. They use this data for targeting and/or machine learning purposes.

Apple gives you the ability to disable this tracking.

Got to Settings> Privacy> Analytics & Improvements. Disable the options there to stop Apple from harvesting your data.

To stop Apple from sending you the targeted ads, go to Settings> Privacy> Apple Advertising to turn it off.

For not letting Apple use your location data to serve the first-party ads, alerts, or Siri suggestions, go to Settings> Privacy> Location Services> System Services and disable Location-Based Suggestions and the Product Improvement options.

2. Privacy-based iOS Apps

Firefox Focus
Firefox Focus is built from the ground up around its privacy features.

Browsers collect data. But there are very secure browsers that you can use to browse through the internet without having to worry about the data trackers. Whatever the browser is, go for DuckDuckGo as your search engine instead of the traditional Google Search.

Safari has amazing features and privacy protection. Safari also gives you a privacy report that shows the websites that tried to track your data in the last month.

If not Safari, you can go for Firefox Focus which is built from the ground up around its privacy features.

You can also ditch GMail and opt for ProtonMail for near-perfect email protection.

Telegram, Signal and iMessage of Apple itself are good messaging apps options.

1. Safer DNS and VPN

cloudfare dns
Look into DNS if you haven’t yet.

Numerous individuals most likely understand what a virtual private network (VPN) is, and that it can go far toward securing their privacy when browsing on the web. Less individuals are probably going to think about DNS, yet it is similarly as significant for privacy-cognizant people.

There are various outsider DNS choices you can use for improved iOS privacy over the default choices. Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS, for instance, doesn’t keep any browsing logs and never stores any information that can be utilized to distinguish end clients.

Obviously, notwithstanding another DNS, a VPN is likewise a smart thought on the off chance that you’re not previously utilizing one. We suggest staying away from free alternatives for the best security.

Keeping Your iPhone safe with These iOS Privacy Tips

These are the iOS privacy tips and tricks that are going to keep you safe from unsolicited interactions with the hackers and data collectors. This is such a serious act in cybersecurity that it may make you suffer a lot with you being unaware of where and how your data was used.

Remember, prevention is better than cure.

As far as military grade protected SIM is concerned, Efani is here. Rest assured, we will always be here to help you with cybersecurity knowledge.

Source