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Private Surfing On Mac With A VPN
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Private Surfing on Mac With A VPN

The way Mac is set up you don't have to worry about a lot of viruses and malware like Windows users do. However, like Windows and all other OS users, there are some serious privacy concerns with surfing the internet. Though you may feel like what you do online is only for your eyes, there are many routes which your local ISP, your government, and even other users can take to eavesdrop on your online activity. The most prevalent way to gain access to your private information is by first identifying your computer by your IP address. Private surfing for Mac begins with using a private IP address through a VPN service.

Because the IP address of your Mac is the doorway to your identity online, hiding it is the padlock that keeps people out. VPNs are designed to hide your IP address on private and public networks. They allow you to sign into a private network of servers, refusing access to anyone without the necessary keys.

The type of encryption used on OpenVPN for Mac is the same kind used when you go shopping online. Have you ever seen your browser change from "http" to "https"? That's encryption working there. Do you trust this type of encryption to hide your identity while shopping online? Probably. This 128-bit or 256-bit encryption is what codes your data so no one but you and the VPN server can decode it. Some proxies use encryption as well, but no proxies use VPN tunneling, which adds a second layer of privacy protection.

To use a VPN on Mac, you don't need any hardware. You Mac is designed to use them. PPTP is the fastest to get set up because it's an older version, but for serious privacy protection you need L2TP, or even better, OpenVPN. These types of VPNs are available at a variety of VPN services. Actually, many VPN services give you full access to hundreds of VPN servers around the world, so you can use PPTP on connection that are particularly slow (and you need to conserver bandwidth), but use OpenVPN when you have a better connection speed.

In addition to using a VPN connection on your Mac, private surfing should expand to the WAY which you surf the internet. Your browser will have settings that allow you to block cookies and warn you when websites are logging your data. Chrome has a cool 'incognito' feature that further increases your anonymity online. Safari and Firefox have something called Private Browsing. You'll notice that they are explicit about these tools NOT making you anonymous to your ISP and other network monitoring tools. That's what the VPN for. Other good ways to increase privacy online is to not give out your real address when signing up for membership sites and using emails services other that Gmail (which has a terrible rep for privacy - try GMX instead).

Online privacy is a hot topic, so check out some blog posts for more ideas or leave some suggestions in the comment box below.


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