HideMyAss VPN

Thursday, August 3, 2017


In this tutorial we’ll show you how to setup your Boxee Box to connect through a VPN connection using the PPTP protocol.
Boxee Box has developed a great user interface and it comes pre-installed with PPTP-based VPN support, so you can use it with Hide My Ass! Pro VPN – fantastic news right?!
Instructions on how to setup VPN on Boxee Box
On your Boxee Box home screen (as shown below), press the menu button to access the main menu.

● Next, navigate to the gearwheel and press enter as shown below.

● Then navigate to “Network” and press enter.

● At “VPN” enter the following information:
– Connection Type: PPTP
– Server: Enter any of the PPTP server IPs you see in the VPN control panel. You will find the PPTP server IPs by navigating to “Download & Setup” > “Connect without software – PPTP & L2TP”
– Account: Your VPN account username
– Password: Your PPTP password (not your HMA! Pro VPN account password), that you will find in the VPN control panel via “Download & Setup” > “Connect without software – PPTP & L2TP
– Encryption required: Must be enabled (checked)

Press “Connect…” and the integrated VPN software in the Boxee Box will attempt to connect to the VPN server.
The Boxee Box will inform you if the connection fails.
When the connection is successful, you will see “Disconnect…” instead of “Connect…”
Now you know how to setup VPN on Boxee Box!

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Are you sharing too much on social media sites? Sharing your daily escapades and opinions on social media sites is an easy way to keep friends, family and acquaintances abreast of what’s going on in your life, however you could unintentionally be giving away too much of your personal data – information that attackers and other nefarious third parties could use maliciously, or to steal your identity.
Sharing too much on social media not only leaves you vulnerable to attackers, it can also potentially hinder your chances of landing your dream job. Yes really. HR professionals are increasingly scouring social media accounts to find out about the real you, and often decide whether or not to offer you a position based on your profile.
And it doesn’t end there!
Police officers in Fresno, California, are using surveillance software called “Beware” to calculate people’s ‘threat score’, which analyzes a plethora of data, including arrest reports, deep web searches, and a person’s social media postings!
The surveillance software is being utilized by police officers (the first department in the US to test the software), to carry out surveillance on citizens to assess whether or not they are a danger to society.
Intrado – the makers of Beware, are keeping quiet on how exactly their software calculates someone’s threat score, which has raised privacy and security concerns. For example, a simple Facebook post or tweet could increase your ‘threat score’, but the intended seriousness, or sarcastic tone could be lost or misinterpreted by the software, due to the lack of transparency in the way that it works. Beware surveillance software could, according to civil rights lawyer Rob Nabarro, who spoke to The Washington Post “trigger a heavier response by officers.”
Are you sharing too much on social media?
You may have a Facebook account, perhaps a Twitter or an Instagram. Perhaps you have all three, maybe even more. Sharing selfies, images of your food, your positive (and negative) thoughts, opinions and of course memes and GIFs is fun and makes us feel more connected, but are you are sharing too much on social media?
If you think that your family, friends and colleagues are the only interested parties in your daily musings, then you would be wrong. There’s another group of individuals who are only too happy, and perhaps even more interested in knowing about you than your friends – hackers!
According to the “Social media & online privacy” conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2013, teens are sharing more data about themselves on social media sites than ever before.
The Social media & online privacy study reveals that:
  • 71% post their school name, up from 49% in 2006
  • 71% post the city or town where they live, up from 61% in 2006
  • 82% post their birth date
  • 20% post their cell phone number, up from 2% in 2006
  • 53% post their email address, up from 29% in 2006
Sharing valuable personal data such as your birth date, where you live and your telephone number could leave you wide open to attackers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation state that: “The more information you post, the more vulnerable you may become. Even when using high security settings, friends or websites may inadvertently leak your information.”
Fortunately, there are ways that you can limit the amount of personal data you share on social media sites.

1. Don’t share your phone number on social media sites
2. Don’t share your home address on social media sites
3. Resist the urge to ‘check in’ on social media sites such as Facebook and Foursquare
4. Only share your personal data on social media sites with people you know – check out Facebook privacy watcher which will help you to know exactly who can see your posts
You may keep your privacy settings set to the strictest levels and limit the amount of personal data you share on social media sites. But what about your friends, family and acquaintances? Any personal data they share about you on their social media accounts could leave you vulnerable to attackers!
If you believe your social media account or other online account has been hacked, check our tips on how to recover from a hacked account.

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Received a new mobile phone recently? Great! But how can you safely dispose of your old mobile phone? And how can you delete your personal data from your old phone to stop it getting into the wrong hands?
You could sell it, perhaps give it to a family member or friend, donate it to charity, or recycle it. Of course, you may decide to toss it into the ‘drawer of despair’ with all the other bits and bobs such as cables that you will never use again, old batteries (are they really dead?) and that manual for a 1970’s toaster – the list goes on.
Forecasts from eMarketer predict that more than a quarter of the world’s population will own a smartphone in 2016, and with this number expected to grow to more than 2.56 billion people, or a third of the world’s population in 2018, it is important to know how to safely dispose of your old mobile phone and remove your personal data from it.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans disposed of 152,000,000 million mobile devices in 2010 and only 11 per cent of those devices were recycled.
How to dispose of your old mobile
1. Donate it to charity. There are numerous charities, including Against Breast CancerCell Phones for Soldiers, and Hopeline from Verizon Wireless who will be more than happy to receive your old mobile which they will recycle, resell or repurpose to help those in need.
2. Recycle it. Many mobile phone manufacturers will recycle old mobiles. Check out The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and CTIA – The Wireless Association, and your mobile carrier.
3. Give it away. Maybe to a family member or friend?
4. Sell it. Do your research before passing it over to just any company – you may be surprised at the difference in the amount of money you can get for your old mobile phone.
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to dispose of your old mobile, you need to delete all traces of your personal data from it.
How to delete your personal data from your old mobile?
There are some basic things you should do first in order to delete your personal data from your old mobile, regardless of the type.
1. Backup all your data including your contacts, photos, etc.
2. Remove your SIM card.
3. Remove your SD card, if you have one.
4. If you’re disposing of your old mobile phone including your SD card, you will need to encrypt your data before deleting it.
5. Ensure that you sign out of all services on your old mobile phone such as your social media, email and online banking accounts before you wipe it. Also, remove the phone from your Play Store device manager if on Android and from iCloud syncs on iOS.
The next step depends on what type of mobile phone you have.
iOS – iPhone, iPad and iPod
Before proceeding to delete your personal data from your iOS device remember to backup your data!
Follow the instructions from Apple to delete your personal data from your iOS device.
Windows Phone
Ensure that you delete your personal data from your Windows phone, but make sure that you backup your data first before continuing!
Follow the instructions from Windows to wipe your personal data from your Windows phone.
Backup your data before you delete your personal data from your Android device.
The easiest way to delete your personal data from Android is to perform a factory reset. However, this will only erase your data at the application level. Follow these instructions from CNET’s Dan Graziano  to successfully delete your personal data from your Android device.
Before parting with your old mobile phone, double check that all personal data has been deleted from it, including your contacts list, logs for dialed and received calls, voicemails, text messages (sent and received), photos and search history. Also delete any apps you installed (take a note of the ones you downloaded in case you want to download them again on your new phone), and ensure that all related data is erased.
Recycling your old mobile phone is an excellent option, but personally I would donate my old mobile to a worthwhile charity. 

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Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology is used to capture millions of motorists’ licence plates in the UK and store them in a huge database. In the United States the technology is more commonly known as Automated License Plate Readers/Recognition (ALPR), which according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Justice, captures up to “1,800 license plates per minute at speeds up to 120-160 miles per hour.”
What’s so bad about ANPR or ALPR technology you ask. Well, if police and other law enforcement agencies in the UK and overseas use automatic number plate recognition to fight crime such as to locate stolen cars – surely that’s a good thing? Essentially it is. Criminals are, according to British police, using the UK’s roads for illegal activities such as kidnapping, drug-related crimes and murder. While these measures to fight crime are to be commended, where can the line be drawn between bringing criminals to justice to an increasing surveillance state – without encroaching on people’s right to privacy?
Big Brother is watching!
How far can you walk down the street before spotting a CCTV camera? In the UK, it’s not long before you notice one – perhaps in a store, mounted on a traffic light or in your bank. There are between 4 million and 5.9 million CCTV cameras in the UK, according to a report by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA). However, not all CCTV cameras are equipped with ANPR technology. Currently, 9,000 automatic number plate recognition cameras are in use across the UK, according to Sky NewsKent police have plans to increase the number of ANPR cameras by a third. 34 automatic number plate recognition cameras are planned to be installed over the next few years, bringing the total number of spy cameras in Kent to 137.
Our online activity is monitored, there are apps which help employers to track the movements of their employees, facial recognition creeps into our everyday lives, even our TV sets are listening into our conversations – and of course automatic number plate recognition technology can be added to this list. It would appear that there are very few places left where people can escape state surveillance and enjoy privacy.
What is ANPR technology?
Automatic number plate recognition was invented in 1976 at the Police Scientific Development Branch in the UK. The first official report of ANPR technology being used was to help solve a murder case in the UK, in November 2005 by locating the killers of Sharon Beshenivsky, according to a number of news reports.
ANPR technology is used by police and other law enforcement agencies throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The technology has received a fair amount of traction in the British media recently, due to the number of them currently being used on the UK’s roads.
British broadcaster Sky News, recently reported that 34 million images of commuters’ car number plates were taken using automatic number plate recognition cameras each day during one week in October 2015, and these were added to a database containing 22 billion – yes 22 billion- records. All images captured by ANPR cameras are kept for two years.
CCTV cameras are fitted with automatic number plate recognition software – or ANPR technology. As a vehicle passes by the cameras, an image of the vehicle’s licence plate is captured – and sent to a database. In the UK, this data is sent to the Police National Computer. The issue here is that the information from ALL vehicles is recorded and stored – regardless of whether you are innocent.
Police.UK state on their website that:
Using Automatic Number Plate Recognition, “Police officers can intercept and stop a vehicle, check it for evidence and, where necessary, make arrests. A record for all vehicles passing by a camera is stored, including those for vehicles that are not known to be of interest at the time of the read that may in appropriate circumstances be accessed for investigative purposes. The use of ANPR in this way has proved to be important in the detection of many offences, including locating stolen vehicles, tackling uninsured vehicle use and solving cases of terrorism, major and organised crime. It also allows officers’ attention to be drawn to offending vehicles whilst allowing law abiding drivers to go about their business unhindered.”
But what happens to these records? Who lawfully has access to them? Who actually might have access to them? And what about the risk of hackers compromising the ANPR database?
Jonathan Bamford, the Head of Strategic Liaison at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), recently told Sky News: “You’ve really got to ask the question about the extent of ANPR and the amount of records that it’s collecting.” Bamford added: “There are a lot of people going around on their ordinary day to day business doing nothing wrong, innocent individuals – those are being acquired at the rate of 30 million or so a day and being retained for a number of years…you end up with a picture where there’s not a lot of our lives taking place which the state can’t gain access to in some ways. So it’s very, very important that there’s a proper public policy debate about the extent of surveillance in the United Kingdom.”
The use and storage of ANPR technology concerns many, including privacy advocates and human rights groups, such as the Big Brother Watch in that monitoring all citizens (including innocents) movements, the software not only invades people’s privacy, it allows for misidentification and errors, and can be regarded as yet another form of mass surveillance.
Renate Samson, Chief Executive at Big Brother Watch, said: “A proper debate about how this technology is used and to what extent it invades the privacy of ordinary motorists is long over. There needs to be a massive education programme about ANPR: what they are, what do they do, how long is our data kept, and what is the data used for? If not, it will fuel concerns about a surveillance state.”
Even if you are comfortable theoretically with your own government having access to these records and using them under the right controls – what about hacking groups? What about foreign governments? As the recent news of the compromise of the Equation Group (an elite hacking group strongly associated with the United States NSA) shows, even elite, possibly government-sponsored actors can have their databases compromised.  What’s to stop the information from ending up in the wrong hands?
Do you think that automatic number plate recognition technology is about keeping UK citizens safe by bringing criminals to justice? Or do you think the technology is used to generate more revenue for the government and also gives them too much power to be able to pry into the lives of innocent people?

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