Why VPNs are not as private as you think

Retro

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From the companies providing the VPN service not being as trustworthy as you think to data mining by large corporations and even analysis of the MTU size and other packet technical information, VPNs aren't the privacy panacea that they're made out to be. It's fine to use them, but be aware of what you're getting into. Note that they are genuinely useful for getting round geolocation blocks, censorship and (usually) hiding your activity from your ISP.

See why below.


btw, look out for the VPN sponsorship in the middle of the video. Peddling one of these (and one I've never head of at that) in the middle of a video like this is ironic in the extreme.
 

Digerati

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I have never used a VPN on my personal network/systems for the exact reasons noted. I am not saying I trust my ISP (Cox Communications), but I do believe they are more honest (or less dishonest) than companies that promote their services and business models with marketed "hype" about hiding their users from "law enforcement". To me, that is like hiring the fox to guard the henhouse.

If you use Ethernet to connect to your local network, the closest others can learn of your physical location is your PoP (point of presence). The PoP is where your ISP connects your network to the Internet backbone. In my case, that is about 8 miles away on the other side of town. This is why, when we visit some sites (Home Depot, for example) it might think we live in the next town over, or in a different zip code.

People whine and complain about Microsoft but Microsoft does NOT know our real names (unless we tell them). They don't know our physical addresses, billing information, phone numbers, birthdates, or bank accounts. And they are not even trying to find them. In fact, they work to prevent others from finding that information.

If one really cares about their privacy, they should get rid of their cell phones immediately. Our cell phone providers know where we are standing to within a few yards - to include the aisle of the store we are in! They know where we have been, the direction we are heading and how fast we are traveling. They know who we texted and talked to. And they know what sites we have visited. But on top of all that, our cell phone providers can tie all that directly to us because they already know our real names, mailing addresses, billing information and much much more - especially if we purchased our phones through them because then they have all our credit information too.

If worried about privacy, don't even get me started on social media and other sites (Facebook, Google, etc.). And why don't people realize that Siri and Alexa are "listening" to everything we say in our living rooms 24/7/365?
 

Retro

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@Digerati very good points you make there.

In the video, it was scary how even when everything is fully cloaked and the VPN company is trustworthy, governments and big companies can still use datamining to correlate different bits of data into identifying the user.

Thinking about it, I think a VPN company that's been around a good while and built up a reputation should be reasonably trustworthy and can be used to cloak oneself with a reasonable assurance of privacy. The problems for them will start if they're a person of interest by a government or similar, where the only true fix there is to not go anywhere near any kind of computer and live in a cave lol.

And why don't people realize that Siri and Alexa are "listening" to everything we say in our living rooms 24/7/365?
And that's precisely why I don't have Alexa and have disabled Siri on my iPhone and iPad. Yes, they're nice gimmicks and can be useful, but I don't think it's worth this 24/7 spying capability.
 
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