What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me

The Internet has provided millions of people, technical and novice users alike, the opportunity to access information, engage in commerce, and communicate in a way that no other medium has before. However, poor regulations and a lack of accountability, especially in developing nations, have made the Internet a breeding ground for criminal activity. Personal identity theft, credit card fraud, and Internet scams have caused many users to lose millions of dollars and forced them to shy away from utilizing the Internet's many advantages. Many incorrectly believe that it is only the novice Internet user that is most at risk for fraudulent behavior. According to a Carnegie Mellon University survey, 8% of Computer Science undergraduate students know how to send encrypted mail, 42% understand the difference between public and private keys, and only 75% know how to send email. This study shows that Internet criminals have a great opportunity to take advantage of more than novice users. There are others who attempt to sabotage computer systems by delivering bugs via email or hidden programs without the Internet user's knowledge. Consumers and businesses spend billions of dollars each year through reactive security measures in an effort to maintain the integrity of internal computing environments.

The dangers of the Internet can be classified into two main categories: OBVIOUS and OBSCURE. The first results in immediate monetary impact, a typical example involving credit card fraud or identity theft. The second manifests in delayed damage, as expressed through viruses, spam email, spyware, and transparent privacy violations. Though the latter type is often perceived as less detrimental, this is an erroneous and dangerous assumption; in fact, its impact could be much greater in the long run. The upside is that Internet users now have new opportunities to take a stand and protect themselves.

You're Almost There

In response to on-line privacy and security threats, many privacy & security enhancement tools have been developed to enable Internet users to protect their systems. These applications include anti-virus and firewall software, popup window blockers, privacy cleaners, hard drive encryptors, ad-ware blockers, dialer and spy-ware removal packages. While these tools provide better protection than a totally exposed system, they do have their disadvantages. Many of these applications slow down computer speed due to excessive overhead, thereby leading to system crashes and application incompatibility. Further, these protective measures are often negated by the development of new browser hijacking techniques with the potential to transparently explore an Internet user's system, exploit browser vulnerabilities, steal email addresses, change browser home pages, and allow malicious individuals to take complete control over your system. Many users get caught in a never-ending cycle of maintaining their compromised system, which means that hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars may be spent without the user benefiting from the investments. Many users wonder what else they can do to minimize their exposure to online threats.

Safe at Home

Today's Internet users require sophisticated protection against web threats to their online privacy and security. However, client side (computer based) applications are not always the most productive and cost effective means for protection against Internet threats.

IT departments realized a long time ago that the management of information technology could be dramatically simplified by "webifying" applications to minimize the installation base of software packages on user's workstations. By relocating client-side security applications off the user's desktop to the centralized security screening service at the network entry point, enterprises gain greater control over the network traffic entering the local computing environment. Probably the most popular example of this approach would be a network firewall or a centralized anti-virus filtering server designed to detect questionable network traffic before it reaches the end-user workstation.

The immediate advantages of this strategy are clear: it considerably decreases desktop applications support costs and, most importantly, it minimizes the hazardous application entry points for greater overall system security.

However, few IT managers have the time or resources to invest in taking this route. The same security issues also challenge the average Internet user. Having to install, configure, and maintain the vast array of security applications can be intimidating and frustrating at any level.

With the rise of email delivered malicious applications (ex. Trojans, adware, keyword loggers, etc), many users are better informed of the dangers of opening a strange email with an attachment file. But when it comes to web surfing, many users remain unaware that an ever-growing number of detrimental applications transparently compromise a user's system simply when they open a web page. Further, effective protection against web-based harmful code is even more complex because its signature is easily modifiable by webmasters and hence extremely difficult to detect by anti-virus software.

Fortunately, the Megaproxy® Web SSL VPN service is now available to help Internet users combat Internet threats proactively and efficiently, without any client side downloads or installations. We manage the application on our end. This allows the user to get the full benefit of our security service and other special features and enjoy the fastest and most private web experience possible.

While the Megaproxy® Web SSL VPN is not a one-stop privacy and security miracle solution, it does offer an essential addition to your overall privacy and security strategy and minimizes the potential for harmful exposure on the Web. In informed hands, Megaproxy® can make any web experience more enjoyable and worry-free.

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