Several ‘no log’ VPN Providers Caught Keeping Logs

I have written before about being cautious concerning any VPN providers who claim they are not keeping logs.

Just this morning, I was sent an email concerning several VPN providers who had their data dumped onto the Internet, proving they had been keeping logs while claiming they do not keep logs.

This is more proof that you should never trust a “no logging” VPN service to not keep logs.

Now am I saying that using a paid VPN is useless? No, but you need to be careful which VPN service you are using. In my experience, very few are legitimate, and even the legitimate ones are probably logging enough data to eventually identify you.

VPN services are in it for the money and most will say anything (e.g. “no logs”) to make a quick buck. Not to mention they could be selling your user data on the side – a double-whammy.


Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Security, Software, VPN

Happy 4th of July (2020)

𝓟𝓻𝓪𝔂 𝓯𝓸𝓻 𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓝𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓲𝓽𝓼 𝓛𝓮𝓪𝓭𝓮𝓻𝓼𝓱𝓲𝓹!

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” – Psalm 33:12a (NASB)

“and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NASB)


Posted in Holiday

5 eBay Scams to Watch Out for as a Seller

Here are 5 eBay scams to watch out for if you are an eBay seller.

Please note that eBay sellers have almost no protection against dishonest buyers. Worse, several people in the eBay forums seem to fuss at the sellers for “not doing something right”, instead of being helpful and coming up with solutions to help remedy the problem.

 

1) Bait-and-Switch Return

This is when a buyer purchases your item, you ship it, and he receives it with no issue. A few days later, he will start a return claiming “something is wrong” with the item, and ship it back to you.

However once you get the item back, you will discover that he placed either something else entirely in the box, or he shipped you his broken version of the item you sold (e.g. the serial number displayed on the returned item is not the serial for the item you sold).

Either way, you lost both the money and item. He gets away scot-free to do it again to another seller.

 

2) Damaged Return

This one is similar to the “bait-and-switch” return. The difference is the buyer does in fact send you back the same item you sold, but he has damaged the item, while claiming that you sold it in bad condition.

I am not talking about damage due to shipping. I am talking about – more or less – complete destruction of the item. In other words, you lost your money and you no longer have an item to sell due to his carelessness or whatever caused the problem. Buyers who commit this kind of fraud are thieves & liars.

 

3) Hoax Return

This is when a buyer claims something is wrong with the item you sold him. However once you receive the item back, it works perfectly and is definitely able to be resold. Nothing the buyer claimed was wrong with the item is true.

I suspect buyers who lie to get a return have either found a better deal and wanted some of their money back, or they were not happy – for whatever reason – with their purchase, and wanted to lie to make certain they would get a return. Either way you are dealing with a liar and you should block his eBay account. Remember every return costs you time & money.

 

4) Cancelled Order after Shipment

This is when someone buys your item, you ship it off, and an hour or two later he suddenly cancels the order. The idea is you will not be able to stop the shipment in time, he gets your item and his money back. This scam usually is applied to high-priced items (e.g. gaming video cards, 4K televisions).

 

5) Charge-back

This is when someone buys an item from you (usually high-priced), gets the item, then a few days later initiates a charge back. This is done either through PayPal or their credit company.

You lose your item and money. This is major fraud and the buyer not only should be kicked off eBay, but he should also be prosecuted. Otherwise he will just do it again to someone else.


Posted in General, Shopping

Do You Really Need to Pay for Antivirus Software on Windows?

Quick Answer: No. Windows Defender offers decent protection while being free, conveniently updates via Windows Update, and is not a huge resource hog.

Long Answer:

Anti-virus software has been available for a long time. For years, people paid for virus protection via a subscription service.

Over the last 10 or so years, free anti-virus software such as Avast, Avira, Windows Defender, AVG, Malwarebytes (the free, non-premium version), etc. have taken a hold of the market. Now I have used all of the above mentioned anti-viruses. They are all pretty good (AVG, for me, ran on the slow side), but my favorite of the bunch is Windows Defender.

Now I do not have fancy charts, data sheets, graphs, etc. to show the “awesomeness” of Windows Defender. What I can tell you is I am running it on several Windows boxes without any trouble or noticeable slowdown.

None of the boxes have had a successful virus intrusion – while running Windows Defender – for the past 3+ years. False positives for me are pretty much non-existent, and I do not have to think about updating Defender, since Windows Update takes care of that automatically.


Q: What advantage would a paid anti-virus software give me that a free one won’t?

A: Pretty much just support. No guarantee of getting support with free software, but with paid software they kind of have to give support, at least if they want to stay in business.

Everything else – including anti-virus definitions (updates) – are good with both paid and free software.


Q: Are there any open source anti-virus software out there for me to use?

A: The only one I would recommend is ClamAV. However this is not a proper anti-virus solution for most people.

It has no real-time scanner, has a minimal amount of definitions (from my experience, will catch almost nothing out-of-the-box), and has no graphical user interface for you to use (yes, you will be manually editing a configuration file with a text editor), and it will catch several false positives if you are not careful.

This is not a user-friendly software solution. It is geared towards servers and server administrators to set it up properly.


Q: Do any of the mentioned anti-virus software have any back-doors, spyware code, etc. in them?

A: I really do not know, but I would never discount the possibility. The only solution that should not have any “spy” code in it would be ClamAV, but as mentioned before, ClamAV is very non user-friendly and will cause headaches to people who do not know what they are doing.

Unfortunately all the good free anti-virus software is closed-source. I can understand this, because no company wants their trade-secrets exposed to the entire world. This would not be good for business!

Also – just a quick note – I personally would avoid the Kaspersky anti-virus software. They are based in Russia, and I would not trust any Russian software on my computer. I have nothing against the Russian people themselves, I just don’t trust their government not to spy on me. Just a thought.


Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, Security, Software