Chasing Criminals on the Dark Web
More and more people are opting for the best VPN services in order to protect their privacy and anonymity online. One of the common motivations for doing so is to unlock geo-restricted websites. However, some people want to hide their misdoings. Meanwhile, a lot of users are sure that VPN provides complete online anonymity. This is a misconception, and I’m going to tell you why.
VPN was never intended for anonymity. Although security and anonymity belong to the same domain, they aren’t identical. The objective of a VPN is to create an encrypted channel between the client and the server. At this point, there is only one secure VPN technology — OpenVPN using TLS protocol. The others are known to have been compromised.
Just like the average network resource, any VPN tool consists of three layers:
- It’s a physical or logical server; in other words, a machine.
- The VPN technology proper.
- It’s an IP address used by the service.
Speaking of IP addresses and event logs, it doesn’t matter whether a VPN maintains logs as long as it’s a VPN of your own. The IP addresses of any third-party VPN service, for instance, one offered by a hosting provider, are that provider’s property. All the other parties simply rent it.
No provider will ever disable event logs. Firstly, otherwise, it won’t comply with telecommunications licensing criteria. Secondly, logs facilitate troubleshooting and network maintenance while also helping detect network attacks.
Consequently, bear the following in mind: even if you disable event logs at the VPN server level, your provider will keep them anyway.
What is the fundamental difference between a public and private VPN server?
By analyzing logs, your provider can retrieve details on the IP address, port, and the protocol used to secure your communication. That’s it. They won’t be able to see anything else.
At the level of the VPN server proper as a data transmission entity, it’s possible to enable the traffic interception system. In other words, any perpetrator can open the VPN service and sniff network traffic. This, in its turn, allows cybercrooks to intercept data on cryptocurrency wallets, personal chats, emails – everything, except for the information protected with SSL or TLS encryption.
If you run a private server you can avoid the above issues, because it’s you who created it and therefore you know what’s inside it. Consequently, the only secure resource is one that we have complete (root) access to.
Now, let’s dwell on the location of the servers. There is an opinion that you can download a VPN and choose a server in Panama or Qatar – and you’re good to go. That’s a half-truth, though. Why? Because official inquiries are more powerful than you could ever imagine.
Let’s see how secret services work with the above-mentioned Panama. This country never gives away any information to anyone. Except for U.S. law enforcement.
So, your country’s secret services submit an inquiry to Interpol, indicate an IP address and mention that the case has to do with terrorism. Interpol forwards this inquiry to a corresponding U.S. law enforcement agency, which then submits it further to Panama. The response follows a reverse order to get back to the original sender.
The same applies to Qatar, except that the inquiry goes to Saudi Arabia. Long story short, they’ll find you anyway if they really want to.
Machines cannot replace the good old police investigation. As soon as sleuths spot real-world drug trafficking activity, they start looking for clues online. Surveillance and undercover operations help determine where the real and virtual worlds meet. For instance, Ross Ulbricht’s arrest in 2013 took place when he used public Wi-Fi, which co-occurred with the Silk Road admin’s appearance online.
Retrieving data from open sources
Drug dealers use their thoroughly camouflaged sites only as web stores but look for clients on publicly accessible networks. This makes them much more vulnerable. The law obliges the owners of regular Internet services to provide the police with any user information they request. For example, five Reddit forum users who discussed the sale of prohibited goods via r/darknetmarkets were apprehended after Reddit administrators gave away their contact details. The above-mentioned Ulbricht had also left his real email address here and there while doing his Silk Road-related shenanigans.
Law enforcement agencies cooperate with postal services in order to inspect suspicious packages. Police officers can also obtain the tracking code of any package like that in order to hunt down the recipient.
Big data and machine learning
The police can leverage big data to unearth connections that otherwise cannot be identified. They analyze IP addresses and various types of information posted online, drawing logical conclusions and teaching artificial intelligence to do the same. This is an expensive and complex system, but it definitely pays off in the long run.
Chasing the money
Although the Bitcoin cryptocurrency boasts a high degree of anonymity, its weak link is the trading ecosystem. The police can request information from Bitcoin exchanges on who completed specific deals and when. To this end, law enforcement can also cooperate with banks.
The service called Elliptic is one of the most popular solutions in terms of monitoring illegal Bitcoin turnover. This project collaborates with financial institutions and law enforcement agencies.
Undercover cops often gain the trust of darknet website administrators and also pretend to be sellers as well as retail and wholesale buyers.
The police and the FBI can use modified software to identify deep web users. For example, that’s exactly how a major darknet forum was exposed — FBI officers injected a vulnerability in it that exfiltrated users’ IP addresses to the Bureau’s server.
In practice, the anonymity of deep web users tends to be overstated. Malicious actors usually stay on the loose until law enforcement agencies start adopting countermeasures, some of which are based on classic investigation techniques rather than cutting-edge machine learning technologies.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Your Screen Protector
Your phone screen is vulnerable to scratches and damage, but luckily there are screen protectors available to help keep it safe.
Applying a Dell screen protector can seem intimidating at first, but with the right tools and a bit of patience, you’ll be able to do it yourself in no time.
Let’s break down how you can apply your screen protector correctly.
What You Need Before You Begin
Before you get started, make sure you have all the necessary supplies.
You’ll need a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of liquid soap, a cloth or towel for wiping away excess water, and an old credit card or similar object with a flat edge like an expired gift card.
You will also need your Dell screen protector.
- Clean the Screen
The first step is to clean your phone’s screen with a cloth and a soapy water solution.
Make sure that all dust particles are removed so they won’t be trapped under the protector when you apply it. Allow the phone to dry completely before moving on to step two.
- Prepare Your Screen Protector
Once your phone is dry, take out your new protector from its packaging and remove any plastic covering it may have on either side of it.
Place it onto your phone gently, making sure that all edges line up properly with the edges of your phone’s display.
If there are any air bubbles present, carefully use the flat edge of your credit card or gift card to press them out from one corner to another until they disappear entirely.
- Check for Good Coverage
Now that you have applied your screen protector, take a few moments to check for good coverage in all areas and make sure there are no remaining air bubbles or dust particles on your device’s screen.
You should also make sure that all edges firmly adhere with no lifting occurring at any point along those edges. If everything looks good, then congratulations, you have successfully applied your new screen protector.
- Secure Your Screen Protector
Now that your protector looks perfect on your device, give it one final wipe down using the cloth before securing it in place by pressing lightly along each edge with the flat edge of your card or gift card once more while making sure that all edges stay lined up properly as you go along.
That’s it. Congratulations, you have just successfully applied a new Dell screen protector.
Applying a Dell screen protector may seem intimidating at first glance, but following these steps makes applying one simpler than ever.
With just a few items, some soapy water solution, an old cloth or towel for cleaning off dust particles, an expired gift card, or a similar object for pressing out any air bubbles, plus some patience, anyone can easily protect their device’s display from scratches and other damages.
So why not give it a try today? Take care of your tech investments by ensuring their screens are well-protected, and you won’t regret it.
The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Apple Device Online vs. In-Store
If you’re considering selling your old Apple device, you may wonder whether it’s better to sell online or in-store. Both options have pros and cons, so it’s essential to weigh your options carefully before making a decision. Here’s a look at some of the key considerations for each option.
Research where to sell it. Online or in-store.
For those looking to sell their Apple device, there are a few essential factors to consider before choosing whether to sell online or in-store. Selling online allows for specialization and can increase the potential pool of customers, but it requires ensuring that shipping costs are understood and kept low. On the other hand, selling items in-store provides instant gratification, and customers may show greater appreciation for an item when they can see it with their own eyes. Both platforms can be highly lucrative if marketed correctly, but sellers should be prepared to put in additional effort when selling any product.
Get an estimate of how much your device is worth.
Have you always wondered how much your used electronic device is worth? Getting an estimate of its value is easier than you might think. Online marketplaces like SellYourMac make it easy to quickly find the estimated value of your device based on its year, model, condition, and other factors. These estimates give you a good idea of the current market price if you sell or trade in the device. Knowing your device’s approximate value can also help if it breaks and needs to be repaired, as repair shops could use the estimation to assess the cost of getting it working again. With most estimates displayed instantly or within minutes, you can finally find out the actual value of your beloved device!
Compare the offers and decide who to sell to – online or in-store!
You must weigh your options when deciding where to sell your products. When you put them up for sale online, you get access to a vast audience worldwide while at minimum cost risk. On the other hand, in-store sales take more legwork but can be more emotionally rewarding and potentially more profitable. To make the most informed decision, look at both sides of the coin; what are each option’s pros and cons? Along with comparing prices, consider how much time and money you’re willing to invest in getting either option up and running – as well as how much marketing effort it will take to secure a steady flow of customers. With thorough research and thoughtful consideration, you can make the best decision for yourself that is both financially beneficial and purposeful in achieving your goals.
If you’re selling online, package your device securely and ship it off according to the buyer’s instructions.
When selling your phone online, it’s important to properly pack your device and make sure it’s shipped off according to the buyer’s instructions. This is a crucial step in ensuring a successful transaction and customer satisfaction. To begin with, make sure whatever you send is securely wrapped in bubble wrap (or some other kind of protective material) and placed inside an appropriate box or bag. You must also skim over the buyer’s shipping instructions one more time before hitting the send button. Double-checking these instructions will ensure your item is sent off to the correct address as quickly and smoothly as possible. Taking the time to wrap and pack your device securely may seem like an extra step, but it will ultimately benefit you and the buyer in the long run.
If you’re selling in-store, bring in your device and any required accessories or documentation and get paid on the spot!
Selling in-store is a great way to get fast cash for your device and accessories. Whether you’re selling a phone, laptop, or gaming console, most stores have the required items on hand, so you don’t need to worry about remembering any extras. Bring in your device with the necessary documents and get paid quickly; no waiting around for money to appear in your account! You can feel secure knowing that the store will take care of any legalities and ensure a smooth sales process. It doesn’t get easier than this!
Now that you know how to sell your old iPhone, it’s time to start. The process is simple and easy to follow, so there’s no excuse not to start researching where to sell your device. Whether you want the convenience of online selling or the instant payment of in-store transactions, make sure you compare offers before making a decision. And finally, once you’ve completed the sale, remember to use that extra money wisely!
Tips to Easily Create Professional Development Videos
As you probably know, videos have gained massive popularity over the last few years. A survey in 2021 revealed seven out of ten respondents stating that they stopped subscribing to satellite or cable TV in preference to watching online videos.
Video is the most popular medium for content worldwide and is consumed by all ages. It is so pervasive that you see it everywhere – on your social media, television even in your WhatsApp messages.
Irrespective of whether you want to market, advertise, entertain or create a training module, videos are the best method of delivery.
If you want to make a professional development video that has an impact, effectively conveys your message, and facilitates learning, then read on.
The benefits of Professional Development Video
Training videos come with their benefits. If you want to learn something new, haven’t you turned to a YouTube video for it? In most likelihood, yes. Being an audio-visual medium, it conveys not only written but also visual cues.
Let’s see the benefits of training videos:
- They can engage the audience better than text, resulting in a better grasp of any topic. Here you can be part of the experience and not just read it.
- The biggest advantage is that these videos can be viewed anytime without hindering daily business.
- Since these videos are recorded and reusable, they considerably reduce training costs incurred, such as venue, travel, and repeated training.
- A variety of videos can be made to suit various needs. They can be video lectures, presentations, screencasts, or demonstrative videos.
- Video creation, video editing, and video sharing have become easy, increasing the appeal of this medium.
Naturally, given these advantages, it has become one of the most effective training tools. An overwhelming majority of the videos online are of learning content. This ranges from DIY projects and recipes to tutorials on various subjects.
Tips To Easily Create Professional Development Videos
Luckily for you, with the rising popularity of videos in the last few years, making videos has become quite easy.
Better still, anyone can create these videos. You don’t need to be an instructional design professional to make them. Follow these simple tips on how to create and make the most of your content:
#1 Find the Right Tools
If you have never made a professional development video before, don’t worry. You do not need to have expensive equipment – just the right type. You can make a training video with a camera, microphone, screen recorder, and video editor.
For a long time, the common belief was that professional video cameras were needed for recording a video. However, now it is possible to create a good quality video with your smartphone or even a webcam.
This, along with decent editing software, is enough to get you started. You can use an online video maker to make a video online. It will allow you to trim your videos, cut out any mistakes and even add audio clips in one place. So, keep this handy, and you can begin your journey.
#2 Know What You Want to Create
Be very clear about the topic and message you want to convey. People can easily lose interest if the video doesn’t provide the information they seek. Importantly, also be clear on what sort of video you want to make. There are many kinds of professional development videos.
- Training videos – These typically are employee skill development-focused tutorials that are step-by-step and instructional in nature.
- Micro videos – These are short and focused on a topic.
- Explainer videos – These, as the name suggests, try to explain a concept in a fun manner.
- You can also make full-fledged presentation videos.
Once decided, create suitable content and avoid deviating from the topic.
#3 Know Who Your Target Audience Is
Try to understand who is watching your video, what problems they might have, and what solutions they are looking for. If it is a training video, then what is your goal? How will your audience benefit from watching your video?
Before you even choose a topic, understand who is watching it and what they might need. This will help you make a more effective video.
#4 Plan Your Script and Storyboard
Plan what you what to say and how to say it. Design and outline a script before recording. It will allow you to convey all you want in an orderly manner.
To make an effective video, plan the support links, slides, scenarios, or any other elements you wish to add. This will make for more engaging content.
Your narration and screen imagery should be in sync. This can only happen with proper planning and scripting.
#5 Face the Camera Like a Professional
Sitting in front of the camera is never easy. However, approach it with poise. If you get your basics in place, it will go a long way in building your confidence. Get a good camera. Ensure that the lighting is good. The lighting should be natural and face you.
When you speak, you should look at the camera. If you feel that you are getting distracted by your image, then cover up the recording pane. Finally, be yourself while recording.
To create a connection with the audience, it is important to be natural. Your viewers will understand you better and be more involved if you speak conversationally without using complicated words.
#6 Record in a Quiet Spot
Next, you need to record your script. Look for a quiet spot for recording. You will need a good microphone if you want decent sound quality. But if your mic is good, it will pick up even the slightest background sounds. Sit in a place with minimal noise. When you start recording, you should ensure that:
- There is no noisy fan or air conditioner in the background.
- Other people’s conversations can’t be heard.
- Keep the doors and windows of the recording room closed.
#7 Record Your Video Smartly
Make sure you are not casting anything you didn’t intend to. For that, ensure all unnecessary windows and applications are closed. This includes all notifications. The background should be clear and clutter-free. Avoid using earbuds or headphones, as they can be distracting.
Position the camera at such a height that you do not have to look down at it. It should ideally be at the height of your forehead.
#8 Editing Your Video
The right video editor will make your job a lot easier. Look for one that allows you to break the script into sections. You can use it that enables you to trim your videos and eliminate any errors. You can also add your audio narration at this time. This can sync the audio to the video by adjusting clip speed and extending frames.
The video editing tool with pre-made video templates can do your work easily. You can be totally amazed by the output of these tools. Learning these tools is easy and anyone can edit videos without much knowledge. Further, many interactive elements can be added to make a more engaging video.
#9 Keep it Short and Simple
Finally, keep your video short and simple. Try to break the content into smaller sections. 10-15 minutes is perfect for a video chapter.
Professional development videos are an important tool for your company. They help develop a skilled workplace. The biggest advantage they have is that they can be viewed at any time without hindering daily business.
Creating a video is now a very achievable goal thanks to all the resources available easily online. So, go ahead and create great content that is easy to understand, recollect, and catchy.
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