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Internet Traffic Revisited4:24 with Greg Stromire
We’ll take another look at our core internet traffic model, this time using the new tools and behaviors we’ve learned in other videos.
Let's return to our illustrated model of Internet traffic. 0:00 We've explored quite a few concepts since this model was first introduced, so 0:04 let's see how they work in practice here. 0:07 While not everything we've covered will be directly applicable, 0:10 we'll still get a reasonable view of how our new tools can improve the privacy and 0:13 security of our lives online. 0:18 Returning to our scene in a coffee shop in Portland, 0:20 Oregon, our laptop is still connected to an open WiFi network. 0:22 You may recall that the open WiFi allows anyone else on the network 0:27 to see our traffic. 0:30 But now that we've taken this course, we know that a VPN is a great solution. 0:32 We've already researched a VPN service that fit our needs and budget, so 0:37 we'll just enable it for our connection and now our traffic is private and secure. 0:41 You'll notice now that all of our traffic is routing through the VPN, 0:46 whether it's going to Google, Facebook, or any other site. 0:50 This means that the only activity anyone attempting to eavesdrop will see will 0:54 be to the VPN and back. 0:58 You may also notice that this applies to the ISP as well. 1:00 Comcast or Verizon or 1:04 whichever provider the coffee shop uses will only see requests for the VPN. 1:06 This is a nice property for privacy protection 1:10 where some legislation may make it legal for ISPs to sell your browsing history. 1:14 It's worth noting here that a VPN service does have access to your browsing activity 1:19 if you use their network. 1:23 What they do with that information, including if they even keep records of it 1:25 at all, is dependant on which service you choose. 1:29 This is why I suggest you do your research. 1:32 If a VPN service is free to use, there's a good chance they are selling other data 1:35 about your traffic in order to run their business. 1:40 If you pay for their service, and you've researched their policies, 1:43 you may find that they likely have more to gain from your trust and 1:47 word of mouth by actually keeping your info private. 1:50 As someone once described it to me, using a VPN is essentially moving your trust. 1:54 Now let's return to our friend sending us an email from home. 2:00 The main vulnerability for this flow was that the email service was insecure so 2:04 messages to and from that service were exposed. 2:08 Let's expand this scenario to say that your friend used the same username and 2:12 password with this email service as they did with another site that was reported 2:16 on haveibeenpwned.com. 2:20 This means that potentially anyone with access to that breached data 2:23 could log into our friends account and even impersonate them in an email to us, 2:27 severely compromising the authenticity of the email messages. 2:31 But luckily, we told our friend not only about the have I been pwned site, but 2:35 also showed them our favorite password manager. 2:40 So they immediately changed their password and generated a new, 2:43 super strong one to replace it. 2:46 But they didn't stop there. 2:48 They also installed Thunderbird with Enigmail, so now they can encrypt their 2:50 emails for us and be absolutely certain that no one else will be able to 2:54 read the content, even while using the same insecure email provider. 2:59 They also used a cool feature to cryptographically sign the email, so 3:04 we can be absolutely certain that the message really originated from them. 3:08 Nice. 3:13 Now I'm using the phrase absolutely certain 3:14 to describe certain cryptographic properties. 3:17 While it's true that someone could come along and invent a crack for 3:20 the crypto and render this statement false, the world has actually been using 3:23 variations of the same strong cryptography for decades. 3:27 So until such a crack arrives, be confident that these are in fact tried and 3:31 true solutions to protecting your privacy and authenticity. 3:35 Now that we've looked back at our original view of common Internet traffic and 3:40 made some improvements, we're a lot safer and more secure online. 3:44 It didn't take much. 3:49 Just a VPN for us and a password manager in email client for our friend. 3:50 But we actually protected ourselves against many of the common threats we've 3:55 covered in this course. 3:58 Both the VPN which utilizes HTTPS and 4:01 the signed email are strong defenses against man in the middle attacks, 4:03 as well as encryption strategies to protect our privacy. 4:08 Our friend also upgraded their leaked account credentials, which could have 4:13 allowed someone to impersonate them to create a spear phishing attack. 4:16 Just a few easy to use tools made us significantly more secure. 4:20
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