Russians in the temporarily occupied territories are trying to connect Ukrainians to Russian Internet networks, which have equipment for filtering Internet traffic, which has allowed them to block many Ukrainian and international web resources. In this way, the Russians are trying to conduct their information and psychological operations and collect data.
To avoid tracking and circumvent the restrictions, we recommend that Ukrainian users who are connected to Russian networks use VPN services.
VPN (Virtual Private Network ) is a virtual private network that provides encryption of traffic between the client and the VPN server and IP address change. When you connect to a VPN, a secure channel is created between the user’s computer and the VPN server. The data in it is securely encrypted: your Internet provider will not know your location and the web resources you have visited.
An updated IP address is usually created from another city or country. For example, you can log in from Kyiv while you are in Ukraine, but your IP address will indicate that you are, for example, in London, UK.
VPN services allow you to use resources that are prohibited by geographical restrictions or government decisions. With a VPN, you can freely visit blocked sites by simply selecting and downloading the application to your computer or mobile device.
When to use a VPN
- When using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks to protect your data.
- When you need secure access to the Internet and systems when organizing remote work.
- To protect yourself from websites, apps, and services that want to track your activities.
- To prevent the operator or provider from tracking your actions on the Internet.
- To gain access to information resources blocked by the occupier.
How to choose a VPN
When choosing a paid VPN, pay attention to the following criteria:
- Protection. It’s better to choose a VPN that has military-grade encryption (e.g., AES-256), a range of security protocols (OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2, WireGuard, and others), DNS leakage protection, TrustedServer technology that deletes all your data every time you restart, and an automatic kill switch function.
- Support for operating systems. Make sure the VPN supports the operating systems you use: Android, iOS, Windows, and other generations.
- Number of simultaneously active devices. The main thing is that you have enough.
- Cost. VPNs can be paid or free. Paid services may have a better level of protection, higher connection speed, and support for more operating systems.
If you use a free VPN
- Check the reputation of the service in a search engine to see if there have been any facts of leakage or sale of user data.
- Don’t use Russian VPNs, as they are likely to send data to Russian intelligence agencies.
Several options for VPN services recommended by experts
Some VPN programs may unreasonably request access to user data when downloading. The ones who ask should be alarming:
- access to personal data;
- recording on external drives;
- change system settings;
- management of local files;
- access to call logs.
Apps that ask for four or more permissions: Yoga VPN, proXPN VPN, Hola Free VPN, Seed4.Me VPN, OvpnSpider, SwitchVPN, Zoog VPN, and others.
To ensure a stable and secure connection, we recommend using paid VPN services. Be sure to download VPN service apps from official websites, following all licenses and provider recommendations.
Applications that are not installed by the user through official web resources may contain vulnerabilities in their code that allow the user to be de-anonymized.
Stay safe while using the Internet, protect yourself and your information.
Source: Center for National Resistance