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252 votes
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Is there a legitimate reason I should be required to use my company's computer? (BYOD prohibited)

So this is an interesting question with a few points into why you not only should WANT to do this, but should do this for your own safety and security. It helps first if you understand that companies ...
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231 votes

My college is forcing me to install their SSL certificate. How to protect my privacy?

Don't install their certificate on any device/OS installation which you ever want to use for private activity. Once you do, your traffic is subject to MITM attacks even if you are not using your ...
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152 votes

Is there a legitimate reason I should be required to use my company's computer? (BYOD prohibited)

As a guy who writes and enforces these types of corporate policies, I can tell you this: it is perfectly normal, and a perfectly reasonable policy. I do NOT want your equipment on my network, ever. ...
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145 votes

My college is forcing me to install their SSL certificate. How to protect my privacy?

A VPN is certainly a good solution, provided they don't block that, too. The best solution for protecting your privacy, though, is probably to try your hardest to get this policy overturned. This is ...
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  • 2,683
140 votes
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My ISP uses deep packet inspection; what can they observe?

Deep Packet Inspection, also known as complete packet inspection, simply means they are analyzing all of your traffic as opposed to just grabbing connection information such as what IP's you are ...
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113 votes
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Anonymity on Facebook - how do they suggest people I should know?

So, yes, they appear to have a deal with the Telecommunication Providers in different Countries. Well that's ONE explanation. Another one that I like better is simply that they have all their ...
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  • 4,772
94 votes
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VPN + HTTPS = 100% anonymous?

Twitter doesn't know the user If you have ever used that browser to connect to Twitter outside of the VPN then it is possible that twitter have used cookies or (even in the case of a complete browser ...
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  • 10.9k
87 votes

If I'm currently on a website and disable my VPN, is my ISP or the web server immediately aware of the change or does a page refresh have to occur?

In the early days of the web, webpages were mostly static and there would be no communication between your computer and the web server unless you were actively loading a page. Today, that is no longer ...
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  • 10.2k
74 votes

My college is forcing me to install their SSL certificate. How to protect my privacy?

Your college is providing the "network connection" service under some conditions, one of them being the ability for the college system administrators to inspect all the traffic. While it is tempting ...
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72 votes

What does a website see if I am connected on my native IP and then enable my VPN?

Since you asked specifically what the website will see, rather than any intermediary watching your network connection, we should think in terms of requests: Your old ("native") IP will disconnect any ...
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  • 3,780
66 votes

Can anti-virus/virus protection be used to spy on you?

Any software you install on your system can compromise the system and thus affect security and privacy. This can be done either willingly or because of bugs in the software. And this is doubly true ...
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65 votes

My ISP uses deep packet inspection; what can they observe?

Trey Blalock's answer describes percisely what deep packet inspection (DPI) is. But I'd like to add three things to hopefully answer your specific questions: There is a technique of DPI that does ...
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64 votes
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Can an open Wi-Fi hotspot be considered "secure" when using a VPN connection?

This is actually exactly the type of environment VPNs were designed to work in: when you cannot trust the local network. If set up properly (i.e. making sure all traffic goes through the VPN and ...
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  • 18.5k
62 votes

My college is forcing me to install their SSL certificate. How to protect my privacy?

Don't use their network for anything personal. That's the best way to protect your privacy from them. If you don't have any choice, then use a Virtual Machine, and install the certificate on the ...
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  • 22.5k
60 votes
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Differences between using Tor browser and VPN

TL;DR Tor provides anonymous web browsing but does not provide security. VPN Services provides security (sort of) and anonymity, but the anonymity might be more in question depending on the service. ...
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  • 12.3k
59 votes

VPN + HTTPS = 100% anonymous?

As Steffen points out, you are perhaps more anonymous that you would be without the VPN, however you are far from 100% anonymous. Your web browser itself can reveal a tremendous amount of information ...
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53 votes
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Is there any way for my ISP or LAN admin to learn my Gmail address as a result of me logging into Gmail's web interface through via their network?

For your average home user, services like GMail (that are run over TLS) would not leak information like the username to the ISP or network administrator. If you're using a machine that is also ...
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  • 15.8k
51 votes

Is there a legitimate reason I should be required to use my company's computer? (BYOD prohibited)

In addition to all the other reasons given: Software licences. You and other employees need certain programs to do your work. These programs are usually licensed for a limited number of users. The ...
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  • 2,403
47 votes
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How safe are employee laptops in China against International corporate espionage?

I recently took a business trip to China. Our IT department told me I could not take my normal machine, and instead gave me a loaner. That may not have helped you at all. The reason I'm saying this ...
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  • 22.5k
46 votes

How can html5 geolocalisation bypass my vpn?

I just checked this with my VPN in http://html5demos.com/geo Although I VPN through Germany, it still shows my nearby location in London. If you read https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/...
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  • 651
45 votes

My college is forcing me to install their SSL certificate. How to protect my privacy?

If ssh is not filtered out, then you can use ssh to produce a SOCKS proxy running over an ssh tunnel. You need not install any software to make this work. You do not need VPN software. The following ...
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  • 2,026
41 votes

My ISP uses deep packet inspection; what can they observe?

As stated by Trey, DPI can see the entire content of your network traffic. All of it. If it is plain text, then they see everything that you do. To add on to Miao's answer: Things DPI can see, ...
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  • 1,141
40 votes

Could logless VPNs be traced?

It is absolutely possible, and there are even companies who buy traffic analysis information from ISPs in bulk and resell them, with Team Cymru explicitly advertising the ability to trace VPN ...
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  • 64.1k
38 votes
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Why is Home --> VPN --> Tor worse than Home --> Tor?

Preface: I consider this question to be a false dichotomy and an inversion of the burden of proof. One of the core tenets of building secure systems is that you minimise the attack surface, and resist ...
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  • 132k
33 votes

Is personal information secure if two VPNs are used?

No matter how many VPN/proxy you use together there is always one which communicates directly with your browser and one which communicates directly with the target server. In both cases any ...
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32 votes

Is there any way for my ISP or LAN admin to learn my Gmail address as a result of me logging into Gmail's web interface through via their network?

To complement @David's and @Steve's answers: If the attacker ("Adam", in your case) has administrative access to your machine, then he can learn all your secrets. Installing an extra root CA, under ...
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31 votes
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What are the advantages of paying for a VPN service as opposed to hosting your own?

VPNs are designed around the concept of trust between 2 or more parties, and were intended for corporate/enterprise use. The popularity of offering "Free VPN" or "Hosted VPN" solutions to the ...
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  • 3,052
31 votes
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Can a VPN Provider MitM my SSL traffic without me noticing?

How does the provider forward the traffic without exposing my IP, but also without breaking the SSL. SSL is protection (like encryption) on top of TCP which sits on top of IP. The underlying layers (...
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28 votes
Accepted

OpenVPN kill switch on Linux

Unfortunately, the previous (since deleted) answer is incorrect and will allow deanonymization because it allows any connection over port 1194, not just traffic originating from OpenVPN. You should ...
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  • 64.1k
27 votes

What can my university see if they have my MAC address?

They're requesting your MAC address because they're using MAC filtering to control access to the WiFi network. That does not in and of itself constitute the ability to see what you're doing when you'...
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  • 35.5k

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