Americans turn to VPNs to prevent online fraud and hacking

Since March 2020 there has been an increase of of VPN (Virtual Private Network) discount-related searches as Americans search for a way to feel secure online, according to a new report.

New York, NY-based coupon engine CouponFollow, part of NextGen Shopping surveyed 1,666 US adults before the pandemic and a further 1,834 US adults in February 2021 to understand how Americans view their internet security and data privacy.

Also: What is a VPN and why do you need one? Everything you have to know

The report showed that almost seven in ten (69%) of Americans are concerned about the security of their data when using public Wi-fi, and nearly two in three (64%) are worried about it when using the internet at home.

A similar percentage (65%) are concerned that their medical or financial data might be shared — or sold on — by their ISP.

Online privacy worries almost

Read More

Blind Americans face roadblocks booking online vaccine appointments

“I couldn’t get through the form,” he said. By the time he figured it out “all the appointments were gone.”

Paula Short, associate vice president of campus preparedness and response at the University of Montana, said she asked that the drop-down box be removed. As of Friday, it was still there. For now, Short said the University of Montana added screen-reader-compatible language at the top of its sign-up portal to direct anyone with accessibility issues to the Missoula County call center and is currently testing an alternative registration process.

“The ability for everyone to have access to vaccines (and be able to schedule vaccination) is a top priority and we will work to remove any barriers to the online sign-up and continue to provide access over the phone,” Short said.

Missoula City-County Health Department spokeswoman Hayley Devlin said the drop-down box found in the sign-up portal for the MCCHD vaccination

Read More

Parler Is Back Online and ‘Open to Americans of All Viewpoints’

(Photo by Hollie Adams via Getty Images)

Social media app Parler is back online, no thanks to mainstream tech services. The Trump-friendly platform, which went dark last month after the US Capitol riot, relaunched Monday with a new platform built on “sustainable, independent technology,” Reuters reported.

Amazon, Google, and Apple in January dropped access to Parler (not to be confused with “social talking app” Parlor), citing its alleged use to help coordinate the D.C. insurrection. The social network partially returned less than two weeks later, this time powered by Russian-owned DDos-Guard.

Efforts to rebuild were led by Chief Executive John Matze, who promised that Parler would “resolve any challenge before us” and welcome users back “soon”—before being fired on Jan. 29. In a memo obtained by Fox News, Matze suggests the dismissal was based on his support for stronger content moderation. New interim CEO Mark Meckler, co-founder of the

Read More

Americans take to ‘buy now, pay later’ shopping during pandemic, but can they afford it?

(Reuters) – When Leondra Garrett wanted to stock up on three new pairs of shoes early last year, the North Carolina resident split a $161 online purchase into four installments through a “buy now, pay later” service, in what seemed like a convenient deal.

FILE PHOTO: A shopper wearing a protective mask tries on clothes at a retail store following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New York City, New York, U.S., July 5, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo

Now, she admits she should have read the small print about missed payments.

When the buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider tried to withdraw a payment from Garrett’s bank account a few months later, she didn’t have enough funds to cover it. Soon after, the 42-year-old was charged $40 in penalties and her credit score dropped 10 points to 650, a reading generally classified as ‘fair’.

“It’s important for consumers

Read More