SaferNet is revolutionizing cyber-safety. SaferNet’s (VPN+) app provides privacy, protection and control of the internet for all end point devices anywhere in the world. Below is our recent interview with Brad Hawkins, CEO of SaferNet:
Q: You call yourself a (VPN+) app. What is the difference between a VPN and a VPN+?
A: Experts say that to truly be safe online, everyone needs to be diligent about using cybersecurity, and recently, they have been saying it is critical to be using a Virtual Private Network or VPN. Also, the experts often say these tools alone are not enough. We need to be wise and diligent not to do things online that create more risk. SaferNet has solved this issue by combining all the crucial cyber-safety tools together into one app.
Our VPN is designed differently than many VPN’s currently offered in the market. Our VPN is a 256-bit encrypted VPN; the same level of encryption used by the military and banks to ensure safety and privacy. But that is only part of what makes our VPN special. One of the negatives of a regular VPN is that it must be activated every time a device is turned on. Sometimes people either forget or get lazy and do not go through the process of setting up their VPN every time they get online because it is cumbersome and often takes more time than the user thinks it’s worth. This is usually when something sinister happens and often without their knowledge. Our VPN is a 24/7, always active VPN. Once SaferNet is set up and the VPN is active, our users can forget about it because the VPN automatically engages every time, they turn on their device and they are always protected whether they are using wifi or on any cellular network around the world.
The second part of our (+) technology is protection. We can protect our users from accessing sites on the internet that deliver all those pesky viruses, ransomware and malware that cause so many issues.
The third part of the (+) technology is our incredible internet controls. Accessing the internet without using internet controls is like driving with no safety laws in place. There are so many sinister strategies that malicious internet users use to access your devices or even worse your kid’s or employee’s (people that you are responsible for) devices. Something as simple as a deceitfully placed add can take one’s device to sites on the internet that an administrator might find offensive or a waste of time or even worse, to a hacker’s access site. It is easy to wind up in places that are not of value to us when we are not paying attention. SaferNet keeps our users focused on what is important to the administrator.
SaferNet provides over 200 internet controls to give administrators a very simple and easy way to monitor and control the internet, and truly design the internets access for each device. We have 84 content category filters that allow you to pick what portions of the internet can or cannot be accessed by a device. You even can allow or block specific websites. You can use this if, for example, you would like to block all social media but allow Facebook for a specific reason. Or you might want to allow Facebook and Instagram for one person, or a group of people, but block social media for everyone else. You can also turn the internet on and off as you desire; manually or with a schedule. All Apps are now in your control as well. You can truly design how you want to use the internet.
Visualizing the online activity is amazing to see. You can see every person’s device as well as the internet activity on each specific device; both what is being blocked and what is being accessed. SaferNet also protects you from “Entourage” and allows you to see the Entourage that is trying to access your devices. Entourage is what we call the incoming activity (or “pings”) to your devices that hit numerous times a minute from websites that you have previously visited. Before SaferNet, you were never able to see this type of activity. Some Entourage is harmless, but some may include malicious content, web advertising and other “tag-along” websites that typically represent unsolicited and unwanted content or attempts to scrape info off your device. SaferNet blocks all the unwanted and malicious Entourage on every device. This feature alone will make you a believer in SaferNet, and you will never want to access the internet without it.
Q: We often hear that digital privacy does not exist nowadays. Is that true?
A: Because we live our lives online there is no digital privacy anymore, but because of smart technology, it is bigger issue than people even realize. People might think that because they are not doing everything online that they have some privacy but that is simply not true. I was talking with a very successful marketing company recently, and they have a strategy that keeps track of 13,000 datapoints per smart device. This includes the route you take to work, the location you stop for coffee, what you buy at the coffee house and when you get to work. It also includes how long you spend at work and how often you take a break. I could go on and on. They are getting this information from tracking our devices, listening to us from our devices, tracking our GPS locations, and tracking dead times on the devices etc.
Often, I am surprised at people’s reactions when I share with them what is happening in the digital world. Some people think it is great because they get targeted ads for things they want to purchase. Others are resigned to the fact that it is a necessary evil and if they have nothing to hide, what does it matter? Many are appalled and do not believe that anyone should have that kind of knowledge about anyone else. How would you feel if you hired a plumber to come to your house to do some work, and while they are working they invite their cousin, their kids, their neighbors that just got out of jail and anyone else they can think of over to your house. While the plumber is working, all the “Entourage” is going through your drawers, cabinets, filing cabinets, storage, garage, your car, and your secret hiding places without your knowledge. You have no privacy. They do not take anything, but they go through everything taking pictures and notes on all that they see. Most people would find that creepy and unacceptable. My question is, why do we allow that kind of behavior on our devices and with our digital footprint?
This is a very big reason why we created SaferNet. Privacy is critical.
Q: What can we expect from your company in the future?
A: SaferNet has been working hard on developing one of the first IoT cybersecurity devices ever seen in the market. Our SaferNet 360 product will be able to provide cybersecurity and privacy for all IoT devices using VPN connectivity.
An IoT device is anything that connects to the internet that is not a “Smart” computer. Examples of IoT are gaming systems (Xbox), security cameras, printers, baby monitors, refrigerators, etc. These types of devices are wide open to the internet and are the easiest to access for hackers. Typically, they are not protected because they do not have a motherboard, so you cannot download any type of antivirus or cybersecurity on these devices. We are just finishing the testing on our 360 product that will connect to your router and capture and protect all IoT traffic. We will provide the same protection and controls for all the IoT devices as we offer now for mobile/smart devices. We are very excited about what this will do to protect the wide-open world of IoT devices.