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How to stay safe on the Dark Web

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The Onion Router (Tor) network or the dark web allows users to access Internet sites that would normally be censored. Doing this though does come with its perils. NordVPN gives advice on how to use the Tor network safely.

The Tor (The Onion Router) network is also called a “dark web” since it provides access to completely uncensored online experience. Tor keeps growing in popularity with an estimated 2,5-million users daily, with over 1-million per month using it to access Facebook alone.

Although many government leaders have expressed their concerns over Tor’s existence, some acknowledge that it would be “technically impossible” to shut down. It is the ultimate expression of Internet freedom, and besides a small percentage of people using it for illegal activity, Tor Network is widely used by whistleblowers, activists, human rights fighters and journalists, and is easily accessible by simply downloading Onion browser.

Tor allows accessing uncensored Internet in countries where it¹s censored ­ for example, in Iran, where Facebook is blocked.

While the dark web is easy to use, its users should take special precautions to keep their identity and activity safe, since it¹s a completely unregulated online browsing experience. When people access Onion websites, they should be careful not to fall victim to some attractive offers they can find there, as they can never be sure who is on the other side of the line.

The same rules apply to Tor Network safety as any other Internet marketplace /network: for example, not volunteering personal information, and avoiding deals that look too good to be true. Users should always have VPN turned on when surfing the dark net in order to protect their information, and should delete/ disable cookies after each session.

NordVPN, a VPN service provider, offers a special Tor over VPN feature, which makes users¹ browsing activity completely safe.

When using TOR over VPN solution, user’s data first goes to NordVPN server where it gets encrypted. Then the data travels to TOR Network where the data packets are randomly transmitted to multiple servers inside the TOR network and the data is encrypted again and sent out through different TOR exit nodes. After all this process, the request reaches the Internet.

Basically, it’s such a safe privacy tool because user’s online activity becomes routed into an encrypted tunnel, and their IP address is not an exit node anymore – it¹s NordVPN¹s server that becomes the exit node. Tor over VPN feature by NordVPN is very user friendly and easy to configure – the user doesn¹t have to do much in order to access Onion websites – one click of a button will get them there.

When precaution becomes priority, then users can take advantage of all that Tor has to offer, for example, Wiki Leaks, CircleServices, TorPM, hidden search engines, and more. Tor can also protect user¹s anonymity from marketers, hackers or identity thieves. The network helps out activists report from abroad on bad labor practices or share sensitive information, and helps journalists write from countries where content is blocked.

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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