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Trump’s anti-privacy move boosts Opera’s VPN

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Interest in using a VPN is on the increase as the United States Congress voted and approved to repeal restrictions which stop ISPs from selling personal browsing data and information.

Since then, the number of new U.S. users of Opera, the only browser with a free, built-in VPN, has doubled in just a few days.

The concerns are also visible on Google Trends, indicating that the number of VPN searches went up by 138%, following the vote.

For the Opera browser, the growth in downloads has seen an identical boost. The average number of daily, new Opera users in the U.S. has more than doubled since Congress decided to repeal certain internet privacy protections.

What is Opera’s built-in VPN?

Opera is the first major browser to offer a free, no-log, and easy-to-use VPN service. When turned on, it creates a secure connection to one of Opera’s many server locations around the world, allowing you to safely send and receive data across public or shared networks

Since it’s embedded inside the Opera browser, it is very easy for users to activate it by following these steps:

  • Go to Settings (or “Preferences” on Mac).
  • Choose “Privacy & Security” and then toggle the free VPN on.
  • An icon labeled “VPN” will appear in the browser to the left of the address field, from which you can activate the VPN and choose your preferred location.

People can also choose to have the Opera browser automatically select the optimal server location based on certain factors, such as network speed, latency, location, and server capacity. When in automatic location mode, browsing through the VPN is always done at the maximum available speed.

Why use VPN to protect online privacy?

The VPN service encrypts users’ data to avoid the interception of data traffic over a public network infrastructure. It also lets people choose where to appear on the web, protecting their online privacy and security.

“We integrated a free, no-log VPN directly into the browser to bring everyone, not just savvy users, a simple tool for protecting their privacy,” says Krystian Kolondra, EVP of Desktop, Opera. “Since then, millions of new users have accessed the web with more control over their data. The usage statistics for the past few days show that users are becoming even more conscious about their potential privacy issues when online.”

Privacy guaranteed by no-log service

The built-in VPN feature in Opera is a no-log service, which means information on our users is not stored outside of the basic information needed to set up your account and make sure the VPN is working correctly. The VPN service is provided by our supplier, SurfEasy Inc., which is a Canadian company operating under Canadian privacy laws. For more information, read the SurfEasy Terms of Service. Being a Norwegian company operating under Norwegian and EU/EEA privacy laws, Opera does not have access to your VPN data. Opera’s privacy policy is located here.

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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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