Will Using VPN Get me Flagged?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by secmin7, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. secmin7

    secmin7 Registered Member

    Jan 13, 2015
    Hello everyone, never used VPN before. I will do a lot of traveling in the next few months. I plan to use Hide My Ass because they offer IPs from my country (small European nation). This would make it seem as though I'm still living in my country. The purpose of this is two-fold.

    1. To secure my connection because I will be using open WIFI sometimes.

    2. To make it seem like I haven't moved so I don't have to undergo security checks and explain myself and have to submit passport or hotel receipts.

    Would Hide My Ass work for purpose 1? Is it secure enough? I'm asking this because I'm aware that most people use VPNs to watch videos/download stuff so I don't know if VPN providers are working with security in mind. What are some of the additional risks I may be exposed to by using a VPN?

    Are VPN IPs public? In other words, can websites get a hold of the list of IPs used by Hide My Ass and flag them and users who use them? I'm talking about banking, PayPal and similar types of websites which deal with money here.
  2. Stefan Froberg

    Stefan Froberg Registered Member

    Jul 30, 2014

    I might be wrong but wasn't there few years ago some hacker getting arrested because they used Hide My Ass VPN and they were logged?
    Lultzeck or something... ?

    Anyway, even if you don't have bad intentions and are not going to hack companies, I would try to choose VPN provider that promises in their Terms of Service to not log anything. Of course promises are just promises but still ....

    And look what encryption options the VPN provider offers.

    As for VPN IP being public, sure, of course they are. For example, each time web server is visited, the http protocol itself contains REMOTE_ADDR header field.
    Otherwise server could not send you your web page (or anything else) back if they don't know return address, in this case VPN IP address.

    So in theory, any site you visit can make a list of IP's that have visited them but can't connect VPN IP address to your real identity (unless the VPN provided is crooked and logs everything and passes that info).

    I wouldn't worry about bank or PayPal trying to find out your identity tought. I would think they have more interest of doing actual business than trying to track their customers.

    Edit: Ah, found it. It was LulzSec. Here's the case:

    So they just apparently allow bypassing censorship but otherwise they log everything.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  3. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    HMA should be fine for this purpose. They have tons of servers, don't cost very much, and have good customer support. Although they are upfront about cooperating with valid orders by UK courts, that doesn't seem problematic in your situation.
    Yes, that is possible. If you have time, I recommend experimenting with a few VPN services, and making sure that they don't set off alarms.

    In your situation, the safest approach would be to run a VPN server on your LAN router. That way, you would be connecting through your home IP address. You don't need to have any computers running at home, just the router, so there's little risk. Just make sure that the router is locked down, with no administrative access through the Internet, but only on LAN (which you'll be able to access through the VPN).
  4. marzametal

    marzametal Registered Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    HideMyAss have a slang nickname amongst some people I know... "SnitchMyAss".

    You're best off reading the terms and conditions, along with the privacy policy. If it mentions anything about logging data or handing info over to law enforcement officers if "requested" (not after going to bat for you and trying to show plausible deniability or even a lack of paper trail from what was browsed/downloaded to the user endpoint), then steer clear.

    The whole point of a VPN is the P, private.

    Is this something like installing DD-WRT on a router and customising entries to VPN?
  5. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Yes, I entirely agree, but only for those who want total privacy. From secmin7's question, I get that resistance to state-level snooping is not necessary. I'm 99% sure that HMA isn't going to be hacking his financial accounts :rolleyes:
    Yes, it could be that. Or it could be running a pfSense router, with an openvpn server, which would be my preference.