The best of last week.

TNW Weekly Debrief

January 27

Are you ambitious enough?

We all do something on autopilot, but recently, a founder friend of mine told me a funny story of how she hired someone without actually hiring them. Sound confusing? Let me explain.

The new hire is a very efficient and pro-active kind of person. She picks up the phone, solves small problems before they turn into big issues, and is a definite go-getter. After a few months, my founder friend and this new hire sat down together to see how things were progressing, and the founder remarked “I don’t even remember how I hired you. You just talked your way into my company.”

They both laughed and continued on with their work. The next day, the employee showed her notebook to my friend and on the todo list it read ‘Get myself a job at this company’. She’d just decided she wanted to work for my friend and then simply made it happen.

And I think that’s a lesson for all of us.

We often dream about the things we want – items to own, jobs to have, places to go – but rarely do we take an ambitious goal, write it down in a notebook, and then do it.

So this weekend, think about something you want to achieve and write it down. Push through that wall of fear and once you admit your ambition, it’ll open the door to a marvelous adventure.

Boris Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
CEO and Managing Editor
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Avoid these 10 insecure VPN apps on Android

VPNS are a great way to browse the Web anonymously and access region-locked sites. Plus, they’re about as easy to use on Android devices as they are on desktops – but you’ll want to be careful about which one you choose.

A group of researchers from CSIRO’s Data61UC BerkeleyUNSW Sydney, and Malaysia’s UCSI found that, of the vast selection of Android VPN apps available on Google Play (the team looked into 283 of them), a large number were insecure, leaked user data, injected ads and contained malware.

That includes popular and top-rated apps in the store. According to the researchers, “While 37 percent of the analyzed VPN apps have more than 500K installs and 25 percent of them receive at least a 4-star rating, over 38 percent of them contain some malware presence according to VirusTotal.”

In addition, some 18 percent of the VPN apps they tested didn’t encrypt users’ Web traffic at all. 16 percent routed traffic through other users’ devices, which means you could be unknowingly facilitating the transmission of illegal content through your connection.

As such, you’ll want to avoid the 10 worst offenders, identified by tracing the presence of trackers and malware activity using the online antivirus aggregator VirusTotal in the group’s paper (PDF):

Lifehacker recommends sticking with providers that have been available for several years and been transparent about how they handle your data, like Private Internet AccessSlickVPNNordVPNHideman and Tunnelbear.


Have a secure, safe VPN to recommend? Let us know your favorite in the comments.

Via TorrentFreak

>An Analysis of the Privacy and Security Risks of Android VPN Permission-enabled Apps (PDF)  on CSIRO Research

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