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  1. #1
    Join Date
    14th April 18
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    Question about logging in

    When signing in I get the following message - "This connection is not secure. Logins entered here could be compromised" seemingly because the site does not have an "HTTPS//" in the address bar. This link gives the browser message I am getting - http://mzl.la/1ZNx7IP . It makes me a little nervous about using the site. Does anyone have any reassurance about this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada 48° 25' 47.31"N 123° 20' 4.59" W
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    X Marks uses the HTTP data transfer protocol and not the HTTPS encrypted data transfer protocol.

    What the HTTPS does is encrypt the data as it is transmitted between computers. It does not effect either computer on either end.

    The security of X Marks is the same and the security of your home computer is the same.

    Where the HTTPS protocol is needed the most are sites which ask you for credit card numbers, bank account numbers or personal information like your home address or telephone number.
    On-line banking needs the added encryption of data as it passes between computers.

    The most sensitive information X Marks deals with is your X Marks password. If you use a unique password for X Marks, that is different from the one you use elsewhere, I am confidant that your registration here is secure.

    This message is a new one that is only showing up after your browsers update. All it is telling you is that X Marks uses HTTP instead of HTTPS.

    The security of X Marks is unchanged and the security of your home computer is unchanged.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 19th August 18 at 06:47 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  3. #3
    Join Date
    14th April 18
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    Thanks for that, Steve, so as long as we don't use this same password for any other sites, particularly ones with sensitive information, then there are no worries. On this same subject, would the use of a VPN which encrypts data give added security?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada 48° 25' 47.31"N 123° 20' 4.59" W
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    A Virtual Private Network or VPN does not necessarily encrypt data transfers. It redirects your search through a private server and network to and through various other servers.

    VPN's are the favorite playgrounds of spammers and hackers. They use this redirection of server locations in an attempt to hide their own server location.

    In general - If I see a new member register to X Marks and the location they list in their profile, and the IP address of the computer they are using, do not match it always brings their registration into question and is almost always the case that they are using a VPN.
    In my experience it is a pretty good bet the the person is a spammer or someone who wishes to download porn, stream movies bypassing geographical restrictions or play pirated games.

    The security claims of VPN's really depends on the network and the server the paid service uses. Some are better than others and some are notorious across the web as spammer havens.
    There are sites today which keep records of these. If you unknowingly pay for a VPN through one of these, you may find your access automatically blocked as a potential spammer from sites which use these lists in an attempt to keep the spammers at bay. Have you ever had a perfectly innocent email blocked by the recieving email server as suspected spam? (X Marks always checks and confirms the server location of all new registrations and this has kept 6,484 spammers from disrupting our community. This is just one of the reasons you do not see the rampant Viagra ads and the scams that plague some other sites.)
    In the early days of the internet VPN's were ways for travelling executives to access their company private networks while travelling.
    Today their are hundreds of private networks that offer paid access to their servers and networks. Good research into the company offering a VPN service is only prudent practice.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  5. #5
    Join Date
    14th April 18
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    Wales
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    Hello Steve
    I appreciate your comments regarding the use of a VPN but my advice is that using insecure wifi networks without one opens you up to unnecessary risks. Particularly when travelling it means that I can access banking details without the worry of being hacked. One further benefit I find is that I can access BBC programming when abroad as they have restricted satellite broadcast. This is not something illegal as I pay a BBC licence.
    If you would prefer that I do not access the site via a VPN please let me know and I will cancel my registration. I am not sure that I have anything much to contribute in any case and can continue enjoying your site as a guest.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada 48° 25' 47.31"N 123° 20' 4.59" W
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    What ever personal reasons you have for using a VPN are your personal preference.

    I am not saying that there is anything wrong with using a VPN. All I said is that those who register here using a VPN will get a second look and further checking before their registration is approved. The use of a VPN just keys me to take those extra steps.

    For example - If someone registers to X Marks with a username of 0213Bfzza and an email address of - 6ovary043 at mail.health-ua.com - and they have entered their location as - united states - and yet their IP address is listed as belonging to a company out of Jiansu, China that pops up as a known VPN source.

    Well, this person is going to raise suspicions and will get a further look and a little more digging before I approve the registration.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 23rd August 18 at 10:28 AM.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  7. #7
    Join Date
    14th April 18
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    Thanks for clarifying that Steve as I didn’t want to be doing something that the site was against. Both myself and my wife frequently use external wifis both here and abroad and using a VPN was a recommended way of protecting against possible hacking. I do hope to enjoy the site and, while not personally knowledgeable about kilts, hope to build my understanding in time.
    Thanks for your advice.

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