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If you use the internet (we’ll go ahead and assume you do), you’re inevitably vulnerable to all sorts of sneaky advertisers and downright thieves trying to take your data, your money, even your identity. We all hate thieves (again, let’s just assume you do), but few of us lack the know-how to make our connection to the internet more secure, making VPN Land’s Lifetime Subscription a great option – and also a great bargain at $49.00.

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Here at Cult of Mac Deals, we rely on VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) for ensuring that our online activity stays private, browsing securely even on public Wi-Fi, and accessing any app or video no matter where we are in the world. To that end, we’ve put together a collection of deals on some of our favorite ones. Keep reading to see which ones get our stamp of approval, and save up to 77%.

Tim Cook warns of dire consequences if we sacrifice privacy for security


Tim Cook addresses the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. Photo: White House
Apple CEO Tim Cook addresses the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. Photo: White House

Silicon Valley’s top CEOs snubbed President Barack Obama’s appearance at Stanford University today for the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, but Apple CEO Tim Cook used his invite to make the case for improving security.

Cook addressed attendees before Obama took the stage and reaffirmed Apple’s belief that everyone has a right to privacy and security. In part of his speech, the Apple CEO warned of “dire consequences” if the proper balance between security and privacy isn’t maintained.

“We must get this right!” Cook told the audience.  “History has shown us that sacrificing our right to privacy can have dire consequences.”

Feds give Apple Pay stamp of approval


Apple Pay is going everywhere in 2015. Photo: Apple
Apple Pay is going everywhere in 2015. Photo: Apple

Apple Pay has already become the top mobile wallet at a number of stores, but now Apple’s about to take on the great outdoors.

During his address at today’s White House cybersecurity summit, Tim Cook said that starting in September you’ll be able to use Apple Pay for transactions with the federal government, including paying fees to get into Yosemite and the other national parks.

Cook’s visit to the summit was a big win for Apple Pay, which Cook says is now supported by more than 2,000 banks, putting us one step closer to the age when your wallet will be a thing of the past. The White House has given Apple Pay its stamp of approval, too, and announced plans to enable it on all federal-payment cards.

YubiKey wants to be like Touch ID for your Internet life


YubiKey opens the way to online security. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
YubiKey can make online security easy -- if it gains widespread adoption. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

LAS VEGAS — Nobody wants to get hacked like Jennifer Lawrence’s iCloud account. Everyone, including Apple, is pushing two-factor authentication in the wake of the high-profile hack that exposed dozens of celebrities nude selfies, but verifying an account login with a code sent to your phone is a total pain.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 In the not-so-distant future, we might all be storing two-factor authentication on our keychains.

Yubico is already providing eight out of 10 Silicon Valley companies with a tiny USB dongle called YubiKey that securely verifies an employee’s online identity. You just plug it into a computer and tap it when it’s time to log in. Now that Gmail has started supporting YubiKey on the front end, anyone can use it as the second verification step for getting into their inbox.

Your biggest online security mistakes (and how to avoid them)


Don't let online hackers get into your home...directory. Photo: Scott Schiller/CC
Don't let online hackers get into your home ... directory. Photo: Scott Schiller/Flickr CC Flickr

We all make compromises daily when it comes to online security. Everybody wants to be safe and secure when making purchases online, but practically none of us do everything necessary to keep our data secure.

“People, myself included, are basically lazy,” web developer Joe Tortuga told Cult of Mac, “and ease of use is inversely related to security. If it’s too difficult, then people just won’t do it.”

With all the recent hacks into private as well as corporate data — like the credit card grab from Home Depot and the hack into Sony’s files, there’s no better time to learn some of the things we all can do to protect ourselves. We spoke to some online security experts to get their advice.