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Windows 95/98/Heartbleed vulnerability

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Question
Hello: Can I not use a free VPN such as Tunnelbear for signing into sensitive websites until they install a patched version of  OpenSSL? I haven't seen this suggested on any website discussing the issue.I  currently have Tunnelbear on my android tablet,but am thinking of downloading it for my Win7 desktop as well.Thanks

Answer
I'm afraid VPN encryption will not be much help here.  VPN encryption protects you from people who catch your packets in transit between your computer and the server.  This is particularly useful if you use public wifi since it ensures anything captured by others on the same network or by the wifi host cannot be viewed.  But when using VPN, your encrypted packets go to the VPN server, then back out to the Internet without any of that encryption protection.  

Your data has to be unencrypted when it hits the recipient web site (or at lest be using only the encryption provided by the recipient web site) or the site itself will not be able to read your data either.  The Heartbeat vulnerability allows a hacker to download the information directly from the router or other security device that is caching that data in unencrypted form.  So no matter how much you encrypt your data to begin with, it must by unencrypted on the recipient device.  If that device is subject to a vulnerability like Heartbeat, then your data is vulnerable.

- Mike  

Windows 95/98

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Michael Troy

Expertise

I have lots of answers for problems with defrag, clock time, performance, system resources, problems with passwords, opening files, etc. I also probably know of a freeware/shareware application for anything you want to do: sharing Internet, firewalls, games, utilities, graphics, audio, etc.

Experience

I am the Director of Information Systems for a large law firm. I also have a home network of multiple computers and other devices.

Education/Credentials
George Washington University, BA University of Michigan Law School, JD

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