Digital Security

How Secure are Online Payments Pt.2 – Passwords and VPNs

By January 4, 2016 No Comments

Continuing on from Part 1 we discuss how to keep passwords secure and browse the web via a private network with lead developer Ben.


Password Manager


Password managers are key step in securing online transactions.  They work by storing all passwords in one program that can only be accessed through a master-password.  Strong password managers will automatically generate random passwords every time a user logs in for an extra layer of security.

Ben said that while they are a powerful tool, some security experts are divided on their effectiveness.  The main problem is the security of the password manager.  Some managers only store user passwords in the cloud which has an increased risk compared to local storage.  Ben recommends selecting one that has the option of local storage.




VPNs are a powerful tool when it comes to online security.  VPN stands for virtual private network and gives users their own private network when browsing online.  A client’s internet traffic is routed through a range of servers and hidden from prying eyes.

Ben (being German) says this is particularly important in Australia with its new mandatory data retention laws.  Ben said that Germany only stores metadata for ten weeks, but at two years, Australia’s storage time is considerably longer.

The main advantage of VPNs is their ability to protect an operator’s traffic when using public wi-fi or unsecured wi-fi like hotels.  International travellers would be wise to use a VPN (or proxy) when conducting financial transactions away from secure home networks.

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