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2020-05 Update from Dwight and Dorothy
Dear Family and Friends,
We again covet your prayers as Dorothy has a fever and was tested a few hours ago for the Corona virus. She has had the fever for a couple days and considering the weakened state of her lungs, any infection or lung issue is very serious. The fever has lessened but has not gone away.
Otherwise, we have been sheltering at home taking the warnings and regulations very seriously. I have been involved in meetings and teaching via Zoom for SIM and have been leading a virtual adult Sunday school class for our church and teaching a weekly Bible study, all by Zoom. Dorothy has continued to make beautiful cards to send out recognizing birthdays and anniversaries as well as for encouragement. She is more tired as her lungs are weaker now, so she is not able to spend the hours at her desk that she used to.
The extra time at home has allowed for some extra projects including laying cement tiles for a patio area out front of our house. We purchased a glider bench to be able to sit and enjoy the cool evenings before the heat of the Carolinas sets in. The garden is planted and a couple small tomatoes have popped out on a vine.
Thank you for your prayers,
|Here is the "Techie" update for this issue:|
VPNs:What are they and do you need to deal with them?
So, you are sitting outside (inside dining is still limited due to the health risks) a favorite coffee shop preparing to sip on a nice hot cup-a-joe or tea and the thought of "just how safe is my Internet connection" crosses your mind. You ponder...
VPN is short for virtual private network and that is basically what they are. With a VPN, you have a private encrypted connection from your computer through to a server somewhere in the world. With these connections you gain security and a bit of anonymity.
First off, a VPN gives you security to get past some of the weak spots in an Internet connection such as working from a coffee shop or other free WIFI hotspots. While most WIFI hotspots are OK, it may be difficult to tell if you are connected to a safe connection or one that just looks safe.
Back to the coffee shop... you turn on your laptop or tablet or smart phone as you wait for your name to be called for your desperately needed brew, but this time you notice 2 WIFI connections that are similar in name but not exactly the same. Turns out that a dude in the corner has set up a private WIFI point to spoof unsuspecting people into connecting and giving access to personal information. Or, someone else is snooping in on the information that is going through the proper access point. Public WIFI hotspots are dangerous in regards to data security. The VPN will keep your data encrypted all the way through the public WIFI and Internet to the VPN server, thus improving your security a great deal.
These connections allow you (actually your computer) to appear as though you are somewhere else. While I don't advocate some of the uses here, some are good and important. VPNs allow people to stream services such as Netflix or access certain sites when they are in a country that has blocked that service. Or in the case of some of our missionaries, who want to order goods from Amazon or some other retailer to be sent to relatives, find that the retailer's system sees that the customer is located in Burkina Faso, Myanmar or Nigeria and assumes a probable scam so blocks the sale.
People who never access public WIFIs or have no need to cloak their location probably have less need of a VPN, but for those who travel or live in certain countries, a VPN can be an important part of their security arsenal.
(artwork by Rebeka Hazard)
The usual stuff...
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