Hyperlinks made the internet fabulous and they must not be taxed

ExpressVNPSay no the the EU link tax.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) changed the internet and catapulted it to the mainstream, but it may be under threat from a new “Hyperlink Tax.” Luckily, some are fighting to protect the web, such as OpenMedia and the Save the Link campaign.

The first version of HTTP, developed by the now famous Tim Berners-Lee, was released in 1997 and its successor, HTTP/2, is now up and running and supported by all the key browsers, despite only being a year old.

Hyper is Greek and means ‘over’–it has a similar function as the English prefix ‘super’

Hypertext is much the same as regular text, aside from the inclusion of links, so-called hyperlinks. The most popular language to write such hypertext is the Hypertext Markup Language or HTML for short.

Links are references to another point in the hypertext structure, usually another page of the site, a file, an image, a program, or an external website (I.E. a page on a different domain to the one you are currently browsing). A reader can click them to open further reading material in a new tab or window or download a file.

Hyperlinks have shaped the internet into what it is today

It is thanks to the hyperlink that the web has developed the way it has. The hyperlink helped build an open and transparent internet, in which URL strings uniquely identify each piece of content.

Search engines, like Google, have made use of the hypertext structure, which has further incentivized websites to make proper use of the hypertext system. Search engines, social media, and blogs drive major traffic–which translates to revenue. No matter if you are selling something or *** money through advertisements, you need to respect hyperlinks for people to find you and your site(s).

The 1941 short story The Garden of Forking Paths is often mentioned as the inspiration for hypertexts

The concept of a hyperlink is to be free, uniform, and not owned or controlled by anybody– which has made them incredibly powerful in leveling the playfield of online media. A single post from an unknown author can generate as many clicks as a month of posts from an established newspaper. Thanks to hyperlinks and projects like archive.org internet posts can be recorded and will, therefore, never disappear from the human collective memory.

An internet without hyperlinks is a pool without water

It’s easy to imagine the internet without hyperlinks, but it’s not a nice thought. Think of Youtube, but without each video having a direct link. The only way to search for videos would be through YouTube’s web interface, and the only way to bookmark them would be to log in and add them to your playlists. You wouldn’t be able to share these videos unless an agreement with YouTube on the monetization and restrictions of each link is made.

If you follow the first link in any Wikipedia article, you will arrive at the Philosophy page

While the user experience would be far worse, the web giants and publishing houses favor such a system. If it was necessary to log into a service to find, bookmark, and share something, it would be easy for the experience to be controlled, tracked, and restricted. Your internet could be limited due to things like your age, ***, and geolocation, and more importantly, your wallet.

AOL’s different version of the internet

As the world wide web emerged in the 1990s, there was, in fact, a well-funded and promising company that attempted to build exactly this kind none-hyperlinked internet: America Online (AOL).

AOL started by selling *** dial-up access to the web but soon wanted to control the entire experience by offering an instant messenger, news, stock trading, and general web browsing. Similar to the Bloomberg Terminals still used today in financial firms, content and services were only accessible to subscribers.

Choose Your Own Adventure books are an early form of hypertext fiction

From the late 1990s, it was Netscape that made the open internet and hyperlinks succeed (and was bought by AOL in 1999 for US$ 10 billion). AOL was forced, by the market, to open up its services and eventually its brand disappeared from the public eye.

A new threat to hyperlinks from Europe

Hyperlinks make content easily available. Bloggers and social media can curate content for you, and you can search explicitly for a page with a search engine.

Imagine having to go to a publication’s front page in the hope you will find what you are looking for. And after you have read the article, there is no way to share what you have found with others. Presently, we consume media on the internet by checking a link on a social media feed, briefly reading the content, then heading back to our social media.

FRESS was a hypertext system used at Brown University. Used to teach poetry in 1976, it was arguably the first online course in history

Publishing houses fear that without their landing pages and internal referrals, their brands will diminish, and they will be degraded to mere content producers, like news agencies. There is also concern that their profits will be undercut by bloggers who write about topics just as passionately, but without financial conflicts of interest, or pay.

European legislation threatens the open web

European, and particularly French news outlets have been known to viciously fight independent sites that link to them. At first, this might seem absurd, as links send traffic. But it fits well in the overall picture of fear of losing their market position.

Established publishing platforms see content curation as an inherent part of their role and business model, and the hyperlink allows anyone to take that away.

The European Commission (EC) has repeatedly attempted to create a “hyperlink tax.” Similar to the fee a radio station has to pay when playing a song, each blogger, news site, or search site would have to pay every time they refer a visitor.

Why the EC is wrong about hyperlink tax

Of course, the EC have it all entirely wrong. A hyperlink is simply a referral, not a reproduction of content; the situation is more akin to a restaurant critic having to pay a restaurant to write about it–on top of what they’re already paying for food.

What do you think about the EC’s attempt to tax internet links? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


How to watch the top November English Premier League games

ExpressVNPnovember premier league

As the calendar turns from October to November, we have yet another exciting month of English Premier League games to enjoy.

With several clashes between top-five teams and some sizzling London rivalries on tap, you certainly don’t want to miss out on the action. Check out ExpressVNP’s round-up of the month’s best games:

Watch Manchester City vs. Middlesbrough

pep guardiola Pep Guardiola’s squad has gone six games without a victory. Expect that to change in a big way against Middlesbrough.

When: Saturday, November 5th. 8:00 am Eastern Time
Where: Etihad Stadium
Who: Manchester City vs. Middlesbrough

ExpressVNP Score Prediction – Man City 3:0 Middlesbrough

The last time ExpressVNP checked in with Man City, they were on top of the league table, winners of six consecutive games, and looked downright unstoppable. Fast forward one month, and the only thing keeping City ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool is goal difference.

The good news? The Sky Blues will host a struggling Middlesbrough squad at the Etihad on November 5th. The Smoggies aren’t exactly world beaters, with seven points in nine games and a dismal minus-four goal difference.

With home-field advantage and a whole lot of pent up frustration from October, you can just about hear Sergio Agüero licking his lips. The only question is: how ugly will the massacre get?

Stream the North London derby

arsenal vs tottenham hotspur Arsenal have 78 victories in the rivalry while Spurs have 55. Can the visitors continue to close the gap by beating the second-place gunners?

When: Sunday, November 6th. 4:00 am Eastern Time
Where: Emirates Stadium
Who: Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur

ExpressVNP Score Prediction – Arsenal 1:2 Spurs

Perhaps the most exciting match this November is a clash between two top-five teams, as the currently unbeaten Spurs invade the Emirates for another chapter of the passionate North London derby.

Despite missing Harry Kane due to injury, Tottenham has soldiered on and remain the only side in the league without a defeat. Arsenal have the firepower to score against anyone, but their defense can just as easily concede goals at inopportune moments.

With Kane back up front and Toby Alderweireld returning to the back four, expect a healthy Spurs squad to capture a statement win at the Emirates and vault themselves into the top four.

Watch Manchester United vs. Arsenal

arsenal vs manchester united The Arsenal-United clash often decides the pecking order at the top of the table. Can United claim a win here and break into the top four?

When: Saturday, November 19th. 4:30 am Eastern Time
Where: Old Trafford
Who: Manchester United vs. Arsenal

ExpressVNP Score Prediction – Man United 3:2 Arsenal

As of this writing, Manchester United are seventh in the league while Arsenal sit in second place. Coming into the season, you may have expected the reverse given the history of the two managers involved. Instead, Arsene Wenger has his Gunners within striking distance of the top spot, while José Mourinho’s Red Devils have been frustratingly inconsistent.

This game will reveal who’s a contender and who’s a pretender. While Arsenal have performed better this season, Mourinho simply has Wenger’s number in head-to-head clashes. This one should be a shootout, but look for United to ride their home-field advantage for a nail-biting win.

Stream Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur

chelsea vs tottenham hotspur The last two matches between these teams have ended in draws. ExpressVNP predicts a Chelsea to break through this time.

When: Sunday, November 26th. 9:30 am Eastern Time
Where: Stamford Bridge
Who: Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur

ExpressVNP Score Prediction – Chelsea 3:1 Spurs

Wrapping up November is another bitter London rivalry between top-ten sides. Chelsea-Tottenham may not have the history of the North London derby or the intensity of Arsenal-Chelsea, but there’s certainly no love lost between these two clubs.

Look forward to another exciting clash as Chelsea seek to continue their dominance after a sensational 4:0 win against Manchester United last weekend. As good as Spurs are, they will be coming off a tiring run of games against West Ham (Nov 19th) and Monaco (Nov 22nd). And against a Blues side that is well-rested and ready to continue their run to the top, that’s a recipe for disaster.

ExpressVNP expects Eden Hazard and Diego Costa to find the back of the net in the first half. Heung-Min Son will pull the visitors within one, but a late effort from Willian will send the visitors away with their first defeat of the season.

Share your predictions here!

That’s ExpressVNP’s forecast for the top games this November!

What do you think? Can you predict better? Why not prove it by sharing your score projections in the comments below, tuning into the games, and coming back to say “I told you so!”


A short interference from Johnny 5:

Wait, wait, wait. Another month and another Manchester United victory assumed by Caleb. What a surprise! How are those predictions working out for you so far, Caleb?

I take up your challenge, and I most certainly will be saying “I told you so!” Let’s get those Red Devil tinted spectacles off and put some real predictions down.

Here’s what will actually happen:

Man City 2:1 Middlesbrough
Arsenal 3:2 Spurs
Man United 0:2 Arsenal
Chelsea 2:2 Spurs

Can you do better than ExpressVNP, Caleb, and Johnny 5?

Caleb and Johnny 5 have gone head to head in the match predictions. Why not join them? State how you think the games will play out in the comments below.

The winner, and new ExpressVNP hero of football, will be announced at the end of November!

* ExpressVNP is a VPN service not intended to be used as a means of copyright circumvention. Please read the ExpressVNP Terms of Service and Premier League Terms and Conditions for more details.

Pep Guardiola: Thomas Rodenbücher / Flickr
Arsenal-Spurs: Ronnie Macdonald / Flickr
Man United-Arsenal: Gordon Flood / Flickr
Chelsea-Spurs: Sarflondondunc / Flickr


Edward Snowden, Captain America, and privacy in the reel world

ExpressVNP2016 top privacy movies

What do a former U.S. government contractor, an amnesiac spy, a super soldier with a large “A” on his forehead, and two ordinary teenagers have in common?

Answer: They’re the lead characters in this year’s biggest privacy-related blockbusters!

2016 has delivered a smattering of great films, from talking animals (Zootopia) to superhero satire (Deadpool) to more talking animals (The Jungle Book, Finding Dory, and The Secret Life of Pets). In particular, four films have delivered pulse-pounding thrills while touching on fundamental issues of anonymity, surveillance, and security.

So dim the lights and fire up your popcorn machines as ExpressVNP breaks down four of the best from the past few months. Oh and, spoiler alert!

National security and personal privacy in Snowden

snowden film poster Snowden reminds us online freedom is a fundamental right worth fighting for, no matter the cost.

Kicking off the list is the biggest privacy-related blockbuster in years. Snowden chronicles the transformation of the extraordinary whistleblower from an idealistic 20-something discharged from the U.S. army to a reclusive government contractor who would go on to expose the CIA’s unsettling surveillance capabilities.

The central idea explored in the film is whether privacy should be sacrificed for security. Corbin O’Brian (Rhys Ifans), a high-ranking CIA suit who’s also Snowden’s boss, teaches his protégé (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) that any and all means of surveillance are justified when it comes to combating foreign threats. Snowden, however, eventually distances himself from O’Brian’s philosophy as he witnesses firsthand the unethical practices used by the government to trace targets online.

Throughout the film, director Oliver Stone makes it clear he’s on Snowden’s side, and reminds us even our most innocuous interactions with the web can be traced, recorded, and analyzed by government officials behind locked doors.

As a film, Snowden is a tense and heart-wrenching drama that faithfully sketches the life of Edward Snowden. But more than that, it is a launchpad for debates on privacy and a tribute to a man who will long be held as a champion for internet freedom.

Watch Snowden and other movies

Social media and mass surveillance in Jason Bourne

jason bourne poster Just as you know his name, social media companies know yours (and a lot more)

You wanted it. You waited for it. And finally, almost a decade later (because Legacy doesn’t count), Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is back on the silver screen.

With Bourne’s origins pretty much explored in the previous trilogy, this bone-crunching fifth installment delves into David Webb’s family history, following Bourne across the globe as he unravels the truth behind his late father’s involvement with the CIA and eventual demise. As the camera-shaking action gets cranked up to 11, Jason Bourne also highlights some important issues on social media and mass surveillance.

In the film, young tech tycoon Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed) is the face of privacy in the internet age. While at a Las Vegas tech conference, Kalloor tells a cheering crowd his Facebook-like creation, Deep Dream, will “personalize” user experiences without sharing user information with other parties.

If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter (and Deep Dream) collect every smidgen of personal data you submit online, using it to suggest friends you might know, recommend events you might want to attend, and serve you targeted ads. A quick read of their privacy policies will tell you these platforms also have the right to share your information with other unknown parties.

What’s worse, it turns out Deep Dream was partially funded by the U.S. government, who intends to turn the social media platform into a massive real-time surveillance program. If Kalloor submits to government requests for a “backdoor” into Deep Dream, all of the profiles, messages, and visited locations shared on the platform would become government data.

Besides re-emphasizing the issues raised in Snowden, Jason Bourne reveals that social media companies claiming to support internet privacy can quickly change their stance overnight. Whether these changes are an internal decision or the result of an external buyout, the film reminds us we need to be clear on the privacy policy of every web service we use, and the best gatekeepers for our information are ourselves.

Watch Jason Bourne and other movies

Autonomy and public safety in Captain America: Civil War

captain america civil war Epic fight scenes, emotional character interactions, and a timely discussion of autonomy vs. security. What’s not to love about Cap 3?

Besides being the highest grossing movie worldwide for 2016, Captain America: Civil War is also a heart-breaking tale about accountability, skeletons in the closet, and betrayal.

The film’s inciting incident is a superpowered showdown in Lagos, the horrifying consequences of which forces the government to reign in the Avengers in an attempt to place them under government oversight.

At the center of this conflict stands Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Cap, having fought the Nazis in The First Avenger and experienced the downfall of S.H.E.I.L.D. in The Winter Soldier, is wary of government authority and believes the Avengers should not answer to any external committee that could be corrupted by power. Stark, still recovering from his guilt in Age of Ultron, chooses to accept public accountability and welcomes U.N. oversight for the team.

As the two allies bicker over their philosophical differences, a horrendous incident from Stark’s past, involving Cap’s best friend Bucky (the Winter Soldier), fractures the Avengers and ignites a civil war.

But behind the shield-throwing and web-slinging, Civil War asks some important questions that any cinema-goer should consider:

  • Should the Avengers, and other general means of civil protection, be government-sanctioned?
  • Does becoming government-sanctioned make any future actions performed by the Avengers (or general law enforcement) morally acceptable?
  • Where should a government draw the line between protecting its civilians and removing their personal liberties?

The film does not provide an easy answer to these questions. And as Cap risks life and limb to save his friend and the unity of the Avengers, it’s clear that the fight for privacy and security in our world is no less difficult.

Watch Captain America: Civil War and other movies

Online anonymity and responsibility in Nerve

nerve Nerve: The new fad after Pokémon GO?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if people took the game “Truth or Dare”, digitized it as a downloadable app, and turned that into a streaming service? Well, the folks behind Nerve did, and it’s definitely not fun and games.

The Ariel Schulman-Henry Joost directed flick stars Emma Roberts and Dave Franco in a taut thriller where a seemingly harmless online reality game is revealed to involve life-threatening stakes, all while questioning our own participation in similar digital offerings.

The eponymous game features “players”, who complete challenges for money, and “watchers”, who pay to watch players complete the challenges they post. Average high school senior Vee (Roberts) meets fellow Nerve player Ian (Franco) while she completes her first challenge, and together the duo complete increasingly dangerous tasks until they find themselves at the top of the rankings and fighting for their lives in the final round.

At its core, Nerve examines the impact of services such as Facebook Livestream and YouTube Live. Will you do things you won’t normally do if your actions were watched (and rewarded) by millions worldwide? Will you encourage others to perform life-threatening acts if you can hide behind a wall of online anonymity?

The film depicts the devastating consequences that occur when netizens abuse internet privacy in the name of entertainment and allow the promise of online stardom to influence their actions. While the film’s setting and action may seem fantastical, Nerve’s central message is that such a world is far closer to reality than we would often believe.

Watch Nerve and other movies

What’s your take?

That’s ExpressVNP’s wrap-up on the year’s four biggest privacy-related blockbusters.

Do you agree with the ideas explored in these films? Which one was your favorite? Were there any other films that should have been featured here?

Share your comments below, and make sure to catch up on this year’s best films if you haven’t already!

Snowden: Film Fan / Wikipedia
Jason Bourne: Film Fan / Wikipedia
Captain America: Civil War: TriiipleThreat / Wikipedia
Nerve: Film Fan / Wikipedia


ExpressVNP proudly announces the winners of the first annual Future of Privacy Scholarship!

ExpressVNPExpressVNP Scholarship winners!

Despite 2016 being the first year ExpressVNP offered its Future of Privacy Scholarship, the competition was intense. There were more than 700 entries, and essays ranged from the serious to the contemplative to the whimsical.

Students pulled inspiration from across disciplines. There were quotes from the U.S. Constitution, allusions to George Orwell, and descriptions of complex technological systems. A number of applications used speculative fiction to analyze the future of internet privacy.

All of this is to say: It was pretty tough picking the winners.

However, there were three who managed to stand out from the crowd: Grand-prize winner Eliza Lindley, second-place winner Matt Nealey, and third-place winner Carla Blum-Johnston. All three wowed ExpressVNP with their unique views on privacy and its place in American society.

ExpressVNP got a chance to ask the winners some questions and learn the secret to their success.

A high schooler with a creative approach

Eliza Lindley, a sophomore at Mount Horeb High School in Mount Horeb, WI, knew immediately how she wanted to approach the essay. “I feel that one of my strengths is creative writing,” she explains, “and from the beginning, I thought I would have more fun expressing my ideas through an interesting short story rather than an argumentative essay.”

The result is a brief but compelling tale of a future where data from human brains has gone online. However, privacy comes under threat, and it’s only through both government and private sector intervention that people’s data is secured.

Eliza was inspired to write her essay after her involvement in Future Problem Solvers (FPS), a program aimed at helping students think critically and creatively about future issues. Participants are asked to research various real-world topics before solving a so-called “Future Scene.”

“I always admired the writing used in Future Scenes, so that was my main inspiration, especially for the format and style”

While researching her essay, Eliza came across the 2045 Initiative, a project founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov. The initiative’s goal is to enable human immortality through digitalization of the human brain. In her essay, Eliza took the concept a step further by questioning the consequences such a technology could have on personal privacy.

Given that she’s still in high school, Eliza has yet to choose a major. However, in the future, she hopes to combine her “passion for nature and the environment” with her “love of words and languages.”

As for the greater future of internet privacy? Eliza is somewhat optimistic.

“I have faith that privacy protection will adapt and grow right along with the technologies and platforms that necessitate increased security,” she says. “This evolution is necessary because humans will continue to use and abuse, or even be ‘used’ by, technology. The internet is just one example in our lives.”

Congratulations, Eliza–you’re sure to do great things in the future!

An engineer explores aging in another age

For his essay, Matthew Nealey, a second-year at Lake Superior College, imagined how his generation will be dealing with data collection in 2050. He ended up telling the story of an elderly man who decides to disconnect from data-gathering devices of the future.

Matthew got inspiration from observing the lives of today’s elderly. “[They] are perfectly content in how they live their lives,” he notes, “slightly behind the current generation in technological integration.”

And he has no doubt that the trend will continue:

“The boundaries of technology will continue to expand and reach new heights, and our children and grandchildren will be completely accustomed to a way of living that was introduced and competed with us and our current way of life.”

Matthew is currently studying Aviation Maintenance Technology and hopes to find a job in that field once he completes his degree.

An aspiring doctor takes a critical look at the NSA

Walla Walla University junior Carla Blum-Johnston spent her sophomore year volunteering as a teacher in Malawi. While she witnessed “great love and generosity” during her time abroad, she also saw startling instances of intolerance and inequality.

Memories of Malawi’s unpleasant side came back to Carla when she read one of the ExpressVNP Future of Privacy Scholarship essay prompts. Specifically, it was a quote from Edward Snowden that got to her: Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

“Upon further reflection,” Carla says, “I remembered that the restriction of one freedom is a restriction of every freedom, and I was inspired to remind my fellow American citizens that we must defend our right to privacy in order to defend every right ensured to us by our Constitution.”

Carla decided to write an essay asserting the validity of Snowden’s statement. She also consulted numerous outside sources, including the Constitution, Forbes, and a poem by Holocaust survivor Martin Niemöller.

Looking at the world around her, Carla says there is cause for concern. “I am continually surprised by how willing we are as consumers to sacrifice our right to privacy for the convenience of personalized ads and news feeds.”

Carla is currently majoring in Theology and minoring in Biology and Chemistry. After graduation, she hopes to enroll in MD/Ph.D. program and become a physician-scientist.

Congratulations again to this year’s winners, your essays were truly impressive!

ExpressVNP would also like to thank all the other applicants who took the time to think critically about privacy, internet security, and the future of technology.

There will be new essays topics next year, so don’t hesitate to apply!


The 4 best apps to properly secure your iPhone in 2018

ExpressVNPBest security apps for iOS

The March 2016 court case of Apple vs. the FBI made it clear that it’s not easy to break into an iPhone.

Alongside Apple’s corporate stance on privacy, the device itself has a number of protective features, from the passcode and Touch and Face ID to encrypted iMessages. Nevertheless, given the amount of sensitive information people store on their iPhones, it’s never redundant to add an extra layer of security.

There are many different apps out there you can use to beef up your phone’s security, but ExpressVNP has boiled them down to four categories. And the best part about all the apps reviewed here is they’re all free!

The best multitasking mobile security app

The biggest threat to your iPhone is theft or loss. In such cases, you will want an app with 360-degree coverage that can recover your data, locate your phone, and protect sensitive information stored on your device.

ExpressVNP’s #1 pick: Keeply

keeply security app for iphone

With a neat and intuitive interface, Keeply offers a bit more than just a secure vault for your data, such as photos, passwords, or notes.

Keeply’s safety policy ensures that your data is only stored on your phone and not on the cloud, though there is the possibility of backing it up on a chosen computer.

ExpressVNP appreciates that the app can be used in offline mode and doesn’t require any of your personal data to function – such as location or contact list.

Keeply also offers a few nice extra features, such as the Intruder Photo that takes a picture of any person trying to access the app unsuccessfully; the Fake Pin which, when used, shows the app empty; and the Face-down lock, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Runner-up: Lookout

lookout security app for iphone

Lookout is an all-around security app that can locate your iPhone in case you misplace it, activate an alarm in case of suspicious activities, and disable your device from a distance. There’s also a neat function that will buzz your Apple watch if your iPhone moves out of Bluetooth range.

Unfortunately, most of the cool features only work if you own an Apple Watch, which is why Lookout finishes second.

The best password manager for your iPhone

A good password manager allows you to generate strong passwords for your apps which are stored in an encrypted database, protected by a master password.

Once logged in, the password manager will also automatically enter your details on saved websites, *** logging in as convenient as it is secure.

ExpressVNP’s #1 pick: LastPass

lastpass security app for iphone

LastPass is one of the most widely known password managers, and its interface employs a library of apps’ logos to make finding your favorite websites a doddle.

Like most of their competitors, LastPass secures data with 256-bit encryption, as well as fingerprint and two-factor authentication. The basic functions are free, but you will need the paid version to sync your data on multiple devices (though the subscription is the cheapest on the market–only US$12 a year).

Interesting extra features include the LastPass security audit and the possibility to use it in offline mode. A reliable, secure and intuitive app, LastPass is ExpressVNP’s favorite password manager.

Runner-up: 1Password

1password security app

1Password is another one of the best password managers available and comes with a free app for iOS devices to boot. The main differences from LastPass are that 1Password is primarily designed for offline use and offers both a one-off fee and a subscription model.

The best ad blocker for Apple mobile devices

Since iOS 9, it’s been possible to officially block content using ad blockers, which are listed in your phone’s Settings section. Similar to browser ad blockers, a good mobile ad blocker doesn’t exploit your data and lets you customize which sites and apps you want to block.

ExpressVNP’s #1 pick: 1Blocker

1blocker security app

1Blocker includes 7,000 pre-installed blockers, which cover ads, tracking scripts, and other items that run in the background on web pages — things like ad networks and analytics providers.

ExpressVNP gave 1Blocker top position due to the large number of customization options, which lets you choose the specific content you might want to ban from your sight.

Runner-up: Refine

refine security app

Also free in the app store, Refine works similarly to 1Blocker but comes with a smaller range of customization.

The best privacy browser for iOS

ExpressVNP’s #1 pick: Ghostery

ghostery security app

Ghostery is a secure iOS mobile browser that allows users to control and decide what information they want to share with the sites they visit. One of the key features is an overview of all the trackers and cookies following your activity on each site, and a one-click function to disconnect them.

Do you have any tips for mobile security?

ExpressVNP hopes this helps make your iPhone even more secure!

If you have any questions about any of the mentioned software or any horror stories about losing your data, leave them in the comments section below!