Yo ho ho, it’s that time of the year again. And no, we’re not talking about Christmas (yet). Just like last year, a bunch of Virtual Private Network (in short – VPN) providers are offering special deals in October because of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Perhaps not everyone is aware of this occasion, so here is the story of how NCSAM began. For those who are already familiar, skip straight to the VPN deals offered in 2018 – we bet there’s at least a couple that will garner your interest.
What is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month?
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, NCSAM in short, is a clumsily-named initiative to inform us all about the possible dangers lurking beneath the dark waters of the internet and how we can protect ourselves and our families from them. The idea was born way back in 2003, when the US Department of Homeland Security, along with the National Cyber Security Alliance, decided on a mutual effort to raise awareness of cybercrime and online security in an ever-growing digital world.
Why do we need this National Cybersecurity Awareness Month?
The year 2006 ended with the TJX network being hacked and over 90 million credit cards exposed. Less than two years passed and Heartland Payment Systems suffered a breach that led to information of 134 million credit cards being stolen. The following decade was marked by Sony’s PlayStation Network hack, putting their site down for a month and 12 million credit card numbers along with passwords and other personal data being stolen.
Think only home users and video game lovers can suffer a severe attack? Let’s not forget the US Office of Personnel Management system hack that exposed personal and classified information of more than 22 million federal employees and their family members. You think that tech companies and startups know enough to make sure their data is safe? Let’s jump two years back from the present day to when an attack on Uber had 57 million users’ and 600,000 drivers’ personal info stolen. To make matters worse, the company kept silent about it for almost a year!
We also want to point to an attack that started during the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month of 2013, before Thanksgiving, when around 110 million people’s credit card information and/or personal data was hacked via Target Stores. Do you buy at Target? In 2017, it was still clear that the progress they made was not sufficient to make sure a similar attack cannot happen again.
Finally, the security breach that we hope will never be surpassed happened in 2014, when real names, email addresses, dates of birth and telephone numbers of 500 million Yahoo users ended up in the hands of hackers. While this number is the highest of all other hacks mentioned here put together, in 2017 Yahoo re-estimated it to a mind-boggling 3 billion, which means no more and no less than all of their users! Therefore, if for whatever reason you’re still using that [email protected] for your business and personal communication and haven’t changed its password (frankthepug) since 1997, you’d better stop!
So, we find ourselves in the year 2018, still facing cybersecurity risks. Just a month ago, everybody was talking about the Facebook hack and its impact on our privacy. This leads us to believe that while the NCSAM would benefit from a more wieldy name, all of us would surely benefit if this Awareness Month turned into an Awareness Season.
What can you do to be safe on the web?
The time when most dangers were caused by floppy disks and USB drivers full of viruses has come to an end, now the biggest risks we face lurk online. This means that no matter what you do on the internet – be it browsing, streaming, torrenting, or gaming – you’d better make sure your connection is as private and secure as possible. The best way to be protected online is to use a VPN, creating a safe tunnel between you and your virtual destination.
6 Best VPN deals for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2018
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2018 is a good time to buy a VPN if you don’t have one or no longer like the one you’re using. If you’re planning to visit China, it’s good to buy another one just in case the first stops working, which might happen at the worst possible time.
We sort through the list of best VPN deals for NCSAM 2018 according to out best VPNs list, meaning ExpressVPN is first in line. People are often reluctant to try the best services just because they cost much compared to competitors or the industry average of approx. $6.00/year. At the same time, VPNs that were already cheap have a bigger chance of not suiting all your needs. This means that if you don’t act now, you might have to wait a whole year to get a good chance to land one of the top VPNs with a National Cybersecurity Awareness Month discount.
1. NordVPN 75% discount on a three-year plan
You have less than one month to grab one of the top VPNs for a ridiculous price. NordVPN’s three-year plan can be bought for a fraction of a price until November 30. The price is $107.55, which translates into $2.99/month. It means that with this NordVPN deal you’ll save $323 in those three years.
We understand that it might be hard to give away more than one hundred bucks in one go, but here you’ll be investing in one of the two industry’s leaders. Also, the industry’s average prices are unlikely to drop or even stay at the same level in the future. Finally, the deal has a 30-day money-back guarantee should you reconsider.
2. HideMyAss! 69% off for a three-year deal
Even though the National Cyber Security ended in October, HideMyAss! seems to have created their own version for November, named simply Cyber Month.
The best deal is for a three-year plan, allowing to save 69% by paying $3.2/month instead of $10.26/month. This is cheaper than the regular price for two years! The total amount you would be saving is $154.
What is more, the deal also includes an offer for a 6 month period, no longer to be found in the regular pricing list. It allows you to save 25% or $15.4 by paying $7.69/month.
The offer expires with the last autumn leaves falling down, so be sure to take a look before it’s too late.
3. StrongVPN shaves 42% off its annual plan
Last but not the weakest entry, both in terms of the VPN and its offer, is StrongVPN – inviting you to get a 12-month subscription for $69.99 and save $50, while also retaining their 30-day money back guarantee.
It’s worth giving a try for a service that has 650+ servers in 20+ countries, almost 60,000 shared and dedicated IPs, a no logs policy, five simultaneous connections and the power to unblock Netflix, smashing even through the Great Firewall of China. StrongVPN also accepts not only major cards but also PayPal and AliPay.
4. ExpressVPN GIF Contest 2018 on Twitter (expired)
This year, ExpressVPN has decided to make a GIF Contest, where three winners will get a 12-month subscription for free. The rules are simple:
- Tweet a GIF (with hashtag #cybersecurityinonegif and @ExpressVPN) that you think represents cybersecurity best. An example you can use to win the contest (it’s a GIFt from us to you)
- Make sure your account is following @ExpressVPN
- You can send multiple entries, so don’t hold yourself back!
- Top 3 tweets with the biggest number of likes and retweets will win.
- Make sure you send your tweets before October 17, 7 PM EST (11 PM UTC)
You will be notified about the win by a direct Twitter message, don’t forget to check it regularly. Otherwise, the prize may go to your arch nemesis!
ExpressVPN is known as one of the best VPNs. With very fast speeds and top-notch security, it offers practically everything one might want from a service like this. It all comes with a price, of course, which is one of the industry’s biggest. Find out more about ExpressVPN in our comprehensive review.
5. IPVanish offers 69% off the price (expired)
This one is second on our list, but probably the best deal you can get for this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month. 69% off speaks for itself – it translates into a 2-year subscription for $89.99, which translates into only $3.74/month. The price is almost identical to what they charge for an annual account, so there is no way you’re getting a Top 10 VPN cheaper than that! The deal expires on October 31, 2018, and applies to new customers only.
IPVanish boasts more than 1000 servers in over 60 countries, offers a fast and secure connection with 256-bit AES military-grade encryption, and allows an extraordinary ten simultaneous connections per account, almost good enough for an entire Modern Family. To learn more about what IPVanish offers, check out our review.
6. ZenMate VPN for less than $2/month (expired)
While our ZenMate VPN review scores aren’t high enough to reach our Top 10, we believe they will be going up in the future. And those who are still not using any VPN have the opportunity to start doing it with ZenMate’s special 2-year deal for $1.87/month. This will allow you to save more than 80%, paying $45 instead of $191.76 – a great deal indeed.
ZenMate is a VPN with military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and free browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Worth giving a try if you’re located in Europe or North America, where most of ZenMate’s servers reside.
Those VPNs that don’t offer any deals related to National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2018 include many on our best VPNs list, such as TorGuard or Astrill VPN. Therefore we will keep updating this section if new deals surface – make sure you stop by in a few days. But if you already see a deal that you like – grab it now. If you miss it, you will have to wait until next year to get a special National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2019 promotion!