Since 2011, we have been publishing our quarterly Transparency Report – a first in the VPN industry. A lot has changed in the tech world since we published our first report a decade ago, with online surveillance slowly becoming normalized, and data-mining a multi-billion-dollar industry.
You can see this worrying trend of data collection in our reports. Now that our report for Q2 2021 is live, we can see the requests for user data we registered.
Our Q2 Numbers
This encompasses the number of DMCA complaints, malicious activity flags, and police requests we received for April, May, and June 2021.
Here’s a breakdown.
This marks a shocking 87% increase in overall requests compared to our Q1 report.
And with the exception of police requests, there’s a noticeable increase culminating in the month of May.
As of June, the situation seems to have gone back to normal. However, this might just be a coincidence. In many countries COVID restrictions loosened around June, allowing people to go on well-deserved vacations, away from any online spaces.
While the increase marks a worrying disregard for online privacy, it’s been business as usual for us. We don’t keep any records of user activity, and therefore, have not complied with any of these requests. Due to our strict No Logs policy, we don’t have any user data to hand over.
Furthermore, our headquarters in Bucharest, Romania place us under a very privacy-friendly jurisdiction. We are under no legal obligation to collaborate with international surveillance alliances like the 5 and 14 Eyes.
DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and refers to copyright infringement claims. Any copyright holder or entertainment agency can file a claim when they find their materials has been shared online using one of our IP addresses.
DMCA complaints make over half of all the requests we received in these past three months. More specifically, DMCA requests make up 61% of all requests.
But there seems to be a two-fold increase in DMCA complaints when compared to the beginning of the year.
Malicious Activity Flags
We receive this type of request when authorities signal to us that there are malicious activities originating from one or more of our IP addresses. This can include DDoS attacks, botnets, automated mass spam emails, suspicious login attempts, and phishing scams.
This makes up 38% of all the inquiries we received.
Compared to our Q1 report we noticed a massive spike in cases starting in April.
If a criminal investigation leads to one of our IP addresses or our datacenters, we receive this type of request. Various law enforcement agencies can file a request, generally asking for logs and other details that can aid their case.
As usual, this type of request makes less than 1% of all incoming inquiries. The situation was similar in our previous reports as well.
If anything, we received far less police requests than we did during the previous quarter.
You Need a No-Logs VPN
The digital landscape continues to change in 2021 as the COVID pandemic saw many of us moving more of our lives into the online world with working from home and shopping online, specifically.
According to a recent study by consulting firm McKinsey, 20-25% of the workforce in developed countries now work remotely. This marks a fourfold increase compared to pre-pandemic when teleworking was primarily represented by the freelancer community. E-commerce sites also thrived with 32.4% more online sales in 2020 compared to previous years.
Going digital made our daily activities easier during the pandemic. But putting our data out there has its trade-offs. Data breaches, ransomware attacks, and identity theft continue to be a massive problem that looms over business, government, and personal accounts. The second quarter of 2021 was a busy time in the cybersecurity sector with:
- 1,098,897,134 exposed records in April
- 115,861,330 exposed records in May
- 9,780,931 exposed records in June
In total that amounts to 1,224,539,395 breached records. And this is just from the reported incidents. Ransomware is reportedly the main cause in these data breaches, account for one in three incidents. No one type of business or enterprise is safe from these attacks, since malicious parties targeted all of them – from popular fast-food chains, like McDonalds Taiwan, to social media giant Facebook, as well as dating app Manhunt, cloud infrastructure provider DigitalOcean, and Japanese government agencies after Fujitsu, were all hacked.
Now, more than ever you need a reliable tool to safeguard private data. And a virtual private network is just the right tool for you.
A VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic. It’s an easy way to secure your connection and hide your online activity from prying eyes.
And with our strict No Logs policy, we can safeguard your data and make sure you’re the only one who knows anything about your browsing habits. Your personal information is protected by our AES 256-bit military-grade encryption so that no one, not even us, can ever access your records. Not to mention that with CyberGhost VPN you can protect up to seven devices at the same time.
Until next time, stay safe and secure!