MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 04/01/13 -- Today, AnchorFree, the global leader in consumer security, privacy and Internet freedom, kicks off a campaign to help U.S. and U.K. college students keep their digital lives private and secure. In addition to releasing a new College Productivity version of its iOS app with numerous features targeted toward students, the company has launched the Hotspot Shield College Privacy Challenge with $50,000 in scholarship awards. During the challenge, any college student registering with a school-provided ".edu" email address or the U.K. equivalent will receive a free subscription to the Hotspot Shield VPN. The subscription will work on up to five devices including iPad, iPhone, PCs and Macs. The subscription will provide free Hotspot Shield service across all of these devices for one full year (up to a $42 value). The challenge runs April 1 through June 9, and is hosted at www.hotspotshield.com/college.
Along with a first-ever iPad app and iOS update, Hotspot Shield mobile includes the following features that help enhance a college student's online privacy and productivity:
•Privacy protection for web browsing and sharing on Wi-Fi networks in dorms, cafes, campuses, and offices •20% greater mobile data savings capabilities, allowing users to save up to $10-$30 per month in mobile data fees •The ability to watch U.S. and U.K. TV shows online while traveling abroad by switching between IP addresses •A new user interface that makes it easier than ever to view mobile data savings •Enhanced malware protection against hackers, phishing threats and identity theft
"Sharing content privately and securely is an issue of increasing concern to young people," said David Gorodyansky, founder and CEO of AnchorFree, the maker of Hotspot Shield. "The Internet provides unprecedented access to information and essential communication tools to students, yet it also presents enormous hidden risks. We want to help protect students and make everyone aware of the risks to their digital privacy, particularly on mobile devices."
Added Gorodyansky, "Using a VPN like Hotspot Shield can protect the privacy of your browsing in the same way that apps like Snap Chat protect the privacy of photos and messages being shared. The critical issue is that students not lose control of media or sensitive data that could impact them later in life or affect their chances in the job market."
A recent study estimated that nine out of ten undergraduate students will own a smartphone by the time this year's crop of freshmen is slated to graduate(1). As this demographic grows, college students are increasingly at risk of having their privacy compromised.
As the contest unfolds, AnchorFree will tally the schools with the highest number of entries, indicating the capacity to stay secure, safe and private online. AnchorFree will distribute 7 scholarships of $5,000 each among 7 students at the top three schools that have signed up the most friends from their school on to Hotspot Shield. Students signing up, using and sharing Hotspot Shield the most will be awarded. To top it off AnchorFree will crown those top schools at the end of the summer as the "Most Private Campuses" just in time for the 2013-14 school year. The last three scholarship prize winners will be chosen at random from all other student entries. Students can earn additional entries and thus increase their chances of winning in the following ways: one entry for signing up; two additional entries for every additional device they install the software on and activate; and one additional entry for every college friend who they share it with who also signs up with a valid .edu address.
Mobile students tend to use unprotected public Wi-Fi networks more, which adds additional risk factors to their profile. These factors combine to transform the generation that grew up using the Internet most frequently into the generation that's the most vulnerable online.
With threats to privacy on the rise across the country, college students who download Hotspot Shield for free across their devices during the campaign will gain control over their personal information. "People of all ages simply do not understand the risks they take with unprotected browsing," said Gorodyansky. "This may especially be true of college students, who have their minds on a million other things. We hope this campaign will focus their attention on the importance of taking control of their online privacy."
AnchorFree's Hotspot Shield has been downloaded more than 120 million times on PCs, Macs, iOS and Android platforms. The company experienced explosive growth in 2012 and, according to Quantcast, is among the top 35 online destinations based on total Internet traffic.
More information about the "Hotspot Shield College Privacy Challenge" can be found at http://college.hotspotshield.com.
AnchorFree believes in placing consumers in control of their personal information online. The company's mission is to enable secure access to the world's information for an addressable market of 5 billion people who access the Web through computers or mobile devices. AnchorFree does this through Hotspot Shield, the world's most popular app for safe browsing. Hotspot Shield secures all Internet communications, protects the user's identity online, and provides universal access to all Internet content. Hotspot Shield is available for PC, Mac, Apple iOS, and Android platforms at www.AnchorFree.com and www.HotspotShield.com. AnchorFree is a privately held, venture-backed company based in Mountain View, California.
Nick Shepherd and Kristen Hay
hotspotshield [at] launchsquad [dot] com
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