30/07/2019

Key Security Risks When Using Free VPN Apps

Key Security Risks When Using Free VPN Apps

Today, all knowledge of the world is available to us, however, we still continue to enjoy photos of cats and men’s/women’s bodies on the Internet. But it is half of the problem. Encyclopedic information may not be necessary for everyone. The most important thing nowadays is to have a reliable level of data protection online. However, until now many people remain naive and even ignorant, as they are not aware of the simple fact: free cheese can only be in a mousetrap. A free VPN service is not an exception. What can be dangerous about free VPN?  Read the article!


Each day you can find more and more ‘free VPNs’, however it is a clear example of the fact that quantity does not necessarily mean quality.

As you already know from our blog, a free VPN service is a utopia in the realities of the world in which we live. It does not matter whether we are talking about an Android VPN, an app for PC or anything else. A free VPN service for a PC, a VPN for Android -both of them cannot exist for free. The owners of such services have to pay the system administrators' work and maintenance of the VPN server (even if they inherited it from their grandfather, who had been a cool IT-specialist). At best, a free VPN service will sell your logs to advertisers. In the worst case, it will provide weak protection (for example, regular disconnections from the VPN server leading to the exposure of your real IP address) and bring many problems to you in the future.

Free VPN service can be hacked. There is already a precedent

Unfortunately, the hackers “wan” last year. A premium VPN service is much better protected from hacking, and we recommend using it, as there are no longer any safe free VPN services. On July 9, 2018 a precedent for hacking a free VPN was set.

We will not mention the affected VPN service (you can easily “google” this information), since any free VPN service can share its fate. Let us just say that it was about cryptocurrency (we have discussed in a separate article, how to ensure its security using a VPN). It was the free VPN service that worked in the form of a plugin for Google Chrome and it was suddenly hacked by attackers. All clients who used their wallets within 24 hours suffered.

By the way, in defense of plugins for browsers and in particular for Google Chrome: they can be useful for security, we analyzed this topic in our blog. But not when a supposedly free (in fact at your expense) service is trying to use such a plugin instead of a full-fledged premium VPN application! Only when developers use a plugin in a well-tuned bunch.

 

How do you exactly risk when use a free VPN service?

This story shows that a free VPN service no longer guarantees you security and privacy on the Internet. In general, it was well known and without precedent on July 9, 2018. We have repeatedly warned you of the vulnerabilities of free VPNs. We will analyze in more detail, how you risk.

  • Free VPN service can be directly infected with viruses! This, alas, is not a paranoia. Moreover, there were cases when a program for collecting personal data was purposely masked for a whole free VPN application. It is enough to download and launch such an application - and instead of protecting privacy, it will directly merge your data to fraudsters.
  • Free VPN service contains tracking systems. It's even worse. Three of the four (!!!) VPNs on Android distributed for free on Google Play include tracking systems in their code! Once again: include in their code. So, this is not a mistake or a vulnerability, it’s a built-in function! What will happen to your data next? At best, it will be sold to spammers.
  • Free VPN service has problems with a bandwidth. Premium VPN applications usually have a dedicated IP address option (the address is used only by you). However, free versions do not have such options (for sure! It would be too much for free software). Therefore, your traffic uses the same channel as many other users. If any of them have vulnerabilities in their security, it can also affect you.
  • A free VPN service may allow a browser capture. For example, you follow the link, and instead of one loading screen of the site you need, there are 3-4 of them (well, even if in one window) with advertisements. At worst, fraudsters can sign you up for paid services and / or infect your device. This is the browser capture, and a free VPN service cannot protect you from this.

Free VPN service: should I use it at all?

If you adore extreme, and after watching the picture at the beginning of this article, you think ‘Wow! I want to get to this roof! ” -then yes. But, if the motto ‘Stupidity and courage’ is not about you, then you shouldn’t risk the same as the guy in the photo. He is also well aware of the risks of sitting on the edge of a skyscraper, as you understand the risks of free VPNs. Be prudent - do not save on your security. Use Premium VPN.

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