A virtual private network (VPN) is an encrypted communication channel that allows a secure connection between two remote computers via the internet.
VPNs are usually used to conceal one's IP address as well as have the ability to access blocked content across the internet.
Sounds a smart way to safely wander around the Internet? yes sure it to some extent.
The problem comes with the use of free VPNs, this is how Free VPNs are not free, they make money selling user information to third parties.
Remember,"If its Free you are the commodity"
"Every time you use a VPN you allow the owner to have full visibility of everything that passes through his server"
Some of the main Reasons why free VPN apps are dangerous and should be avoided.
1. Free VPN malware: “Over 38% of free VPN apps contain malware..” —CSIRO study.
2. Free VPN tracking: “We identified the presence of at least one tracking library embedded in the source code in 75% of the free VPN apps claiming to protect users’ privacy.” —CSIRO study.
3. Third party access to your data: Once your data is collected by the free VPN, it can then be sold or transferred to third parties, for profit. (This is a common business model in the tech industry).
4. Online Account Hijacking: Free VPN apps have facilitated increase in Fraud, Browser and Online Account Hijacking.
This is when the VPN hijacks and redirects your browser to partnership websites without your permission, not to mention bombarding you with adverts.
5. Increase Data Usage: Research shows that you actually use up more data when using a VPN, more data is even consumed by the adverts and the redirects.
Some of the Common Free VPN apps:
1.Hotspot Shield VPN
While there is a growing awareness about the risks of free VPNs, the Google Play and Apple stores are still loaded with hundreds of malicious and invasive free VPN apps – many of which have excellent ratings from naive users.
The Dangers of using free VPN apps from various studies outweigh the benefits.