Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are meant to promote safety and privacy. They are meant to improve your experience on the internet. The use of VPN to keep data away from snoopers is on a constant rise. It is popularly used to access restricted sites. However, are VPNs really as safe as they claim to be? Keep reading to find out.
How Do VPNs Work?
A VPN works by creating a secure tunnel between a VPN server and your computer. This tunnel then hides your location and online activity. With VPN security, it is possible to keep your online presence private. You can protect your Internet Service Provider from trackers.
VPNs work by connecting your device to the server and passing your internet traffic through the internet connection of the VPN provider. This way, malicious actors cannot gather information regarding your online activity.
Is Private Browsing It Really Private?
Most web browsers now have the ‘private browsing’ feature. With this feature, you can browse the internet without worrying about your search information or history. It doesn’t save temporary local data like cookies, either. Popular browsers with this feature include Opera, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.
With the private browsing mode, data won’t be left on your device. However, this doesn’t mean that information cannot be shared between your device and ISP. In addition, third parties can still use private browsing sessions to detect your activity online. Private browsing offers a level of privacy but it isn’t enough.
Are VPNs Always Safe?
Unfortunately, VPNs are not always safe. Some of them are safer than others. If you use free software, you are probably not getting as much protection as you possibly can. Free software options may not protect your browsing activity and data on the internet. Is Nordvpn safe? Yes, like most paid VPN tools, it is safe and reliable. Here are a few reasons to minimize your use of free VPN software:
Free VPN Tools Compromise Your Security
Most free VPN tools have malware that cybercriminals can take advantage of.
They can use the software to access your information, steal it, or launch cyber-attacks. Studies suggest that about 38 percent of all Android VPNs have some sort of malware. The free ones are more likely to be unsafe than paid software options. In the end, using free software may do more harm than good.
Some free VPN tools may track your online activity. While the best VPNs are supposed to keep your activity private, some free tools do the opposite. They have third-party tracking tools that may compromise your security.
When these VPN tools collect your personal information. They sell it to the highest bidders. Advertisers use the information to target potential clients. Some VPNs aren’t clear about whether they sell or share user data. They can use the loophole to dupe unsuspecting users.
– Slow Internet Speed and Limited Data Usage
Some free VPN software can slow down you down. They do not allow as much speed as premium tools. This is a common issue even for tools obtained from reputable vendors. Many of them only prioritize internet speed for the paying customers.
Some free tools may also limit your data usage. Even though they may be great for protecting your data or hiding your location, great VPNs shouldn’t limit the amount of data you can use.
However, free tools may limit the amount of protection you receive per browsing session, the websites that can be unblocked, or your monthly data usage. This is proof that you may not be receiving all the protection possible. Free VPN software isn’t ideal when you need comprehensive protection for a long time.
– They Target You with Ads
Some free VPN tools may use ads to generate revenue. They share or target your information without permission. It is frustrating, especially because these ads can contain malware. Some of them will slow down your connection.
The use of ads on these services poses a privacy concern as well. If the providers are accessing your information, they are probably sharing it too.
If you choose to pay for your VPN software, you will probably find options with come with ad-blocking features. Most paid VPN options have unlimited bandwidth and malware protection.
What Makes a VPN Secure?
The difference between a secure and insecure VPN is easy. It depends on the provider. Reliable providers encrypt your data and browsing history. They protect you from ISPs and hackers. The best providers fix data leaks fast. Their privacy policies are transparent, and they don’t track users. Here are a few features of secure VPN tools.
1. Prevention of IP Address Leaks
The main purpose of using VPN is to disguise or hide your address when browsing. It ensures that no one can track your online activity. However, like any other product of technology, VPN tools sometimes have flaws.
These flaws may cause your IP location to leak. You should, therefore, find a provider that actively puts in measures to prevent and address these leaks. Checking online reviews may help you determine if the VPN has a history of leakages.
2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
VPN program should be very secure. They shouldn’t let in unauthorized users. With MFA, you have to prove your identity before accessing the VPN. When logging in, you may need to use a username and password. After that, a short code may be sent to you via SMS or a different type of notification.
The extra level of protection may not seem like much, but it makes things harder for hackers. It improves the security of your computer and mobile devices.
3. No Information Logging
NO-log VPN is safe. It doesn’t collect or log data that you shared over the network. This includes your search history, downloaded files, and login credentials. This is very important in protecting your anonymity and privacy.
Your information remains protected even if unauthorized persons gain access to your VPN tool. When security is a big priority, always check if your VPN tool discloses your information in any scenario. Find out if it purges data periodically or logs online activity.