Reasons Why You Should Stay Away from Using Free VPN
In the last 10 years we have seen an explosion in companies making millions of dollars through buying and selling commodities, we always thought that these commodities would be oil, sugar, coal as well as others, but what we didn’t expect was our data to be in that list. Personal data is the new oil and companies are getting it any way they can and not necessarily through legitimate means. Enter the free VPN, on the surface it sounds awesome, why wouldn’t you want your internet usage hidden and even better for no financial cost? Well, there are in fact a plethora of reasons as to why you should stay away from using free VPNs.
If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is
This is an old adage, but one I will stick by, especially when it comes to available software on the internet. Why would a company give away something for free that other companies are charging a lot of money for? It is not due to their corporate social responsibility; they most certainly have something to gain and if you read the terms of service and use you will begin to see what that is. A good VPN provider is there to protect you from people reading your private emails, texts and other communications, so why would you allow a company to access these? 70% of free VPN’s ask that you allow them to access apps where you message other people along with other platforms and this is just the beginning.
One of the main selling points of a VPN in encryption, it means that no one can read the data as they don’t have the key, making your data valueless to criminals and businesses who attempt to steal or take it. Research into free VPN’s has garnered interesting results over the last year, one of the most shocking is that free VPN’s aren’t actually encrypting any of the data. They are just harvesting your personal information and selling it straight on to their third party organizations or other people you wouldn’t necessarily want to handle your personal information.
Malware in 2019 can be particularly nasty; in this day and age, it serves no other purpose than steal your most sensitive data, such as bank details and other highly sensitive information. Why would you give someone a free pass to these details? By downloading a free VPN, you could be doing just that.
We previously mentioned that nothing on the internet is free and we absolutely 100% stand by this statement. Free VPNs aren’t directly collecting money off their users, but they are making money off the back of their users and they do this affiliate marketing. Large percentages of these free VPN’s will take over users’ browsers and put redirects on, these redirects can end up on a variety of websites, but the VPN provider will get paid out for each person that lands on this site through their software, hence the name affiliate. The entire set up is geared to make as much money as possible through this affiliate linking.
Free VPN’s have been known to hijack browsers, this is where they take full control of your browser and dictate what sites it uses and when. Whilst this may not seem malicious, a whole manner of activities can be undertaken on your IP address and you may not even know about it due to the way in which the malware hides.
Ask Yourself Why
Who would want to look at what you are doing online and why? This is a question you should ask yourself before you download any free VPN’s. Research conducted in the UK over the course of 2018 and 2019 showed that out of all available free VPN’s online, 63% of them were of Chinese origin, why is that? Why would these countries want to gather data on users that don’t reside in their countries? There is a lot of data to be mined about others and doing it under the guise of free security is a good way to go about it.
If it is too good to be true it probably is likewise nothing good ever came for free. It is always worth thinking critically when you are face to face with free software that claims to protect you when on the same page you have companies charging for the same privilege. There are a plethora of reasons that you should avoid using free VPN services and here we have just outlined a few. Fundamentally, if you download and use a free VPN you have potentially lost control of your sensitive data and you are potentially vulnerable to it being sold on to third parties or even criminals. Avoid free services and stick with the well-reviewed, well-trusted premium products that really do work to secure your browsing and your data.