Written by Keshala Dias
13 Mar, 2018 | 12:34 pm
COLOMBO (News1st) – VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a layer on top of your internet connection to provide access you otherwise may not have or to provide a layer of security and encryption so as to hide your otherwise visible network traffic or metadata.
During the past few days, many Sri Lankans started using the Virtual Private Network (VPN) to work around the government’s ban on social media and messaging platforms for a limited time period.
Free VPNs are a delight, but do you know that they can open doors to a host of undesirable and unnecessary risks?
Just like what Isaac Newton once said, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The same applies to the world of the internet.
It doesn’t cost you much to download a free VPN service, but the reality is that it ends up costing you the most by draining our privacy and security. These services allow others to use your internet connection and allows malicious third parties to snoop through your personal data, which can be used to hit you with targeted ads and spam emails, hijack your online accounts, steal your money (bank and card details), steal your digital goods or products and to lock or encrypt your devices in exchange for a payout.
A study done by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has found that 38% of free Android VPNs contain malware. It also analyzed 283 VPNs and found that 75% of free VPN apps contained tracking embedded in the source code.
Some free VPNs are also stealing your bandwidth and resell it to others. It can log and keep track of all your content, IP address, the types of sites you visit, etc. Some may even distribute your IP address, welcoming criminal activities.
In addition, you may even experience slow browsing speed, unstable connection, data usage caps and outdated encryption.
The above mentioned are some of the dangers of using free VPNs.
A proper VPN is meant to protect you and encrypt all of the traffic between your device and the VPN server. Unfortunately, many that we know of are insecure.
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