Major Dangers of Free VPNs
We have touched only the top of the iceberg when dangers arising from the use of free VPNs are concerned. Let’s dig deeper into the hazard associated with these free apps.
Malware and Tracking Protection
A free VPN will rarely provide working protection against malware or malicious websites. What is more, a free VPN might be packed with malware itself. In most cases, this will not be a ransomware-type malware but tracking piece of code that monitors and records online activities, website visits, and other personal data.
The VPN app developer will use these data to spam you with targeted ads or get access to sensitive data. In the worst possible case, you can expose your online and bank card details to malicious parties. Security experts estimate that close to 40 percent of free VPNs contain a sort of malware.
Even more free VPNs track your actions and collect private data. According to estimates, about 75 percent, or two-thirds, of all free VPN apps collect private data, which they can use for various purposes, ranging from data analytics to consumer behaviour to targeting ads on you.
External Access to Data
Many free VPNs are actually data collecting tools aimed at providing access to your private data that is collected by third parties. Actually, many legitimate VPN services apply one of the oldest tricks in the book to make this in a completely legal fashion.
Sometimes a free VPN service will offer a certain bandwidth, and then it will put shaping on your connection, which will set your bandwidth to a lower limit and will resell the bandwidth to other users.
Sure, you can rarely achieve your full bandwidth even with a legitimate VPN but this is due to lost packets, the server being far way, or other networking factors that are completely acceptable. Limiting your bandwidth below the agreed level is a totally unacceptable practice.
The primary goal of any VPN should be to protect and secure your data transferred over an online connection and only then come functions such as the ability to circumvent geo-restrictions imposed on specific websites and online services.
Many free VPNs fail to protect your personal data by leaking your IP address, for instance. It is a problem with paid VPNs as well, but the difference is that legitimate VPN services make it due to software bugs developers try to rectify, while others are just incapable of properly preventing data leakage.