5 Reasons Why Using a Free VPN Might be Harmful

are free vpns safe

Are free VPNs safe to use? Free things are always welcome in our lives, but are they worth it if they do more harm than good? After all, if you’re not paying for it with your money, you’re paying for it with something else. Let us tell you more.

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, serves the primary purpose of preserving your privacy and anonymity while you are online. Your data is protected from hackers through encryption. It reroutes your connection through a secure server in the nation of your choice to get around geographic restrictions. VPNs can be helpful tools for businesses and individuals relying heavily on remote connectivity. Travel, media streaming, and gaming are just a few additional uses for VPNs.

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In this article, we will point out why a free VPN download is not the best way to go.

safety online

Understanding the Risks Involved

Not every VPN service is made with the same amount of care or with the same intentions. Some services can open up your system to a plethora of problems and risks. Let us examine some of them:

1. Little Protection For Personal Info

Sadly, a typical VPN connection cannot provide complete online anonymity. All a VPN does is disguise your IP address and encrypt your data. Whether you use a VPN or not, if you have an account with a website like Google, they will always have access to your data.

If you use a free VPN, it gets a lot worse. Free VPN services have the potential to track their customers in a variety of ways and even sell this information. Websites with sophisticated surveillance tools, like browser fingerprinting, can still track your online actions and gather personal data even if you use a VPN.

In contrast, since premium VPNs depend on your membership money, they cannot afford to have security vulnerabilities. They do not make money by tracking or sharing data, so they will never do either.

2. Slower Browsing Speeds

Your connection will become slower if you use such a service. A two-step procedure is the only way to protect a user’s online actions. This includes:

  • Encryption
  • Decryption

Your connection to the internet is encrypted and redirected through a distant server when using a virtual private network. Your speed will be severely reduced as a result.

Free VPNs only exacerbate the delay, which makes the situation worse. This will cause you to waste even more time waiting for web pages to load.

3. Malware Infections

You risk infecting your computer with malware if you install these free VPNs. These figures are particularly alarming due to the ubiquity of malicious software that gathers personal data. Think about the harm that could be done to your company if even one employee unintentionally infects one of your computers. As a result, businesses should give staff training top priority while developing their cybersecurity activities.

4. Unwanted Ads Everywhere

The majority of free internet services feature advertising. If customers do not pay for the service directly, this is how the service provider makes money. The annoying thing about these adverts is that they interrupt you, but that’s hardly the worst part. Most of the ads injected will take you to websites infected with malware or trigger intrusive pop-up windows every time you try to use the targeted website. Inadvertently clicking on one of these links could corrupt your system or direct you to a phishing website.

5. Higher Data Costs

Both endpoints of a connection to a virtual private network must go through an encryption and decryption process. You will require extra bandwidth for your internet connection to perform these tasks. You will use more data when using a VPN than when not using one at all.

Free VPNs worsen the issue because using them necessitates constant advertising, shoddy encryption, and bandwidth reselling.

Not all VPN service providers are evil or trying to capture your personal information. However, the lack of transparency on how your data is processed is a significant disadvantage of VPNs. With a stand-alone service, you can set up and administer your own server using a cloud provider, but keep in mind that since your encrypted data is stored in a third party’s cloud service, law authorities could seize it anytime.

Virtual private networks provide some advantages, but knowing where they fall short is essential. You shouldn’t entirely rely on a simple free VPN download to keep your private information private. Do some proper research about the software you want to integrate into your system before you go ahead and get it–free or otherwise. Keep in mind what you’ve read here and make informed decisions!

How To Report a Fraudulent VPN

You can report scammers, malicious free VPNs and any other suspicious VPN providers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using their portal below:

Report To The FTC Here

How To Protect Yourself More

If you want to be amongst the first to receive notifications about the most notorious scams every week, subscribe to our Scam Detector newsletter. You will receive periodic emails from us with insightful tips. That will include how to prevent fraud and information about the newest tools you can use to fight crime.

Meanwhile, feel free to educate yourself with some other Amazon fraud-related articles. They are listed under this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, if you have any bad experiences, make sure to use the comments section below to expose other scammers.

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

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