Using a VPN is recommended nowadays as it helps you protect your personal data. More than that, a VPN can help you bypass any regional restrictions. However, when you are looking for a VPN to install you must be very careful.
Free VPN apps look very tempting, but they are not worth it. Remember that your VPN will have data about the websites that your browse online and you never know where that data could end up. A recent investigation revealed that most free VPN apps are not reliable.
A report recently published by Simon Migliano showed justs how dangerous free VPN apps can be. Top free VPN apps from Google Play Store and App Store were investigated. It was discovered that companies with Chinese owners run more than half of these apps. Other worrisome details were uncovered as well. Here are some of the results:
59% of apps have links to China (17 apps)
86% of apps had unacceptable privacy policies, issues include:
- Lack of important detail around logging policies that could lull people into false sense of security
- Generic policies with no VPN-specific terms
- No policy at all
- Tracking user activity or sharing with third parties
- Several privacy policies explicitly stated that they share data with China
- 55% of privacy policies were hosted in an amateur fashion
- Free WordPress sites with ads
- Plain text files on Pastebin
- Text files on Amazon servers
- Text files on raw URLs, such as IP addresses
- 64% of apps had no dedicated website – several had no online presence beyond app store listings.
- Vast majority of companies make it very difficult to find out where they are based and who is involved – for a minority it was impossible to track down the provider.
- Over half (52%) of customer support emails were personal accounts, ie Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc
- 83% of app customer support email requests for assistance were ignored
Nora Reynolds is a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior, writing about science in general. She also likes to try new gadgets and sports about the AI new era.