In this era of digital transformation, everyone wants to secure their online presence. With the increasing privacy concerns, users have started using privacy tools such as a virtual private network (VPN) to keep their information secure.
VPNs are popular among individuals as well as business enterprises. Most of the netizens invest in a VPN because they're worth the money. They use different VPN providers according to their needs and desires.
However, many startups and SMBs question whether VPN is worth it. A simple answer is Yes!
Symantec reveals that during 2014 and 2015, there was a significant rise in zero-day vulnerabilities. By using reliable cybersecurity software, including a VPN, you can ensure that your company is less likely to be affected.
VPNs are worth using because they guarantee your online privacy and protect you from any snooping eyes that secretly monitor your browsing experience. However, not all the VPNs available in the market are worth the money.
It's because there are two types of VPNs, namely, free VPNs and premium VPNs. As the name suggests, free VPNs don't charge any amount for their services, and as a result, users prefer to use them instead of paying for a subscription.
But they don't realize how dangerous it is to use free VPNs because of the security risks they impose.
By now, you might wonder if VPNs are worth the money. Well, this post aims to clear all your confusion regarding the usage of VPNs. Later we'll discuss the free VPN security risks and some key points to overcome them. So, let's read on.
Are VPNs Safe to Use?
VPNs are worth getting — the repulsion of net neutrality transfers extra rights to the ISPs. The ISPs stand out to be more potent than before. They sell your browsing data to the third-parties and throttle your bandwidth. The best solution to avoid ISP interference is to use a VPN. The best VPNs encrypt internet traffic of their users and thus prevent ISPs from spying over their activities.
Now, talking in terms of safety and security, VPNs are safe to use. It secures your internet connection from hackers, surveillance agencies, and internet service providers. If you use a VPN for Mac or any other device, it efficiently hides your real IP address and permits you to surf the internet in privacy without the fear of being tracked.
How Does a VPN Work?
By now, you must be wondering how one hides their identity with a VPN.
Let’s say you use a VPN on your Mac computer. Upon connecting your device to a VPN server, your online traffic first passes through the encrypted tunnel. It hides your activities from the ISPs, making it difficult for them to monitor your browsing history.
VPN server masks your IP address, replacing it with its own. This step ensures that no one can track your browsing experience back to your real IP address.
Most people use a VPN on devices like Mac to have a protective shield against cyber-crooks and hide their identities when accessing any blocked content or websites.
VPNs, particularly the premium ones, don't store any logs of your online activities, which is a clear sign that you remain on the safe side while you use a VPN for any purpose.
Free VPN Security Risks
Nothing in this world comes free, and if something does, they come with flaws like the free VPNs that pose significant VPN security risks. The majority of the users opt for free VPNs as it saves their money, but the reality is entirely different.
When it comes to free VPNs, there are several security risks that the users must know about. The following mentioned below are some of the most prominent free VPN security risks.
1. Monitors Activity and Uses Your Data
Some private network services allow you to use their private servers in exchange for your data. They won't mention this on their website, but that’s what they do. Moreover, there have been cases of VPN companies spying on their users' for other benefits.
Although free VPNs might help bypass internet restrictions and hide your IP addresses, the virtual private network companies might track you. Thus, you must be wary of the VPN services that offer connection to their servers for free because they might log your activities.
2. Exposes You to Threats
Exposing users to potential threats is another VPN security risk. There are various technicalities involved in data encryption, setting up a server, and implementing protocols. VPN providers that are not reliable in any of these fields take shortcuts and offer poor services. As a result, the user data and information are available to cybercrooks because of DNS and IP leaks.
3. Gives Other Users Access to Your Data
The free VPNs allow other users access to your data, making them unreliable to use. It is done by sending your data to some other device and routing their traffic on your device. It makes your device vulnerable to cyber-attacks and malware infections.
4. Bombards You with Ads
Free VPNs make money by selling ads. For this reason, ads pop-up while you use a free VPN. The problem with these ads is that most of them are malicious, and one-click can lead you to a malware-ridden page. It can cause significant damage to your device.
5. Compromises on Your Security
People want to use a VPN for exceptional online privacy, and when VPNs fail to provide protection, what's the purpose of using it? Most of the free VPN providers use defective encryption methods and security measures that quickly welcome malware and hackers. It shows that anyone can decode your data and make your activities public.
How to Prevent VPN Security Risks?
The best solution for preventing VPN security risks is to avoid using free VPNs. The free VPN providers are not reliable to use because of the severe security risks they pose.
They can expose you to malware and unwanted advertisements, plus they may sell your bandwidth and data. To protect yourself from all these, you should switch to premium VPNs.
Premium VPNs are free from all kinds of VPN security risks and meet the security standards you should always aim for. They come up with outstanding security features, no-log policies, and robust VPN protocols.
Some of the reasons why paid VPNs are worth the money include:
Offers Unlimited Bandwidth: The best-paid VPNs don't have any limitation on data that passes through their servers.
Super-Fast Speed: These VPNs prevent ISPs from throttling your speed; thus, you won't ever face bandwidth throttling when browsing over the web.
Bypasses Geographical Restrictions: By using premium VPNs, you can access geographically blocked content and websites.
Robust Encryption: They provide next-generation encryption and exceptional security features to secure your online presence.
To sum up, VPNs are a worthy investment. They guarantee a better online experience and secures your online privacy.
Paid VPNs are safe to use while free VPNs may pose significant security risks. There are several free VPN security risks, and all of them aim to threaten your privacy.
Thus, free VPNs are just not worth it — they are more of a headache than quality service. If you want to secure your online identity and experience, switch to premium VPNs.
Although they charge money, their features and service are exceptional. With paid VPNs, you can surf the internet freely and experience top-notch security. So, invest in a paid VPNs and enjoy the wonders it offers.