Did you know that the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) worldwide has been skyrocketing? Maybe you’ve seen the ads online, because there are a lot of VPN providers out there. It’s easy to see why, promise increased security, privacy, and unrestricted access to online content.
Those are some big claims, so is it too good to be true?
No, it’s not. But be careful, because not all VPNs are created equally. Some are high quality VPNs that charge a service fee monthly or annually, while others are free services.
A good VPN is a good VPN. But a bad VPN is not just a poor provider of service. It gets far worse than that.
Let’s take a closer look at VPN services and cover what you need to know about how they work and the risks they may pose for you and your business.
Here’s why a Free VPN is dangerous for your privacy and security:
A VPN works by creating an encrypted connection called a tunnel for your internet traffic. Since the data is encrypted, all traffic in this tunnel is not visible to others. Your IP is masked, your ISP can’t see what websites you visit, others on local networks (especially public networks) can’t intercept your data, and your online actions are harder to trace by any websites or even government agencies.
A Free VPN might seem like a great solution, providing all the data security I just mentioned with zero-cost out of pocket. I would argue that a free service will never live up to their promises or your expectations.
Why? It’s simple really. The VPN isn’t free to run. It’s a complicated service that comes with substantial costs. Servers, infrastructure, maintenance, and a dedicated team don’t come for free. How do they run a functional business and keep the lights on without charging a dime?
There’s a modern truth to all things digital. If the service is free, then YOU are the product.
Imagine this scenario: You’re sipping your morning coffee, browsing the web through a free VPN, thinking your online activities are confidential. In reality though, your sensitive information could be collected and sold to the highest bidder.
Scary thought, right?
Remember how we described how a VPN works? It creates a secure tunnel so nobody can see your data. That’s technically true, but security only comes if you can trust the person on the other end. Instead of other agencies trying to snoop on your internet traffic, you are simply handing over all of your internet traffic to the VPN company. If they are not trustworthy, then they’ll just collect your data and sell it.
There’s icing on the cake as well. Free VPNs are notorious for bombarding you with unwanted ads and tracking cookies during your browsing sessions. Ever wondered why you suddenly get flooded with eerily accurate ads? You got it – your free VPN service is cashing in on your browsing habits. So, they can make money selling your data, and then make money selling ads to you. It irks me just thinking about it.
But it can also be worse. The real danger is for your business. What if one of your employees downloads a free VPN on a company device or their personal device that they use for work? You guessed it, it could expose your company’s data, making it a huge business risk. All of your confidential information would just be handed over to an untrustworthy company. The data exposure could be massive.
So, what’s the solution?
The first thing to do is educate your employees about the potential risks of using free VPNs. Encourage them to opt for reliable, paid VPN services that assure no data logging, robust encryption, and top-notch user privacy. Even better, incorporate not using Fee VPNs into your company technology policy.
If you want to be more proactive in your security, you should consider providing a secure VPN for your team. If you need help finding the safest, most suitable VPN for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Remember, when it comes to online security, “free” often comes at a higher cost. The security of your business data is vital. Investing into a secure VPN is well worth it to safeguard your company’s invaluable information.