When it comes to online security and privacy, there are many great free apps available. Unfortunately, VPNs are not one of them. Secure VPNs require a lot of money and resources to operate and maintain, and free VPN services are almost always a data intrusion filled with malware. Studies have shown that free VPNs are more likely to track your data than paid ones.
The CSIRO study revealed that only 28 percent of free VPN providers don't use built-in third-party trackers for analysis, tracking, or advertising purposes. Free VPNs can be dangerous as they can undermine your privacy instead of protecting it. Many providers of free VPN services don't have the resources to protect your data and prevent others from selling it. Therefore, you should always think twice before installing a free VPN client.
If you're considering a free VPN, it's important to be aware of the potential issues associated with them, such as:
- Data Tracking: According to the report's findings, 67% of the VPN applications studied in this analysis incorporated at least one tracking library in their code to track users' online activity.
- Ads: Some VPN providers that don't charge for their services show pop-up windows or occasionally redirect you to pages with sponsored content.
- Data Selling: The company can often use this and sell it to advertisers, meaning that every time you use the VPN, you'll also be shown a seemingly endless barrage of ads.
- Security Vulnerabilities: Security researchers recently discovered serious vulnerabilities in ten of the most popular free VPN solutions on the Google Play Store.
- Slow Internet Speed: Obviously, the lack of pricing is great for users, but in some cases, we've heard reports of VPN providers exposing personal data or reducing Internet speed.