پنجشنبه 12 دی 1398  04:08 ب.ظ

Too Many VPNs Put Our Privacy And Security At Risk

Virtual private networks: they help you sidestep geographical media restrictions, and they keep your web browsing private, right? Well, not always, because even if the best VPNs add a welcome layer of security to our web setups, cybersecurity experts are warning that there are just as many VPN applications that expose their trusting users to surveillance and cyberattacks.unblock websites

According to a broad range of specialists, many free and mobile VPNs on the market use unsafe protocols and log user activity, while even good virtual private networks can't always guarantee to protect their users from the prying eyes of a jealous government or its intelligence agencies. That's why it's vitally important that we not only choose the most reliable and robust VPNs available, but that we also learn how to configure and run them to their full potential. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in a similar situation to users of Fortigate and Pulse Secure, two VPNs which were targeted by cyberattackers last month.

Normally, VPNs are very useful and dependable tools, with 30% of all internet users employing a VPN at least once a month. "Generally speaking, a modern online VPN is a service that is designed to encrypt your entire computer's traffic and at the same time hide your identity by routing your (now encrypted) traffic through one or more anonymous routers," explains Yaniv Balmas, the head of cyber research at Check Point. "Assuming that the VPN provider uses up-to-date encryption methods and frequently changes its routing points, this service should provide a secure and robust service."
However, Balmas adds that "the devil lies in the details," with poorly implemented virtual private networks causing "more harm than good for its users." In fact, the scale of the problem is actually more extensive than most people realise, because in many cases VPNs–and particularly free and/or mobile VPNs–not only don't work as advertised, but also leave users open to viruses and privacy violations.

"We tested the top 150 free VPN Android apps and found that many had serious security flaws and performance issues," warns Callum Tennent, a VPN expert and the site editor . Referring to a study his website conducted in February, Tennent alarmingly reveals that 18% of the tested VPNs contained potential malware or viruses, 85% featured excessive permissions or functions that could put a user's privacy at risk, and 25% exposed a user's traffic to DNS leaks and other leaks.
And it's not just free Android VPN apps that have a problem, because a companion study examining the top 20 VPN apps for iPhones and Android devices also turned up very similar results. Most disturbingly, Tennent points outs that "59% [of the tested VPNs] had links to China, despite its strict ban on VPNs and its notorious internet surveillance regime. Many of these explicitly shared data with Chinese third parties."

Some of the most well-known VPNs covered in the two studies include apps that have been downloaded anything from a million to 50 million times, such as Hotspot Shield Free, SuperVPN, Hi VPN, Turbo VPN, Snap VPN, X-VPN, and VPN Proxy Master. For instance, despite having witnessed five million downloads as of February, a VPN called Ultrasurf tested positive for potential malware, as well as for risky functions, such as taking the last known location of the host device (although Ultrasurf's developers denied the validity of these detections).

In other words, a large number of free or cheap VPNs may be doing the exact opposite of what we expect from them, collecting and exposing our data rather than hiding it.

In some cases, a VPN isn't simply inadequate, but rather actively malicious. As Avast's Jonathan Lemmonier notes, "Fake VPN services, especially the free ones, can also be set up as honeypots to collect all of a user’s data, to deliver malware, and to spy on people (see Facebook’s Onavo VPN service). Remember: a VPN, in many cases, is just an ISP that you choose. They now have access to all of your online data."

Of course, it would be bad enough if only free and untested VPNs had severe privacy issues. But the thing is, even when we're using a highly reputable and well-developed VPN, we're still not entirely safe from intrusions into our virtual privacy. And this will be of particular concern to journalists, dissidents, radicals, whistleblowers or anyone else who doesn't want a national government keeping tabs on them.

"Your ISP can see you connecting to an IP address owned by a VPN service and the fact that your software is connecting to ports associated with VPN activity," says Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist for ESET. "Therefore, the government will be allowed access to this data via a warrant if necessary, but not be able to decipher any that is encrypted."
When comes to the issue of online privacy and security, we suggest to use a VPN, and our recommendation is RitaVPN.Qwer432
https://www.ritavpn.com/blog/how-to-stay-safe-and-anonymous-on-adult-sites-with-a-vpn/
https://www.ritavpn.com/blog/how-to-check-if-your-vpn-is-leaking-your-ip-address/
https://www.ritavpn.com/blog/how-to-permanently-delete-your-facebook-account/


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