Preventing Online Data Theft Using Virtual Private Network

Android devices have proven to be a vulnerability that hackers target to steal personal data from. These are devices are certainly near and dear – we send and receive very personal, crucial or private information through them, can you imagine what devastating consequences there will be if we allow uninvited access to our phones?

Bad news and good news. The bad news is, you’re doing exactly that by not securing data transmission right now, but the good news is, it takes only a moment to erect walls around your most sensitive information with the right tools.

Ensuring Privacy and Safety Using a Virtual Private Network

A VPN is an app that encrypts user data and changes their IP addresses. This ensures that your traffic cannot be traced back to you, nor can it be accessed by an unauthorized third party to snoop or intercept. By the same token, it overcomes firewalls and IP restrictions to uncensor blocked content.

If you are concerned about the safety of your data and infringement of your privacy, then you should certainly use a VPN for your Android devices.

Advantages of Using VPNs

A VPN takes charge of directing internet traffic on your behalf. It’s worth noting that this is a complex process and requires a service provider who is dependable and trustworthy. Here are the benefits of using VPNs:

You are assured of data safety and security as you surf the internet.

This is one of the greatest benefits of using a Virtual Private Network. By hiring the services of a reliable VPN service provider, you are assured of a reliable ‘middleman’ between you and the internet. For instance, you can be able to have your traffic channeled through another server or you can be able to create a secret session where you can send and receive correspondences within your network.

Because a VPN sends your traffic from its internet address, your privacy is assured. This feature allows you to even send crucial information without the fear of having it linked back to you. Investigative journalists are some of the beneficiaries of this feature.

Ability to access restricted internet sources

Some sites on the internet have settings that limit their audience to specific geographical locations. This is a common trend with some professional sports media streaming services; the sites make use of distribution rights that deny access to people who are not within a certain location. If you need to reach or access such a restricted site, then you can use the services of Virtual Private Network. All you need is a connection to a VPN that is hosted within the geographical area. This connection feigns your location to be within the restricted area thus allowing you access.  

Disadvantages of Using VPNs

Like everything else, a VPN has its drawbacks. They include:

Shared internet address;

As already mentioned, a VPN service sends data using its internet address. Basically, all data sent by users on its line appear to have come from the same address. While using this technique is a good thing, it can result in negative implications on innocent users. How? You ask. Well, in the event that one user within the VPN does something that is not allowed on a certain site, the address can end up being blocked. This means that no one within the VPN will be able to reach the site. This site could be your bank or another site that is important to you.

At times, some people’s mischief can end up attracting excess scrutiny by law enforcing bodies to innocent users.

The quality of your internet connection can be compromised

There are some VPN services that interfere with the quality of your internet connection. You may find a notable decrease in speed; it can be average and at times becoming too poor.

The benefits of using a VPN on your android device outweigh the disadvantages. What’s more, even the downsides of using a VPN can be overcome if you choose a premium VPN product from a reputable company like ExpressVPN.

Types of VPNs

Users can choose to either use the services of a free or paid VPN. Paid for VPNs have more provisions to enjoy compared to free ones. Many free VPNs help by only blocking some ads from some specific sites. The user has no direct control and the terms can be changed any day, any time.  

Paid or Free VPNs?

For as long as you can afford it, experts recommend paid VPNs to free VPNs. Choosing to use a free VPN amount to choosing to compromise your personal data, your safety, and general security. See, whenever you see a free product, chances are you are actually the product. There are many reasons why you should not go for free VPN including:

Free VPNs can maliciously track and sell your internet traffic

The main idea behind VPNs is ensuring your safety whenever you are on the internet.  Choosing to use a VPN prevents your internet service provider from tracking your online data.

Once you re-route your internet traffic through a VPN service, the company is able to access your internet traffic and data. Paid VPNs like ExpressVPN have clearly laid out privacy policies that ensure your data remains safe and secure.

With free VPNs, you can never be sure. Here is how you become the product. Hosting a fully functional VPN network is a pricey affair and so is maintaining it. Studies have revealed that many free VPN service providers track their user’s internet traffic. This means that your internet traffic can be monetized without your knowledge.

Top 4 Ways through Which ‘Free’ VPN Providers Can Take Advantage of You

By channeling targeted spam and malicious ads into your browser

If you are lucky enough, a free VPN service provider might not be monetizing your traffic, but still, the company needs to make money. The provider may decide to make you an advertising avenue. Free VPN service providers collude with third-party advertisers to send you ads that are relevant to your current session.  

The VPNs know that the chances of you clicking on the uniquely sent ads are high and once you do, you help generate traffic for the placed ads.

There is no problem with viewing an ad, the only problem is that they are set in such a way that a click-through prioritizes those ads on your server session affecting your other pages load-time.

By recording your personal data

As an intermediary between you and the internet, the VPN is able to access your confidential details such as logging in usernames, passwords and other sensitive details such as bank accounts among others. Without a properly laid out privacy policy, you have no control over what the free VPN can do with these details, after all, it’s free.

By accessing your login history and selling it to advertisers

Advertisers are desperate for traffic and information. Free VPNs can take advantage of you by accessing your login history and selling it to advertisers.

By stealing your data transmission rate and serving it to the highest buyer

Some VPNs capitalize on stealing their user’s bandwidth and using it to serve the best paying bidder. Never mind this will happen without your knowledge or approval. It is one of the ways through which these providers can exploit you to make money.  

There are so many exploitable loopholes of using free VPNs. As a matter of fact, we have heard many cases where they have failed to disguise the IP address of their users and thus failing to effectively deliver on anonymity and privacy needs. Traffic leakages are a common happening in free VPNs and this can leave users completely exposed.

The risks of using a free VPN is similar to that of free proxies, they are both on record for blocking HTTPS, Injecting additional data on a user’s server or modifying data in a way.

Are You On A Free VPN?

The dangers of using a free VPN outdo the risks of not having one in place. It is safer to send your data through your internet service provider than through a free VPN. If you really are interested in effective data security and privacy, then paid VPN is the way to go.

There are VPN companies who have affordable plans and offer better products. ExpressVPN, for instance, charges pocket-friendly monthly tariffs and has a system that does not interfere with your internet connection speeds. They also have an able team that takes timely care of unblocking sites in case some users get sketchy. ExpressVPN is a premium VPN product that assures users of a continued stream-lined internet use, ensuring safety and security is maintained.