While using a reputable VPN on your computer is an incredible choice as it has much additional security and privacy benefits – using a VPN app is new territory that you should be cautious of. This is especially so when considering that the app store and the Google Play store has over 250 VPN apps. While this may seem like an additional perk to increase your phone’s security, some of these apps may be more damaging than good. This is because that after a study was conducted by researches located in the United States and Australia found out that a good chunk of these VPN apps had malicious intent. Some would allow for a third-party to spy on secure transactions and messages, either tracked users or simply just didn’t work.
The first choice for anyone would be to simply avoid any VPN apps, though that would be unfair as there are some incredible and safe ones that are on the market. In all actuality, there is a solid number of trustworthy companies that offer VPN apps, though many of them only offer paid services instead of the typical free one. This does open the question of it there are any VPN apps that are free and trustworthy. One chief security scientist at Thycotic, Joe Carson, simply stated that it all depends. While using a VPN is safer than using nothing, it will benefit the user to do a hefty amount of research before simply choosing and downloading a VPN. This research should include the origin of the VPN service, which means many that are stemming from either Russia and Chine should be used with extreme caution. Although, the U.S does provide a list of dubious countries with shady history with VPN offers.
That saying that none of the good things in life are free has some truth to it. Many experts, such as Ryan O’Leary, the VP at the Threat Research Center at WhiteHat holds a strong belief that many of the free and paid for VPN apps are not worth the risk. He knows that the main goal and routine of any app developer is to make money, though with the VPN apps, a consumer can never be sure of their information is being leaked or stolen in that process as well. O’Leary believes that in a best-case situation, the developers are using ads to create revenue and worst case – they are selling your intimate details for the added profit. He shares that running any VPN service is costly, and to cut costs, the developers will allow for other people to the same connection as you.
The most serious risk of using a VPN app is the fear of losing control of your personal data. The basics of a VPN service is to secure your personal data in a safe environment from your mobile device, to the server, it’s using, and the internet. Though a free VPN could be a cesspool of shady activity and added servers where your personal information, such as your identification and banking information, could be compromised.