Why VPN Apps Might Actually Be Dangerous for Your Phone (And Privacy)

By That's, February 15, 2017

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You've probably got a VPN App (or two) on your phone to help visit inaccessible websites in China like Facebook and Instagram. But have you ever considered if these apps are actually safe?

As Wired points out, mobile VPNs might not be as secure as they're cracked up to be. In fact, some may actually be damaging to your privacy:

"Using a VPN grants the company behind it extensive access to your data at the same time that it hides the stream from everyone else. Depending on a VPN’s logging practices and privacy policy, it may be willing and able to turn your browsing history over to law enforcement or could even sell customer data to marketing services and ad networks. Even worse, malware masquerading as a VPN could do real damage by concealing malicious activity on your device behind a veneer of security protection."

Mobile encryption has exploded since 2016 as more VPN users turn to mobile apps with hopes of secure online searches. In fact, there are almost three hundred VPN apps in the Google Play store. But a huge portion of them appear to do more harm than help for users.

"Not many people know what a bad or flawed VPN can do to their devices, because they don't know how VPN works," Kevin Du, an IEEE senior member and a researcher at Syracuse University for computer security, tells Wired.

So the next time you connect to a VPN or download a new one, consider doing a background check first to see which apps are truly reliable. 

[Image via technologyblogged.com]

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