The Hidden Dangers Of a Free VPN

November 14, 2023

With so many people working remotely these days, coffee shops are becoming an even more attractive place to work. With free WiFi available this can become a target for hackers and cybercriminals to steal data from your laptop. Most people are educated in this scenario, and either hotspot from their mobile phones or opt for a VPN to protect themselves online. 

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) offer increased security and anonymity, while also allowing access to geo-restricted content online. However, with more and more people opting for free VPNs it is important you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for.

Free VPNs

With zero-cost and the promise of keeping you safe online, what isn’t there to love about a free VPN? Let’s have a look at this in further detail. It is important to understand that VPN centres are incredibly expensive to maintain simply due to the servers, infrastructure and staff required to manage them. 

So, how do free VPN providers afford to provide this service? Well, lots of the free versions use tactics that could compromise both your security and your privacy while browsing online. While you are working on your laptop at a coffee shop, your sensitive information could be being sold to the highest bidder as you work. It doesn’t bear thinking about what would happen if this personal data ended up in the wrong hands of cybercriminals, advertisers or worse.

Unwanted Cookies

Free VPNs are notorious for adding unwanted cookies into your browsing sessions, as well as unwanted adverts. Have you ever wondered why suddenly you are seeing ads all over the place for products or services that you have been thinking about purchasing? If you are using a free VPN it is probably due to that cashing in on your browsing habits.

It isn’t just personal data that could be targeted with a free VPN, imagine if a member of staff downloaded one on a company device that they use for work. This could cause company data to be exposed, putting the business at significant risk. Data falling into the wrong hands is dangerous at the best of times, let alone when company information is involved. 

What Is The Solution?

The main thing you can do to protect your business from cyber attacks is to educate employees about the importance of using a reliable, paid for VPN. Explain the risks associated with using a free one, and even install a paid VPN onto all of the company devices so staff have no choice but to use the one that has been set up for them.

Remember, when it comes to online security it really is worth investing in tools to help protect your company’s valuable information. For more information on the IT support services we provide here at Reality Solutions, get in touch with our experts today. We are also Cyber Essentials accredited so can provide you with the best solutions to keep your business safe online.

*This article contains general information in order to assist all of our customers and is meant for guidance only – there are no guarantees that the information we provide will be suitable for your particular needs. If you require specific assistance, we recommend that you seek professional guidance on your individual circumstances. Reality Solutions are in no way responsible for any loss or damage arising from any information contained within our articles.

Related News

View All IT Articles

Why Your Business Can’t Survive Without Data Backup & Recovery

Data backup is a term commonly used in business, but not many business owners tend to do much about it. Did you know that most businesses backup their data at least once a year. Yes, once a year! Think about how much data you process...

Read More

Improve Productivity With SharePoint Online

Whether your staff are working from home, in the office, or a hybrid of the two, optimal productivity is essential to keep your business moving forward. A proven way to streamline workflows, enhance collaboration and improve efficiency is SharePoint Online, a cloud-based collaboration platform created...

Read More

Cloud Hosting For Your Business

At Reality Solutions, we specialise in providing the very best cloud hosting solutions for our clients, but what actually is cloud hosting and why would your business benefit from it? Carry on reading to find out more! What is Cloud Hosting? With traditional website hosting,...

Read More

Why Is Updating Your Software So Important?

Like many business owners, you probably get frustrated when the pop-up on your computer reminds you that a software update is overdue. It never appears at the appropriate time, and knowing that your computer will be offline for half an hour or so, it is...

Read More