No Such Thing As a Free Lunch…Or a Free VPN
Everybody wants to save money, and FREE is appealing. But when security software is offered for free, eyebrows—and red flags—should go up.
Free VPNs Can Cost An Arm & Privacy
If you are not yet supplying your clients with a business VPN like Privatise which is designed for MSPs, then your clients’ individual employees might find their own VPN. They might choose an appealing free VPN, and that comes with risks.
This is especially dangerous now as we prepare for mass remote workdays due to the Coronavirus.
Recently, BuzzFeed reported that free VPNs were secretly, and not-so-secretly, collecting, sharing, and selling data. Since the article broke, the App Store and Google Play Store have removed these risky VPNs. Hopefully, none of the 35 million people who downloaded these free VPNs work for any of your clients.
These unsuspecting Internet surfers are going online using public WiFi with a false sense of security. Read Employees — The Biggest Cybersecurity Threats To Business.
What Data Can A Free VPN Collect?
One of the benefits of a VPN is that it routes activity through a remote server. But all the information goes through their server including data the free app can extract from the device, data like shopping and browsing habits and more importantly, personal financial information, investments, and purchases…anything the free VPN’s customers do online while “protected” by the free VPN.
Other information that can be, and has been, collected is information about the user’s mobile device like battery type and IP address.
What Should MSPs Do?
Many free and “ultra low-cost” VPNs have flawed privacy policies or none at all. Buzzfeed’s report showed that one even stated it allowed 3rd parties to track Internet usage while another shared the personal data with, well, China.
According to the Head of Research at the world’s biggest VPN review site, Top10VPN, Simon Migliano advises that before downloading a VPN app, check the business behind it. Do they have an established name and a website? A social media presence? If not, be wary.
It is much safer to use an established VPN. For MSPs, choose a business-specific VPN that was designed for MSPs who are responsible for networks and many employees. Choose a B2B VPN like Privatise.