If you ever saw a VPN ad, then you’ve been promised that with a VPN, nobody will be able to keep tabs on what you are doing online. That you will be fully safe from the government, ISP provider, and everyone else for that matter. Most people just took that for granted.
Our issue with that is that most of the articles on the safety of VPN services were written by VPN services.
In this article, we are going over the 3 top reasons why VPN services aren’t safe that VPN services won’t ever tell you about, and that you need to know about.
If you previously thought that VPN services are going to keep you safe, you are in a for a surprise!
P.S. The 3rd one will shock you!
1. Free VPN Services Sell/Use Your Data
This isn’t the case with most premium providers but a big problem with free ones.
A great example of this is Facebook’s now shut down VPN service called Onavo that was collecting data around usage that was later to be used in advertising.
The whole purpose of a VPN service is to provide you with a virtual private network. If you are collecting data on someone’s usage, is that a virtual private network or just a virtual network?
Facebook Onavo’s service isn’t the only one that collects data, but the one that made headlines for being owned by Facebook. The reality is that all free VPN services collect data.
VPN services aren’t a charity, and even if they were, VPN services cost a lot of money to operate. Considering that data is now more valuable than oil being worth at least $240 per year, it makes a lot of sense to sell data of users. Especially considering most top VPN providers only make around $100 per user each year.
If you plan to use VPN services, remember that free VPN services aren’t safe. Either don’t use them or invest in a premium provider. That’s if you do decide that VPN services are for you at the end of this article.
2. Some Paid Services Also Collect Data About Your Usage
HideMyAss is an excellent example of this. A hacker went to prison because logs exposed him. Of course, he did something wrong, but this example shows you that VPN providers aren’t always as trustworthy and privacy-oriented as it looks to be with their marketing.
If a VPN stores logs of your usage, those can be used to expose you. Simple pieces of information such as your account email mixed with the time you used a VPN is often enough for you to be exposed if a company stores logs.
So you should just use a VPN that doesn’t store logs? Well, the worst part of this example is that HideMyAss states that it has a no-logs policy. Evidently wasn’t the case.
And that shows that just because a VPN company markets themselves as a company that doesn’t store VPN logs, doesn’t automatically mean that it doesn’t store logs.
What can you do to make sure that a company doesn’t store logs?
Look into where the VPN provider is based. If the country has specific laws around privacy that prevent that service from legally storing logs, that’s promising.
3. IP change won’t keep you undetected/Protected
We compiled some of the headlines that VPN services use here:
VPN services claim that because they change your IP address and provide you with encryption, that, you will be safe on the internet.
If an IP address was the only thing that you were trackable by, that would be true. But if that was the case, Facebook, Google, and Instagram would not be able to show you the right ads.
There are many ways to be tracked on the internet. Yes, an IP change is crucial for safety, but if you are currently using a Macbook and change your IP using a VPN service, you are still using that Macbook and the same version of the web browser at the same resolution and timezone. Web browsers and sites are able to put all these little things together to be able to identify you anyway.
This is called browser fingerprinting. You probably never heard of it. That’s because while there are thousands of VPN services out there, there aren’t many tools for prevention against browser fingerprinting.
Browser fingerprinting explained briefly is information that’s collected for the purpose of identification. That’s whether you have a VPN on or whether you have cookies turned off. Approx 1 in 286,777 devices will have the same browser fingerprint. Something as simple as timezone to things like fonts used, all contribute to creating a profile on you.
That’s Ultimately the Biggest Reason for Why VPN Services Aren’t Safe
The question you might be asking is what can you do about browser fingerprinting (we got into it a lot more on our blog) so that you can stay safe on the internet, and that’s where Kameleo comes in.
Kameleo is a tool that’s able to mask all your internet fingerprints on the internet. They are still going to be collected but what Kameleo will do is that it will spoof all the pieces of data that can be used to identify. That way the websites, web browsers, and apps that want to track you, track the wrong information, resulting in you being protected.
For instance, you can be using a Windows 10 device in English, on Google Chrome, at a GMT+1 time zone, while making all these tracking services think that you are using a Mac device, on Firefox at a GMT-4 timezone.
There’s a ton of different ways that you can be tracked with browser fingerprinting, and Kameleo covers all of them. Whether it’s with Canvas Spoofing, Font Spoofing, Location Spoofing, Plugin Spoofing, WebGL Spoofing, or something as simple as resolution change.
Oh, and Kameleo also works on Android devices so that you can also stay safe on your phone.
It’s not a tool that everyone will need. But if you really care about privacy, whether as an individual or a company or perhaps find spoofing of parameters useful for app testing, that’s where Kameleo comes.
Browser Fingerprinting Is the Reason Why VPN Services Aren’t Safe
Logs? Not all VPN services store them, and not all VPN services sell your data. But what no VPN service ever told you about is that browser fingerprinting is a thing. And that no VPN service can protect you from it. Regardless of how great the marketing efforts of a VPN service are, VPN services aren’t safe, and will not keep you private and secure on the internet.
Want to change that? Try Kameleo!