The Hong-Kong VPN breach
Seven Hong-Kong-based VPN providers – UFO VPN, FAST VPN, Free VPN, Super VPN, Flash VPN, Secure VPN, and Rabbit VPN – recently exposed more than a terabyte of user logs. Worse still, these were logs their users had trusted them not to collect. These free VPNs had all claimed to offer no-logs policies.
Their users’ data was left unprotected and publicly available. This contained lots of sensitive and personally identifiable information such as IP addresses, emails, home addresses, plain-text passwords, payment data, etc. Their browsing info and connection logs were also visible. The leak consisted of over 1.2TB of data, and one of the VPNs – UFO VPN – claims to have about 20 million users.
The companies claimed that due to personnel changes, they failed to identify a few security bugs and that they only stored logs to monitor traffic performance.
Should you use free VPN services?
Free or cheap VPNs aren’t all bad, but rarely is such a VPN worth it. Here’s why:
- Rarely do good things come for free, and this is the case here. The price is usually your data and privacy, which some free VPN services store and can sell or pass it to third parties;
- Even though some of them claim that they do not collect any logs and are secure, this situation shows that we can’t take such statements for granted;
- Poor security practices could also be the cause of the leaks. It is likely that, as a free VPN, they have fewer resources available to ensure secure systems.
We strongly recommend going for a paid and reliable VPN service. Your online security and privacy are worth way more than the average monthly price of a premium VPN (which can be less than you’d pay for a coffee). In this case, you can browse safely and privately.
Leading auditing companies check whether VPN services adhere to no-logs policies. Third-party experts analyze the services and provide their objective outcomes on their safety status.
Companies also perform similar audits to identify vulnerabilities and potential threats of their app security. So, you should always check whether a service provider regularly audits its products as this is an objective evaluation of their reliability.
If you want to try a VPN that has a firm grounding in transparency and ethics, get our NordVPN free trial.
Trust and transparency are some of the major aspects that differentiate safe VPN services from unsafe ones. So, choose the right one for a better and more secure online experience.
Your online security, privacy and freedom are worth it.