Why Using a VPN Is Helpful
A VPN is very useful when we are going to connect to one public Wi-Fi network or it could be dangerous. We do not really know who may be behind it and if it has been maliciously configured. We could be the victim of an identity theft attempt. Thanks to using a service of this type, our connection is encrypted. It is as if it were inside a tunnel and no intruder could have access to the content.
It is also interesting when we want bypass blocking of certain services in a specific country. Sometimes there are certain applications that are not available in some territories and we can bypass this block thanks to using this type of software.
It also allows us securely access other devices and even from anywhere. We can do it as if we were within a local network even though we are in another area.
On the other hand, we can gain anonymity on the network. We can prevent our operator from knowing which sites we visit, download anonymously, etc.
How can a VPN become our security enemy
A VPN is designed to help us improve security and privacy, as we have seen. However, sometimes it can turn into the opposite. It can become a real problem affecting our security and privacy.
We are going to detail the reasons that could make a VPN service unsafe.
Vulnerabilities in software
This is perhaps the most typical security problem. Sometimes VPNs can have certain vulnerabilities in the software. Failures in the implementation of the code that can open the door to possible attackers and the information leak of the users.
Fortunately, users can take into account certain measures to protect ourselves or prevent it from affecting us. We need to have the always up-to-date software and with all the security patches installed. Sometimes vulnerabilities arise that are resolved by the manufacturers themselves.
Bad VPN practices
It can happen that the VPN is configured to carry out bad practices that put the security of users at risk. This can happen especially when we install free software and that it does not have all the guarantees.
User data is very valuable. This means that through the Internet there are many platforms and services that are looking for a way to get hold of them. Free VPNs can offer their services in exchange for steal data and information of the users. They can be maliciously configured to do so.
Use of weak protocols
As we know VPNs use different types of protocols to work. We can talk about the PPTP protocol, which was one of the first to be used in the 1990s. Also L2TP, which establishes a tunnel but does not have any type of encryption. A more recent and secure one is IKEv2.
Therefore, a VPN service may not use an appropriate protocol and may be weak. This logically compromises our information and could put our privacy and security at risk. A weak protocol can be broken more easily.
HTTPS is the encryption protocol for web pages. It is the typical green padlock that we can see in browsers. When we surf the Internet it is important to verify that a page uses this protocol before entering personal data or information.
Now, a VPN could change the way it carries traffic. Could lead us to a page that has been modified maliciously and seriously compromise our security.
Download VPN with malware
Yes, we may directly download one VPN with malware. This happens when we download an application of this type from unofficial sources. We do not really know if this software could have been maliciously modified.
Our advice to avoid this is always to download from official sources. Also, in the case of VPNs, the ideal is to use paid applications. This way we will avoid possible problems.