The Dark Side of the VPN Industry – Are All VPNs Trusted?
VPN users are their saviors against all kinds of online threats, but are they all committed to protecting your privacy or playing against the rules of the game? Let me tell you about all these questionable VPN services that have alarmed me and forced me to write this post on the Dark Side of the VPN industry.!
Technology has always been meant to be a subordinate helper of humanity, helping its efforts to grow and realize its potential even more. But what most people often fail to realize is that technology is a typical double-edged sword that can do us as much harm and destruction as it can make our lives better.
Einstein and his thinking The experiments were never intended to lead us to the development of the atomic bomb, which is the most destructive physical weapon ever invented, but here we are today in the world, thinking about how we can put an end to this threat. But such an understanding only came to us after we used them in two Japanese cities that still bear the scars they received from those fireballs that fell from the sky.
And, despite such lessons throughout history, we have still not been able to pay attention to and correct how we can more actively control the flow of destruction from the tools we have created for our benefit.
But no matter how powerful nuclear bombs are and how impressively horrific the thought of a single explosion is, the damage that these weapons of mass destruction can do remains limited by a certain geographical limit. But man is a funny creature, because he never ceases to wonder how he can create things that may seem useful and benign, but they are used to harm people themselves by some of the most criminal minds among us.
The Internet, if you look at it first, looks like a perfect dream. A place where you can access everything. From talking to friends to finding out who won the election in Uganda and from checking Apple’s share price on Wall Street to buying these last watches from Amazon, the Internet is the ultimate power in the hands of the average person.
But what most people wear when they realize on the Internet that their seemingly harmless activities can lead to serious trouble if they are not protected.
VPN and their role in protecting users:
Your online activities are a gold mine for people with enough interest if they can access them.
Hackers can do quite a bit a good joke, just by slipping into your data packets and learning about your confidential financial information, such as credit card information, PayPal credentials, etc. D ..
Your ISP can check your data packets to find out your personal habits on the Internet and then sell this data to advertisers.
Even the government is not far behind. , as there have been many cases of mass surveillance programs undertaken by them to collect data on citizens in order to monitor them.
The only thing that stands between our online privacy and these data usurpers is VPN.
VPN or Virtual Private Network is a tool whose main purpose is to protect us on the public Internet by extending the secure cloud to our Internet connections through a combination of security technologies such as military encryption and privacy ethics such as explicit policies zero logs ..
By enabling VPN over your Internet connection, you can hide your identity on the Internet and make sure that your data and Internet actions do not interfere, but is it true?
Not quite and that’Because I have extensive experience with the VPN industry in the last few years, I can say with confidence that this industry definitely has a dark side, which most users do not suspect ..
VPN in your industry ‘ authority, extremely reliable for users. This is similar to how you saw some guards on the side street of your house. You would not suspect that they are dangerous, but feel more secure in their presence.
But could there be a case where a criminal is hiding among them, whose goal is not to protect but to harm this weapon? Definitely possible, but most of us don’t think so and so. This is the biggest protection these HoneyTrap VPNs have in freelance in the industry.
But what exactly is a HoneyTrap VPN? I came up with this name after seeing a film with the same name back in 2014. Although the film itself was unreliable, it embodied a very important but often ignored concept of our time, it entices people with seemingly harmless, even useful things, only to be deceived later.
HoneyTrap VPNs work in a similar way background. Users often switch to VPNs to gain more privacy through their Internet connections or to achieve other goals, such as unlocking geographically restricted websites and supporting secure torrents. And at first glance, many VPN sites may give the impression that they provide a service like no other.
These VPN websites look like regular VPN providers that offer you more secure and in a safer way, coupled with profanity, luxury tariff plans, some great designs and logos. But they are, in fact, a lure, in that they lure people under the pretext of providing a VPN service, but usually commit some unethical actions that can do great harm to the user.
Unethical actions involve extracting data by monitoring people’s activities on the Internet, implementing tracking codes on their devices, using your device as a host in a larger bitcoin mining system, etc.
I didn’t really know the scale of this problem until I downloaded a seemingly harmless VPN app for Android from a service known as EasyVPN. I’m a reviewer, so I need to check something before I can write about it. EasyVPN was on my to-do list because I thought I hadn’t given Android VPN apps a fair share of the reviews, so this test began.
This activity, which I do so often with similar VPN services, cost me so much that I could not use the Samsung S5 for 2 minutes in a row. The embarrassing pop-ups of mostly weird porn sites came up and if I ran too fast with my mobile, I would go with my device hung.
Then it occurred to me that this app was infected , and before starting any of my own research, I connected to the Internet and checked if this VPN application really did all this or some other application. But my suspicions were confirmed when I saw a study that named this application the second most malicious VPN application in the Play Store.
But it’s not just one or two VPN providers which do this is rather the kind of way back these days, as most VPN providers are reported to be HoneyTraps.
The scale of the problem:
Facebook. That name sounds familiar, doesn’t it? And why it should be so. After all, this service has more than 2 billion users worldwide, which means that if Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s most populous country, at least a billion people.
And Everyone knows that Facebook is a mass service, and if it does something, it’s not that important. From the acquisition of WhatsApp to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has been at the forefront of understanding the importance of data for a variety of purposes.
But do many people know that Facebook has its own VPN? Yes, that’s true. Named Onavo, this VPN service has been owned and operated by Facebook since its acquisition in 2013. ..
However, Facebook has not been so successful in this attempt to obtain even more complex data from users through this VPN service, and this is mainly due to the vigilance of privacy experts and reputable VPN users who have not allowed Facebook to continue secret activities with Onavo.
Since then, the service has become infamous because of the association, and Facebook has stopped working on it. There will not even be updates in the future. However, the site is still alive and well. So Facebook hasn’t backfired on this path to retrieve data, however, due to the fiasco, it’s not doing it on the “Really Facebook Scale”.
But it brings us back to a very serious understanding, and this is that if Facebook, which thrives and survives on the sale of user data, has shown such great interest in the VPN arena, how many other similar corporate houses will use VPN services, anyone’s guess.
Facebook has nothing to do with the data privacy industry, but even with its interests in the field, it could use its vast platform to promote Onavo and make it the best VPN service to compete with big wigs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
“We use the information we receive to operate and improve the Services, develop new products and services, analyze the use of our Applications and other applications on your device, to support advertising and related activities, and for other purposes. . ”
Clearly stated,“ Zero Journal Policy ”is the Holy Grail of the VPN industry. But the wind seems to be blowing in the wrong direction in Onavo.
But Facebook isn’t the only big corporation right now. offering VPN services. Other large companies also offer their VPNs, but these services remain unreliable because they’re telling how they’re going to protect the user. There is no mention of such things as the number of servers, the degree of encryption, etc. D., and the only thing they seem to be promoting here is their VPN service.
VPNHub, protecting your privacy or referring you to conversion?
PornHub is a world-famous porn site, perhaps one of the largest in the world, and its offer is free, as well as a premium version of its service.
At first glance, it seems that with service is fine. VPNHub looks like your usual old VPN service, which has free and paid versions, just like other similar VPN services, such as Zenmate. But if you take a closer look, things will start to look a little unclear.
This company supported the UK Digital Economy Act 2017, which stipulates that users will be required to present official documents such as government IDs to be able to access sites such as Pornhub ..
He even developed a tool called “AgeID” that allows users to easily go through this age verification process, but only after a small payment.
However If you want to work around this limitation, obviously you can do it with a VPN. It’s a simple process. Connect to a server outside the UK and enjoy access to adult websites in the UK.
So it may be natural that VPNHub was introduced by PornHub in an attempt to ensure that their users come to them for everything. From age verification to bypassing the same age verification systems, MindGeek now works.
VPNHub is free and great for adult sites owned by MindGeek, as most are free. However, there will be ads in the free version of this VPN that will disappear if you buy the premium version of this VPN. , and then create a tool that will help this account, and then re-create a VPN to bypass not only this account, but also the AgeID tool?
This is the conflict of interest in this VPN, the perfect HoneyTrap, a way to attract users to their VPN services by creating an entire funnel that makes transitions easier.
VPNs are designed to protect online users from existing threats in the digital domain, not to create a threat on their own and then offer a VPN as a solution. In my opinion, this is akin to how to start a fire first and then sell firefighting suits, except where the fire is raging.
to let users know that growing internet censorship and control are forcing more and more people to switch to VPN, making this a very lucrative industry that these large companies are happy to take a large share of.
The trap of free services:
Maintaining and running a VPN is quite a time consuming task, and that’s because VPNs aren’t ordinary technical tools. They are built on a highly developed infrastructure, which includes an integrated network of servers around the world, encryption and decryption tools, protocol support and more. All this is quite expensive to maintain and maintain, so most leading VPN providers offer their services under different tariff plans.
So, if a VPN provider offers its services for free, it definitely makes money somewhere, which is probably the most dangerous thing that users should always think about before subscribing to such a service.
These questionable Free VPN providers easily mislead users. After all, who doesn’t? I like the free service. And these dubious providers are playing on this psyche of the user.
These free VPN services have to make money somewhere, so if they do not, offering their services at a price, then what options remain available to them ??
Many, but they are all incredibly problematic. These techniques include inserting tracking codes into user devices, logging user activity and then selling them to advertisers, converting user devices into nodes to support a larger network of botnets, including.
In my tutorials, I always I keep people from subscribing to these dubious free VPNs because, firstly, they don’t even perform or provide 10% of the functionality and quality of their paid counterparts.
Free VPNs can’t bypass more complex geographic sites restrictions such as Netflix US, and yet they do not provide any high speed to talk about some of their shortcomings ..
There is a very old saying that “If you get something for free, you are a product ”and nowhere is this more evident than in the world of free VPN services.
Google Play – Home of free VPN applications:
For the success of any m scam or dubious business, he first needs camouflage, and second, he needs a place or platform where he can spread his tentacles wide and wide. And for Free VPN applications, there is no more ideal place to live than in the Google Play Store.
The Android operating system is the most used operating system in smartphones around the world, so it is natural that the popularity of the Google Play Store, which is Android’s Official App Store, incredibly common. But popularity or reach never guarantees that the platform will be safe for users.
The Google Play Store is famous for hosting all the questionable, malicious applications. Its system for downloading and deploying applications is quite weak compared to a tougher competitor, ie the iTunes store, ie. the official app store for iOS users ..
Just run a “VPN” search in the Google Play store and you’ll see thousands of VPN apps for Android, most of which have no origins other than running as Android apps.
Here’s a screenshot search, which I launched in the app store by keyword. “ExpressVPN”
From outrageous names that have nothing to do with VPN’flows as Yoga VPN “And Mango VPN” for VPN with icons that show people in intimate scenes, there is no shortage of Android applications for free VPNs, if you go in search of them.
But let’s go deeper and let me tell you about things that you and other unsuspecting users may miss in these seemingly inconspicuous Android VPN Free apps.
If you search the Google Apps Store for Android VPN Apps, chances are you’re you will come across one service called “GO VPN Proxy Master-Free · without restrictions”. It has collected more than half a million downloads and has an impressive rating of 4.5. no passwords, no account settings, nothing. It’s free and easy, but it’s safe.
Well, I’m not one of them, and as a freak in my personal life, I usually go deep and try to figure out what is the reason for such an amazing free service.
If you look at its developers, it says it was developed by the VPNMaster team, which sounds pretty authentic. But first let’s delve into the user permissions required to run on your Android device.
First, you need permission to not just read the contents of your device’s storage, but also have the right to “Modify or delete” the contents of this. If it’s not intrusive, I don’t know what is. If you still don’t understand, this means that the app can remove anything from your device’s storage that it likes, or even disable it altogether. Whether it’s photo files or your video files, this app can delete them and modify them at will. Fi ”, which means that even if you put on‘ If your device is online for a while, it can turn it on against your will at any time.
will also have access to your “confidential log data” which in a person’s term means that he can track your online activities. But is this exactly what VPN protects you from tracking your online activities? Not for this VPN. Don’Us users usually pass these permissions quite often and often tick “Agree” without even realizing the extent to which they are compromising their privacy and security of mobile data ..
WASN’This app was developed by someone named VPNMaster? No, it’s just a trick for the app page to make the app look and feel more authentic than it really is.
For those of you who don’t know, TalkingData is a Chinese collection company data. Are you surprised? The fact is that most of the Android apps on Google Play have such questionable origins, and I just touched on this topic to let you know how unsafe these so-called “Free VPN” apps can be for your privacy. user.
Well, after all, this is a Chinese company that operates in a country where the government is the highest authority in everything. China is known for its strict control and censorship of the Internet and its users, and if a data mining company uses a VPN service, it should be avoided.
VPN that does not Doesn’t exist?
But fraud, connections, doubt can’t end, because in this industry things can go even further.
Just to provide You have a short link at the end of this article, some time ago there was a VPN service that worked under the name “My secure VPN”.
With such a harmless look, this service has become the biggest scam that has ever existed in the industry, because there was no VPN, but a service was launched so that people could pay them for a service that never existed. This service was so disgusting that I won’t even use the names of popular services and brands as a subscriber in my email. One such letter contained the name Tunnelbear, which is one of the rarest free VPN services that can be considered trustworthy.
Tunnelbear took swift action against MySafeVPN and wrote on Twitter that the service should stop and abandon using his name, he can expect tough legal action from Tunnelbear.
But MySafeVPN didn’t just use Tunnelbear. service, trying to raise the popularity of the service and use its authority to attract even more users to buy a VPN ..
Here is a sample email from this fraudulent service. Thousands of such emails have been sent to the user, including the names of other popular VPN and streaming domain services.
In 2018, the total market volume of the VPN industry amounted to 20.6 billion. US dollars, and by 2022 is expected to grow to 35.73 billion. US dollars, which will be in the next five years. This shows that the industry is growing rapidly and that users are increasingly aware of the benefits of using VPNs to protect their anonymity online.
But this tremendous growth in the industry will also attract fraudsters and questionable services who are here to take part in this very lucrative pie. And this is due not only to the sale of VPN, but also with this growth there is another profitable decline, namely, due to the huge accumulation of data, due to which users can be deceived if you put honeytraps in the form of VPN services ..
Leading VPN providers themselves will play the biggest role in educating users. Services such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, PureVPN, Torguard, PIA, VyprVPN, Tunnelbear and others that run the VPN industry must come together to protect users from this threat, which can harm them endlessly.
This has been a small contribution to this effort, and I believe that even more such privacy enthusiasts and industry activists will come forward in the near future to play their part in uncovering such questionable and shady VPN services so that users can stay safe from scammers. which can damage their financial and privacy, which, after all, is what this industry should be all about.