With hacking attacks, government surveillance and censorship constantly in the headlines, more and more people are looking for ways to increase their privacy online.
One of the simplest and most popular solutions is to use a virtual private network. With a VPN, all your internet traffic is encrypted and tunneled through a third-party server, so it can’t be traced back to you.
While this can be very effective, it must be noted that the main objective of a VPN provider – like any other company – is to make a profit. Although concern for the principle of web privacy may come into play, no one would be so naive as to assume that a VPN is in it for purely altruistic purposes.
With this in mind, it’s worth asking: why should users place their trust in VPN providers?
VPNs Have Been Known to Run into Trouble
No Software is Immune to Vulnerabilities
Ordinarily, when you connect to a website from your computer, you do so from your IP address. However, when you use a VPN, rather than sending the message out directly, your data first gets sent to one of the VPN’s servers and is only then routed to its final destination.
That means that instead of seeing your IP address, the website you’re visiting sees the IP address of the server, and no one – not your internet security provider, the government, or hackers – is able to trace your online activity back to you. In other words, the whole concept of achieving web security through a VPN is based on keeping your real IP address hidden.
That’s why it was so disconcerting when a recent investigation revealed a vulnerability in three major VPNs that caused users’ IP addresses to be leaked. That’s not to say that IP addresses (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The State of Security authored by Tripwire Guest Authors. Read the original post at: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-data-protection/cyber-security/can-vpns-really-be-trusted/