Your data is supposed to be kept anonymous via virtual private networks. However, it isn’t always the case. Here’s why VPN logs are such a bad thing.
Millions of people use a VPN today to secure their data while online. And while VPNs might help you stay safe when browsing the internet, there is a clear problem that puts everyone who utilizes a VPN in their daily lives at risk. VPN logs are a kind of this hazard.
But what exactly are VPN logs, what type of information do they contain, and why do users need to be concerned about them?
What Do VPN Log Mean
You probably believe that when you use your VPN service, your data is merely encrypted and not kept. Regrettably, though, this isn’t always the case.
In fact, some providers maintain VPN logs, which are user data repositories. These fall into two categories: activity or usage logs and metadata or connection logs, both of which compromise your online security. These logs may contain information about your browsing history, data usage, purchasing patterns, connection times, and even your true IP address.
The retention of logs by VPN providers completely negates the purpose of VPNs. There is really no benefit to using a VPN if the user’s private information is still accessible and kept in any way. Even worse, millions of users of certain VPN services are completely ignorant of how their data is managed.
The vast majority of well-known VPN providers assert to have a “no-log” policy, which forbids them categorically from logging any kind of user information. But the issue with this is that it’s practically impossible to demonstrate that a VPN provider isn’t keeping outside logs. Even if a VPN log isn’t found through numerous external audits and inquiries, that doesn’t mean it exists. For this to be possible, complete inside access is required.
VPNs are very trust-based services, in large part because of this. Any particular business may establish a stellar reputation and completely please all of its clients, yet it may nevertheless engage in illegal actions like this type of data logging behind closed doors. So why would VPNs store logs if they are meant to keep our data accessible to us and us alone?
Why Do Some VPN Providers Maintain Data Logs
Data is the one thing that big tech and the government both adore.
User data is becoming extremely valuable, and even some of the most well-known organizations have been accused of improperly handling sensitive data that customers had entrusted to them. Currently, third parties are prepared to part with millions or perhaps billions of dollars in exchange for this information, which will allow them to improve their services and advertise more effectively while also analysing user behaviour. Data, if anything, is like gold to these companies.
This contributes to the reason why certain VPN providers maintain logs. There is an unending list of potential customers who would profit from having access to user data, and some less morally upright VPN services are fully aware that they can make money by keeping this data on hand and selling it to the highest bidder.
In order to make sure that a customer isn’t using more devices than allowed, VPN services have also been known to keep logs. For instance, the company would suffer financially if one user permitted numerous members of their friends and family to utilize their VPN subscription.
Additionally, certain VPN providers are required by law to maintain data logs. Even though VPNs are ubiquitous in many countries throughout the world, some have rigorous regulations or outright bans on their use. Providers often have to retain logs in nations where using a VPN is prohibited in case the government decides they need to look into something or just want to know what their citizens are doing.
Residents of China, for instance, are only permitted to use VPN services from companies that have consented to give the government whenever necessary backdoor access to their stored data. However, VPN logs are stored in jurisdictions other than those where they are strictly forbidden. In actuality, data tracking by free VPN services is not at all uncommon.
Why Keep Logs When Using Free VPN Services
It might sound too good to be true that there is no upfront cost or monthly price to use a VPN for online protection. And in some circumstances, it very definitely is.
Everything comes down to money in the end. Paying staff and funding new projects are impossible without a profit, as is true for the majority of firms. How can a free VPN service generate revenue, then? They sell data, among other things.
While you may assume that any VPN provider selling user data would do it in secret, several companies actually admit this in their privacy policies. Betternet and OperaVPN are only two instances of free VPN providers that make clear in their terms and conditions how they use the data of its users.
However, despite evidence to the contrary, some VPN service providers have insisted that they do not sell or manage data improperly. Even though these controversies can deter many people from utilizing a VPN provider, many consumers are unaware that VPN logs even exist.
This is why, if the security of your data is vital to you, it’s crucial that you do your research on any VPN company you’re considering utilizing. Additionally, you might be better off choosing a reputable, premium VPN provider if you’re attempting to reduce the possibility of your data being misused. The finest levels of security for you and your data may be found from trustworthy providers like ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN.
VPN logs are endangering the safety of millions of users.
The availability of VPN logs is quite troubling, as 31% of all internet users globally are subscribers to some sort of VPN provider. After all, one must question the integrity of the VPN sector as a whole when so many businesses who provide you a security protocol are simultaneously sharing your personal data with outside parties!
If VPN logs are a concern for you, be sure your data is being protected appropriately by reading the terms and conditions of your provider and doing some background research on the business.