7 Things Not To Do When Using VPN for Digital Marketing

If you think about how much of your life is available over the insecure internet, it can be a bit scary. Luckily, there’s a way to secure your data, which can at least give you some control over how you’re identified online. With the use of a VPN encryption or virtual private network, you can protect your online privacy and maintain your data security. 

VPN for Digital Marketing

7 Things to Avoid When Using a VPN

While VPNs are highly recommended to be used by everyone, not all VPNs are worth using. Yep, you heard right, if you choose a bad VPN, you might as well not use anything at all. So what makes for a bad VPN? Below is a list of warning signs you should look out for when avoiding privacy mishaps:

1) Country of Origin

There are some countries you should completely avoid connecting to a VPN server altogether, see the list below:

  • “Five Eyes” countries: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada
  • “Nine Eyes” countries: France, Norway, and The Netherlands
  • “Fourteen Eyes” countries: Belgium, Italy, Germany, Span, and Sweden

The governments of these countries spy on their own citizens and it’s likely you won’t get away with anything.

2) Terms of Service

There should be a set of VPN Terms of Service outlined as a reference to know what to expect as a user such as what kind of activity is forbidden, what’s tracked, what’s not, etc. 

When it comes to VPN Terms of Service always keep in mind some of these points:

  • Make sure they don’t log anything related to your connection, including IP or connection time. This is important because if they do, this can easily be traced back to you.
  • If they claim they can block accounts without logging information that can identify you as a user.
  • If they won’t block accounts.

3) Activity Logging

It’s important to note any type of activity log is bad because this is just another way to get it traced back to you. 

Typically, when you connect to a VPN, all of your internet traffic is routed through the VPN’s server. To find out if there is absolutely no-logging involved, make sure you read their Terms of Service thoroughly in order to avoid this.

4) Leak Test Failure

Believe it or not, you can expect the worst from VPN, and by that I mean your VPN server can be compromised. This happens with a few factors, for instance, your PC goes to sleep and doesn’t reestablish the VPN connection upon waking, or you switch from Wi-Fi to Ethernet, or your router gets unplugged and you have to plug it back in. 

There is something called a leak, which is when you are not fully connected to the VPN – and beats the purpose of any privacy on VPN.

5) Free Service

They say, ‘you get what you pay for,’ and they are right. When you come across a free VPN, it’s great and all, however, free VPNs come with a lot of risks. First of all, if you think about it, how are free services getting paid in the first place? How are they paying for their services and bandwidth?

These services need to generate revenue some way or the other – so most often they are selling user data and information. Yikes, we know.

This is something you definitely want to stop and think, clearly, if they are selling your information, it undermines the entire point of using a VPN in the first place. VPN services may not be cheap but privacy is not cheap either. We definitely recommend you choose a paid VPN service over free. You’ll thank us later.

VPNs Should You Avoid?

Now that we have given you a few helpful tips to help you better understand what makes for a bad VPN service, you want to ensure you are keeping an eye on using a bad VPN service. I’m sure if you got this far, you value your privacy and want to ensure of safeness, right?

If so, here are some VPN services you might want to avoid altogether – ones that have clearly proven to violate user privacy:

1) HotSpot Shield

Hotspot Shield was accused of intercepting and redirecting traffic to partner websites, including advertising companies in 2017. This company went against what was stated in their Terms of Service and were logging connection details.

2) HideMyAss

In 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation tracked down a hacker’s activities, which was then traced back to the HideMyAss VPN service. Just by acquiring logs via HideMyAss, the FBI was able to find and prosecute the hacker.

Unfortunately, after this information, it’s clear that HideMyAss does keep traceable logs.

3) Facebook Onavo VPN

Facebook’s built-in “Protect” feature for mobile apps was doing the opposite of what it was promising to users. An FYI, Onavo will collect your mobile traffic data to “improve Facebook products and service people value, and build better experiences.”

4) Zenmate

According to a test by vpnMentor in 2018, VPNSecure had some IP leaks, which is a big no-no. These leaks gave away your identity when using the internet with an established VPN connection through ZenMate. Of course, the company was super slow to respond to these findings, which makes it even more suspicious and raised some serious red flags.

5) VPNSecure

This service already is bad news as they are headquartered in one of the countries listed to avoid, Australia. In 2016, a report found IP leaks and DNS leaks with the service. The reports were not exactly confirmed, but that should already be a sign to stay away.

VPN services are great when you choose the right one. To ensure, you’re safe and have 100% privacy, keep these signs and VPN services above in mind. 

There are of course a handful of VPNs that you can fully trust and have no problem. The best way to find these is to always do your research no matter what and make sure to reread their Terms of Service.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.

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