Jan 25th, 2017

VPNs or Virtual Private Networks are a great way to access content in region-restricted areas or to ensure your data is secure when using public WiFi networks, but how safe are they? There are a ton of different Android VPN services available on the Google Play Store, some for free and others with premium options.

A new report published by the University of New South Wales and the University of Berkley has concluded that of the 283 VPN apps tested on the Google Play Store, very few of them offer the level of security that they claim to offer their users.

A wide variety of security and privacy features were tested across the 283 apps, and researchers discovered that 18% of those apps failed to properly encrypt the users’ traffic. What’s worse, is that 38% of the apps tested actually injected malware or malvertising into the experience. This software is directly designed to find out your information. In fact, the report says that over 80% of the apps in the Play Store request access to sensitive information like user accounts and text messages.

The good news here is that when professor Dali Kaafar reached out to developers with the team’s findings, several of them took action to fix vulnerabilities that were discovered in their apps. Some apps were also removed from the Play Store as a result of this report. If you’d like to read the full thing, check it out here.

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