In general, VPN apps have proven to be a problematic in terms of privacy and security. There are a few exceptions, but the vast majority of VPN apps you find in the Google Play or Apple stores are dangerous and insecure. One team of researchers published a study on Android VPN apps that found:
- 84% will leak your real IP address
- 82% attempt to access your sensitive data (user accounts, text messages)
- 75% utilize third-party tracking
- 38% contain malware (malware, trojans, malvertising, riskware, spyware) to steal or damage your information
- 18% don’t even encrypt your data
- 16% steal user bandwidth
When you look closely at the growing VPN app scam, the scariest thing is that many of the most malware-infested apps are highly rated. This means there are literally millions of people using VPNs that contain malware and tracking. This is especially the case for free VPN apps – see the review for Betternet or VPN Master.