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Twitter Ban: Dangers Of Using VPNs

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The Nigerian government on Friday announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter operations in the country.

This action has left many Nigerians with no other choice but to engage the services VPN providers as an alternative option to access Twitter and other social media networks as Nigerian Telecom operators have already confirmed they received instructions to bar their subscribers from the social media app.

A Virtual Private Network — better known as a VPN — is a key path for digital anonymity.

Now, using a VPN understandably makes one feel invincible, but there are still a few important risks involved that should one keep in mind.

VPNs provide two of the most important services which are encryption and virtual IP addresses.

Encryption locks data in a layer of unbreakable code while virtual IP addresses help one to gain access to virtual, non-local IP addresses.

First, users must avoid carrying out bank transactions via VPN, as it is just like a router. This means it reroutes your request, bypassing network providers and your transactions can be monitored.

Also, viruses and malware remain a threat, as most VPNs do not protect your device from viruses or malware.

VPN will often slow your connection speed by 10-25% depending on the service, all thanks to encryption overhead.

The worst, probably, is that VPNs can supply your data to government authorities. Even if the provider promises not to sell the data, it is already a risk that the data is stored at all.

With VPNs, you can still access the free internet through a tunnel. But can you trust the provider? Here are five dangers associated with using untrusted VPNs;

Choosing the wrong VPN – One of the central dangers of using a VPN is choosing the wrong one.

Free services that advertise on browser extension stores and mobile marketplaces are notorious for claiming fast downloads and anonymized activities when in reality they can be more dangerous than not using a VPN at all.

All devices aren’t automatically protected – If you use VPN software to protect your PC or smartphone, that’s the only device that gets protected.

In order to keep data safe, you must install an app on every device that connects to the internet (or else use a VPN router).

Viruses and malware are still a threat – Most VPNs do not protect your computer from viruses or malware.

You’ll still need to be mindful of downloading suspicious files, especially through torrent and P2P networks.

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