Almost everything you search, log in or view is trackable as you browse the internet. Your online activity and location logs are most likely kept somewhere, at least by your ISP. Your ISP sees everything you do online. Tap or click here to stop it.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a tool you can use to bypass tracking. Essentially, a VPN hides your IP address and activity so no one knows who you are or where you’re browsing from.
This is why the use of VPN is more popular than ever. But it creates a huge problem when a tool used for privacy leaves user data exposed. Read on to see how data from over 20 million VPN users spilled over to a messaging service.
Here is the backstory
VPNs are great for privacy, but they also offer a way to increase the value of your entertainment. Since a VPN masks your location, you can use one to stream shows on sites like Netflix that aren’t available in the US Tap or click here to unlock Netflix International to access more movies and emissions.
It also protects you from government agencies because your ISP is legally required to turn over any Internet logs about you if it’s part of an investigation. A VPN makes it impossible to collect your data, as IP address and browsing activity will only point to VPN servers.
But a data leak has made using these popular VPNs more complicated for some users. According to vpnMentor, hackers dumped a 10GB user data file on popular messaging platform Telegram. It includes 21 million unique records spanning GeckoVPN, SuperVPNand ChatVPN.
Exposed data includes:
- Email addresses
- Full names
- Country names
- Randomly generated password strings
- Billing Details
- Premium status and validity period
What can you do about it
vpnMentor’s report explains that “99.5% of email addresses were Gmail accounts”, which increases the risk of hacking if users have the same passwords on multiple sites. Moreover, the relevant VPN services are all free, questioning their security resources.
All is not lost, however, as there are a few things you can do if you use one of the affected services:
- If you haven’t done so already, change your VPN password immediately. Also change the password for any service that uses the same credentials as the VPN.
- Be aware of suspicious emails or text messages resulting from this leak. Crooks will send malicious texts and emails related to this data leak, seeking to trick you into handing over sensitive data, including your banking information.
If you are looking for a VPN you can trust, we suggest our sponsor ExpressVPN. It’s extremely fast, so you won’t sacrifice speed to regain your privacy.
Right now you can get three extra months free when you subscribe for a year using Kim’s special link, ExpressVPN.com/Kim.
Hide your browsing history from your ISP so they don’t sell your information
VPN: how they work and how to choose the best one for you