The Dangers of VPN

By Joshua Rigsby, Reporter

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Xavier recently introduced its BYOD program last year. Many students were excited to be able to use their own devices rather than a school provided device. However, the school’s Wi-Fi banned a number of popular sites among the students (Netflix, YouTube, IGN, etc.). Many students were upset by these restrictions and turned to VPN’s to unblock these sites. A VPN is a service that bounces your Wi-Fi to an While VPN’s do provide an outlet to access those previously blocked sites, they can also do some nasty damage to your reputation and your computer. First and foremost , your privacy is only as secure as the VPN server you are connecting to. VPNs randomly connect you to an unblocked server, which means you are opening Pandora’s box. This holds especially true for free VPNs such as betternet. Another concern of free VPNs is that they can remotely inject malware onto your computer. Another safety concern is that many VPN companies  collect and store information about its users. While this data collection is mainly used to calculate server stress, it can be abused by hackers and other criminals to steal personal information and credentials.  While on the topic of crime, if a crime such as an illegal money transfer occurs over a VPN network and police get involved, your computer can traced back to that network and you may turn into a suspect in that investigation. So next time you connect to a VPN, ask yourself: is watching an episode of Breaking Bad worth getting your credentials stolen?

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