VPN apps for security

Look carefully at mobile apps promising to protect your data

Using public Wi-Fi can be risky to your privacy and personal information. 

However, there are apps that offer to help protect your data over public Wi-Fi, but experts say some of them come with risks. 

“Before just selecting any VPN application, do your due diligence, go online, read the review and when you install it, actually look at the permissions that VPN application is actually wanting you to give up,” said Jack Gerbs, a security expert and CEO of Quanexus in Centerville. 

Virtual Private Network apps, or VPNs, mask your online activity by rerouting it through a server operated by the VPN provider and some will encrypt the data, too, according to the FTC.

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When you download these apps, News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray says you should know that the app will be intercepting all of your online activity, according to the FTC.

In addition, some ask for access to information you may not want to disclose. 

In August, techradar.com wrote about complaints over the Kaspersky VPN app asking for user contact list and location permissions. 

The app’s user agreement also states that information about installed programs and online activity can be provided to “third party services.” 

“If it’s too risky for you, just don’t do it,” Gerbs said. 

The FTC says some VPNs do not encrypt one’s information, so do research and read the fine print before you download. 

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