Almost everything you search for, sign in to, or look at is trackable when 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 one tool you can use to get around tracking. Essentially, a VPN hides your IP address and activity so that nobody knows who you are or where you are browsing from.
That’s why VPN usage is more popular than ever. But it creates a huge problem when a tool used for privacy leaves users’ data exposed. Read on to see how the data of over 20 million VPN users spilled onto a messaging service.
Here’s the backstory
VPNs are great for privacy, but they also offer a way to boost your entertainment value. Since a VPN hides your location, you can use one to watch shows streaming on sites like Netflix that aren’t available in the U.S. Tap or click here to unlock international Netflix to access more movies and shows.
It also protects you from government agencies as your ISP is legally required to hand over any internet logs about you if it’s part of an investigation. A VPN makes collecting your data impossible, as the IP address and browsing activity will only point towards the 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 the popular messaging platform Telegram. It includes 21 million unique records spanning GeckoVPN, SuperVPN, and ChatVPN.
The exposed data includes:
- Email addresses
- Full names
- Country names
- Randomly generated password strings
- Billing details
- Premium status and validity period
What you can do about it
The report from vpnMentor explains that “99.5% of the email addresses were Gmail accounts,” increasing the risk of hacking if users have the same passwords across multiple sites. In addition, the affected VPN services are all free, bringing into question their security resources.
All is not lost, though, as there are a few things you can do if you use any of the affected services:
- If you haven’t done so already, immediately change your VPN password. Also, change any service’s password that uses the same credentials as the VPN.
- Be aware of suspicious emails or text messages resulting from this leak. Scammers will send malicious texts and emails related to this data leak, looking 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 blazing fast, so you won’t sacrifice speed to get your privacy back.
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