Authorities of Sri Lankan issued warnings to citizens that there has been an increase in fake VPN numbers available because of hackers. During the country’s most recent social media blocks, citizens were turning to free VPNs and have since been warned of hackers taking advantage of this epidemic.
Blockade from the government
Previously, the Sri Lankan government made the decision the block all social media as reports began to emerge of the violent attacks being made against businesses and the minority Muslim population. The block took access away from the use of social media and messenger services and was to last 10 days for security measures.
Major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Viber, WhatsApp, and Tumblr were blocked by the government in justification that order needed to be retained to put a stop to hateful messages being spread throughout the online world. Law enforcement has also pledged to act against all hate speech posts found on social media outlets.
Everything comes with a cost
Although the Sri Lankan government believed the block was necessary, citizens had their own opinions on it. The citizens of Sri Lankan believe the block was an overreaction from government officials and an unnecessary move to take away popular sites that they had once enjoyed.
Eventually, many found ways around the blocks and turned to the use of free VPNs. The country had hit its highest number of downloads in a record day for these VPNs. Unfortunately, many took the free ride instead of paying for the subscription and caught the consequences.
Sri Lankan government warned its citizens that the free VPN downloads posed a high-security risk that could have been avoided by using a different option.
Free is not always for me
While VPN downloads are on the rise, hackers swoop in to take advantage. The warning was issued from SLCERT (Sri Lankan Computer Emergency Readiness Team) reporting that hackers are quick to attempt releasing fake VPN apps to trick users into downloading and sharing sensitive and private information.
Regardless of whether the app is legit or not, there always poses a risk when downloading any type of app and individuals could be at risk of sending out personal data. When you use a free app, the developers need to make money somehow so they usually opt into using advertising. Security flaws are always on the rise, it’s bound to happen and there’s not much one can do to avoid it- besides taking the correct cautions.
Protecting yourself against the hackers
While free may seem like a good idea at the time, this makes you an easy target for hackers. By signing up for a premium VPN subscription, which only cost a few dollars a month, you can assure that you are getting a secure and safe service that you can trust.
The Sri Lankan government may have received backlash for their social media block, but warning citizens of the VPN danger was a respected and needed move. The block may be an annoyance, but a free VPN just isn’t worth the risk of having the privacy of your data hacked.