One of the things that a VPN is supposed to do is to keep you anonymous on the Internet. So, it would make sense to think that a hacker would use this technology to their advantage, doesn’t it? But when it comes to knowing the exact VPN that is used by hackers, the answer isn’t all that cut and dry.
What VPN do hackers use? Hackers will use a VPN which has very good privacy and security built-in. This will most likely be the paid for VPNs as these provide have much better security than the free VPNs. Bandwidth and speed are also better with paid VPNs and will make it easier for hackers to carry out more attacks.
However, even though we may not know exactly which VPN they use, it’s reasonable to assume that they would do a lot of research to find the one that will work best for their needs.
Some of the things a hacker will look for in a VPN are:
- Easy to Use – The last thing that they want is to have a VPN that they have to spend hours figuring out. They want to be able to quickly connect to their VPN, change the servers, and change their IP without any kind of technical skills.
- Bandwidth & Speed – They have a lot of work they want to do, so they want to make sure that they have the necessary bandwidth and speed they need to do their work. They want faster connections.
- Locations & Servers – There’s a good chance they’ll look for one with a lot of servers and locations. This means they can choose a server from various countries and various IPs. This also ensures they can switch from slower servers over to one that is faster.
- Privacy & Security – The last thing that a hacker wants is to be caught. So, they will choose a VPN that has high security so that their privacy is protected. They will look for one that doesn’t keep logs and that there are multiple encryption layers for data transfers.
What can we learn from hackers about VPNs? The same things that they look for in a VPN are the ones that you should also look for when you choose your VPN. You don’t want to choose a free one, because they are less likely to have the security that you want. Look for the ones with the good reviews and with the highest level of customer service. These are the ones that hackers are likely to use, and these are the ones that will serve you the best.
So, now that we know what a hacker will look for in a VPN, we’re going to give you some advice how to protect yourself from a hacker. Need a good VPN? Check out my VPN reviews here.
Can Hackers Get Through a VPN?
Hackers can get through some VPNs especially the free VPN service providers as these are not built to the high standards most paid-for VPNs are built to. Paid-for VPNs regularly update vulnerabilities found with many white hat hackers reporting these to the VPN providers for a bounty.
VPNs are simply collections of servers. Many times, data isn’t stored by these servers for long. This means that it’s much harder to access. For instance, ExpressVPN manages data through RAM. This means that it’s not written on any drives.
That being said, there’s always a potential for a server to be compromised. The servers at NordVPN were penetrated, meaning some of the data was accessed. However, it was stated by the company that there was nothing valuable accessed due to no actual user data being there or most of it being encrypted.
However, don’t forget that just about anything can be hacked if you have enough computing power and time. However, the last thing you want to do is make it easier for someone to steal your information. For instance, a car that is left unlocked is much more welcoming to opportunists than one that is locked with an alarm on. The same goes for your information.
In the example of a locked car, it still may be broken into even with a lock and an alarm. A VPN can still be compromised, but it’s going to give you a lot more security than without one.
Just about anyone who has been on the Internet knows that anything that is connected to the Internet is at risk of being hacked. However, this raises the question about the amount of knowledge and time various hackers will need for reaching goals. The more security and safeguards you put into place, the better your chances are of staying safe.
Even though it’s possible for a VPN to be hacked, 99.9% of the time that you are using one you will be safe. A VPN can totally stop a hacker in some of the situations and provide strong-enough and reliable protection during the other situations. All in all, the right VPN will be one of your best allies if you’re looking for protection online.
Ways to Protect Yourself While Using Your VPN
Below are some of the ways that you can protect yourself while using a VPN.
- Make sure all of your devices have antivirus software installed on them. Two good choices are ESET and Malwarebytes. Make sure you’re regularly running scans and keeping your software updated.
- Keep your firewalls enabled. Yes, they can be annoying. However, they can be very helpful in protecting your network from the malicious traffic.
- Use some script blockers. They can help you with keeping you safe from malicious ads and scripts.
- Use extensions for anti-phishing, such as MetaCert and NetCraft.
- Use a manager for your passwords. This tool stores all of your passwords somewhere safe and then encrypts them. These are also helpful for alerting you about phishing sites and giving you protection from them using auto-fill features.
- Enable either MFA (multiple factor authentication) or 2FA (two factor authentication) on all of your accounts. If there was ever a hacker who was trying to compromise them, it wouldn’t be possible without direct phone access.
- Change your router’s default password and username. These can be found by hackers in the PDF manuals online. You also want to disable Remote Access, WPS and UPnP since these kinds of features cause a network to be less secure.
- Make sure you’re keeping your OS and software updated. When you skip out on updates, hackers might abuse the vulnerabilities you didn’t know about.
What Can Happen When a VPN is Hacked
When a VPN is hacked, people such as cybercriminals and other unscrupulous people are able to intercept the information that you are sending from your computer, laptop, phone or tablet. Below are a few things that might happen if you are using a VPN that’s unsafe.
- Your Identity Could Be Stolen – If your data is intercepted by hackers, they might use it to borrow money, commit crimes or create accounts u sing your name.
- Hacked Accounts – If a cybercriminal steals your login information, they could use it for impersonating you on your social media, email and other kinds of accounts. They also could see your personal documents or messages.
- Stolen Financial Information – Hackers often will exploit the VPNs that are low quality to steal your banking credentials online to apply for loans or credit cards.
- ISP Spying on You – If your VPN’s not redirecting your traffic adequately, you’re going to connect through the ISP. This allows them to monitor data such as your location and activity.
- Surveillance by the Government – When a VPN gets hacked, it could allow the surveillance agencies know that you have accessed sites that are blocked. This could mean that you have to pay fines or that you might go to jail.
- Device Takeover – When a VPN connection is compromised, a cybercriminal might use it to access your devices that have been connected. When this happens, they might have access to your data as well as use ransomware for blackmailing you so that you unlock the phone.
- Hacking of Your Smart Devices – If you have smart devices in your home, having the wrong VPN can mean that the cybercriminals also have access to the smart devices in the home. This means they can change their settings and break into the house.