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These VPN apps for Android are hiding a truly awful secret

Looking for better online privacy? You might want to steer clear of some of the most popular free VPN apps for Android, as a recent study claims they represent a massive security risk.

Website Top10VPN has just published a piece of research that claims that 90% of 150 Android VPN apps it has tested breach users in a variety of ways, including compromising malware, permission overreach and DNS leaks.

Related: Best free VPN

By far, the biggest risk is intrusive permissions, with 99 of the 150 apps tested asking for user location, microphone and camera access or device information. For products that are specifically pointed towards security, it’s a worrying finding.

The research claims that the 150 apps tested have over 260 million downloads on the Google Play Store, meaning the security risks are fairly widespread.

And it gets worse, as 38 of the VPNs were found to have DNS leakage, which could result in users’ private data being compromised. Furthermore, 27 VPN apps that was tested with VirusTotal were flagged as potentially containing malware.

If you’re a free VPN user and you want to find out how much hot water you might currently be in, Top10VPN has pulled together a risk index.

Unfortunately, free VPN products will likely always come with an element of risk. 

A VPN costs money, so providing it for free means the company putting it out has to find another way to monetise its product, which can be bad news for users. Free may be tempting, but for peace of mind, we’d strongly recommend paying for your VPN.

Have you been stung by any of these free VPN apps? Has this changed your thoughts on data security? Give us your thoughts on @TrustedReviews.

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