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Free VPN Scam: VPN Master

While there are a number of quality free VPNs available, there are others that are designed to take advantage of unsuspecting internet users.
 
All VPNs, whether they are free or paid for, are there to make money. Legitimate free VPNs generate revenue by including ads or using their free version as a way to promote their paid options. However, other more malicious companies are creating free VPNs for the sole purpose of spreading malware.
 
These sub-par VPNs are promoted with loads of fake reviews and downloads. When the VPNs are downloaded, they infect your device with malware that collects your information and sells it to third-parties. Basically, these VPNs are facilitating exactly the kind of attacks that VPNs are meant to protect you from.
 
One such company that is performing this scam is VPN Master. Their apps have flooded the Google Play store. You can recognize them right away as the name of the app or the developer is usually some version of “VPN Master.”
 
Below, we’ve outlined some known VPN Master apps you should avoid, as well as tips for testing VPNs for malware and information on some safe free services.
 

VPN Master Apps You Need to Avoid
 

As mentioned before, these phony apps can usually be identified by looking for some variation of “VPN Master” in either the app or developer name. However, to assist you in avoiding these VPNs, we’ve put together a list of the known VPN Master apps in the Google Play store that have been proven to contain malware.
 
• VPN Proxy Master
• VPN Master – Free VPN Proxy
• VPN Master Lite Unlock Proxy
• VPN Master Free Unlimited proxy
 
Don’t let the millions of downloads and high ratings fool you, these are not quality VPN apps. In a variety of tests, all of these apps tested positive for various types of malware that can put your device and your privacy in jeopardy.
 
Despite their supposed high ratings (which are obviously being inflated by fake reviews) if you actually look at the reviews, some of them are rather troubling. You’ll find people claiming that the app doesn’t even connect to a VPN server, that it attempts to gain access to your photos, media, personal information, WiFi info and that it installs advertising apps on your phone.
 
These apps should be avoided at all costs.
 

Other VPN Master Apps to Avoid
 
In addition to the free apps listed above, VPN Master has a paid option called VPN Master Pro. If you look at the reviews, there are similar stories about the app having trouble actually connecting to a VPN server, as well as complaints about the prices being as much as three times more than other similar VPN apps.
 
There are also iOS versions of VPN Master apps and a PC version that can be found at vpnmaster.com. Although these apps haven’t been tested for malware, they’ve been proven to be connected with the apps above, so are likely to be unsafe to use and not recommended.
 

How to Test Apps for Malware

If you want to test a VPN app or any app for that matter, for malware we recommend using VirusTotal. Malware is specifically designed to not be identified by scans, which means a number of lower-quality tests won’t pick it up. But VirusTotal uses over 60 different antivirus applications to thoroughly test files and has been proven to detect the types of malware used in free VPNs.
 
If you have a free VPN installed on your device that you suspect contains malware, use VirusTotal to test it. If malware is discovered, remove the app immediately and use antivirus software to clear your device of any malicious software.
 
We do not recommend downloading free VPNs for the express purpose of testing them for malware. This can lead to your device being infected, which puts your data in danger and can cost money to fix.
 
 
How to Identify Safe Free VPNs

With so many dangerous free VPNs out there, how can you tell the good ones from the bad ones? Here are a few tips for identifying unsafe VPNs.
 
First, always read the reviews. Fake positive reviews are usually easy to spot, as they’re generally very short and use bad grammar. Also, make sure to read the negative reviews. If people are saying the app doesn’t work, the company is unresponsive or the VPN downloaded advertising apps to their device, that’s a huge red flag.
 
You can also visit the company’s website. Read their privacy policy to see whether or not they log your data and contact the company if you have any questions. Reputable companies will always get back to you in a timely manner and will thoroughly answer your questions. If the company doesn’t have a website, that’s generally another red flag.
 
 
Free VPNs That Are Proven to Be Safe
 

If you’re looking for a free VPN that’s effective at protecting your privacy and safe to use, the best advice we can offer is to choose one of the VPNs below.
 
• Windscribe
• TunnelBear
• ProtonVPN
• Speedify
• Hide.me 
• Turbo VPN
• Hotspot Shield
• Surf Easy
• Ultra Surf VPN
• Hideman
 
We’ve tested all of these services and have found them to be quality products. They work well, are developed by reputable companies and we highly recommend them.
 
 
 

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