Popular Ad-blockers and Free VPNs Caught Harvesting User Data

Popular Ad-blockers and Free VPNs Caught Harvesting User Data

Sensor Tower, a well-known data analytics company for technology developers and investors, secretly collects data from millions of users using VPNs and ad-blocking apps on Android and iOS, according to BuzzFeed News.

Since 2015, Sensor Tower has launched at least 20 Android and iOS apps, which have been downloaded more than 35 million times worldwide. Moreover, it is not indicated in the app description that these apps are related to Sensor Tower and it will provide user data to Sensor Tower.

Root certificate 

It is said that when the installation is complete, the application will prompt the user to install a root certificate, which allows the publisher to access all traffic and data transmitted over the phone.

Installing a root certificate for an application is a huge risk to users. Fortunately, for the sake of user security, both Apple and Google restrict the root certificate privileges of the application. 

However, these Sensor Tower apps prompt users to install a root certificate via an external website, which helps them bypass the restriction.

For example, a Luna VPN (one of Sensor Tower’s many applications) user will receive a notification that it can block ads on YouTube for him / her. If the user downloads an ad-blocking extension as suggested, he / she will start installing the root certificate.

Do you have these apps on your phone? 

Currently, many of Sensor Tower’s apps are not available in the App Store or Google Play Store. Android and iPhone users should check your phones now to see whether you have downloaded any of these apps, such as Free and Unlimited VPN, Luna VPN, Mobile Data, Adblock Focus, etc. If so, you’d better remove them as soon as possible to stop them from revealing your privacy.

Collect user data – the responses

Sensor Tower admitted that its apps just allow developers, venture capitalists, and publishers to track the popularity, usage trends, and revenue streams driven by apps. It denied that its apps collect sensitive data or personally identifiable information, such as passwords, user names, etc, and share them with any third party, which compromises user privacy. It is also taking steps to make its connection to the apps more clear. Besides, it claims to ensure the security of user data and other sensitive information.

Dont use FREE VPNs

We have been suggesting users stay away from free VPNs. Although there are tons of free VPNs that can unblock websites for you, they are also very much capable of putting you into risk. The Sensor Tower VPN apps are good examples. They might be secretly collecting your personal information and sell it to third parties for revenue. After all, they don’t charge users to maintain their services. They need to make money from users in other ways.

Aside from disclosing user data, free VPNs set restrictions on bandwidth, making it impossible to enjoy watching films and shows from Netflix or other popular streaming service providers. They often serve you with annoying ads, some of which can be the gateway to malware infections. What’s worse, free VPN services don’t offer you premium features like DNS protection, Kill Switch and so on, which can’t give enough protection to your web browsing.

Why RitaVPN?

Since free VPNs might harvest your data and sell to interested buyers for adverts or other malicious purposes, it is safer to make use of a paid VPN service. Don’t trust any lifetime free VPN service.

RitaVPN a paid VPN service provider that works best for unblocking websites. To unblock popular streaming services and other content, there is no better VPN than RitaVPN.

Providentially, the payment plan in RitaVPN is very affordable. You can start by paying for a weekly plan which costs less than a dollar, and then proceed to a yearly plan, which even costs less.

Other benefits of using RitaVPN includes:

  • RitaVPN has high-quality servers in the supported countries. Not to mention the speed which makes accessing geo-blocked content a breeze.
  • For online safety, RitaVPN utilizes the AES-256 encryption protocol to make information sent and received over the connection entirely secure.
  • For users with multiple devices, RitaVPN supports connection on up to four devices with a single subscription. RitaVPN is also compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac operating systems.
  • The most important benefit of using RitaVPN is that it doesn’t keep logs. You can rest assured to browse the Internet safely and privately with RitaVPN. Your browsing history is kept only to yourself.

Bottom line

It is time to setup a virtual private network on your devices as it has so many benefits. But you should keep in mind that you can only move your trust to reliable VPNs like RitaVPN.

Go to RitaVPN official website for more details!!!

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