Can You Be Hacked Through A VPN? (Need To Know)

Accelerated by the ongoing pandemic, the existing work from home and online shopping trends are here to stay. 

The risks associated with increased internet activity are pretty self-evident and have forced companies and individuals to upgrade their security protocols and practices. 

One of the most trusted ways of protecting data and personal info is by deploying a VPN. But is a VPN hackproof?

A VPN is not 100% hackproof. It is, however, a critically important component of best practice security practices and should always be included when data security is of utmost importance. A VPN is integral in protecting you from most current online threats.

The primary objective of a VPN is to hide your IP address from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and to encrypt the data flowing between your computer and the server or website that you are visiting.

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It does not add any additional protection and will not protect you from malicious software causing chaos with your information once it has been deployed on your computer.

Can You Be Hacked Through A VPN?

How Exposed Is A VPN To Hacking?

Although your IP is hidden while using a VPN, this is not what hackers are usually after. They want to steal your data. This commonly happens when you click on a malicious link or open an infected email attachment.

This type of attack is called “malware,” short for malicious software. Malware is intended to steal your data, corrupt your data files or hijack your computer. 

How Exposed Is A VPN To Hacking?

There are different types of malware. Adware and Ransomware are usually easily detected. On the other hand, Spyware usually runs in the background and is not easily detectable.

The problem with VPNs as a security method is that they cannot protect you from the damaging effects of viruses, worms, and trojans once your device has been infected. 

Once the malware is activated, it allows your internet traffic and files to bypass any firewall and wreak havoc.

How Do I Protect Myself From Malware?

How Do I Protect Myself From Malware?

Although a VPN does offer some protection against hackers and cyber crooks, it should always be backed up with additional defensive measures. 

Here are a few handy tips to help keep your data as safe as houses:

  • Always keep your operating system up to date. New security patches are often released as a measure against new threats.
  • Invest in reputable antivirus software that takes care of viruses, trojans, and worms. Make sure your firewall is enabled.
  • Change the Wifi router password often, and install any firmware updates as they become available.
  • Be careful when accessing sensitive data such as banking when using a public Wifi. Never click on suspect links, and do not open emails from unknown or suspicious senders.

What Does A VPN Do?

Many organizations deploy VPNs to encrypt their data and allow only authorized personnel access to their information and software infrastructure.

 These resources are usually password protected and use additional measures such as 2-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to authorized login accounts.

VPNs are also used to hide your IP address and hence your identity from your ISP and any other potential prying eyes. Your ISP can’t see which internet sites you visit. 

Simultaneously they hide your location and are popularly used to access online content such as Netflix and other streaming services in countries where you would not usually be able to due to regional restrictions.

Not all VPNs are created equally. To summarize, reputable VPN providers should be able to do the following:

  • IP address encryption: Hide your IP address from your ISP and any other 3rd party prying eyes. Encrypt your data to look like gibberish to anyone but yourself and your VPN provider.
  • Protocols Encryption: You should not be exposed to third parties through tracking cookies or internet search history, including details such as financial information, personal data, or any browsing history.
  • Two-factor authentication: An additional layer of secure identification that requires a password to be entered before sending a temporary pin code to your personal mobile. This code needs to be entered to authenticate the user before proceeding to the next stage.
  • Automatic kill switch: Should the VPN be compromised, a kill switch will also terminate your preselected programs, thus reducing the likelihood that your data is exposed to unwanted attention.

Pros And Cons Of VPNs

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Although a VPN is without question a critical tool to help protect you from cybercriminals, it is not foolproof. Choosing a premium VPN solution to help maximize its benefits and mitigate the risks that might arise from choosing an inferior product. 

Naturally, the top-of-the-range VPNs offering the best protection tend to be pricier than their less capable counterparts.

Some reputable VPN service providers to consider are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Cyberghost, and Surfshark. Each has its features and benefits. Before deciding, consider the pros and cons before signing up for a subscription.

Pros Of VPNs

  • Privacy: Protect yourself from data mining with anonymity. Your IP address is hidden.
  • Security: Keep your personal info such as passwords, financial information, and email messages private through built-in encryption
  • Regional Content Access: Allows for blocked content such as Netflix catalogs in other countries to be accessed via VPN servers located in other regions. 
  • Bandwidth Throttling– Bypass the data cap and your ISP’s ability to throttle your speed by hiding your activity from your ISP.

Cons Of VPNs

  • Tracking of Online Activity: VPN service providers can potentially retain and sell your data to marketers. It is a legal requirement to keep track of VPN traffic in some countries.
  • Slower Internet Speed: Your internet can slow down due to traffic hopping between servers located in different regions or when the VPN provider encrypts the data.
  • Shared IP Conflicts: Some VPN providers use a limited IP range which they repeatedly assign to users as they log on. This can cause a DNS server to blacklist your IP, requiring you to verify yourself. This can cause delays and security breaches, potentially leaving you vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
  • Poor Security with Low-Quality VPNs: All VPN products keep track of IPs in order to work effectively. A free or cheap VPN provider could potentially sell your data to make up for revenue losses. They may also not use high-level encryption, leaving your data exposed.


There is nothing online that can be deemed 100% safe from hacking. The only safe data is offline data.

Therefore be sensible when accessing the internet and use the available tools out there, VPNs being one of them, to keep you and your private information as safe as possible.

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