When it comes to being online, most people are concerned about their privacy and security.
Everyone has heard of internet horror stories in which hackers take personal information and use it to steal a person’s identity or max out their credit cards.
Simultaneously, the broader public has gotten more digitally savvy and has begun to use VPNs, but can a VPN be hacked?
No electronic device or system exists that cannot be hacked given enough time and resources. The goal is to make oneself unappealing as a target so that they move on. The more difficult or time-consuming it is to hack your VPN, the less likely they will put in the effort.
Unless it’s made public, you will be unaware that your VPN is compromised, and you can indeed be in danger if unknowing.
Below you will learn why you are in danger, what to do if your VPN gets hacked, the most severe implications you’ll face if you get hacked, and how to strengthen your security if your VPN gets hacked.
Why Is It Dangerous If Your VPN Gets Hacked?
The primary drive of a VPN is to protect your privacy when you are surfing the web or transacting with other people.
You purchase a VPN subscription to protect your interests from getting hacked. You put a lot of confidence in the company supplying the VPN service, and therefore the last thing on your mind is what if they get hacked.
If you use a VPN at home, personal data like search history, banking details, and so on can be compromised.
But as a company, you can expect sensitive data leaks, ongoing security audits, operational disruptions, brand damage, and mounting losses in the millions.
Although criminals can hack a VPN and compromise your data, we still recommend using a VPN.
Using a VPN with strong security is still one of the best ways to protect yourself from criminals.
Unless you’re an incredibly desirable target, cybercriminals probably wouldn’t even try to hack a top-tier VPN service to get your data.
There are far less complicated ways for them to gain entry to your life data than trying to hack a professional military-grade VPN.
What Immediate Actions Do You Take When Hacked?
If your VPN ever gets hacked, you should try to find out what compromising effect this will have on you.
- Is it a problem on your local device or the server of the VPN
- Was it data logs on search history that were compromised
- Was personal data stolen (like banking details or identifying data)
Each of the above circumstances has a different threat level, and you should act accordingly.
- Step 1: Immediately change the password of the VPN. (optional)
- Step 2: Disconnect all devices from the VPN.
- Step 3: Remove the VPN from your devices by completely uninstalling them, ensuring that all background services are shut down.
- Step 4: Get rid of your VPN credentials and clear your cookies and browser history.
- Step 5: Get a new, more secure VPN.
How To Evaluate A VPN And If Its Connections Are Secure
First of all, you should never use a free VPN. If they cannot make money from their product, you become the product they will sell.
Below we addressed some of the more critical criteria you should consider when buying a VPN subscription.
Does It Have Secure Encryption?
Most VPNs promise to provide the highest levels of encryption, but does it have AES 256-bit encryption which is the most secure option?
AES is the safest of the various ciphers available that utilize keys at least 256 “bits” long since they are sophisticated and challenging to crack. Even government organizations use AES 256-bit encryption to secure state secrets.
Does It Have The Best Tunneling Protocol?
It would be best to avoid VPNs that still use tunneling protocols no longer in use, such as PPTP. Think of it like this; if encryption is your mode of transportation, then the tunneling protocol will be the highway to get you there.
The VPN blocks any data that isn’t traveling on the same freeway. VPNs can utilize a variety of protocols, and among them, the most secure tunneling protocols are WireGuard, NordLynx, IKEv2, IPSec, and OpenVPN.
Do They Keep Data Logs?
Although many VPNs promise to maintain no data records, their terms and conditions sometimes state otherwise.
The term “no-log VPN” refers to a virtual private network service that does not collect or “log” any data transferred over the network. They don’t track where you surf on the internet or what you download or view.
As a result, your online privacy and anonymity should be safeguarded from third parties. VPNs should never store your data.
Your IP address, bandwidth use, and, most importantly, anything linked to your online activities should be kept private.
Are There VPNs That Can’t Be Hacked?
As we mentioned above, any VPN can be hacked with enough resources and effort, but some are more unlikely to have any information on you should this happen.
For example, some VPNs store your payment information on separate networks and servers from those you tunnel through. Therefore, there is no connection or link between your internet activities and your details.
How Can You Secure Yourself More From Hackers?
Tor is a free browser that scrambles your browsing history and protects your identity across the internet, dark web, and other visible connections.
For example, Tor allowed US spies to communicate with one another while staying entirely anonymous. The same technology is still in place today when using Tor.
So, we can see that there is always a chance of getting hacked, and yes, you are at risk if your VPN is compromised.
However, you have a VPN because whatever you wish to hide will be encrypted and not revealed.
It is always possible that any digital product is hackable, but keep utilizing your VPN; it’s still the best way to secure your personal information.
So, remember that using a VPN is safe, but make sure it’s well-secured or that you additionally download the Tor browser.
Fortunately, it makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your system, and if you use commercial VPNs, they must jump through a lot more hoops.
However, we recommend using protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IPsec because they are fast, stable, and highly secure.