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Sunday, 15 April 2018 | MYT 1:00 PM

VPN surfers expose themselves when logging in

If you've ever thought about making yourself invisible to advertisers and authorities when online, you’ll probably have thought of getting a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Providers use so-called VPN tunnels to handle all their customers' Internet traffic using a single IP address. That makes it harder for third parties to identify surfers through their individual IP address.

But privacy in this kind of system has its limits, according to German tech magazine Computerbild. VPN surfers who log on to individual pages with a user name and password should keep in mind that they are revealing themselves to the website operator.

You'll also have to trust your VPN provider, because they know very well which websites their customers are frequenting on the Internet. And unlike Facebook or Google, not many are trying to hold VPN service providers accountable for what happens with their customers's data.

To be on the safe side, experts recommend the following rule of thumb: A VPN service should not be free of charge permanently; reputable services usually charge several US dollars per month. — dpa