Twitter Ban: Five Ways VPN Can Hurt Nigerians

The Federal Government on Friday indefinitely suspended the operations of the social media site, Twitter.

The suspension of Twitter was made known in a post on Twitter.

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement signed by his media aide Segun Adeyemi.

The minister cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

He also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria, it added.

Following the micro-blogging site suspensions, many Nigerians have adopted Virtual Private Network (VPN) as a means of bypassing FG restriction of Twitter.

Using VPNs will give Nigerians access to the ban social media site but it comes with its own disadvantages.

Here are five dangers associated with using untrusted VPNs;

Choosing the wrong VPN – One of the central dangers of using a VPN is choosing the wrong one.

Free services that advertise on browser extension stores and mobile marketplaces are notorious for claiming fast downloads and anonymized activities when in reality they can be more dangerous than not using a VPN at all.

All devices aren’t automatically protected – If you use VPN software to protect your PC or smartphone, that’s the only device that gets protected.

In order to keep data safe, you must install an app on every device that connects to the internet (or else use a VPN router).

Viruses and malware are still a threat – Most VPNs do not protect your computer from viruses or malware.

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You’ll still need to be mindful of downloading suspicious files, especially through torrent and P2P networks.

Speed issues – VPN will often slow your connection speed by 10-25% depending on the service, all thanks to encryption overhead.

This can be frustrating if you frequently stream HD movies or do a lot of online gaming.

Fake VPN scams – In an ironic twist, many online hackers rely on scamming those who are working the hardest to avoid scams.

This means that consumers should be wary of free anti-virus installers, fake ‘alert’ pop-ups, and, yes, VPN software.

In the worst case, however, they also sell or supply data to government authorities. Even if the provider promises not to sell the data, it is already a risk that the data is stored at all.

Not a day goes by without a new data leak being reported, whether due to poor security or criminal hacker attacks.

Users Data Privacy – If a VPN service doesn’t charge its customers, the company has to bring in revenue from somewhere else. All your data makes a detour via the VPN provider. But do you really know the company and what it’s about? Essentially, you will have to trust your provider to maintain data privacy.

The most common source is selling user information the VPN promised to protect. If you aren’t paying for the service, you’re not the customer, you’re the product. This holds true for nearly every free VPN service.

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