Why pay for software when there is a free version available? This is no doubt something that we’ve thought of at one point or the other in our lives. Nevertheless, we all have to sit down and ask ourselves whether free software is really worth it. Most of us understand that there is no such thing as free service and at some point, the illusion fades and we realize that the cost is much higher than we estimated. Even so, while we are bound to get caught in the allure of free services, there are those that we should totally keep off.
If there’s something that’s guaranteed to attract a number of unsuspecting users, it is definitely free WiFi. However, it is also one of those services you should steer clear off in the most strict way possible. Free WiFi hotspots are the watering hole for hackers and everything that makes them alluring to you as a user is exactly what draws in the hackers. Understanding how hackers exploit free WiFi might prompt you to take significant precautions against such hacks. However, you can’t predict or protect yourself against everything. The safest way is to avoid putting yourself at risk and use a secured or private WiFi network.
By design, a VPN should make you anonymous as you surf the internet. Unfortunately for most of us, we barely understand how a VPN works and therefore, barely notice when it’s working outside its parameters. That is one of the risks of using a free VPN which broadcasts or sells identities instead of keeping you anonymous and safe. However, this is just one of the many dangers of using a free VPN. In the long run, the cost is far too great as compared to using a Premium VPN from the very beginning, which guarantees you secure anonymous browsing, stable bandwidth, security from third parties and a number of other significant benefits.
In truth, most antivirus companies offer a freemium version of their product. The problem with using a free antivirus is the fact that while it works, the scope is extremely limited. An antivirus is meant to provide full, real-time protection against a wide range of exploits and attacks. Nevertheless, the free versions are scaled down to only a shell of the premium version leaving you open to attacks. The worst part is that a free antivirus encourages laxity so that you are lured into a false sense of security while in fact, you are as open to attack as you could be.
What’s the alternative?
In truth, you should always be skeptical of everything with a free tag to it including free web hosting, free software and so much more. To get the best service and guarantees, you need to use verified paid versions of any service. Even then, you should still take precautions, but your risk will be considerably lower.