Tell everyone you know to avoid free VPN services. Bottom line: A free VPN isn’t free. To illustrate this point, consider Onavo Protect, a fake VPN offered by Facebook.

For sure, Facebook backing a privacy protection app sounds fishy from the get-go.

Beware of Onavo Protect, Facebook’s fake free VPN

If Facebook hawking a free VPN application isn’t uncanny enough, Apple booting the Facebook spyware from the App Store seems even more bizarre. After all, both Big Tech corporates seem to get along well as part of the Big Tech Cartel. I suppose that’s beside the point. Right? ARS Technica has the story.

Facebook is the latest company to violate Apple’s new app guidelines surrounding data collection. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook pulled Onavo Protect, a VPN app, from Apple’s App Store after the iPhone maker determined that Onavo violated its data-collection rules.

Users who downloaded the Onavo app were led to believe that their online tracks were covered. In reality, all their online activity was surreptitiously being sent to Facebook. Surprise!

Onavo also allows Facebook to track and analyze customer usage data. That treasure trove of data lets Facebook understand how customers use their mobile devices when they’re not using the main Facebook app. The app’s description in the Google Play Store (where it remains available to download) includes a statement about how Onavo works to Facebook’s benefit.

Quick Tip: If you have Onavo Protect on your phone, delete it right away! Now, repeat after me: “I will never, EVER use a free VPN of any kind again. Free VPNs are neither private nor secure. They make money by either using or selling the data they collect from you. To put it differently, buy a premium VPN service to improve your online security.