HideMyAss Says No More Logging: What This Means and Whether You Can Trust It
Most people use a VPN to make sure they’re anonymous online, so how would you feel knowing that your VPN is making a log of its users’ IP addresses? Worse still: how would you feel knowing all of the user information its logging could be shared with any enforcement officials that ask for it?
There are many people using a VPN that aren’t aware their information is being logged by their provider. Better known and more reputable VPN providers such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost VPN, to name just a few, have a clear no-logging policy that states they don’t keep logs of individual user's information and won’t comply with any requests for user information from government agencies. Other VPNs, often smaller service providers, will log information on their users.
HideMyAss’ History With Logs
HideMyAss (HMA) is a relatively popular VPN that logged the IP addresses of its users every time they connected to its servers, making them possible to identify in certain circumstances. In November 2019, it announced it would stop logging IP addresses to better protect the online privacy of its users. Now, the company has joined the ranks of the top-tier VPNs by introducing a no-logging policy as part of its commitment to becoming a champion of privacy and security. But how clear is HideMyAss’ no-logging policy and can users trust it?
Thankfully, in the case of HideMyAss, its newfound commitment is legitimate and fully verified by the fact the company is audited by third-party cybersecurity consulting firm, VerSpirite, to make sure they comply with strict privacy settings. Also, this audit ensures that any information previously stored by HideMyAss on its users will be safely destroyed. If you’re wondering why any of this matters, keep reading to see why no-logging policies are so important.
Why a No-Logging Policy is So Important
- When you’re connected to a VPN, your ISP cannot track what you’re doing online. However, if your VPN is keeping logs of your online activity, it’s possible that this information could fall into the wrong hands or be passed to law enforcement officials if any requests for users’ information were made.
- Some VPN providers keep ‘connection logs’. These logs contain incoming and outgoing IP addresses, connection dates and durations, amounts of data transferred, and the servers used. This information can be collected and used to reveal your identity.
- Law enforcement agencies and police departments often make requests for user information. Whether or not your VPN has to comply with that request often depends on where they’re located. Make sure you choose a VPN that’s located in a country that doesn’t have to comply with requests from foreign governments and law enforcement agencies. Countries that are legally required to share information are known as being a ‘14 Eyes’ country. They are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, the US, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden.
Three VPNs You Can Trust with No-Logging Policies
Similar to NordVPN, many of its servers are RAM-based which means your data literally can’t be stored (if they were even storing anything important in the first place). NordVPN is based in Panama, outside of the 14 eyes, which means it doesn’t have to comply with any requests that are made for its users’ information. While it does keep a copy of your email and payment information, users are provided with the option of paying in with cryptocurrency. Combine this with a burner email address and you’ve got complete anonymity.