Data security experts strongly recommend that you use a VPN if you stream content using Kodi. Their reasons for insisting that you set up a VPN for your Kodi account are not as simple as you might think.
By now, you’re already aware that using a VPN to stream content grants you access to Geo-restricted content. However, even more importantly, failure to set up a VPN for your Kodi will likely open you up to a number of security vulnerabilities. As the number of people using Kodi boxes continues to grow, the devices are becoming increasingly attractive to cybercriminals and hackers.
Using a VPN ensures that any weak points in the software are plugged before they are taken advantage of. In this article, we take a closer look at these weaknesses and how setting up a VPN can help in eliminating them.
#1 Accessing Pirated Content through Kodi Content Can Get You Prosecuted
To be sure, VPN Base does not encourage using any of the tools recommended on this website for accessing content that has been pirated. However, there’s no denying that illegal add-ons, which make it possible for people to access a variety of content—ranging from live sports events to the latest TV shows and movies—are the primary reason why people use the software.
If you are among the people who deploy Kodi for such a purpose, there is a good chance you might get in trouble with law enforcement. Up until recently, many people believed that using Kodi shielded them from prosecution. Although this may to some extent have been true in the past, the advent of “fully loaded” has made the copyright owner increasingly wary of users.
According to data security experts, even though end users of the software are not the primary target of law enforcement, they might still be caught up in some of the copyright law agency operations and become a party to the investigation. In turn, this may lead to the end user being prosecuted alongside importers, retailers, and suppliers.
It’s also worth mentioning that in the future, copyright law agencies might start directly prosecuting end users because they are committing criminal offenses. In fact, in April 2017, a ruling effected by the European Court of Justice says that temporary reproduction of work protected by copyright law would thereafter be a breach of the “right of reproduction”. The US and other countries are considering following suit.
Avoiding Prosecution by Using a VPN
Let’s consider how a VPN works and how using it can help you avoid getting in trouble with the law. Now more than ever, securing your Internet connection is of the utmost importance. A VPN re-routes all your online traffic through a secure tunnel, encrypting it, meaning that only your VPN provider has access to your private data.
By choosing a VPN provider that is committed to security and doesn’t keep a log of all your activities, you can be certain that no law enforcement agencies can identify you online, even if they tried to pressure your VPN provider or Internet service provider (ISP).
#2 Hackers Can Breach Your Network via Kodi
Kodi is an open source software with more than 40 million monthly users. Failure to take the right measures when using it is courting disaster because the software has many security flaws. Admittedly, the app developers behind Kodi aren’t responsible for a majority of these flaws. By and large, the core software is secure.
Nonetheless, an experienced user of the app will tell you that there are a plethora of add-ons and a majority of them are unverified by Kodi. These apps are the weak point in the chain because many of them have a faulty code.
Among the add-ons that can be considered more high-risk are the illegal apps that obtain content from dubious websites. Such apps leave you open to keylogger and man-in-the-middle attacks. Bear in mind that an installed repo has unhampered access to the entire system. This isn’t a concern if you’re using a standalone Kodi box, but it’s a huge risk if you’re using Kodi on your laptop.
Not only that, many of the add-ons that users typically consider to be safe aren’t risk-free. For instance, you open your system up to security risks whenever you use subtitle files because they contain Java or HTML code that tells the software to display subtitles.
It is unfortunate how easily a hacker can hijack the code and thereafter create and upload malicious files to free repos. When you obliviously download the subtitle repo into your Kodi software, the malicious files take root in your system, granting potential hackers unfettered control of your device.
Avoiding Hacker Infiltration by Using a VPN
When you set up a VPN for your standalone Kodi box, you make it impossible for malware to be transmitted from the device to the rest of your network. Essentially, a VPN isolates the device so that in case of hacker infiltration, the danger is limited to the device because the encryption tunnel blocks out the rest of your home network.
This is, however, not the case if you’re using Kodi on your PC. The good news is that a VPN can still offer protection by ensuring your main connection is secure. So, rather than prevent malware from infecting your hardware, a VPN will in this case significantly reduce the likelihood of hacker infiltration.
An interesting way to picture it is that in addition to having a security guard outside your home, you have a security barrier miles around your home.
#3 Kodi Doesn’t Offer Anonymity
The lack of anonymity when using Kodi is itself a security flaw. Hackers can use it to steal your information, including streaming service usernames and passwords that you enter into Kodi. Kodi doesn’t hide your IP address from prying eyes, nor does it keep your ISP or your location private. A government agency or cybercriminal can use all that information to determine your identity and track your online activities.
Avoid Giving Away Your Identity by Using a VPN
A good VPN offers privacy protection as it masks your IP address, making it impossible for anyone to trace your computer and monitor your online activities. Usually, a VPN will give you an IP address that’s not even based in the country from which you’re accessing the Internet.