If Then

You Should Use a VPN, if You Can Trust It

Everyone says you should use a VPN. But what about when the VPN is totally sketchy?

Listen to If Then by clicking the arrow on the audio player below, or get the show via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

On today’s show, hosts April Glaser and Will Oremus take a look at an increasingly popular online privacy tool that has some serious trust issues of its own. We’re talking about VPNs, or virtual private networks, and why the average user might have a very hard time figuring out which one to trust.


The hosts will also look at privacy blunder No. 1,000,000,000 from our friends at Facebook. This one involves two-factor authentication, a feature meant to help keep your account safer that turns out to be another good way for Facebook to keep track of you wherever you go. Mark Zuckerberg told Congress, “You own your data”—but once you give Facebook your phone number, good luck ever taking it back.


1:11 - Interview with Will Oremus
24:00 - Don’t Close My Tabs

Stories Discussed on the Show:

Slate: “Do You Trust Your VPN? Are You Sure?

Don’t Close My Tabs:

April: “Are Men at Google Paid Less Than Women? Not Really” from Wired

Will: Nathan W. Pyle’s Instagram

Podcast production by Max Jacobs.

You can get updates about what’s coming up next by following us on Twitter @ifthenpod. You can follow Will @WillOremus and April @Aprilaser. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at ifthen@slate.com.

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.