Most of us give online safety little more than a passing thought when travelling, preferring to focus on vacation activities or works schedules instead.
But the very act of being away from home leaves us vulnerable to any number of cyber-attacks, meaning it’s of utmost importance to prioritize security while on the road. Here are easy five things everyone can do to help keep themselves protected.
Be careful on public WiFi
Public WiFi is notoriously unsafe since other users on the network can take advantage of lax security protocols to easily hack your device. And although logging on in a café or restaurant is undoubtedly convenient, it’s definitively worth treating these open networks with caution to avoid unwanted issues. At the very least, avoid using online banking or visiting sites which require sensitive personal information while on a public system.
Consider investing in a VPN
If you must connect via a public network, it’s a great idea to use a VPN to hide your activity from others. A VPN makes it virtually impossible for hackers on an open WiFi network to access your internet traffic meaning you can browse away without a worry in the world. The absolute safest way to stay connected on the road is to bring along a specialized VPN for WiFi router which provides the closest thing possible to 100% security.
Or avoid public WiFi altogether
For those travelling more than a day or two within any one country especially Iran, it’s usually worthwhile taking the time to pick up a local SIM card and load some 4G data. SIM cards are widely available in many locations, including airports, and allow for a relatively secure mobile connection without the need to pay those sky-high roaming rates.
If you want to use the internet on your laptop, just set up a password-protected mobile hotspot and log on through there as a much safer alternative to public WiFi.
Make sure your devices are secure
Losing your cell phone while travelling is infinitely more likely than at home, whether it be leaving it in a taxi or being pickpocketed in a crowded place. To avoid fraudsters gaining access to your precious personal information, set up password protection on your device before you leave home.
Better yet, install and configure GPS tracking software which, in the event of a loss, will allow you to wipe sensitive data or even track the location of your missing device in real time.
Be cautious when using public PC’s
This one may sound kind of obvious, but sometimes it’s possible to forget you’re using a public machine and inadvertently leave yourself open to attack.
When surfing the web on a hotel PC or internet café, be sure to manually log off from every single account-based website you have used. Furthermore, be aware that sometimes public machines have nasty keyloggers installed which can steal your passwords, so avoid logging on to any sensitive personal accounts while on a public computer.
With these five simple tips in mind, you can significantly reduce your online risks while on the road and focus on enjoying your vacation instead.