We all carry a phone, tablet, or laptop with us when we are traveling but travelers that need an internet connection are also easy prey for digital thieves and scammers. A VPN connection will give you an easy protection from online predators.
Free Wi-Fi hotspots at airports, cafes, restaurants, hotels or other places are the perfect hunting grounds for cyber criminals just like the networks at hotels can be abused by entrepreneurial hackers.
The same accounts for mobile networks, where you are dependent on how serious the local phone companies are when it comes to security and protecting their customer’s privacy and security.
One option is to not be online at all while you travel but this is more or less a fantasy as we all have tickets, vouchers, travel plans etc. online. You will also need easy access to information about the places you visit and get tips for great restaurants and attractions.
And naturally you will want to follow friends, family or colleagues on social media and keep them updated about all the wonderful things you will be doing on vacation.
Luckily there is a perfect opportunity to protect yourself both when you travel and when you are at home. If you use a VPN connection, you will make life significantly harder for digital thieves and scammers. You will also get a lot of other advantages! You will be able to stream your favorite movies and shows no matter where you are in the world, get cheaper prices shopping online, and of course protection for your privacy – read more about the advantages here.
How can it be that a VPN connection protects you and gives you additional advantages? A VPN connection encrypts all information between you and the VPN provider so if anybody snaps up your information it will be completely useless to them. At the same time, the VPN provider will obscure the traffic that comes from you so you will remain anonymous and it will look like you come from a completely different place then where you are.
All suppliers of VPN connections have software and apps that make it easy to install and use a VPN connection. So, even if you are not an IT genius, it will be easy for you to get started and protect yourself against digital thieves and scammers.
To make it as easy as possible, we have made a miniguide about how to chose the right VPN provider (read more here), but if you want to choose your supplier yourself, we have also collected a list of the best VPN providers on the market. (read more here).
Finally we are going to give you a few additional practical tips for how you can protect yourself and your data.
Never connect unknown devices to your computer. An innocent USB drive can contain a virus or Trojan horses that will rapidly infect your computer and network as well as disable your protection from the inside. So if you find a random USB drive somewhere, never connect it to your computer. Not even to be a good samaritan and try to find the owner of said device. Just leave it where it is.
Never leave a stranger alone with your computer, tablet, or phone. For a skilled person, it is only matter of a few minutes before they have installed a virus, spyware or keyloggers. From then on they have access to everything. They can use the camera and/or microphone to spy on you or the GPS to keep track of where you are.
Never connect any device to an unknown or public network or Wi-Fi hotspot without having your VPN connection activated, an updated antivirus program, or an active firewall.
Finally, always use your common sense. Hacking and digital theft are not just technical skills but often more a matter of social engineering and knowing the human psyche. Be safe out there.