MD: Are you ready for your next trip, hold on! Are you digitally protected? Yes, digital privacy is now becoming a bigger issue than selecting the itinerary.
Globetrotters never forget to take their favorite gadgets while on the go, but have you ever heard any travel buff worries about their digital presence? No, because at times we take things for granted until and unless we get affected. Right from hotel booking to paying for lunch, whatever you do while traveling, you are highly vulnerable to data breaches and possibly create a way for identity theft. You must be thinking why the risk of exposing yourself to cyberthieves increased while traveling?
The simple reason is; wanderlusts and cyberthieves have one thing in common as they both target public areas to explore and exploit. Data crooks move between public places like; bars, restaurants, retail stores, hotels and other meeting points, so does the travel-avid.
According to the Trustwave, Global Security Report, these three industries alone make up 78% of the total data breaches. As the usage of credit and debit card is high in such places and related organizations priorities customer service at the cost of data security; they are least concerned about your digital presence.
We recommend all travelers to use a VPN before stepping out of your comfort zone. If you are not familiar with a VPN, it’s your own private and secure internet tunnel; means the information you exchange on the internet is scrambled and encrypted before reaching the information superhighway. The best VPN offers absolute anonymity by hiding your real IP address and assign you a server-based IP, so that nobody can be traced your actual location.
Why You Should Be Using A VPN While On The Go
1- Anonymous Surfing with Open WiFi
We love free wifi, from airports to guesthouses to small cafes, you will find free WiFi; though it seems and sounds free but actually at the cost of your security and privacy. If you travel a lot, you must have been exposed to public or semi-public wifi more than most.
On open wifi, the hacker can easily tune-in and eavesdrop the data being transmitted; right from email to the passwords you put, all your digital activities can be fetched by hackers using honey-pot techniques. Other than hackers, network providers and local ISPs can also log your digital footprints at such unprotected hotspots.
To avoid such privacy threats, buy a fast VPN. A VPN encrypts your digital communication in a secured tunnel and keep your data hidden from prying eyes. In case someone tries to snoop it, end up with a bunch of gibberish. VPN is the easy way to remain protected on suspicious networks.
2- Bypass Censorships & Geo-Restrictions
If you’re a media junkie and travels a lot, the worst thing you do that creates a hassle for you while traveling is being denied access to geo-restricted content; you must have missed your favorite seasons or UFC fights. Many of the streaming channels like Netflix, Hulu, ITV, Channel 4, or Youtube (don’t play in Germany), this list is limitless.
The government of some countries like China, Vietnam, Spain, Burma, and Thailand, strive best to dictate what their citizens are supposed to browse online; the best example to quote is “Great Wall of China.” So if you are planning to travel to Burma, get ready to battle with an internet filter.
Instead of buying a plane ticket to your hometown just to access your beloved website/s, rather get a VPN and connect to the server based on the location of the content you are planning to stream. A VPN lets you access the internet from another server in another country, bypassing the censorship of the country you are currently in. You are free to access CNN news in Burma and your favorite Netflix originals while enjoying authentic Chinese Peking duck.
3- Avoid Banking Lockouts
Travelers second de facto, that it’s good practice to inform your credit card company before traveling abroad; they don’t freak out and block your card (assuming to be stolen) when you pay for your hotel on the beaches of Greece. When you use online banking, banks detect your location with IP, and in case they find you somewhere new, you might be flagged and asked some security questions to verify that your account hasn’t been hijacked.
At worst, your card might be locked out, requiring you to contact your bank and other jumps to the hoop before accessing your hard-earned bucks. Especially with Paypal, your account gets frozen when you use it abroad.
VPN allows you to connect to some servers and countries around the world and their related websites. So when you go to Burma next time, where banking sanctions are in place and denied access to your bank, use a VPN and connect the server of your home country, you will be digitally located in your own country, not in Burma, and it’s smooth sailing.
4- Avoid Data-Retention
In many countries like Australia, where your digital footprints are under legal surveillance for a reason or two; don’t try to access your favorite adult-content while exploring Australian culture. It’s the normal practice in some countries to retain users’ personal information for so-called marketing and advertising purposes; what if your short visit to Australia leaves your details in the Australian cloud storage, this could be used against you.
A VPN hides your real IP and assigns you a non-traceable IP, which means you turned to be a nobody in the digital world. Therefore, don’t forget to use a VPN while traveling in the regions with data retention policy and those without net-neutrality. If a hacker or scammer tries to trace your IP-address then don’t worry, VPN will give him/her scrambled data, which nobody can decrypt.
5- Safer Browsing
Whether you’re traveling or not, somehow your personal information like your name, email address, DOB, and your credit card details, are being logged somewhere; you can’t resist and control your data to be exposed for some marketing bucks.
The best thing about a VPN is absolute anonymity; your entire browsing remains anonymous, and all your privacy-sensitive information remains hidden and protected from all marketing scams.
Now, Pack Your Bag!
Whether it’s a business trip or a backpacking adventure, the last thing you should be concerned is your digital anonymity. It turns out, that gateway to the glorious World Wide Web may not be as safe as you are thinking. To summarize, these are not the only reasons for a traveler to consider using a VPN while traveling. There could be an abundance of reasons that could push you to use a VPN to secure your online presence while on the go.