Today our Guest Blogger gives the FundMyTravel community some tips and tricks on how to keep our data and technology safe from hacker while traveling abroad.
Travel to most countries has never been easier, leading a number of people both young and old to follow their dream and become world travelers. It is an exciting and educational life, and many people wouldn’t trade those times for anything.
Technology and digital media has played a big part in this, allowing people to constantly stay in communication with each other and acting as a tool to get around easier. Despite the situation 10 years ago, few people today can imagine traveling without a smartphone and/or laptop with all of their helpful applications. These devices contain the lives and memories of travelers on them, and that is why they might be valuable to criminals.
Here are five tips that might help you keep your data and technology safe while you travel:
Use a Virtual Private Network
Unprotected public networks are probably your number one direct threat while acting as a digital nomad. On them, people can listen in using a simple piece of equipment and intercept whatever information you send (or request) over the network. This includes financial data, personal information, and usernames and passwords for your online accounts.
To protect yourself, you need to use a Virtual Private Network. This service allows your smartphone or laptop to connect to an offsite secure server via an encrypted connection, so you can surf the internet anonymously and safely. You can even connect to servers in different countries to use services normally blocked by regional restrictions (such as Netflix). Once you read some reviews and make the right choice, you will be a whole lot safer wherever you travel.
Protect Your Financial Information
Financial transactions attract cybercriminals like flowers attract bees. Whenever you are out in public or in a foreign home, you can’t be certain that there aren’t hackers tapped into the wires or airwaves just waiting for you to make a banking transaction.
Try to use cash when out on the town. If you can trust your hotel or home network, try to use only that when it comes to arranging your finances. Having a home base allows you to secure it more, and you won’t feel a rush to get things done and risk becoming a victim of identity theft, which would be a travesty considering how you saved and funded your travel.
Be Careful Which Sites You Use
Travel means that your best resources will likely be foreign websites. Since you aren’t accustomed to using the major websites in some countries, you are at a disadvantage. If the text goes through a translation program, this is even worse, and you can’t notice cheap writing and bad grammar. If you aren’t careful, your smartphone or laptop could download malware. For this reason, try to check up on any major websites that you use. In addition to this, don’t download or purchase anything you don’t have to online.
Have Backups Available
There is a high likelihood that, at some point when traveling, you are going to lose your phone or laptop. In addition to the already high price of replacing the device, you don’t want to lose all of your precious memories and information contained on the device. This is why you should try to have a backup service available to you that you update frequently, such as Dropbox or OneDrive that you can upload all your photos and documents to. With one of those services and a good backup schedule, you’ll have one less thing to worry about while you travel.
Trust No One
It is hard to tell who you can trust when you are traveling with technology. Many people will try to log onto your computer or smartphone when you aren’t looking, take what they can, and then act as if nothing happened. Don’t let your devices out of your sight, and use passcodes and locks on all of your devices (and make them good). Trusting people is nice, but they have no reason to access your information.
About the Author:
Caroline Black is a writer and blogger at www.securethoughts.com who has travelled all over the world and has loved the opportunity to share her experience and knowledge with readers. Her other main topics of interest are internet security, new technologies, and smartphone development.