As the summer season draws near, millions of people around the world are preparing to jet off to exotic locations they’ve been daydreaming about all year. Unfortunately, that long-sought precious time of the year can take a turn for the worst if you’re not careful.
No matter how remote the location, the crushing majority of travelers will certainly pack their laptops, cell phones, and tablets. Data roaming costs have been decreasing, but travelers will still jump at any chance to enjoy some free WiFi. But with free WiFi comes a substantial increase in risk. So, for you to enjoy that vacation, here are the top ways that you might be exposed when traveling.
That’s an obvious one. Accessing public WiFi networks if incredibly risky. The encryption standard on all modern WiFi networks, known as WPA2, has a massive flaw. Basically, anyone near you can easily access your information. Hackers can position themselves between you and the connection point allowing them to access all the information you send out – be it emails, phone numbers, or credit card information.
What you can do though to limit the risk is to enable the “Always Use HTTPS” option on websites that you’re visiting, namely all sites that require you to enter any type of credentials
Another recommended trick is to turn off sharing. Go to the system preferences or control panel, depending on your OS.
This is perhaps the most volatile situation, be it in the hotel lobby or at an internet cafe, you have no way of telling what’s on that computer. Phishing software and keyloggers could very easily be nestled in that machine you are using.
The only tip we can give you here is to avoid public computers at all costs, and if you have to use one, never input your username, password, or any other sensitive data.
This one is trickier. Soon as you check into your hotel, you’re probably going to quickly check up on your messages. From your hotel room, you log in, surf, catch up on emails, and maybe nap before heading off to explore the city. A few days down the line, you might start receiving emails from various social platforms telling you that your accounts have been compromised. Here’s what happened: your phone inadvertently accessed a duplicate hotspot.
There is software out there designed to impersonate your stored wireless networks. Now your outbound information is completely exposed to the person that set up the phony hotspot.
One Solution to Rule Them All
Want a quick fix for all those problems? Install a VPN. Virtual private networks do a great job at obfuscating your location, but they also carry military grade encryption. This means that all the data that might pass through your fake hotspot or public connection will look indecipherable to anyone intercepting it.
Want our recommendation? Go for ExpressVPN. It is fast, very fast actually, reliable, and highly secure. ExpressVPN uses state of the art encryption, employing all the major protocols (such as OpenVPN, the latest and safest VPN protocol). It boasts an easy and clean interface; connecting to the network is as easy as clicking a few buttons. Finally, the service also offers a 30-day money back guaranteed grace period, meaning that if you’re unconvinced of the service, you’ve got a whole month to opt out and it will cost you nothing.
Want more options? Make sure to check out our picks for the top 5 VPNs below. Safe travels!
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