Staying safe overseas is one of the biggest challenges travellers face, but the threats aren’t all about money changing scams and train station muggings. Digital crime is unfortunately on the increase and as most travellers want to stay connected while abroad, taking steps to prevent this is essential. Enter the Virtual Private Network – AKA a VPN. It’s a method usually used by large corporations to protect sensitive data, but handily the technology can also be used on a smaller, more personal scale to provide security and privacy when using the internet while globetrotting too! Here’s our top three reasons why you should use a VPN when travelling…
It increases privacy
Of course we’re assuming that all our readers are good citizens, but even if you’re not using the internet for shady reasons, internet privacy is always the preferred option! In the early days of using the internet, user privacy was usually a given, but sadly things are very different today – mainly because the business model of the internet now centres on data collection. Here is where a VPN can come in handy as one of its main functions is to basically hide your web activity, cloaking your browsing (and other digital affairs) in an encrypted layer, making your communications much more difficult to read if intercepted.
You can evade hackers
With digital threats ranging from Wi-Fi spoofing to Firesheep attacks, using public networks really is like swimming with sharks. If you’re accessing the internet remotely you could be putting your data and – if you’re travel bloggers like us – job at risk too. If you’re planning to use Wi-Fi at a hotspot when abroad, you can’t really be sure of its security credentials, and who else may be using it for unsavoury means. A VPN will ‘mask’ your internet traffic from nasty hackers or malicious attacks, making your digital activities a great deal safer – you certainly shouldn’t be using public Wi-Fi in places such as an airport or coffee shop without one!
You can bypass online restrictions
Depending where you’re travelling to, you could find yourself in a country where some websites are censored and blocked. A VPN will enable to get round this by allowing you to tunnel your traffic through an encrypted connection to a server in a different country and come out on the other side. As well as tackling the issue of censored and restricted websites, a VPN enables you to visit your favourite websites and services wherever you are in the world! They’re the perfect solution if you’re desperate to watch your favourite TV shows while abroad as they air back home (instead of having to wait for translations or re-broadcasts).
A VPN is incredibly easy to setup on your laptop or smart phone, affordable (HideMyAss! offers a package for a very reasonable £4.99 per month) and they have more servers in more countries than any other VPN provider. For more information about the service head to the HideMyAss! website – www.hidemyass.com
This is post bought to you in partnership with HMA