Keeping your data safe while traveling

Unhappy laptop user on beach

As we enter the summer people start to go away on vacations and visit sporting events like this year's World Cup in Russia, potentially exposing their digital devices and data to extra risks.

VPN advice service vpnMentor has produced a report looking at the particular risks travelers face and how they can protect themselves.

The biggest hazard comes from public Wi-Fi which leaves data open to interception. The report recommends avoiding the use of public Wi-Fi if you can, or if you have to use it do so through a VPN service.

It also warns about copycat access points that masquerade as ones that may seem familiar. They may use a restaurant name, for example. The recommendation here is to delete any stored networks on your device. When connecting to a network that appears to be one stored before, you could in fact be connecting to a rogue access point, leaving your personal information open to an intruder at the other end.

Among other things considered are what happens if border control staff ask to access your device? In this case it's recommended that you travel not with your main device but with a secondary one that contains only a minimal amount of sensitive data.

"While at home we may throw our wallet on the kitchen table and go into the other room, when out of the house we tend to keep an eye on it," says Ariel Hochstadt of vpnMentor. "Everyone knows that. But few people understand that, while they can connect to the Wi-Fi network at home with little worry, when using Wi-Fi in a hotel, restaurant, or even an airport, they should keep their digital belongings as safe as they do their physical ones."

You can read more advice for traveling with digital devices on the vpnMentor blog.

Image Credit: Creative Images / Shutterstock

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