We all love to travel. Whether it’s visiting new countries to explore and relax or to meet new business partners abroad. After international travel stood still for several months following the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of the population has been desperate to get out of their homes and back to travelling.
As exciting as it may be to head to the airport and jump on a flight, there are some important factors that are regularly overlooked, even by frequent flyers. Travelling can put your devices at risk, and the last thing you want to be dealing with on your travels is a cyber attack.
There are several important measures that you need to take before your journey, for example, you can use a VPN to keep your devices secure. If you’re unsure of the risks that you might be facing while travelling abroad, keep reading to find out why it’s so dangerous and how you can keep your devices as secure as possible.
Why is cybercrime so common while travelling
While we’re waiting at the airport, relaxing in our hotels or grabbing a cup of coffee from a restaurant our devices are more endangered than ever. What do all of these different locations have in common that puts our devices at risk?
The answer to this question might sound simple, but it’s overlooked so often that cybercriminals have made these locations their prime targets. The main factor that puts our devices at risk while we’re abroad is the WiFi.
The public WiFi hotspots at airports, hotels and restaurants might be cheap and convenient for travellers, but the problem is that the WiFi networks at these locations often aren’t secure. Unsecured WiFi networks are extremely dangerous, and hackers often use these networks to infiltrate devices that are using it at the same time.
Cybercriminals will be able to launch attacks on your device, such as a man in the middle attack for example. This form of cybercrime is common on unsecured networks, and this happens when the hacker inserts themselves in between the user and the website, allowing them to eavesdrop on your device.
The hacker will also be able to set up a fake website and steal your login information since this fake website is ‘in the middle’ of the user and the real website. For example, the cybercriminal might replicate a banking website and as users enter their login information the hacker will be able to capture it.
Use a VPN
In order to keep your devices protected from cyberattacks you need to make sure that you use the correct cybersecurity tools. One of the best cybersecurity tools that you can invest in when it comes to travelling is a premium Virtual Private Network, also known as a VPN.
A VPN will encrypt your internet connection, which makes it much more secure and this is especially important when you’re using a public WiFi hotspot. Browning the internet while having your VPN active will prevent anyone from seeing what you’re doing on your device. Not even your internet service provider will be able to keep track of your browsing history when you’re on your home network, which shows just how much privacy and security you get from a VPN.
Moreover, a VPN allows you to connect to a secure global server in another country or city around the world, which will hide your physical location from anyone who is trying to track it. This is also useful when you need to access websites that have been blocked by internet censorship or if you want to get access to all of your usual websites that might be unavailable due to geo-blocking while you travel.
Overall a VPN is not only important when it comes to security and privacy while travelling, but it’s also helpful to keep you connected to the internet in foreign countries. It’s important to avoid free VPNs as they have several drawbacks that will affect your browsing experience and the security you get from the VPN software.
Install antivirus software
Another important cybersecurity tool you should invest in is premium antivirus software. Antivirus software will constantly scan your device for any viruses, and if they have been discovered on your device, then the software can take action to remove them.
When using unsecured networks or browsing the internet from a foreign country it can be easy for your device to pick up viruses. Computer viruses can be extremely dangerous, and they can sometimes even destroy your device’s entire operating system.
It’s important to have antivirus software on your device, and again, it’s crucial to avoid free software and do thorough research behind the software that you are installing on your device. You want to ensure that your device gets the best possible protection.
Before you travel
You should ideally install both of these cybersecurity tools on your device before you travel. Sometimes you might find that these tools, specifically VPNs, might be blocked in foreign countries and you won’t be able to install the software on your device.
You should also make sure to check that all of your software is up to date. Always check that your device’s operating system and all of your cybersecurity tools have the latest firmware installed to ensure that they are protected as much as possible.
Software updates serve to fix any potential flaws that have been discovered in the software, and they can also sometimes be used to add new security features to the software or to your device, so it’s important to make sure that everything is up to date before you leave. It’s always a good idea to turn automatic updates on and ensure that you give your device the time it needs to download and install the necessary updates.
Once again, you must avoid free cyber security tools. For example, a free VPN has slower connection speeds, fewer global servers to choose from, and they have a daily data cap, which means that not only will you struggle to use the software on your device, but you also won’t be able to use the software for long enough to keep your device secure at all times.