As a long-term traveller in Australia, I know how important it is to stay safe using the internet. We are constantly exposed To all the recent online scandals about data breaches and potential identity theft. So, protecting our privacy online when travelling should be our priority number one.
When we travel, we need to access the internet for all those important things like checking travel arrangements, flight details, hotel bookings, or simply writing emails and using social media. In this article, I share tips on how to get a secure internet connection when travelling and more.
Things to know about using the internet safely
While it’s pretty easy to get free internet access while travelling, there are also risks that you must consider when using unsecured wi-fi. The truth is that most public wi-fi networks are unsecured, so the chances of having your devices infected by hackers, viruses, or malware increase dramatically.
That’s why we must be aware of the many threats that lurk online and take the utmost care when using a public connection to access the internet on the go. While there are ways to protect your phone and laptop and stay safe on the internet, the worst scenario is when you need to use a public computer at airports, in internet cafès or in hotel lounges. Over many years of travel, I have been experimenting with different things and the basic rules for using the internet safely and protecting my most important personal information.
When browsing the Internet from a public wi-fi connection for shopping, banking or checking your mail, keep your login data, such as passwords and credit card details, safe and secure throughout the Internet session. But how do you protect yourself wisely from identity theft?
Internet Safety Rules and Tips
These easy steps will help you secure your personal information for internet access while travelling.
Get A VPN
What is a VPN? A VPN is a Virtual Private Network that lets you create a private intermediate connection with others on the internet. So, to say, a peer-to-peer interface. This is by far the most popular way to protect your data. This is a paid option, and a good VPN service is not cheap. A yearly subscription ranges between 100-190 dollars.
Use Credit Cards with OPT
It’s highly advisable to use cards with OPT. Most credit and debit cards come with this one-time password functionality, a 3D card security. You must enter a unique code (numbers) to confirm your transaction whenever you purchase something online. This is delivered to your phone or through a personal device like a token. Be careful that some sellers may only accept online payment through credit or debit cards supporting One-Time-Password. Setting up an OPT for all your cards is a good idea if you haven’t yet.
Set up a two-steps-verification
For all your most important accounts and those that you use regularly. Next to banking and Mail accounts, you may include Social Media Accounts, your Apple ID, and Google. Apple has recently introduced the automated double authentication practice, which may sound awkward but aims to increase your safety online.
Browser protection acts as a VPN, allowing you to access the internet through a cloud browser. It protects you from unsecured wi-fi networks such as hotels, airports, and internet cafes when accessing the internet. Moreover, it allows you to access Facebook and Google in countries like China and other Asian countries where they are banned. Cocoon browser protection is a free download, and you can use it on your desktop and laptop. The free version is best suited for travelling, but you can upgrade to paid plans if you need more functionality.
Safety Tips For Browsing Online
Avoid using public computers in internet cafes.
When you access your private accounts like home banking, writing emails, or shopping online, use the incognito browser to clear the browser cache, history, and cookies. Each time you start a new internet session, avoid having your personal information stored on the computer. Another way to protect your data and privacy is by downloading an internet protection browser like Cocoon. These steps will allow you to browse with peace of mind and keep all your personal information private and secure without leaving any tracks on the computer.
Create strong passwords for all your online accounts.
Make sure you don’t store your passwords on your mobile and laptop. Instead, keep them on a USB key or, if you can, don’t store them at all. Instead, try to create strong passwords that are easy to remember.
Deactivate all active file-sharing options on your devices, like Airdrop and Bluetooth.
These automatically enable publicly sharing files or images stored on your mobile and computer. If a hacker uses files to inject malware into your computer, that would be a getaway.
Conclusion about online safety
Caution when browsing on the internet is never enough, unfortunately. We all should always follow the best practices and keep ourselves updated about the best ways to protect our privacy on the internet. So, to wrap it up:
- Be aware of your environment when accessing the internet through a public, unsecured wi-fi network. Prefer your own devices to public computers. Use a VPN for anonymous browsing.
- Use leading-edge protection when shopping or using sensitive data by creating strong passwords and two-step verification.
- Use credit cards with a 3D security process to make safe and secure purchases online whenever possible.
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