During holidays, it is important to use the internet to obtain basic information, make bank transfers or keep in touch with friends. How can I use the internet safely on holiday? Just follow a few rules to make sure sensitive data never leaves your smartphone or laptop. Find out how you can protect yourself from potential risks while on holiday.
As we know there are different types of internet you can use. Atlantek Broadband provides Fibre Broadband and Wireless Broadband. Third type is mobile internet but using it abroad is usually quite expensive. Therefore, travellers often use hotspots in hotels or public hotspots. However, there are some risks if you do not follow certain rules.
Public Wi-Fi networks and free Internet are often vulnerable to hacking and data theft. It is best to connect to websites or transfer money when you are not connected to such hotspots.
Passwords for social networks, email accounts and bank details can be stolen. Many holidaymakers share important information when connecting to an unknown, open Wi-Fi network, which often causes more problems.
To be safe on holiday, avoid public networks. If you are not sure whether the connection is safe, it is advisable to limit internet access. Despite its high cost, mobile money transfer should be the first choice in some situations. On public networks, it is best to use only reliable access points, but that is precisely the problem: it is difficult for outsiders to judge whether the access point is safe enough and whether it belongs to a reliable company.
When to use public Wi-Fi?
Public Wi-Fi can help you find your way to the nearest restaurant or, at the weekend, information about nearby attractions.
Secure Wi-Fi on holiday
Use a VPN
If possible, use a VPN connection to make data transfers more secure. In the event of a hacker attack, your data is better protected and more easily accessible. You can read more about VPNs later in this article.
How do hackers work?
It is worth knowing how cybercriminals operate as you may come into contact with their activities, especially when you are on holiday abroad.
Cybercriminals often set up Wi-Fi networks, similar to public hotspots in hotels and restaurants, and access users’ data by connecting to these networks.
It is best to assume that free, public and secure Wi-Fi is virtually non-existent on holiday.
How does Wi-Fi work?
What is Wi-Fi? How does a wireless network work?
Principles of safe internet use on holiday
When you are on holiday, it is important that your data is safe, no matter where you are. Keeping these rules in mind will protect you from cybercriminals:
Turn off automatic scanning and connecting to Wi-Fi. Many smartphones have this option enabled by default.
On most smartphones there is a default setting which prevents the use of apps which do not need to be used while on holiday. In particular, do not connect to banks or social networks when connected to a public hotspot. All these apps should be paused or stopped during your absence.
If you use a laptop, equip yourself with a firewall and preferably an antivirus program (Windows 10 already has these features integrated).
Use strong and different passwords for each account: in case of a hacker attack, it will be more difficult to access the account.
Read more about creating strong and secure passwords.
Use a VPN connection if possible (but choose the right service in advance), so that all data sent over the network is encrypted and protected (including public hotspots).
Be careful with your phone: it is common for it to be stolen on holiday. It contains a lot of sensitive data that cybercriminals may try to access before you have a chance to unlock it or change the password. And you know it’s not that easy when you travel abroad.
Before you travel abroad, it’s best to delete all sensitive data you don’t need from your phone and back it up.
If you want to store data or passwords on your smartphone, it is best to use a suitable data encryption app (e.g. KeePassX) and a very strong password. Never store passwords in open files and notes.
Before you go on holiday, it’s a good idea to install a smartphone tracking app or activate the smartphone recovery function in case your smartphone gets lost or stolen. The right software can help you find it (for example if you leave your smartphone on the table in a restaurant) or lock and wipe your data if a thief tries to break in.
Secure Wi-Fi on holiday is all about sharing, so you can buy a big data plan and share it with the whole family from your phone so they can browse the internet safely.
Even trusted public networks can be hacked and user data stolen. You should only bank online or log into different websites if you are absolutely sure that the connection is secure. The rules for safe internet use during your holiday protect you from online threats if you follow them correctly.
Use a VPN – protect your data quickly and easily
When you’re on holiday, you can ensure your online safety by using a VPN. This technology means that the data you send is properly encrypted. Using a VPN is very simple and requires no special skills.
It is worth choosing carefully and deciding which VPN to use. There are many mobile apps, software or websites on the market that offer such services – both free and paid.
Paid VPN apps
Paid offers are usually the most effective. Rest assured that it doesn’t take just one hacking attack to steal sensitive data.
Which VPN should you choose? In case you need to discuss all available options, please send Atlantek Computers an email or just start with a quick call. View all VPN connections:
What is a VPN? Why should you use one and which one should you choose?
Why choose one VPN over another?
When you’re on holiday, you usually use your smartphone – you always have it with you. Before you go, you can buy a VPN service, install the app of your choice and use it when you want to connect to a public hotspot – even without sharing data.
A good VPN usually doesn’t cost much, and there are plenty of completely free apps on the market that will do the job for a few free days. Such an app is especially important if you are on holiday abroad. A VPN somehow guarantees secure Internet access while you are on holiday.