Today, creators of online content can work from anywhere in the world. Travel bloggers and owners of sites manage their projects while on the move. They find it essential to be online and reachable 24/7, and the Internet allows it. But aside from the convenience, it brings its own special threats.
Awareness is key. Whether you have your own blog or not, you have to be aware of the numerous dangers lurking online, and the common vulnerabilities of users. Check out VPNBook Review, one of the useful tools that make our digital experience safer. But what exactly are the dangers that must be prevented?
Biggest threat when traveling: Public Wi-Fi
Traveling bloggers often resort to public Wi-Fi use. When staying abroad, it is inescapable, unless your mobile operator provides affordable roaming Net fees (which is extremely rare). We often gladly go online using airport or restaurant hotspots, completely oblivious to the potential threats.
The minds of cybercriminals, however, are far more devious than you may have thought. Basically, any password-free network is a potential gateway to the data on your device. Free Net surely looks inviting, but you should never overlook the downsides and recklessly expose your personal information.
Threat 1 – Beware of impostors
Some hotspots disguise themselves as legit, with names almost identical to the actual hot-spot operating at the same time. These are known as impostor networks, and their sole purpose is to transfer your sensitive data into the hands of fraudsters. In fact, everything you do online may be visible to the criminals running the hotspot.
Threat 2 – Potential leaks
Naturally, making payments through any unsecured hotspots is frowned upon, and these situations are exploited by hackers. A common threat is known as “man-in-the-middle attacks”. This refers to the situation when the network itself is legit, but penetrated by a malicious third party. If you enter any personal details, such as credit card digits, this data will be captured by the perpetrators and misused.
Threat 3 – No, you are not safe at home either
The nature of digital media dictates regular updates for the sake of retaining the audience’s attention. Due to our addiction as one of the effects of digital media, we simply cannot resist it. A travel blogger cannot avoid using the Net before returning home. Besides, using a home network does not guarantee full protection.
Unfortunately, with cybercriminal methods getting increasingly sophisticated, you may still be affected. At home, you may have a central Wi-Fi hotspot with all of your gadgets connected to it. If this single network is compromised, the effects will spread to all such devices. A router may be hacked, opening access to third parties with malevolent intentions.
Finally, the growing popularity of so-called smart home devices means that more and more gadgets in people’s homes are now controlled through the Net. We have intelligent baby monitors and cameras that watch our pets while we are away. Although convenient, these novelties are often vulnerable to external threats, and they could supply useful hints to burglars!
Can Anti-Virus Software Protect Me?
VPNs and virus-fighting tools are aimed at different types of threats. Naturally, the latter is indispensable for any person using the Net, but the former is no less important.
Let’s look at common anti-virus tools. Third-party interference may happen through malicious software (malware) installed on your machine, often against your will. Avoiding any kind of suspicious download is common wisdom. The program will spot any Trojans and other threats to your data, and it can quarantine and delete harmful files.
However, if you are using a compromised hotspot, you become the target for a whole new level of threats. Cybercriminals no longer need viruses to steal your data, and the tool that prevents them from messing with your computer through IP is VPN. Therefore, comprehensive protection must include both types of software obtained from reliable providers.
The Principle of VPN
So, how can a virtual private network solve these insidious problems? The software operates on the principle of redirection. Any device connected to the Net, whether it is a smartphone or a PC, is assigned its unique IP address. The latter may be changed with the help of a VPN program.
When your VPN is switched on, the data flows through a dedicated server. Meanwhile, your IP and therefore location, otherwise detectable to third parties, are replaced with another combination (usually, you can choose from several options). Thus, a user logging on from California can make it look as if they are based in Asia or Europe.
Moreover, every Net session is now encrypted. This means it is impenetrable for any malevolent third parties. With a VPN, you may rest assured that your data is protected, regardless of the hotspot in use.
No More Geographic Restrictions
Another aspect making VPNs indispensable for any traveling Net users is the opportunity to circumvent any regional restrictions. Governments of certain countries (e.g. China) deny locals access to Western resources. Hence, to share fresh content on your blog, you may need that IP substitution via a VPN.
Additionally, you will be able to stream media content (e.g. Netflix series) that is blocked in the region. Travelling is no excuse for missing an episode of your favorite show! Upload your Instagram stories and watch videos freely. That is, of course, if the VPN itself is trustworthy, which brings up the following point.
How to Choose a VPN
Today, full protection of privacy online is unthinkable without VPNs, and the choice of programs is wide. These often come with additional options and benefits. Some require a subscription, others do not.
Naturally, users love getting stuff for free. This, however, may be risky. Security is not an issue to save money on. Remember that a free VPN could leak your data to its creators, which only adds to the other dangers.
Given the affordability of most VPNs, you are guaranteed to get your money’s worth. Be sure to check several review sites and compare genuine user feedback before installing the program of your choice.