This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world in the best ways possible.
Cybersecurity is a topic that everyone around the world is concerned with. This is especially the case with large corporations that house a lot of data and which are vulnerable to infiltration threats by hackers. While we might not personally see ourselves as a target for cybercrime, the truth is that every time you log into a site and complete any kind of transaction, there is a possibility that someone could obtain your details and access your accounts. When it comes to social media, this could mean gaining access to your personal information. However, when it comes to online banking, or exchanging money online, you really need to be careful, wherever you are.
This is especially the case when you are traveling, and making use of public WiFi, or public facilities such as charging ports (which have led to increased instances of “juice jacking”). Therefore, to make sure that you protect yourself, especially when playing online, here are some points to be aware of.
The Importance of Cyber Security When Traveling
As anyone with experience in building or managing websites and social media profiles knows, it can be difficult to keep track of all of your passwords. However, by using the same passwords for multiple platforms, you are exposing yourself to risk. This is because the more of the same passwords you use, the easier it is for hackers to find a link between all of your online profiles.
For this reason, especially while traveling, it’s important to password lock your phone and all of your accounts. Even though you should be doing this already, it’s easy to become complacent when you’re used to using your own internet, and haven’t been “pwned” yet.
Besides the risk of physical theft, or losing your phone while traveling, password protection is also important when you’re online and playing games. For this reason, you should never share your password or username with anyone. To expand on this, you should also never include personal details in your username when playing online, as this could also make you vulnerable to people with ulterior motives.
Public WiFi Is A Risk
Many people might open their laptops and do their online banking while connected to the public WiFi at Starbucks, but this is risky. The simple reason for this is because while you’re logged into a public network, it’s easy for people with the will and expertise to harness all of your personal information if it’s not properly protected. For this reason, many people recommend using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This works by creating a safe space for you to play online, or make transactions on your banking profiles, without having to worry about people being able to access your information.
To provide some more details, a VPN encrypts your personal data so that it can’t easily be read by anyone. In addition, the VPN will reroute your internet connection through its own company servers, so it won’t show your IP address (which is another example of personal information you should be careful of sharing). Therefore, while you might not even think twice about logging into public WiFi, and may have done so many times in the past, it’s now more important, especially when you’re traveling and possibly logging into multiple public WiFi networks per day.
Be Careful When Sharing Information
We all know how exciting it can be when you’re on holiday and posting multiple pictures of you and your family or friends, and geotagging the location. In most instances, this might not result in anything happening, but who knows? The same applies to any kind of activity online, so it’s important to remember that when it comes to personal information, of any kind, it’s better not to volunteer information that could be used against you.
While it’s not necessary to be paranoid, it’s important to remember that all of the information you share online is permanent. Even if you think you have deleted it, there is bound to be a trace of it, or a copy of it, being stored on a data center somewhere. It’s a terrifying but sobering thought, in that you really need to take responsibility for your personal information, especially when you’re outside of your comfort zone.
More importantly, different countries have different laws when it comes to the ways in which they use data, so browsing online could be more risky depending on the location’s regulation on data usage and sharing. In particular, when it comes to gaming sites, always be sure to read the fine print, as some unscrupulous sites might share or sell your information.
As the above article has highlighted, if you spend a lot of time on the road, or you’re currently traveling, it’s very important to be aware of cyber security. Of course, you should also be aware of all of the above when you’re at home too, however, it’s understandable that you can start to get complacent.
As we’ve discussed above, there are many risks that come with passwords, public WiFi and sharing personal information, so it’s important to always be vigilant and aware of your cyber safety at all times, especially when playing online, and interacting with people that you don’t know.