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Safely connected abroad

Free Public WiFi is a blessing when you're travelling, but is it safe?

Think twice before you connect to an unknown WiFi when overseas. If you think your hotel’s WiFi is more secure, it’s probably not. Their job is to offer you comfort, not cybersecurity, so they typically put little to no effort in protecting their guest network.

WiFi is indispensable for travellers today. We need it to book hotels, trips, experiences, and stay in contact with with our family and friends. Even maps and travel itineraries are mostly online these days.

For travellers who wish to stay connected to public WiFi, there are some ways to keep safe.

Don’t join new networks blindly

Chances are cybercriminals often lurk on unprotected networks. There have been cases where hackers create rogue hotspots to trick unsuspecting travellers.

If you notice 2 similar WiFi names, check with the hotel’s staff which is the real deal. It is important to avoid logging into your banking accounts while on public WiFi.

Enable firewall before travelling

Most operating systems today have a built-in firewall, which keeps outsiders from going through your computer’s data. A firewall is easy to enable -simply check your system preferences or control panel instructions. The firewall will not completely protect from hacks but it is a useful tool if used in combination with other security- enhancing services.

Log into VPN

Travellers should consider using a VPN abroad as it encrypts traffic flow between the internet and a user’s device and helps hide the IP address.

Check if the website address includes ‘https’

Only access websites that have URLs starting with “https”. The ‘s’ means that it is a secure protocol and your data is encrypted properly. using https sites is especially important if you are paying for hotels, trips or flights using credit card details.

Don’t forget antivirus

Use an antivirus software at all times to protect your work from malware. Using an antivirus only is not enough to keep your system secure. A hacker can check if the antivirus will detect malware and if so, they can easily modify the malicious code and try again.

 

–  The Star

 

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