Vacation is a time to relax, a couple of days where you and your family can just turn off from the world and disconnect while you enjoy the people and places that make you happiest. Of course, as we all know by now even though every family wants to completely shut down all devices and just be in each other’s company on their next outing, that almost never turns out to be the case, which is why it’s important to use the best VPN for vacation whenever you get the chance!
Whether it’s the kids telling you they’re bored at the airport or your work trying to get you to sign off on an important email that can’t wait until Monday, the dream of actually disconnecting completely anywhere you go is more myth than reality.
Plus, as dangerous as it is just to sign into the public WiFi down at your local Starbucks [EDIT: Backlink opportunity], finding the best VPN for vacation is even more crucial because you never know who might be peering in on a network when you’re thousands of miles away from home.
Why Do I Need the Best VPN for Vacation?
To start, it’s helpful to know what a VPN can do for you and your family while you’re travelling. See, for every hotel you stay at, coffee shop you pass, or tourist trap you fall into, there’s going to be a whole new WiFi network waiting to link up with your device.
As we’ve discussed in previous articles, public WiFi can be a hotbed of hackers if improperly secured, and while larger chains or more recognizable destinations might have secure WiFi, all it takes is that one pitstop in a less-reputable area of the region you’re vacationing in to have your identity stolen.
Without a VPN the information you send over a wired or wireless connection can be easily intercepted by international or domestic hackers. Once stolen, it may only take a matter of a few hours before a hacker has completely drained your accounts, stolen your identity, and left you stranded with nothing in a foreign land.
It’s especially important to make sure all your information is as secure as possible whenever you’re in a new place, because all it takes is a couple of keystrokes to push a great vacation into chaos for you or anyone you’re travelling with.
Lastly, because of new data retention laws that have begun catching on like wildfire among developed nations, you never know how much of your information might be getting (100% legally) transferred to the servers of foreign governments.
Hackers Don’t Take a Vacation
As mentioned in the previous section, WiFi hotspots that are located around tourist destinations are one of the most popular targets for proficient hackers. Just as was the case with Starbucks, the key to a good hack is all about playing the numbers game: the more people that are fooled by a hacker’s fake network or captured by their packet sniffer in a certain amount of time, the more money they’ll inevitably make.
This means that tourists need to be extra careful whenever they’re visiting photo-worthy spots like the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, or Great Wall of China.
Hackers depend on foreigners using WiFi on vacations because oftentimes their data roaming rates are so high when they’re in another country, they’ll be more desperate to link up to any open WiFi they can find. It’s in this desperation is where hackers make the bulk of their money, because when you’re trying to connect back home over WiFi, 99% of us will take whatever we can get.
According to a recent survey from Statista, upwards of 39% of respondents said either they had been a victim of an identity theft attack while on vacation, or at the very least knew someone who was and suffered greatly as a result.
If you want to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to you while you’re in an unknown land, there are several steps you can take to be certain that regardless of what your data roaming rates are or what WiFi you’re connected to, you’ll never be left out in the cold (if you’re vacationing somewhere with snow, of course).
What Can I Do to Protect Myself?
The first, and most obvious solution on how to protect your devices on vacation is to never link up to any WiFi networks without the security of a VPN wrapped tightly around your connection.
A VPN with the latest in 256-bit AES encryption alongside the OpenVPN protocol can ensure that every site you log into, every email you send, and every online transaction you make will be protected from the moment it leaves your device.
This makes it so that even if a hacker did manage to get you to sign into a phony WiFi network or had a way to sniff your packets straight out of the air, all they would end up seeing is a garbled mess of text that won’t reveal its true secrets without the other half of its encryption key.
VPNs are a foolproof way to know that your family is safe from the threat of identity theft. And just like you should do everything you can to protect your finances while exploring an uncertain land (traveler’s checks, credit cards that can be canceled if stolen), you should be doing the same to protect your digital devices as they make the trip with you overseas.