Some tips for online security while traveling

I'm planning to travel a lot and recently researched tips about online security, that I think might be worth sharing. One hacking method that can result in your facebook, twitter, gmail or any other personal information leak stood out as being frequently (and very easily) used: Fake WAP. It stands for Fake Wireless Access Point. It means that someone with malicious intent has set up a wireless network and hopes that you will connect to it. Most likely it will try to imitate a convincing wireless network name, for example, make it look like a legitimate hotel wireless network. Also works for restaurants, pubs, airports or any other location that would offer a free wireless connection. This is very dangerous, since once you're connected to such a network the hacker will be able to see your information flow, and if you make any logins to facebook, gmail or anything alike there's a big chance your private information will fall into the wrong hands. I have a few tips on how to secure your private information.

First, once you're in a hotel (or a restaurant, o or even a business center) double check their wireless network name and obtain the password. Feel free to go to the counter and ask for this information.

Second, avoid using sensitive data while connected to such a network. Avoid using your logins and passwords, most of all avoid making any payments or using any personal banking information.

Third, if you think you made an unsecure connection and used your personal data anywhere instantly terminate the connection and on the first occasion change the passwords you used.

Another thing that I'm setting up before I hit the road is a VPN. I researched Fake WAP hacks and one of the solutions I came upon is using a Virtual Private Network. For security reasons VPNs encrypt all online data, so even if the hacker obtains it he/she won't be able to decrypt it. I checked several VPNs like NordVPN, Zenmate, Mullvad, TunnelBear and a few others and I think I'll settle for NordVPN. I already downloaded the free 3 days trial and found it easy to use. Since I'll be traveling through several different countries I checked how many servers they have and was satisfied with the amount. Unfortunately, they don't have too many servers in countries like Thailand, Albania, Malaysia and so forth, but I suggest double checking NordVPNs server list in the countries you prefer. I haven’t noticed any significant speed drop while using it, reviews online were mostly positive too. I believe that regarding your personal information it's "better safe than sorry" and hope you find this helpful. Please feel free to leave any other tips for safe-traveling and thanks in advance!


  • Good post.

    Personally, I signed up for NordVPN, prior to my trip to China last year. My primary purpose was to bypass "The Great Firewall of China," which blocks access to Google-related sites (including gmail), among others. Using the VPN, and signing into an access point in another country, allows you to bypass their censorship (and monitoring?) I've maintained the subscription, and renewed it recently for 2 years at roughly $3/month. I also use it on my cellphone.

    I have a light weight laptop that I use exclusively for traveling. I don't have Quicken, or any other of financial software on it. And of course, access to the laptop is password protected, so if it's stolen, it can't be accessed.

    If you want to really delve into how you can be tracked and defrauded, an excellent book on the subject is, "The Art of Invisibility," by Kevin Mitnick, a former hacker (who did time in Fed prison), and now a security consultant.
  • I would never ever go to a link from someone posting for the first time on this forum.
  • We are going to Indochina (Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and just subscribed to ExpressVPN for our iPads, iPhones and Apple computers. I tried NordVPN however for some reason it dropped my speeds by 80%. The one I am using now seems great so far. It's worth researching using a VPN routinely and even when not traveling to remote areas.
  • I suspect that max is a spammer, just setting up an account for future use. What's the point of his two irrelevant posts?

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