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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

The growing importance of VPNs in travel safety

It’s the time of the year again where most people go out one last trip before the fall season ends, soaking up the last bit of sun before the chill of fall arrive. Or perhaps you’re planning on escaping the last bit of sun in favour of something more chilly in the mountains? Whatever your taste of adventure is traveling is a fun way to not only relax and unwind from work and life but also a great way to expand your mind with new sights and cultures to see. However with technology being more and more available and prevalent it becomes increasingly hard to travel safely. Hackers, fake wi-fi’s and social media becomes a fast target for prey, easily accessing your pictures, details of information and credit card access.

Traveling is the only expense you need to think about. Between jet setting from one city or beautiful scenic route to the other, extra payment on security might not be the first priority on your list. There are definitely Free VPN sites that are readily available to be used on mobile and on personal tablets and companies out there who are able to not only give you a free trial or free forever but also consider what you as a user need before handling you any extra bills. So spend that extra on legroom on the plane or an extra treat today! Take these tips, stay safe and savvy while seeing the world.

According to Chris Duvall the Senior Director of the Chertoff group, the global security group leading in technology explains that ever since the rise of technology, there has been more security reports than ever before. These digital security report can start very small a digital breach on your location but has the potential to physically harm people. He explains that small things like the location on your social media or sharing a wifi connection at a cafe during vacation for work emails can subject the user to being vulnerable for physical attacks. They can even find your locations through small events through facebook or popular meeting site, From there attackers can estimate how many victims they can potentially scam or worse harm physically in disguise as a friend online. Or even just a small email in your inbox.

Chris Duvall isn’t the only person who’s advising people who are travelling to be careful, according to executives from a VPN service, NordVPN explains that even if the attacker does not attack you physically at your location, small posts like “going on a vacation” with a location on from your home could signal to different thieves that your residence is empty. So while you are away at vacation, you might come back to a home broken in by the very culprit who saw your public profile on social media.

Personal devices are also a target. If you were to adhere to the advice above by Duvall such as not using the wifi from cafes or stores and turning off location on your phone and laptops your mobile would still put you in danger. Using features that connect you online like maps or work email through but using your mobile network data can still put you at risk. Unless you are completely out the grid from your phone and online would you be able to avoid these risks. But in today’s world being disconnected is hard, a work or family emergency might have a hard time contacting you while you are traveling.

This is not a discouragement in traveling of course the benefits from traveling has been proven scientifically to help workers from burnout, however the need for folks to be more than physically safe than ever needs to heed precautions. There are several ways to prevent data breach and remain safe during travel:

  1. Change all passwords into strong passwords before you leave
  2. Do not use shady wi-fi hotspots
  3. Turn of location and GPS on your phone or any electronics you have on hand
  4. Post social media pictures after the trip
  5. Use a VPN at all times

A VPN ensures that all users are protected due to their “true” incognito mode while traveling. Now VPNs are no longer bounded by just your desktop or laptop, but they are portable and readily available to use whenever, wherever you go. VPNs are great because of their constant data scrambling and it protects its user from mishandling any information that might be dangerous is distributed. It shields its user from hackers by giving them the server location rather than the actual location of the user, ensuring that no matter what activity the user is doing during their travels they are able to be connected online, share and be safe all in one go.

One thought on “The growing importance of VPNs in travel safety

  1. People, be smart, not cheap, security is not the thing worth saving. I wouldn’t suggest any free or shady VPNs. Do your research before buying, as I did. After reading many reviews, I purchased Surfshark VPN because it’s new (no scandals) but looked reliable, and having in mind that they grow so fast, makes me think that it’s gonna be the next big player on the market.

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