There are certain things you should avoid doing on an open network when traveling abroad.
It can be expensive to use the internet abroad, and by that it is simple and easy to connect to an open wifi network at the café, hotel or in the airport. Then you are again connected with the rest of the world.
But you better think twice about what you are doing, because you never know if it is only you using the connection.
As a matter of fact, you never know who is behind an open network, and why it is open.
Almost every place you go, it is possibly to find free access to the internet, and many are using those because it is easy and convenient, and they often have a name very similar to the place you are staying at, but you can almost be sure that somewhere near you, someone is sitting and collecting all the data you are transmitting.
If the network are open, it means that you never know who did set it up, and the data that you are transmitting are not being encrypted, and that means that others can follow all your digital moves.
It is more or less the same as if someone are looking over your shoulder, and are able to see everything that you do. However, it should be emphasized that it is not all open networks where people sit and follow what happens, but one should take their precautions.
If you need to get online when you are abroad, use a network where you get the code handed out, for example, at the hotel. If you are a place where the code is on the wall, as it is seen many places in SE Asia, you should think twice, because everyone has access.
You can easily use the open network as long as you do not do anything that leaves sensitive information to others. If it's just the weather forecast or today's news, no damage will occur. If, on the other hand, it is the mail inbox, Facebook or the online bank that lures, I would never use an open network.
It can still be expensive to call or use data on the mobile phone when abroad. And access to data are one of the main reasons to bring the cell phone. To be able to access services like Facebook and Twitter, in order to share your experiences and keep track of what's happening back home.
In many countries you can buy a tourist sim, which will give you the data you need for a limited period, which can be as low as 3 days. On my last trip to Bangkok, i got a sim card with unlimited data for 7 days, at the price of 2 beers in a bar in Denmark, so there's no reason not to use that solution, and keep your data safe.
- Never use an open network to log on to your mailbox, Facebook account or online banking
- Make sure that all your units are having the latest security updates
- Make backup of your data
- Keep an eye on your phone or iPad, don't leave it on the table
- Consider using a VPN service if you do not want to leave digital footprints
Keep safe, and happy traveling
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