Cybersecurity is becoming a popular topic, including the myriad of security software available to users. Everyone knows what an anti-virus is. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know the term “malware.” But what about Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)?
VPNs have increased in popularity over the past decade because of their ability to encrypt data and mask IP addresses. But what relevance do VPNs have when traveling? And why should soon-to-be travelers have a VPN ready at all times?
3 Reasons to Use a VPN While Travelling
Security: Accessing Public Networks
Unless your phone service offers mobile hotspot capabilities, you’re going to be stuck using a public network for the majority of your trip. Hotels, cafes, stores: all these places allow users to log into their public network with little restriction. However, public networks are constantly scrutinized for their lack of security.
See, cybercriminals thrive on public networks, scouting for potential victims and stealing their data. If you want to stay safe while using a public network, whether at a hotel or a local café, you’ll need a VPN. Using a VPN allows you to encrypt your device’s data and mask your IP address, making you invisible on the network.
Convenience: Keeping Your Bank Account from Being Frozen
Your bank cares about your security. After all, if a criminal were to log into your account, they could drain your account and leave you penniless. As a result, banks track when and where accounts are being accessed, and if you access your bank from a location hundreds of miles away from your home, they may freeze your account.
With a VPN, however, you can route your connection through servers located near your home. Accessing your bank account with a local connection means your bank won’t be suspicious of criminal activity. Hence, they won’t freeze your account.
Media: Accessing Content Unavailable in your Area
The content you’ll have access to varies from country to country, and there may come a time when you turn on Netflix and realize you can’t continue that show you were watching. Other countries, like China, heavily restrict what you can and can’t access as well, meaning you may find yourself without access to normal sites like Twitter, Instagram, and vice versa.
Because VPNs route your data through servers located in a country of your choosing, you’ll be able to bypass any geographical restrictions present.
A VPN is more than a niche security tool—it can be the difference between a convenient, fun trip and an absolutely devastating one. From protecting you when using public networks to making sure you can use your bank card without issue, VPNs are near-necessary for most vacation-goers nowadays.