When going on vacation, you should be able to relax and let your hair down. But, chances are you won’t really stay offline while you’re traveling. You will probably be connecting to hotspots and various public Wi-Fi networks in cafes, parks and airports just to catch up with the news, stay in the loop with work and post photos on your social media.
The bad news is that this makes you more susceptible to spyware and identity theft. Just because you’re taking some time off doesn’t mean the hackers are. In fact, you are much more vulnerable and more likely to be targeted as a tourist in a foreign country. And it’s not very comforting to know all the creative ways hackers can abuse your personal information.
So here are 3 eco-friendly hacks to protect your online identity on a trip while staying mindful of the planet.
1. Leave Your Devices At Home
Don’t worry, we don’t mean all of them. But, let’s face it, you probably won’t need your laptop, tablet and smartphone while you’re on vacation. You’ll need one or two of those. So, make sure to pack smart and leave all unnecessary devices out of your suitcase.
The fewer gadgets you’re using, the less exposed you are. Plus, you will make your luggage much lighter and thus reduce your carbon footprint on the trip. Keep that in mind next time you’re packing.
2. Prepare Your Phone
Before you leave on vacation, take at least half an hour to prepare your phone for the trip. Update the system and all the apps, clear your browser history, download the apps you will need there and remove those you won’t. Make sure file sharing is disabled and Bluetooth is switched off. This will help you save energy by boosting your battery life and make your device much less prone to spyware.
Set up strong passwords and two-factor authentication on all services you intend to use on vacation, especially if you’re planning to access your financial accounts.
And finally, transfer all the necessary files such as maps, passport and insurance copies to your phone so you don’t have to waste your battery and risk exposure while file sharing through suspicious networks.
3. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
As soon as you connect to a public Wi-Fi you become extremely exposed to hackers and snoops. So, the best way to be protected is just to stay away from public Wi-Fi altogether.
However, this is hardly a realistic scenario. When you’re abroad, avoiding public Wi-Fi networks is almost impossible. You will probably need some on-the-spot navigation, you’ll need to reply to an urgent email or you won’t resist posting an Instagram story.
That’s why the next best thing you can do to protect your online identity is use a trustworthy VPN service. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your connection which means that all your data is hidden from anyone trying to access your device through the network. By protecting you from malware, VPN also proves to be an eco-friendly solution because it prolongs your gadgets’ lifespan.
Stay Green, Stay Safe
When it comes to Internet safety, just one moment of in-caution could ruin your whole vacation. Follow these hacks to stay green and protect your online identity while traveling so you can stop looking over your shoulder and focus on making great memories.