The internet has brought many wonderful things to life, in particular for international travelers. Before, when you traveled abroad, it would be incredibly difficult to keep in touch with your friends and family back home. You also would have to make sure that you knew exactly where you were going, and in the event that you got lost, it would be much more of a crisis. Today, technology allows international travelers to instantly communicate with loved ones in a different country and to move more freely and spontaneously while traveling. In these ways, it is undeniable that technology has enhanced international travel.
On the other hand, there are downsides to these advancements. While we can now access internet pretty much anywhere in the world, this constant connectedness comes with risks. One such risk that travelers in particular are susceptible to is identity theft.
The Risk of Online Identity Theft
When you picture someone committing identity theft, it might bring to mind someone rooting through the trash to find discarded personal documents. However, just as we have all benefited from the evolution of technology, unfortunately, so have thieves. Today, most criminals looking for your personal information turn to the internet, where a plethora of information about you lies that they can take to replicate your identity. Scammers might use your name to take out fraudulent loans or partake in other illegal money-making schemes.
Why Are Travelers at Risk for Identity Theft?
When you are traveling abroad, it’s natural for you to want to connect to the internet. After all, that is how you are going to stay in touch, access GPS, learn about the country you’re in, and enjoy the wide array of other benefits that technology supplies when you’re traveling. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to use the internet while you’re abroad—the issue is with the internet connection most travelers need to use. Most travelers, in an attempt to avoid roaming charges, use public WiFi networks to connect. These seem like an easy and simple way to connect to the internet, but they carry with them a big risk.
Public WiFi Connections: What’s the Harm?
The trouble with public WiFi hotspots is that the networks are open. This means that they aren’t encrypted and anyone who is using the network at the same time as you can see your data. This means that whether you’re entering a password, paying for something online, or signing up for a newsletter, a sneaky hacker could easily intercept this information to steal your identity. This isn’t a lengthy process, so it doesn’t matter if you are only online for five minutes, you could still be impacted. For example, all a hacker would need to know is your password to access your email, and imagine the damage they would do with that.
Even more diabolically, some cybercriminals take it to the next level to prey on unsuspecting travelers by setting up rogue hotspots. These wireless networks are set up solely to trick you into connecting and giving a hacker access to your data. They are often named in such a way that implies they are a company you can trust, and they make it easy for you to accidentally connect. Once you are connected, these thieves can steal your identity without you even realizing it.
Sapphire MiFi: The Best Solution
As scary as this can be for international travelers, you don’t have to let this fear dictate what you do on your trip. A simple way to make sure your data is safe as you surf the web is by using a portable WiFi, such as the Sapphire MiFi. When you have Sapphire, you don’t have to worry about connecting to a public WiFi network and potentially putting yourself in the path of sneaky cyberthieves. By having your own hotspot, you know that no one is connecting to the same network as you, allowing you greater peace of mind as you Skype with your family or book a bus tour online. Sapphire works by connecting to the fastest carrier at any given moment, ensuring you get coverage wherever you go.
Identity theft is a real threat, but when you take the proper precautions before your trip, you don’t have to worry about it nearly as much. Don’t stress about using the internet when you are traveling abroad; invest in Sapphire MiFi today!