If you’re the kind of person who prefers to be on the move, chances are the internet is essential to how you make a living. Research compiled by the folks from Biznology has shown that the number of people who identify as “digital nomads” has increased dramatically since 2019, with around 15 million United States citizens alone subscribing to the moniker. This is partly due to the simple fact that the mass shift to remote working means that we are less tethered than ever to one specific, fixed location when it comes to working. Meanwhile, popular destinations such as Thailand, Argentina, Estonia, and Barbados have been aggressively marketing their own digital nomad visas, allowing tech-savvy workers to up sticks and move to some of the most beautiful localities in the world, without having to quit their day jobs. If you’re planning on traveling while you work in 2022, safety is paramount. The internet is your lifeline, your entertainment, and your way of making a living. That’s why you should be aware of the specific cybersecurity concerns that affect digital nomads so that you can protect yourself against them. With that in mind, here are our top online safety tips for digital nomads in 2022.
Always use a VPN- Online Safety Tips
This is the golden rule of globetrotting cybersecurity, one that any seasoned digital nomad will be quick to tell you. Many countries around the world have very different laws and restrictions on the internet that you might not be aware of. Such rules can impact your ability to watch your favorite streaming sites, or worse, they can prevent you from accessing the sites you need to complete your work. Workaround this by installing a quality and trustworthy VPN. Believe us, it is usually better to opt for a paid VPN rather than an unreliable free app.
Avoid internet cafes- Online Safety Tips
The image of the flustered and sleepy traveler slumped over ramen and a red bull in a neon-lit internet cafe is a classic trope of backpacking and digital nomads. However, these days, it is better to leave internet cafes alone. This is especially true if you need internet access to work or conduct any activity that involves your financial details. Internet cafe computers store a surprising amount of every user’s information, leaving it waiting around for the next person to see. What’s more, internet cafes are increasingly used to target backpackers and travelers with malware and scams, as we’ve previously reported here on Techy Info. It is better to just stay clear.
Consult expert review sites when spending money online
If you are using any local website to spend money online, you should consult third-party review sites that can verify whether a local site is safe to use. This includes online shopping websites, food delivery sites, and online real money gaming sites. To use the latter example, let’s say you were in Thailand and wanted to play some online poker. Before doing this, you should consult an independent review site like AsiaBet, which offers trustworthy information on which Thai casinos to trust and which ones to avoid. This simple bit of due diligence can go a long way towards protecting you from scams and malicious sites.
Swerve public WiFi
Even in a country you know and are familiar with, public WiFi is best avoided at all times. A huge number of public WiFi options are fake and are often created by criminals, who are able to hack a person’s device after they connect to their network. Fake public WiFi scams proliferate in many parts of the world, with several notable incidents occurring in the likes of the US, Mexico, France, and the UK.
Even if a public WiFi network looks legit and has been classified by your device as safe, you are better off avoiding it. Ideally, you should just set up a hotspot on your phone, or use password-protected WiFi from your hotel or a cafe.
Make yourself un-connectable
Finally, digital nomads should take all necessary steps to make it impossible for a stranger to connect to your device. This means turning off Bluetooth when you are using your internet as a basic prerequisite. You should also deactivate all public file-sharing options, such as Airdrop. Make sure to disable auto-connect on all devices while you’re at it. This very simple step will remove one of the main avenues through which cybercriminals attempt to target unsuspecting travelers.
When you’re abroad, you should always be paying heightened attention to your surroundings. This is equally true within the digital realm, so follow these easy tips to stay cyber-safe on your travels.