Using the Internet and computing in general is becoming more mobilized with every passing day. You probably own several devices that you use for mobile access of the Internet—your Android or iOS phone, a tablet, or a laptop—and use these devices frequently. To do this requires that you connect to public Wi-Fi networks, many of which are unsecured and left vulnerable to identity thieves that are looking to steal your private data. A VPN from VPN-accounts.com can help you to remove risk and show you how to use Wi-Fi safely while traveling. In essence you can be a cyber ghost!
The popularity of mobile computing
When we talk about mobile computing we don’t just mean traveling to or even living in a different country, although that is something our expat customers do. We also mean traveling at home. Our society is mobile technology driven. The smartphones we use go everywhere we go. Our tablets are never far from hand. Laptops were created for the specific purpose of allowing a user to take their computer anywhere. Whether it is the local coffee shop or an Internet kiosk in a foreign region, using public Wi-Fi networks without the added security of a VPN can pose considerable security risks.
According to Technology Review, mobile computing is a trillion-dollar business and is spreading faster than any other technology in history. Whenever new technology is released there are a couple of groups that industry analysts look at to determine how relevant the technology will become. The first of these are called “early adopters” and represent the technophiles that seize upon all of the latest gadgetry. The second of these groups includes the so-called “late majority” that are slower to accept and embrace technology. What analysts study is the gap between these groups. A longer gap is indicative that consumers might be more hesitant to embrace the technology. A shorter gap indicates more relevancy. The gap between the two groups is comparatively small when it comes to mobile technology. Translation: individuals are ready and willing to use devices that allow them to access the Internet on the go.
Wi-Fi— the Internet at large
Being able to access the Internet while traveling with a mobile device mostly depends upon the usage of public, unsecured Wi-Fi networks. What is Wi-Fi?
The very definition of Wi-Fi should be enough to give security-conscious computer users a chill. It is precisely defined as “a facility allowing computers, smartphones, or other devices to connect to the Internet or communicate with one another wirelessly within a particular area.” Notice the area of that definition we italicized. We’ll be coming back to that shortly.
Without getting too bogged down in techno-speak, Wi-Fi is local area wireless technology that allows a mobile device to participate in computer networking. This means that anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device…and they all are these days…can join the network and access the Internet. While it is certainly possible for a Wi-Fi network administrator to secure their network via a password that is required for access, the reality is that most of them don’t. You can simply stroll into a fast-food restaurant, order your meal, and sit down and connect. This type of Wi-Fi network is what we call unsecured, meaning that there are no controls over who is using it.
Now, two things to be aware of. First is that italicized sentence we mentioned earlier—communicate with one another. This simply means that anyone on an unsecured public Wi-Fi network can potentially access your data. While some forms of rudimentary encryption are in fact used on Wi-Fi networks, the stories are legend of hackers that have managed to infiltrate someone’s device via Wi-Fi.
Secondly, the indoor range of Wi-Fi is estimated to be around 20 meters or 66 feet, farther if using a mobile hotspot outdoors. 66 feet is a long way. Long enough to allow some unscrupulous individual to sit in the parking lot or in a back booth of the restaurant and try to infiltrate your system without you ever having a clue.
How to use Wi-Fi safely
The answer to using Wi-Fi safely while traveling is actually very simple and affordable—a wifi VPN. Not only will a VPN encrypt your connection and make it invisible to prying eyes, it will also allow those traveling in foreign countries to unblock websites and applications that are restricted.
Our VPN’s are affordable, too. A month of service can actually cost you less than that latte and pastry you just bought at the coffee shop. They will taste a lot better, too, if you know that using the coffee shop Wi-Fi no longer poses a security threat because you are connected to a VPN server.
Avoiding unsecured Wi-Fi networks just isn’t practical. If you travel, at some point you are going to need to use one of these networks to connect. Be proactive and use one of our many service options to get the VPN you need now and reduce the risk of having your personal privacy violated.
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