Travel App Review Series by Jon—the Roaming Husband
Should I protect my data when I travel? YES, YES, and HELL YES!! Criminals and hackers are very smart people and in today’s data-driven society, if you don’t protect yourself, you are a sitting duck. Criminals aren’t the only thing to be concerned with though. Every single website you visit tracks your IP (essentially your computer’s home address) and records your data. This is why you will get ads for things that you just searched for. According to The Economist (May 6, 2017), data overtook oil as the world’s most valuable resource. The best way to protect your personal data at home and while traveling is with a virtual private network (VPN).
What is a VPN? A VPN encrypts data at the sending point and decrypts data at the receiving point. The key to a VPN is that it lends you a temporary IP address while hiding your true IP from every website that you connect with. It gives you a private connection to any website that you connect to and keeps your online activity between you and the sites you decide to visit. What makes it a network is that you are using VPN servers from all corners of the planet.
Some people think that they don’t need to hide their identity online because they aren’t doing anything illegal. Believe it or not, the Roaming Historian herself felt this way until she couldn’t keep up with her favorite television programs overseas. Being able to temporarily alter your IP and having all of your data encrypted has many advantages, one of them is unblocking regional content. Because I installed a VPN on my tablet, I was able to connect to a server in the United States thus allowing us to access our paid subscription services from Italy. Being able to unblock regional content is cool and all, but what’s even cooler is not having to worry about accessing your bank account from overseas. Without using a VPN you have no idea who can see your accounts and passwords when you are online with an unfamiliar network.
I would like to make it clear that I have no affiliation with any VPN company. The VPN that I currently use is Turbo VPN. Turbo has two versions, one that is free and one that costs $36 per year. I use the free version, but am trying to convince the Roaming Historian to upgrade. The benefits of the paid version are as follows:
- Faster connection with no throttling
- More worldwide servers to connect through
- Allows for up to five devices to be connected
- No ads (frankly, this isn’t a big deal though)
To conclude, I highly recommend that you protect your personal data. After all it is your data that some corporations profit from and that others just want to steal.
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