Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

Travel Tip : Use a reliable VPN when connecting to WIFI

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
Image by EFF Photos used under Creative Commons License

Image by EFF Photos used under Creative Commons License

As a security professional, I know the risks of using WIFI, particularly when using WIFI outside of work or home. It can open you up to an entire world of hurt from hackers and bad actors. They can steal information and trick you into visiting questionable websites.

But WIFI is how most hotels offer internet connectivity these days. WIFI allows you to connect to the wonderful world wide web when flying 30000 feet in the air using services like Gogo.

Instead of telling you *not to use wifi*, I’m here to tell you to protect yourself by using a VPN service (from a laptop, tablet or smartphone).

A good VPN service means your communication (between you and the VPN service provider) is encrypted which means bad guys snooping on WIFI won’t be able to steal your information. 

Using a VPN when connecting to WIFI means you are protecting your identify, you are protecting your sensitive information, you are ensuring bad people aren’t tracking you and you can visit geo-locked websites when abroad (HULU, Pandora, etc). I used a VPN when travelling in China to visit sites that would have otherwise been blocked and to conduct more sensitive tasks like banking.

There are a lot of VPN services out there and you have to remember that the VPN service you use *will see all of your outbound traffic* as they send it of to the public internet. You should pick a reputable company that ideally has a very minimum level of loging. 

My personal VPN service of choice is ProXPN. ProXPN has outbound locations around the world which is useful for accessing geo-locked content. ProXPN uses OpenVPN technology and works on all platforms (Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phones, etc).

ProXPN has a no loging policy, which I like. They have a VPNGuard feature for PCs and Macs that allows you to shut down any running app on the desktop if the VPN connection were to drop (this is useful for apps that must absotely be protected).

I am not paid by ProXPN and do not receive any compesation for recommending them. I am simply sharing my personal tool to help you guys/girls.