The internet has very quickly become fundamental to our daily lives. Many businesses are dependent on being able to access the internet, and when you’re traveling, safe and reliable internet access can become even more important.
This PDF guide has been designed specifically to help you use the internet safely whilst you travel. You’ll find advice on using public or shared devices, what information you should or should not access on a public WiFi network, and why creating a temporary travel email address is a very good idea.
So, sit back, brew a cup of coffee*, and enjoy your free PDF guide on how to use the internet safely.
*other beverages are available
If you are planning to use the internet when travelling, you have plenty of options available to help you stay connected. If you are planning to use a smartphone, tablet or laptop, then you will need to ensure that you are connected in some way to the internet.
You can connect to the internet with WiFi, or with your phone’s mobile data. Most data providers also offer a dongle that you can connect to your device to access the internet. Any of these options, so long as they allow you to access the internet in the country you’re visiting, are fine.
However, as you’ll read later in the guide, you need to take care when using WiFi, especially in cafés or restaurants. If you’re planning on using mobile data or a dongle, it’s important to research how much it will cost, and how much data you can use – you can get this information from your mobile data provider.
Different data providers will offer different travel plans, so it’s a good idea to shop around and find the package that best fits your travel plans.
Some countries will restrict what you can access on the internet. This could be something as simple as filtering explicit content, but it can extend to blocking certain social media channels or news sites.
It’s important that you understand what you can and cannot access on the internet in the country you’re visiting. In some countries, accessing restricted content might result in significant legal consequences, including jail time.
If there are internet restrictions at your destination, you might find it difficult to stay in contact with your family or your organization. It’s important that you have some level of contingency plan in place to ensure that, if your normal communication tools aren’t available, you still have a way of staying in touch.
Using a Shared or Public Computer
If you’re not taking a device with you that can connect to the internet, you will need to find a shared or public computer. There might be shared computers or tablets available at your hotel, or you may need to find an internet café at your destination.
If you do need to use a shared or public device, it’s imperative that you are very careful about what information you share or access whilst using it. Using a search engine on a public computer is fine, but you should always look to avoid logging into your personal email or social media accounts. You should also avoid entering sensitive information – such as your date of birth or your bank details – into a shared computer or tablet.
Most web browsers have a private or ‘incognito’ mode available. This will remove your browsing history from that device on you’re done, and will also stop the device from storing cookies after your session. If it’s absolutely necessary for you to access or share your personal information on a public device, this would be the safest way of doing so.
These same rules apply to using an open or unsecured WiFi network. Ideally, if you’re using a WiFi connection to access the internet, you should only use WiFi networks that are secured with a password. Even then, it’s important to consider if the network provider is credible.
It’s also important that you understand and follow your organization’s policy for using the internet whilst you travel.
If you need to access emails whilst you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to create a new, temporary email address for the duration of your trip. You can get your emails forwarded from your normal address to your temporary one, so you don’t miss anything important whilst you’re traveling.
Whilst this isn’t necessarily essential, it is a good idea. Setting up a temporary email address gives you a way of communicating with your family or your organization without giving away access to your personal details or information.
Setting up a temporary email address does become important if you’re planning on using a shared or public device to access the internet. As explained earlier in the guide, you want to avoid inputting your personal email login details on a public device, so using a temporary email removes that risk entirely.
There you have it! Your guide to using the internet safely whilst you travel. Just to finish, here’s a brief summary of the tips and advice in the guide.
1) Make sure that the device you’re traveling with is able to access the internet, and that you know how much it might cost to access the internet at your destination
2) Research your destination to find out if there any restrictions on internet access there, and have a plan in place to ensure you can stay in touch with your family or organization
3) If you’re using a shared device, or accessing the internet on an unsecured WiFi network, avoid entering any personal or sensitive information, and avoid accessing sensitive or commercially sensitive documents
4) Create a new, temporary email address for the duration of your trip
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. All of the information in this guide has been taken from our Travel Safety learning solution, eTS Academy. For more information about how you can use eTS Academy to keep your people safe while they travel, visit www.etravelsafety.com/ets-academy, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.