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TTT: Staying Safe On The Go

You can skip this one if you never leave your home

I think most people both go places and bring at least one device with them. If you fit that description then today's quick post is for you. If you don't fit that description, I recommend trying it out.

Here's the tl;dr:

  1. Don't connect to public networks

  2. Don't plug into public USB ports

  3. Use a VPN

With that being said, toodles!... or for the curious, let's pick on airports...

Tip #1 - Don't Connect to Public Networks

Almost everyone has heard this. But why? Let's start with an ongoing airport anecdote. Airports commonly have a public network for travelers to connect to along their voyage. Convenience is the downfall of security and your privacy. It's very easy to look up methods for monitoring network traffic. Any hacker, bad guy, and typing-capable child could find it. Executing it is slightly more involved but not by much. So, what can this bad guy do while monitoring traffic? They can see what you're browsing and potentially start stealing your data. Feel free to allow your imagination to run wild about what could happen next.

When can they not do this? When you're not connected to that network.

Tip #2 - Don't Plug into Public USB Ports

Continuing our trip through the airport, we come to those handy charging stations. To be clear, I mean the USB ports, not the electrical outlets. Electrical outlets are (at this point) still safe. You'll find yourself sitting in a weird corner somewhere to get that electrical outlet, but you'll be safer. Here's a pretty solid video describing what happens. But basically, the bad guys have put some bad stuff on the station and they'll steal all your money and private information. I think that's a pretty good summary.

Make sure you bring your own cords and invest in a portable charger.

Tip #3 - Use a VPN

A VPN is essentially a way for you to connect to a network far away. According to the internet, you're located at said far away network. However, VPNs have their own set of risks. For example, do you trust the network you're connecting to? Do you know what else your device is connecting to along the way? What kind of monitoring is going on? Slightly concerning to say the least. What's a good solution?

I recommend having a VPN that goes back to your home network. You'll be in control of your private information and know exactly what's going on. According to the internet, you'll be a person who never leaves their house... thus making this article useless to you.

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