5 tips to keep your data safe on your road trips this summer

Take your VPN on vaycay, too.

It’s summer, your office is still doing the remote thing, and you’re ready to hit the road. You’ll soon be firing off emails at your campsite and setting up a makeshift office in your van by the beach, but there’s a downside to this fancy-free mobile lifestyle. As you likely know, your personal information is basically a free-for-all whenever you use your devices over an unsecured network — like the WiFi at a coffeeshop or an airport. So before you hit it, check out these tips and get your devices road-ready.

Create stealth passwords

It seems obvious, but the power of a strong password is not to be underestimated — especially when you’re traveling and someone might be snooping over your shoulder. Create passwords that contain a combination of letters, numbers, and characters — the days of using your pet’s name are so over — and you ideally want to use a different password for every site or app. That’s a lot of passwords, we know, but a password manager can make it a no-brainer.

Block phishers in their tracks

It’s no surprise that phishing is on the rise, and you’re especially vulnerable while traveling. While you can sometimes weed out those wonky emails with their bad grammar giveaways, what if you didn’t have to deal with them at all? A good cybersecurity software like Malwarebytes will tackle phishing, malware, and even ransomware on Windows, Mac, and Chromebook. The Premium subscription starts at $39.99 per year — a small price to pay for not getting hacked.

Use secure networks when you can

It’s tempting to hop on the free public WiFi when you’re traveling, but it’s even more important to remember that unsecure networks offer up your personal data to any hacker out there who wants it. If you end up camping out of range for your hotspot or if you simply must use your hotel’s “guest” WiFi, be sure to save the online banking and shopping until you’re back home.

Get a VPN

If you want to hop on any WiFi network from the road and not give it a second thought, a virtual private network, or VPN, can be a real lifesaver. A VPN is basically like your own private internet connection. It acts as an intermediary between your computer and the internet, providing an encrypted tunnel that protects you from anyone who wants to spy on you. One tradeoff for using a VPN is often slower internet, but Malwarebytes Privacy VPN offers pretty slick browsing speeds.

Dial in your phone security

While you’re planning your on-the-go security strategy, don’t forget about your phone. How many times a day do you use it to check your work email and basically function? It’s perfectly legal for your mobile service carrier to monitor your internet activity and sell it for advertising purposes. If you don’t want this — and who does — using a VPN on your phone in addition to your laptop will protect you against those intrusions. A good anti-malware software will offer you the same VPN privacy boosts on your iOS or Android phone and block annoying spam calls and texts as an added perk.

Sign up for a 7-day free trial Malwarebytes Privacy VPN and protect your data — now available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.