Social media has made giant strides in evolvement to a point where we cannot do without it today; business and personal relationships now rely on it to a large extent especially during travel.
At its advent, social media was only accessible via a computer. However, the inception of Twitter and Facebook led to massive advancements in social networking. One could even hypothesize that social media played a critical role in the development of smartphones and other internet-accessing mobile devices.
One of the most significant benefits of social media lies in its ability to connect people from various places around the world for free. This especially comes in handy if you have traveled abroad.
The ability to communicate effectively and at no cost is also very convenient for businesspeople as it allows them to stay connected with their clients at all times. This goes a long way in enhancing business relationships. Unfortunately, using social media when traveling carries some risks. The following are the most common ones.
The benefit of living in a democratic country is that you enjoy freedom while using the internet. Usually, there is a certain level of trust between the government and ISPs that allows society to use social media and the internet without any restrictions. However, these connections are not 100% secure and can be monitored by whoever has the relevant access. This risk is multiplied many times over when you move to foreign countries which are known to censor or control internet use.
Even if the country you are visiting is the most trustworthy nation on the planet, if it does not have the necessary infrastructure, your connections will be insecure. This leaves you vulnerable to cyber threats.
This is a major problem no matter where you live. Most social media sites today request access to your device in order to ‘serve you better.’ What they do not tell you, however, is that they collect this data and share it across applications. You might have seen this during the recent Senate hearing of Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg who went ahead to say that they have made it very clear that Facebook users could have their data harvested.
Whenever this happens, there is one more database with your information in it and one more chance for you to lose it. This is evidenced by the rising number of unreported data breaches.
Hacking is a booming vice in the world of social media. It is as easy as receiving an inbox in your account, open it and voila, your account belongs to someone else. Symantec released an internet security report that you need to check out to understand the gravity of the situation.
But this does not mean that you shouldn’t use your social media when traveling. After all, if you do not post it on Instagram or Facebook, it didn’t happen. So, what can you do?
The best remedy for this is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
A VPN is a solution that was created by the government to facilitate secure connections across the internet. The VPN creates a digital tunnel in which your connections are made. As such, your connections will be virtually invisible because your devices will bypass the local ISP and connect to a dedicated VPN server that adds an extra layer of security. Additionally, the best VPNs also have an encryption that ensures that even if someone was able to access your connection, they won’t be able to read it.
Social media makes traveling more fun as it gives you a platform to share your experiences with those you love. Nevertheless, as we have covered, there are a lot of risks involved in internet usage while traveling abroad. This is why you should invest in a good VPN that will ensure you stay safe and protected.