7 Ways Global Travelers Can Keep WiFi Costs Down, Data Secure

1 - 7 Ways Global Travelers Can Keep WiFi Costs Down, Data Secure
2 - Start With the Basics
3 - Connecting to an Open Network
4 - Disable Mobile Data Roaming Completely
5 - Turn Off Unnecessary Features on Your Phone
6 - Talk to Your Provider
7 - Find Out if Your Hotels Use WiFi Authentication, Encryption
8 - If Possible, Use a VPN
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7 Ways Global Travelers Can Keep WiFi Costs Down, Data Secure

Wireless connectivity is a must for international travelers. But it does come with hazards. Here are seven tips on how to connect, keep costs down and ensure your data is secure when traveling.

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Start With the Basics

First of all, research your hotels ahead of time and see what kinds of WiFi it offers. Consider creating your own secure personal WiFi network through solutions such as EasyPass or hotspots from companies such as Verizon. Always verify a WiFi network and be aware of WiFi network spoofing whenever you log in.

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Connecting to an Open Network

If you are forced as a last resort to connect to an open and insecure WiFi network, avoid submitting personal information on websites, including shopping and banking sites, and avoid logging into websites or applications on open networks. Be especially wary of open SSID.

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Disable Mobile Data Roaming Completely

If you know you're going to have some WiFi access during your travels, you may want to disable mobile data roaming completely. This will prevent your phone from using any mobile data at all, thus saving you from expensive phone bills on your return.

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Turn Off Unnecessary Features on Your Phone

Befor leaving the country, turn off any phone features that are likely to consume data. Automatic email delivery, location-based services and the ability for apps to use data in the background all are good places to start.

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Talk to Your Provider

After you get a better idea of the type of service you're going to need, the next step is to speak with your mobile phone provider about the costs of different data and voice connections overseas. You might discover your provider offers a roaming package. These tend to be charged on a monthly basis, and allow you to use a specified amount of data at a predetermined cost.

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Find Out if Your Hotels Use WiFi Authentication, Encryption

Connectivity isn't a given when traveling abroad. Performance, reliability and security are even more volatile. Most hotel and resort properties offer some form of authentication to limit who can access their network. Few locations, however, offer the encryption required to fully protect your data from any malicious neighbors. It is important to do the research ahead of confirming your hotel reservation.

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If Possible, Use a VPN

It's not uncommon for businesses to request employees to use a virtual private network (VPN) when traveling, but VPNs also are handy for personal use. Never enter credit card details or other personal information on a provider's network unless you are using an SSL or VPN.

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