Online privacy is the capacity to regulate what information about ourselves we publish on the internet and who may access that information. If online privacy is recklessly eroded or violated, we may be susceptible to all forms of cyber exploitation. This is likely to result in frustration and sadness.
Internet use is accompanied by an increase in online activity, which needs digital security. Whether we work discreetly from our closets or remotely as digital nomads, it cannot be overstated how important it is to plug security flaws. Innovations in technology have spanned generations.
We are now a generation that refers to the globe as a “global village.” Everything we need is accessible with a simple click. The emergence of the internet has greatly simplified life. Now, we may shop online, work from home, or work from anywhere and at any time without a problem.
However, there are security issues associated with its use. As we engage in internet-based activities, sensitive and private information may be intercepted by hackers who may use a lax security infrastructure to steal such information or penetrate our devices. Therefore, the concept of security reinforcement for digital nomads has become essential.
Who is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is an individual who works remotely from any place and at any time. In many societies, the once-novel idea of digital nomadism is now seen as a standard kind of employment. This is the outcome of significant technology advancements that have eased the physical demands of many industries.
In reality, data indicates that a larger proportion of workers work remotely in many modern cultures. Digital nomads may work at their own speed. Only a smartphone or laptop with an internet connection is required. With this, he or she may operate online from a great distance from the company or residence. However, the advantages or privileges that digital nomads enjoy are offset by the security risks that they confront.
What security risks do digital nomads face?
Digital nomads are nomadic laborers. They are always traveling from one location to another. As a result, people often depend largely on public Wi-Fi for their online tasks. This is the reason they are more exposed to security and privacy risks than other internet users.
Since their jobs require using unprotected public internet networks, they are at the mercy of cybercriminals such as hackers, fraudsters, and others whose goal is to damage gadgets and steal private data. If proper security measures are not implemented, these cybercriminals may get sensitive private information such as bank account information, credit card information, personal identification numbers, and passwords.
10 tips for the online digital security of nomads
Here, we will present in detail the top 10 suggestions. Digital nomads may protect their data and sensitive private information from any kind of cyber intrusion by using the security measures we will describe soon.
1. Get a reputable VPN
Without sufficient security, it is perilous for a digital nomad to use Wi-Fi in airports, coffee shops, amusement parks, retail malls, or any other public area. You must get a VPN. The word “VPN” stands for “Virtual Private Network.” It is simply a secure tunnel that connects your device to the remote server. Its major purpose is to safeguard your data.
As a digital nomad, it is only natural that you have a great deal of data to secure, such as banking information, credit card information, passwords, and sensitive customer and client data. You must assure their safety. Consider the benefits of using a VPN:
- With a VPN, hackers cannot access your information.
- Your data cannot be seen or accessed by anybody, not even those on the same network.
- Online marketers will have difficulty tracking or profiling you.
- You can visit websites that are banned due to government censorship. In Nigeria, for instance, the government has lately prohibited the use of Twitter for political reasons, but individuals using VPNs may still use Twitter.
The benefits of a VPN are numerous. There are several economical and trustworthy VPN services. Before selecting a VPN, verify its security, speed, and privacy features. Always confirm that it is active before connecting to a public network.
2. Use only encrypted websites
It’s exciting to be a digital nomad. Internet exploration necessitates vigilance as you move around. Ensure that you only browse encrypted websites. A trustworthy website must have the prefix “HTTPS” before its URL. If a website begins with “HTTP,” it indicates that it is not secured and is thus unsafe for browsing. As a precaution, you should keep an eye out for this while you are surfing.
3. Get a mobile hotspot
Do you, as a digital nomad, want to prevent unauthorized access to public Wi-Fi networks? If your answer is “yes,” you should bring your own Internet connection. In several locations, there are numerous hotspots. Simply install a local SIM card with sufficient data volume and connect your smartphone to it.
However, if you are a frequent traveler who constantly changes locations, purchasing fresh SIM cards will get tiresome. The answer is to get a personal hotspot that can function without requiring the purchase of a local SIM card. Skyroam provides a worldwide hotspot.
Without the need to continually purchase local SIM cards, this gadget can automatically choose a local internet provider and offer a reliable connection. This gadget offers a solid backup Wi-Fi connection for those unforeseen moments when you are unable to obtain a Wi-Fi signal. For example, while you are inside a train or a building.
4. Generate a secure password and get a password manager
Whether you are a digital nomad or a regular web user, you should fortify your device’s security by creating an impregnable and unbreakable password. Obviously, you cannot dismiss this, given that your password is a Sesame Street via which cyber aliens may access your device.
By implementing two-step verification on your device and data, you may increase security and protection. Additionally, you may include a password manager. You may obtain a password manager as an alternative to utilizing the same or similar passwords for all your online activities, such as email, credit cards, and shopping.
A password manager may generate unique and distinct passwords for each online activity. You no longer need to fracture your head to remember lengthy, difficult passwords. In addition, you may exchange passwords with other team members.
You will not be required to transmit sensitive passwords through email. If there is a need to update the password, you do not need to notify team members since the password manager will alter it automatically. Isn’t it amazing? Check any of the available password management services. It is also inexpensive.
5. Purchase a GPS tracker
Since the lifestyle of digital nomads is essentially characterized by travel and exploration of new locations, it is crucial to provide a device that enables a digital nomad to be quickly identified in the event of an emergency.
A GPS tracker may allow others to find you if, as a nomadic worker, you are incapacitated and unable to contact someone for help or receive it. These gadgets are lightweight. It is portable and may be placed in a pocket and carried with you. Several of them also have microphones. They are also inexpensive.
GPS is an added safety feature. It may be concealed inside the backpack. Even if the bag or gadget is taken, it is still possible to locate it. This is very important for transporting pricey objects. Some nations may have rules governing the use of certain safety equipment. Therefore, you should investigate whether the country’s rules impact the items you bring along.
6. Get a data backup
Your digital nomad existence begins and finishes with your data. Your data contains all of your discoveries, experiences, and worldwide trotting experience. What if your phone is stolen, your laptop malfunctions due to incompatibility with the local climate, or your camera drowns? What do you do? Obviously, you will feel completely powerless and miserable.
This is why you need a backup for your information, papers, and photographs. You should leave no space for lightheartedness. Your data should be stored in a secure location, such as an external disk, USB, or online backup. There are more backup services that provide limitless file storage and information retention for an inexpensive fee.
7. Install antivirus applications
Even as an ordinary Internet user, you must safeguard your device from infecting malware. For instance, if you click on the incorrect link or download the incorrect file, the efficiency of your system may suffer. This may result in the loss of crucial data. It becomes more crucial when you live and work in distant locations that are foreign and may look incompatible with the weather conditions of your laptop, cell phone, and other electronic gadgets. Not even a VPN can secure it in this instance.
As a digital nomad, you should install antivirus software on your device to prevent malware infection of your countless files. Antivirus software is free of charge. Additionally, it will save money that would have been spent on computer maintenance or repairs. The advantages of antiviral software cannot be compared to the time and money lost while a gadget is inactive.
8. Be vigilant for safety
For a remote worker who often finds himself or herself in unfamiliar locations, there are several precautions to take while accessing the internet. For example, caution should be used while using a public computer. The best course of action is to avoid it if possible, but if it cannot be avoided, you should limit your interaction with it.
Unbeknownst to you, cybercriminals may be sharing your screen, filming your work, or collecting your password. If you are forced to use a public computer, you may use the anonymous browsing option. Ensure that you log out of your email and website after you’re finished. As a continuation of the preceding statement, you should exercise caution while utilizing public Wi-Fi.
This may be of enormous use to remote workers, but it can also expose them to significant risks, particularly if they are inexperienced online users. Are you aware that the owner of any hotspot’s router might be recording your information? If the network is not secured, the hacker might be taking important information. The good news is that VPN has arrived to save the day. Even the most insecure public Wi-Fi network may be transformed into a completely encrypted connection with a VPN.
9. Physical protection: backpack
As a digital nomad, you should not overlook the need for physical security, even if you take every precaution to secure your data. Physical security begins with the organization of your gadgets and personal belongings prior to takeoff. If you are going with many electronic gadgets, do not pack them all in one suitcase. Keep your phone and computer in different bags so that if you lose one, you have something to fall back on.
If your phone has a built-in tracker, such as the iPhone, be sure to activate it so you can monitor its whereabouts. As previously indicated, you should always have a backup of the data on your device. Ensure that your phone is not the sole way of accessing your financial institutions or logging into them. Important numbers such as bank account information, credit card numbers, and passwords should be written down in a notepad as a secondary reference in addition to being kept in your phone. This might be useful if the gadget is stolen.
Where is your backpack? Here, we are discussing your actual suitcase, or baggage. How protected is your bag? Do you realize there are backpacks designed specifically for digital nomads? These backpacks offer unique characteristics. You may examine the following features:
- A quality backpack should be waterproof.
- The zippers must be very durable, impermeable, and capable of interlocking. No space will be available for pickpockets.
- It should include stainless steel wire in the bag’s most delicate regions.
- A cable made of stainless steel should be included. This allows you to secure it to a table at a café or other public venue.
Having a bag with these qualities is similar to traveling with a mobile vault. To conclude, it should not be too hefty. It should be portable and light-weight. All of them should be designed to protect your personal belongings on your back.
10. Travel insurance
It is impossible to overstate the importance of travel insurance for remote employees. You may use insurance coverage to pay for expenses you cannot afford at present. For example, suppose you get ill during your travel but do not have the funds for treatment. Your travel insurance may protect you.
It may be used for hospital care during medical emergencies, such as car accidents or surgical procedures. For return transportation to your home nation, if required. It is also useful for search and rescue operations after an accident. Travel insurance may also be used to protect your possessions from theft or loss while in transit.
It is true that no one postulation can be thorough, but I feel this essay has gone a long way toward highlighting the essential security guidelines that digital nomads working online should use in their job.