Are You Traveling Abroad? This Online Tool Is a Must!
Going on vacation any time soon?
Nice, it’s going to be an adventure for sure, and you’ll come back with tons of amazing memories.
Just make sure you’re not using terrible passwords like most people. Otherwise, you’re likely to have a pretty bad time.
Why Is a Weak Password So Bad Anyway?
It’s not like it’ll ruin your trip, right?
A weak password can most definitely put an end to all the fun you’ll have on your vacation. After all, around 80% of data breaches happen because of weak login credentials.
A hacker could easily exploit how weak your password is to break into your email, social media, and bank accounts. If they do that, they can steal sensitive personal info from you that lets them commit identity theft, or they can empty your bank accounts in a few minutes.
True, a hacker first has to get access to your password, but that’s not too hard to do. Cybercriminals can just set up fake WiFi hotspots that imitate hotel or coffee shop WiFi to trick your smartphone into connecting to them. If your device does that, the hackers who run the hotspot can monitor all your traffic – including your passwords.
It’s not even hard for them to do that. They can just use a device like the WiFi Pineapple, which is pretty cheap (around $100-$200).
Besides that, here’s how else they can steal your passwords:
- If your password is weak enough, hackers can just brute-force it. If I use this tool to check the longest password in the research I linked at the start (password1), it shows me it’d take around 0.19 milliseconds to break it.
- Cybercriminals could place keyloggers on public computers (like hotel computers), effectively logging every single one of your keystrokes.
Okay, so it’s clear you’ll need a strong password before you leave for your trip – or more if you have multiple accounts you need to secure. But that’s obviously not the kind of hassle you want to deal with right now, as you already have tons of planning and packing to do, and lots of travel tickets to buy.
Well, don’t worry. I’ve got your back with a simple tool.
How to Easily and Quickly Handle Secure Password Management
You don’t need to spend a lot of time trying to come up with strong passwords and find a way to keep track of them all. All you need to do is use a password manager – software that acts as a digital vault for all your passwords.
And it doesn’t just keep them safe with high-end encryption. Most password generators also have password generating features that can help you come with a long and complex password in seconds.
And get this – a password manager saves you the effort of having to enter the complicated password when you log in. The software normally has auto-fill features that will automatically enter your password in the login field.
Also, here’s something you’ll like – you’ll only need one single master password to secure all your other passwords. Nice trade-off, right?
Other Good Reasons to use a Password Manager Abroad
Okay, so a password manager sounds nice, but why exactly should you use one when you travel?
Well, here are three very good reasons to do that:
1. It Can Secure More Than Passwords
The name “password manager” might throw you off a bit, but you can actually secure more data with it than just login credentials.
For example, many managers let you add payment information like credit card numbers in the vault.
Convenient, but that’s not all. Some password managers actually let you upload copies of important travel documents (health information, financial papers, passports, etc.) to secure them with strong encryption.
2. It Helps You Deal with Border Security
If you travel to countries that don’t really respect privacy rights (like the US or the UK), you might have to let the border guards go through your phone or laptop. Of course, that means you’ll need to give them access to your passwords so that they can conduct a “full search.”
A regular password manager can help by automatically filling in the login credentials, so that border guards won’t actually need them. But they will still need your master password, which is bad.
That’s where more advanced password managers use a type of “travel mode.” 1Password does that, and here’s the gist of it – the service will only display passwords you marked as “safe for travel,” and temporarily remove the valuable ones. So, it’s like you’ll have “burner” passwords.
3. It Keeps You Safe from Phishing/Keyloggers
I already mentioned how hackers plant keyloggers on hotel computers. But they can also use fake hotspots to infect your device with them too.
That and they can target you with phishing attacks on vacation – basically redirecting you to a fake website that imitates a legit one which tries to trick you into typing in sensitive data (like passwords or credit card numbers).
Well, here’s the good news – a password manager can protect you from both threats. Keyloggers won’t be able to record your keystrokes because you won’t have to type anything to begin with. Though, you should use antivirus protection as well.
As for phishing websites, password managers won’t auto-fill anything if they detect a shady site. They’ll even alert you about it.
How Do You Find a Really Good Password Manager?
Not going to lie, it can be pretty tough to find the right service. There are quite a lot of password managers out there, and it’d take you at least a few hours to check out and compare the most popular services.
But I’m going to help you save some time – here’s a clear list of the best online password managers. The guide has easy-to-scan info to give you a good idea of what each service has to offer, and links to full in-depth reviews.