Cell Data Safety – VPN lesson learned

Free Wi-Fi on vacation! Sounds great, right? Check in on family, post some photos to make everyone back home jealous.. But is it safe?
I typically use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on my devices when I’m traveling abroad. Unsecured public hotspots are a hackers playground. Your information can be intercepted without you even knowing it. The VPN encrypts your data, protecting your privacy and security, while it can also change your digital location.
Some US websites will not work if it detects you are in foreign country. Altering your digital location through a VPN, allows you to access US-based websites when traveling internationally.  This is helpful if you need to log into your banking and credit card accounts or just watching a movie on your favorite streaming service. 
But… what about domestic travel?
I recently returned from a family vacation in Palm Springs and didn’t think anything about my connectivity during my trip.  I was in the US, about 100  miles from Los Angeles, SURELY I would be connected. Unfortunately, even though our phones showed we were connected to a 5G network, our coverage in and around our resort was atrocious, with websites “timing out” when trying to load, quite often. I had let my VPN lapse, as I wasn’t traveling abroad, so didn’t have it loaded already for use with the hotel’s Wi-Fi. Quick halt to most work I needed to do while I was gone.
Lesson learned… and shared with you!  My VPN is now up and running for use whenever…and wherever.. I may need it.
There are numerous VPN options to choose from, from free to paid accounts, offering different services. Do some research before your next trip to find one that best fits your needs. You may use it more than you think!