Reasons why VPNs are must-haves for expats

Published:  15 May at 6 PM
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One important aspect of becoming an expat is to ensure your online security is in place.

Moving overseas can be a chore, as there are so many aspects to consider in order to live a stress-free life in the new country of residence. Ensuring online security is often not considered an immediate priority but, for homesick new arrivals, a break in your service for whatever reason can prevent contact with friends and family back home. Logging on unprotected can also result in viruses, the hacking of bank details and passwords or geo-restrictions, causing hassles with work-related online activities. T

he answer, as given by millions of expats working abroad, is a VPN, which both protects your devices, gives access to geo-restricted social media sites and allow video streaming in the vast majority of locations. Its use in free wi-fi areas such as airport lounges is essential, keeping your devices safe from data thieves and hackers. In addition, your activity online can’t be tracked due to your VPN’s layers of encryption. Anyone who tries gets faced with endless rows of random numbers and letters, and even your IP address can be disguised simply be rerouting to a server anywhere in the world.

One of the most important aspects of using a VPN is the ability to access online banking services safely. The software adds an unbreakable encryption layer to online banking sites, protecting your details from cyber-criminal attacks. If you’re heading to countries such as China, known for its lack of cyber security as well as its ‘Great Firewall’, access to loved ones and friends back home can be blocked, but your VPN can be set to override geo-blocking, thus allowing free access to social media sites including Twitter or Facebook.

Another advantage is that VPNs allow streaming of movies or TV programmes even in countries with strict censorship. In the same way, free VoIP services such as Skype which are blocked in a number of countries can be easily used via a VPN. All the above are good reasons for expats to use VPNs, but one little-known advantage can also save you money, especially if you’re a frequent traveller. Airlines and flight comparison website quote ticket prices according to the location of the enquirer, with linking your VPN to a server in a low-income country getting you a far better price than from ,say, the UK!
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