6 ways a VPN can help protect your family on summer vacation

Kids using a VPN to securely connect to the internet while on vacation.

When it comes to travel essentials, a VPN is one thing you can’t afford to forget.

As you pack for summer vacation, your biggest worry may be remembering sunscreen and shades. Sun protection is a must, but don't forget to shield yourself from a less obvious threat: cybercriminals looking to target travelers.

A virtual private network (VPN) can help protect you and your family from hackers and scammers this summer. Simply put, a VPN is a privacy tool that lets you get online securely from anywhere—whether you're waiting at an airport, sipping a cold brew at a local coffee shop, or relaxing by the pool at a resort.

A VPN protects you by disguising your internet protocol (IP) address and creating a secure, encrypted "tunnel" through which all your online activity flows. This shields you from nearby cybercriminals who might be using special equipment to eavesdrop—also known as snooping—on your online activity.

With all of that in mind, here are seven ways a VPN can protect you and your family during summer vacation this year, so you can stay focused on having fun in the sun.

1. Stay connected safely.

According to the Pew Research Center, 95% of American adults say they use the internet. As a connected society, we use wifi nearly everywhere we go. This includes spots you may visit daily, like the local mall or your favorite coffee shop, as well as frequent travel destinations.

It can be risky to check your email, message a friend, or post on social media from public wifi, because your login credentials and other private data may fall into the wrong hands.

If your social media or email is hacked, a cybercriminal can take control of your accounts, post anything they want to as you, and try to scam your contacts. A VPN lets you safely log into your email, messaging, and social accounts to safely stay in touch with family and friends while you're away.

2. Keep your finances in check.

Vacation expenses can add up, and you may be wondering if you spent too much on dinner last night or if you've got enough money in your bank account to rent the pontoon boat.

But opening your banking app or logging in through an unsecure network can open a can of worms for hackers. A VPN helps you to securely log into your bank account, check your balance, pay bills, and transfer money, even on public wifi. By using a VPN, you may prevent a thief from swiping your bank login information and even stealing your money.

3. Sleep well at your hotel.

Are you staying in a hotel, resort or vacation rental while you travel this summer? The FBI warns against using public wifi. 

Attackers can trick you with "evil twin attacks" by creating a fake wifi network that resembles the one owned by the hotel, then spying on everything you do online. You'll sleep much better in that hotel bed knowing that you logged in through a VPN for added security.

4. Check in with work.

You might not plan to work during your summer vacation, but you never know when you might need to respond to a message from your boss or check in on a project. A VPN can keep your connection private, helping you dip into work safely before you go take a dip in the lake.

5. Keep tabs on your accounts.

If your summer travel plans take you out of the country, you may find that you can't access certain accounts or online services without a VPN. Your service provider may shut down your access from a foreign country for security reasons. This can prevent you from keeping track of all your accounts or using online services you need. A VPN can allow you to set your location to your home country so you can freely access everything you need.

6. Protect your kids on the go.

Think of a VPN like floaties for surfing the internet. You might not always know what your kids are up to online, and a VPN can help protect their privacy from hackers and scammers while they play games, log into their social accounts, and chat with friends.

Security brings relaxation.

You have a lot to do to get ready for your summer vacation, from booking tours to scouting out restaurants, to buying pool noodles. But taking a little extra time to get a VPN before you go is well worth it, so your family can enjoy a worry-free vacation.

Allie Johnson
  • Allie Johnson
  • Freelance Writer
Allie Johnson is a freelance journalist who covers cybersecurity, privacy, and consumer topics. She has written for Bankrate, CreditCards.com, and Discover.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc. 


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