by Kathleen Dunleavy
June 30, 2017

My husband and I just returned from an exciting European vacation. Before leaving, I made sure my Sprint account included Global Roaming – allowing me to enjoy unlimited texts and pay only 20 cents a minute to talk to friends and family overseas. As for data, I planned to use (in addition to Sprint service), Wi-Fi in most places.

I’m a social media addict, so, of course, I wanted to regularly share vacation pictures, post updates, and check in with friends. I soon discovered that most major cities in Europe are filled with public Wi-Fi hotspots. It’s awesome.
 

In Vienna, I was sitting in a café getting ready to log on to the Wi-Fi network when I noticed that a couple of Wi-Fi hotspots had the same name. (That means one of them isn’t legit – this is sometimes referred to as “hotspot impersonation.”) And, there was a Wi-Fi open network listed as “FREE WI-FI MAN,” which didn’t sound too credible. These things made me a little nervous. I started to get concerned if my personal data was protected and what type of a cyber-threat might be lurking around me.

 

I’d heard stories about people who’d had their data stolen while on Wi-Fi, but I guess I just hadn’t taken it seriously. In fact, someone once warned me about packet sniffers – where someone uses software to intercept and steal digital communications by grabbing “packets” of data that are being transmitted over Wi-Fi.

 

Luckily, I work for Sprint and remembered that we have an app – Sprint Secure Wi-Fi – to ensure that travelers, like me, can stay connected and keep their personal data secure. Basically, Sprint Secure Wi-Fi encrypts unsecured traffic. This is a fancy way of saying that this app converts data into a code, thereby preventing unauthorized access. To you and me, that means our mobile data will not be vulnerable.

Recently, the service – available to iOS and Android users – was upgraded and now includes password-protected Wi-Fi hotspots.

So, I logged into Secure Wi-Fi, established the VPN connection, continued to post photos, checked twitter and Instagram… and, I even felt comfortable enough to check my bank balance!

This service is available to customers for $1.99/month, or for $0.99 a Sprint customer can sign up for a 24-hour pass.

Safe travels and learn more at:  www.sprint.com.