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Traveling? Bring this triple protection for safer online banking

Understanding the 3 layers of protection and deploying a VPN for privacy and security

by Kurt Knutsson

In addition to answering a question about maintaining your privacy while using a VPN for online banking when you travel, we received another viewer question having to do with security precautions including VPNs, Antivirus, and fingerprint logins while banking online.

I have an Android phone and Windows PC that I take to the UK when I travel. I try to keep my apps up to date, but worry about security when I have to access my bank to do business. I thought a VPN was adequate protection but now I am not so sure. It hides my connection from the ISP I am using but I want to protect my id and password from being stolen. I have a fingerprint login for my phone but not my pc. Is the finger print login safe than most? Thanks, Rich H. (Retired US Navy)

Thank you for your service and great question as well!

How safe is the fingerprint login?

Technically, a fingerprint scan seems safer in the sense that there are no keystrokes that can be logged should you have any viruses running in the background or a shady character looking over your shoulder, but biometric data can be hacked too. Some devices do have biometric data encrypted on the device vs. a server, which means you don’t have to worry about another company’s servers getting breached. But a savvy hacker with the right means can also hack that biometric data on your device.

If you’re concerned with password or login compromise, you might want to check out our article on password managers that may alleviate some worry regarding password creation, management, and protection: Best Password Managers for 2022. There are some password managers that use authenticator apps and biometric logins so you’ll be typing in all your logins and passwords less, which means less risk!

While there is always some risk of living a digital life, with a balance of knowledge and defensive products such as VPN, antivirus programs, and password managers, you can travel and go about your everyday life with more ease.

While a VPN can protect your privacy, it’s not enough to protect you from malware

While having a VPN is great for covering your ‘tracks’ to and from the banking website site, having a solid antivirus on your devices is a great way to prevent the spread of malicious software should you receive or accidentally download viruses or malware.  While the VPN can encrypt data coming and going from you, it cannot fix nefarious attacks from cyber security breaches.  For our top picks on antivirus programs to complement your VPN service, check out Best Antivirus Protection in 2022.

Tell us: Do you have all three layers of protection? If not, which ones? What has helped you stay safe while on the go?

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