Internet Surveillance: How To Stay Safe Online While Traveling Abroad?

Many countries belong to the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance, meaning they utilize online monitoring practices for national security interests. However, knowing that someone collects and stores your data isn’t very pleasant.

In fact, you may live in a security-friendly country that doesn’t belong to this Alliance. Still, once you step foot in such a region, all your online activities will be available to governments or other authorities. That’s why it’s crucial to know how to protect yourself.

In this article, we’ll go over the best tips for ensuring high-end safety and avoiding being tracked at every step of your online journey. So, let’s get down to business!

Subscribe to a Reputable VPN Service

A virtual private network, also known as a VPN, is an application that establishes a secure connection between the Internet and the device you’re using. More precisely, it routes the incoming and outgoing traffic through your chosen VPN server. These servers impose various security features so your online activities will stay away from third parties’ eyes.

What’s more, the VPN changes your actual IP address. So, if you’re in the USA, where there is online surveillance, you can choose to connect to a Swiss server, which is outside the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. Therefore, no government or third party can reveal your true location.

Utilize the ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ Extension

There are cases in which some websites are not part of any online surveillance systems, but they still collect, store, and share confidential information. Unfortunately, you can’t always be aware of these sites, as they use a reliable domain, photo watermark on the images they include, and other elements that make them seem professional.

Therefore, we recommend installing the ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ extension. As a result, your traffic will use another connection request. In fact, this will ensure that you reach a website that uses HTTPS encryption instead of HTTP, enhancing your overall safety.

Rely on Encrypted Chat Services

Besides the country’s regulations of Internet usage, the Web is full of cybercriminals and other malicious actors. They follow everything you do, trying to find a vulnerability they can exploit. So, it’s best if you use chatting platforms that come with a robust layer of security.


Luckily, some of the most popular chat services nowadays come with solid protection measures. We’re talking about Viber, WhatsApp, and Messinger. By using them, your data shouldn’t be stolen or even sold. However, if they are located in a country where access to your information is required, they may reveal it.

Use Encrypted Email Platforms

Email services are also a target for many hackers. What may surprise you is that even if they’re not, the policy of the company is to collect your data. Unfortunately, Gmail, Yahoo, and other popular platforms are part of such organizations.

But let’s look at the bright side. There are now many online platforms that offer encrypted email services. You can find an independent encrypted email app or use it as a part of VPN services. Either way, they will provide you with end-to-end encryption and protect you from any privacy risks.

Consider Your Online Activities

The Internet encompasses various entertainment platforms. You may use it for streaming, playing video games, torrenting, downloading multiple files, listening to music, and a lot of other activities. However, the number of cyberattacks increases with the expansion of the Web.

That said, you should focus on using trustworthy websites that haven’t recorded past incidents. Under this, we refer to various server or data breaches, data leaks, malicious software, etc. The other way that will help you stay safe is if you don’t reveal many unnecessary information. It’s best if you stick only to the crucial data that websites require, such as login credentials and contact details.

Turn Off the Location Settings on Your Phone

Your location can make you vulnerable to malicious activities. Also, governments take advantage of your geodata and use it to monitor your online activities. Due to this, you should consider keeping it off when you’re traveling to a foreign country.


Although not having your location can make it challenging for you to figure out where to move, it will indeed prevent hackers and authorities from keeping track of your online activities.

Wrapping it Up

On the one hand, the Internet is very helpful for finding what you need from anywhere and in no time. However, on the other hand, the more you are available online, the more you are exposed to surveillance and cyber threats.

By using a VPN, turning off the location, considering what you’re doing online, or using encrypted chat or email services, you will indeed improve your online security and privacy. So, the next time you pack your suitcases, keep in mind that you may be monitored.