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Traveling Prepared: Keeping Your Security Intact in Thailand

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Traveling Prepared: Keeping Your Security Intact in Thailand

 

While expensive, traveling around the world has all sorts of benefits. Traveling to new countries allows you to escape your daily routine, exposes you to different cultures and traditions, and—depending on where you go—educates you about the history of the country you’re in.

I can’t think of a reason not to travel the globe. That said, there are a few pitfalls when traveling to different countries, namely prices and security.

Wait, security?

Yes, security. As it turns out, traveling to different countries puts you at risk of being subjected to less-than-ideal cybersecurity laws.

For example, if you reside in the United States and decided to take a trip to China, you shouldn’t expect the same amount of freedom on the Internet as you do in your home country. This is because countries like China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey run their Internet with an iron fist, filtering what comes and goes.

Most countries don’t pry into people’s Internet usage—which is great—but what about the ones that do? What happens if you travel to China, a country that has gone as far as to ban VPNs from operating in the country? Is that even something to worry about, nowadays?

To answer your questions, allow me to talk to you about Thailand, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Cybersecurity in Thailand

Last year, the government of Thailand passed a controversial bill that, in simple terms, allows the government to seize any data they want for any reason. This means that the government can—at any time—track your data, see what you’re doing, and log any data they find useful.

Of course, the law doesn’t explicitly state this, but there is a growing fear that the Thai government will take advantage of the vague wording in order to breach the privacy of its citizens.

The history of the Thai government only adds to the fire that is the new cybersecurity law. Currently, it is illegal to insult or criticize the monarchy, and have even jailed citizens because of it. If they’re willing to do that, then what are they willing to do with the new cybersecurity law.

And just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean you’re safe from these laws. In fact, you may be a bigger target due to the government not knowing you well enough. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid (read: protect yourself) from these laws. After all, who wants to travel to a country where their privacy is at risk?

Protecting Yourself From Harsh Cybersecurity Laws

If you ever find yourself in Thailand would like to avoid having your data constantly dissected, you have a few options. My personal recommendation? Download a VPN for your travels.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) allow you to surf the Internet and log in to whatever site you want without fear of your ISP or government snooping on you and tracking/logging your data.

Visiting Thailand almost requires you to install a VPN. If not for the security, do it for good measure. Installing one takes minutes and only serves to help you.

Also, I would recommend avoiding accessing any sensitive information during your trip unless you absolutely have to. Checking your bank account is fine if you need to know how much you can spend on dinner but try not to do it every 5 minutes.

However, that will only get you so far, which is why a VPN was my first recommendation.

Conclusion

Many countries are attempting to create a strong grip on the Internet, and Thailand is no exception; the government wants nothing more than to log your data and keep tabs on you at all times.

Fortunately, you’re not out of luck when it comes to combatting these arbitrary, unnecessary cybersecurity laws. Don’t let the new law put a hold on your dream trip to Thailand—just be sure to prepare.


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