With over 4.5 million internships in Europe each year, of which 59% are unpaid, an environment is created where young adults must seek out cheap meals and free WiFi. Using unsecured WiFi, however, is not the only threat interns and students face where their data is concerned. Whether it’s for an internship at a prestigious firm or taking a volunteer position in a third-world country, it’s important to track your information and ensure your data remains safe.
Beware The Online Applications
While there are still the traditionalists who prefer the paper application and personal interview, most internships, volunteer programs, and even student work opportunities require applications to complete an online application. For applicants, it’s not unusual to complete multiple applications per day. This means that information such as your personal identification number, full names, and other details such as address and contact details are shared over and over. If this information is entered into a site that might not be legit, it could lead to data being shared with the wrong people. Research goes a long way to determine whether your information is entered into a legitimate site, or whether it’s being fed to an online database for marketers or fraudulent sites.
Treat Residencies As Public Connections
Whether you’re taking up a room in an internship residency or bunking up with other volunteers in a rural destination, the connection provided by the agency might not be as secure as you’d like it to be. It’s important to have updated data security software in place before linking up to these connections, along with strong and impenetrable password protocols so other users within the network can't access your information. It’s also important to check the status of file sharing over the network to keep access to your devices limited. It’s also important to stick to websites that have updated security information, such as https sites. This is also a good time to make use of a VPN which would make it difficult for others on the network to see your device. While these come in handy, it’s important to choose a VPN with a proven track record and good reputation.
Your Data Isn’t Only Accessible Online
When visiting a foreign country, it’s important to keep your information in a secure location, such as on your person at all times. If not, there is the possibility of loss or theft. Identification documents such as ID cards and passports are soft targets, along with bank cards. It’s important to have as little information printed as possible in order to minimize the access to your information in the event your bag goes missing. Ask the residence of there is safe storage solution. A travel lockbox is a good investment for those who might not have accommodation to themselves, or sleep in premises that are easily accessible throughout the day such as a backpacker’s or tent.
As an intern, volunteer, or student, it’s important to know just how far and wide your information is shared. It’s also important to limit access to your information.