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Vacation time with data protection

We take our smartphones with us on vacation as a matter of course, just like the 35mm camera used to be. Only today a lot of personal data is always by our side. How can our data be handled abroad? What can you do about it?

Even in other European countries, data protection begins with the planning. Because even in Europe there are countries that make it a condition of entering the border that you have to show your smartphone or laptop. As a result, I will not take my laptop, which I also use for work, with me in order to avoid the possibility of spying on my company / employer. Even access to the social media accounts is requested. What this can mean is obvious: hijacking of one's own social area by the state concerned.

But what we consider to be relatively safe and which is often used for convenience can also pose a threat abroad: WLANs. Hotels usually offer their guests a WLAN for shared use. What I don't know now is what the responsible administrator is doing with my data in this network. It is super easy for an experienced IT administrator to record and read the data streams using tcpdump and wireshark. In this way you can access my login data and, above all, passwords.
The bottom line is that I don't do anything security-relevant via the WLANs, such as entering passwords for social media accounts, and I certainly won't use my bank details via it. Instead, I make sure that I have enough data for my vacation time before I leave.

Photography with smartphones or digital cameras with an Internet connection and the associated apps such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are now very hip. Everyone is now aware that holiday photos can spread very quickly across the Internet. Fortunately, this is controllable by restricting my target group accordingly. Facebook and Instagram in particular are very quick to distribute the data, which is why it is worth creating extra groups such as family and closest friends with reading rights. Even the sports club is already critical because I don't know who doesn't download my data and use it differently.
From this point of view, even WhatsApp is not a good candidate for exchanging images, especially WhatsApp's group function is a deadly argument in terms of data protection.

In the meantime, the federal government's corona warning app has been established, but it only works in Germany. However, there are now warning apps from the government in other countries that work in a similar way. There are also numerous private providers for the warning apps, the use of which I would look very carefully and, above all, consider. Because as long as I don't know exactly what the private provider is doing with my data, I won't use such an app.