If you are staying in a hotel in China how do you know if your company secrets stored on your laptop are not being copied as you communicate with head office? Do you not think hotels are the perfect place to monitor Internet traffic in China?
There may also be many reasons why you may wish to hide your identity when on-line. While I have no reason to be worried about doing anything illegal or wrong, I am always careful when not working from a secure network that I manage or control.
What are the alternatives?There are a number of options available and of course in China some of these are very important as some people have a lot to hide if they are speaking out against human rights or other anti-government issues. As I said, while this is not my main concern, I am concerned for my clients having trade secrets on their laptops and these being stolen without their knowledge. But saying that, the way Hong Kong is heading, people should be very concerned about the way the government and police are moving to monitor and control how people demonstrate or publish their views. Certainly Hong Kong people's freedom has declined over the past 5 years so people should be concerned and be careful when on-line.
Cloud ComputingOf course Cloud Computing is one solution in combination with VPN's and encrypted tunnels either back to corporate head quarters or simply outside of China, Thailand, Indonesia or even Singapore.
Cloud Computing offers more security simply because there is no data on your laptop. There are Netbooks available which allow you to connect to the Internet where all your data is stored and secure. If your data never leaves the Cloud it remains secure. Of course you do not have access to your data unless on-line. But may be this is the price you need to pay for better security?
Global VPN Service Providers
For just protecting your Internet data traffic when you travel or even from your mobile phone as you move around town, you can use various VPN solutions including SuperVPN.net, StrongVPN.com or Overplay.net. Overplay also provides something very clever called SmartDNS. For those that wish to watch TV in a different country then this works. It is fast so you can enjoy HD quality. However it does not encrypt your data so is not the answer for safety, VPN does that.
If your mobile phone connects to your corporate network what security do you have in place to ensure it will not infect your systems?
For a secure tunnel that always encrypts your data and provides either a UK, Swiss or US IP address consider Privatetunnel.com and OpenVPN. China have already tried to block this company but there are ways to stop China doing this. Details on their web site.
While there are many provides of VPN services, some take your money and do nothing, just a scam so be careful. Cheap does not mean it works.
VPN and Proxy services are different. A Proxy service provider may provide you an IP address outside of your location country so you can access blocked content however the provider receives all your Internet traffic in readable format and can skim off key data like credit card numbers etc. So avoid using these. Use well known or written about VPN service providers only.