They say that traveling is more about the journey than the destination. Those who say that obviously haven’t gone to third base with a TSA agent while their plane has been delayed. Thankfully, smart airport services that use IoT tend to mitigate most of the issues we have when flying coach. But, this comfort comes with a price; your data will be on display for everyone.
Cybersecurity experts always emphasize that you should never share your private data with companies. But, in the case of an airport, this is a necessity. You need to have your documents and be able to prove that you are the person you say you are. Additionally, you need to be cleared to land.
There is a precious balance for airports using the Internet of Things (IoT), between quicker access to your plane, and giving out more data than necessary. You will be able to solve this issue with cleverly separating yourself and your actual person, from your digital person when you are at the airport.
By using a premium VPN provider such as Le VPN, you can keep your mobile VPN app running while at the airport. This way, you will gain all of the advantages of a smart airport, without disseminating your private data to shady marketing companies. Your VPN will shield you from the service providers at the airport that piggyback on the personal information required by the TSA or other airport security services.
Observed separately, airports improved with IoT seem like a wonder of technology. The fact that everything can be pre-checked, pre-booked, and quickly paid from your phone, which you will then use to listen to a book on your flight is fantastic.
Or, it would be fantastic if it wasn’t possible to read and write this article on a refrigerator.
All of the technology we see is the same IoT available in our homes for years. Also, the same IoT risks exist in these devices as there are in others. This issue means that we need to be extremely aware of the data we are giving and of the personal information stored on our handheld devices.
Every traveler, regardless if it is for business or pleasure, should take this October to learn more on how to protect him or herself. October has been designated as the month of cybersecurity. It is practiced since 2003 in the USA and is now the official cybersecurity month in the EU as well.
Why is a Smart Airport Better?
It is hard to argue that the service on an airport using IoT is objectively better. The waiting time is shorter, with fewer checks, and you don’t need to carry all sorts of tickets and boarding passes with you when you travel.
If we can mitigate the risks of IoT, having your airport use these techniques will save you a lot of time and even more nerves. Additionally, these checks and services improve airport safety significantly.
TSA agents often work on a hunch, or with a limited protocol. But, the AI used to airport IoT systems never sleeps, never blinks, and never forgets. Also, being scanned by the camera isn’t invasive or disruptive to your journey.
IoT Airport Security
Depending on the amount of IoT services included in the airport, or the security systems installed, your experience may vary. From focused services that wouldn’t intrude more into your privacy than regular internet, to some that are very 1984-esque.
Slightly counter-intuitively, airport cameras and CCTV are the least of your privacy concerns. Even with advanced face recognition software (FRS) included, it is still excruciatingly hard to steal one’s private information or data by merely using their face.
Additionally, the FRS cannot be used by third parties and removes the needs for so many individual checks done by the police or TSA agents.
Finally, if there is a case of someone dangerous trying to board or someone who doesn’t have proper documents, these people can be removed from the premises without alarming other passengers.
All of this might spark the mind of a paranoid person, as it should, but hasn’t yet been used for any malicious reasons.
Digital Footprint vs. Data Footprint
It is without question that your digital footprint on a smart airport will be leagues bigger than it ever was before. With all of your data entered beforehand and the devices accessed on the spot, you will be tracing everything with every step you take to your flight.
But, a larger digital footprint doesn’t need to mean more or your data being spread around.
In a traditional airport, you were leaving an extensive paper trail of tickets, passport scans, and even coffee bills paid with your credit card. All of these traces are a treasure trove for dumpster divers that collect all sorts of data using processed tickets and payment options.
With an IoT airport, all of this data will go directly to a secure server and leave nothing to be stolen or sold of quietly. With premium providers like Le VPN, you will also have a VPN app for your iOS or Android devices. With this VPN, you can also secure and encrypt any data you use for other services.
QR and RFID
While both technologies have been around for decades, only with IoT, have we seen the full potential of QR codes and RFID chips. These little tools can make all objects ‘’communicate” with the system and make them included in the airport service.
The most known example of these technologies being used on an airport is baggage control. As machines now process your bags, there is little to no chance for your bags to be misplaced or lost somewhere.
You should use both software and vigilance to protect yourself from things like digital pickpocketing. Generally, you should use those in your everyday life. But, with this threat mitigated, you can be confident that you won’t be spending the first few days of your holiday in jeans.
Eyes in the Sky
With the introduction of the ‘’social credit’’ system in China, everyone became a bit suspicious when it comes to CCTV cameras, facial-recognition, and crowd tracking. But, to be honest, the airport is the only place where you actually want all of these things in place.
Airport security is vastly improved with this technology, as well as customer experience. The system will quickly and securely know if suspicious persons or objects are somewhere at the airport. Also, it will not need to harass or profile other passengers that are simply there to catch their plane.
Security might be the first issue on everyone’s mind when it comes to airports and plains, especially those from the US. But, cutting down the time needed for passengers to pass through the airport to their plane seat is arguably more important.
With a traditional airport, you might need hours to pass through the terminal, with delays popping out in all places. With airports that use IoT, this time can be cut in half, and you can be entertained on the way.
There is a question of privacy when it comes to IoT, especially when it comes to third-party providers of either internet access or services. But, with a sound IoT VPN, these concerns can be easily mitigated. You will use specialized airline or airport apps to give your personal data to the officials, but you will still protect that data from companies and data collectors.
If your airport, or even just your airliner, is using IoT systems to check and confirm your ticket, you will not need to fill out forms after forms. You can book your ticket as simple as you would buy anything online.
The simple fact that your ticket name, credit card name, and the name cited in your biometric passport match is enough to prove your identity.
As it is known that there will be a camera to confirm that you are carrying your documents when boarding, there is no need to send the airline any more information or to carry a bunch of papers with you.
Last but not least, you will not need to print out your ticket and boarding pass. All of this information will be stored on your device. Also, if you have a good VPN for travel, you can have your identity protected from others at all times.
There are not many things that can rejoice introverts and businesspeople at the same time. Online check-in is just such a thing. It saves time, money, and needless discussion with a clerk that needs names such as ‘’Jon Smith’’ to be spelled out to them.
For those who travel light, or use low-cost companies, this type of check-in is a lifesaver. You don’t need to reach the airport for four hours in advance in case there is a hiccup at the terminal.
By using your smartphone to confirm that you have arrived at the airport, you can simply walk directly to passport control, or straight to boarding. And automatic terminal will scan your phone and open for those who have adequate tickets booked.
Automatic Baggage Check-In
An incredible innovation when it comes to speedy check-in is the possibility to leave your luggage without talking to another human. And this is not just millennial dehumanization. It is good business. Automatic baggage check-in reduces the time for this activity in half.
Once you come to the terminal, you will scan your biometric passport or ticket, weigh your bags, and stick a QR code so that it can be tracked. You can then proceed to board without fears that someone will misplace or forget your prized possession.
Also, this makes the process safer as the bag can be scanned and tested for dangerous materials on its way. If anyone tries to stage an attack using their bags, they will be found and taken in long before they ever reach the terminal on the other end.
The Convenience of Smart Airport IoT
Few airports are currently using the full potential of IoT, but some are well on their way.
The slow adoption process has an added benefit that only a few of the services presented pose any sort of risk to cybersecurity. Regular means, such as having an updated operating system and a good VPN, will protect you in this case as well.
Nevertheless, having your airport connect to the internet this way can offer multiple benefits. Some of the advantages will be economical and practical, while others will have more to do with entertainment.
Now, with 5G connection, it is possible to introduce technologies such as augmented reality. There is also a possibility of smooth content streaming, while you go to your flight and wait for it to take off.
Having a fast and reliable internet has a lot of benefits. While it will not be needed for check-ins and passage, it will come in handy if you want to watch a movie or listen to Spotify while you wait.
With a premium VPN provider such as Le VPN, you can have an app on your mobile device engaged at all times. This will reduce the risk of airport WiFi, taking any of your data. Still, it will provide you with all of the benefits of having a fast internet connection.
One of the best features of a smart airport is the use of indoor navigation. This will show you the path to your specific gate and the time you have to get there. It can also notify you when boarding is open so you can gulp up your drink quickly and be on your way.
Currently mostly used to catch Pokémons, the potential of augmented reality in IoT airports is immense. By using visual cues through the camera, you might be able to see everything you want to know without needing to type out of scan directly. With augmented reality, passengers will be able to find anything they want by simply sliding their smartphone camera over it.
Although this will have the most applications when it comes to advertising, there are still a lot of practical uses where a smart airport will be able to use AR.
Risks of Public IoT
Unlike personal IoT risks where you can be hacked by leaving your printer unlocked, risks of public IoT are much more severe. The simple fact that you are always binding your person and your devices to a known place can put you at risk from data theft.
Additionally, you have no control over the safety and security implemented in those public places. If some terminals, WiFi connections, or even whole systems are compromised, you have no way of knowing that.
Finally, some governments have different views on privacy than it is common in the West. That is why those traveling and living abroad need a good expat VPN that will shield them from any unwanted consequences.
Citizens of the World
While our home planet stays the same, only slightly hotter, our world becomes smaller every year. We become close to each other either by faster travel or digitally.
But, this ‘’Cybersecurity October” we need to acknowledge the risks this shrinkage poses to our lives and our liberties. Even with beneficial and practical technologies such as smart airports, we need to know how to protect ourselves.
Even those who are sedentary and don’t need to travel outside their vacation periods need to start having a global outlook on their security and safety. Unlike in the past, your possessions, your livelihood, and even your very life (well, identity) can be taken by someone half-way across the world.
Citizens of the USA and the EU need to observe this cybersecurity month almost religiously. These are the countries where such technologies will be first to arrive, and they will be most affected.
Always use a VPN when Traveling
Using a VPN, as well as anti-malware software, is a good idea even if you don’t plan of ever leaving your house. But, it is a must if you plan on traveling to foreign countries.
Depending on your destination, some places might have banned content. Other countries might have a policy of using your browsing data and personal information for political means. No matter the country, your trust will be misplaced.
Thankfully, by using premium VPN providers like Le VPN, you can easily use an app to connect to a secure server. This server can be close by to reduce ping and any latency experienced. Otherwise, you can choose a server in the country that offers the content and access that you need.
With Le VPN, even those far away servers provide fast and reliable connections, meaning that you can keep your favorite even if you are really far away.
All airports of the future will be IoT operated. And, unlike many technological advances that can be risky or downright scary, this is the one that we actually want. An IoT airport offers faster and more reliable service, as well as increased security.
But, as is the case with everything else, it is better to be safe than sorry. By using premium VPN providers like Le VPN, you will be able to encrypt your connections and safeguard your data from any malicious entity online.
Only once you know you are safe, you will be able to enjoy both your destination and your journey completely.
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