Traveling poses unique cyber security threats especially when traveling abroad. Business travelers in particular are susceptible since they are more likely to be traveling with sensitive personal and business-related information on various devices. Whether you are traveling for work or play, here are five cyber security tips to make sure you travel safely and securely.
1 – Adjust Security Settings on Devices
Almost all devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets are programmed with customizable security settings. While a simple 4-digit pin may be sufficient for regular day to day use, when traveling it is important to amp up security by creating a more complex password, and/or enabling features such as face recognition or fingerprint ID. This will act as a first line of defense to protect your information if your devices are misplaced, forgotten, lost, or stolen.
If you don’t already have two factor authentication on your devices and/or accounts, make sure to have this enabled when travelling. For added security it would be best to change all the passwords you use regularly to something more unique and intricate that you commonly wouldn’t use – this applies to hotel safes or security boxes also. Something easy for you to remember can end up being easy for others to easy guess also. Lastly, if your devices have features to help you find them when they are lost, it would be best to make sure it is enabled as well when traveling.
2 – Use Public Wi-Fi With Caution
Cyber security regulations vary from country to country and although free Wi-Fi access seems nice to have when traveling, it’s unfortunately where your information is more vulnerable, and security can be compromised. Make sure to ask about security protocols before using Wi-Fi networks in places such as hotels, Airbnb’s, internet cafes and/or coffee shops. In the event that you absolutely need to use these networks, avoid logging into personal accounts or opening sensitive data.
3 – Turn Off Auto-Connect
A majority of mobile devices have connectivity settings that automatically connect you to Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth signals as you pass through them. These connectivity settings are risky to have enabled because it allows intruders to connect and hack your devices very easily and often times without you even knowing. This setting is nice to have when you are out and about in your hometown, but it’s not something you should allow while traveling. Instead opt for manual connectivity so you can pick and choose wisely.
4 – Limit Location Sharing
When traveling you might be eager to update social networking sites as you explore your exciting new destinations. However, even simply posting pictures can easily give away your location. Oversharing by showing where you are at all times makes it easy for local criminals or even people back at home to target your personal property. Limit sharing your present whereabouts to avoid security threats, and as a rule of thumb wait before posting anything. How long you want to wait is up to you – whether you are posting 24 hours later or even after you leave your destination, it’s still a lot safer than posting live updates.
5 – Update and Protect
Most software’s that people use on a day-to-day basis have newer versions and regular updates available. Improvements are constantly being made and making sure to have the latest updates is essential when travel. Older versions of software sometimes have bugs and that’s why updates were made available in the first place. This applies especially to Anti-Virus Protection software’s on your devices as well as applications – especially those used to conduct financial or personal business. Keeping everything up to date will make sure that your personal and business information is more secure while traveling.
In addition to these five cyber security tips while traveling, you should also research and review the cyber security laws and regulations of your destinations. By taking precaution and staying attentive you can travel with more peace of mind.