As Christmas approaches, you may be booking a much-needed getaway. You might be flying back home or somewhere more exotic. You prepared intensely, and you are ready to go on an adventure. But how about security? Read our ultimate guide to cybersecurity for travelers and learn more about great habits on the go.
Failing to take the correct precautions can result in loss of your data, privacy, and ultimately, your money. Probably the worst time for this to happen is when you are on the road. Unfortunately, this is one of the times when you are most susceptible.
Most people when they travel now are bringing their phones, laptops, iPads, iPods, smartwatches, cameras, the list of gadgets is only growing. If your home is all set up with protection against web threats, you’re just halfway there to being adequately protected. Your devices are susceptible to the same risks even when you are away.
Don’t let your diligence go out the window on your holiday. Before you leave, educate yourself on the do’s and don’ts of cybersecurity.
What you should know about cybersecurity for travelers?
- Backup your data. In case you lose any devices while traveling (read this article in case that happens), make sure you don’t lose all your data as well.
- Use an external cloud-based drive such as Dropbox, so that you can access your data from another device when you get home.
- Remove sensitive data from the devices you are using while traveling. It will make sure that anyone who finds your device isn’t able to see all of your private information.
- Implement it authentication for your accounts. It is an easy way to ensure that even if someone gains access to your passwords, there is still another step to authenticate that only you are accessing your email, online banking, and social media.
- Use apps like Google Authenticator or Authy to put another barrier between your accounts and malicious hackers.
- Make sure all of your devices are locked. The is essential for the same reasons as 2FA. Adding a passcode requirement to your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. ensures that there is no security breach if you lose them or they are stolen while abroad.
While you’re away:
- Don’t overshare. We want all of our social media networks to get jealous of our poolside pina coladas or the delicious turkey dinner you made for your family. But this can be dangerous, especially if you are checking in to various locations, sharing photos, are making posts about the dates you will be away. You are letting hackers, cyberstalkers, and real-life criminals know that your house is unattended and exactly where you are at all times.
- Do not check in places. Only post photos after you return home, safe and sound.
- Make sure your neighbors know that you will be away and ask them to let you know if they see anything suspicious.
- Do not connect to public wifi. Hotel, coffee shop, airport wifi is convenient, it is true. It is very dangerous. Hackers, which can intercept your connection with different kinds of attacks. Read more about these problems here.
- If you absolutely have to use a public network, do not do anything that requires you to input sensitive information, for example, online shopping or online banking. You never know who could have intercepted your connection and now has access to all the information you input on these sites.
- Use a VPN. A virtual private network routes your traffic through a middleman server. You can use either a paid or unpaid service depending on your needs.
- Disable auto connect. Many phones give you the option to automatically connect to wifi or Bluetooth as you pass by it. It is convenient at home but is dangerous when you are traveling (for the reasons I mentioned above). You never know what malicious networks you could be connecting to while on the go. A hacker could be collecting your data without you even knowing it.
Read more about how to protect yourself, your family, and your privacy here, and tell us how you are planning to spend the happiest time of the year in the comments!