Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, cyber security is important and essential. You should always do your best to safeguard your personal data, but business travelers should take extra precaution as both personal and business data may be at risk. Before you leave, be sure to review and apply these smart cyber security tips.
Most devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets) have a security setting that enables you to lock your device using a PIN number or fingerprint ID. You should enable this on every device. In addition, you should change the PIN numbers you regularly use. Should your devices be temporarily misplaced or forgotten, this will be the first line of defense against a security breach.
Be Cautious Of Public Wi-Fi
If you are traveling abroad, the laws and regulations that govern cyber security are typically not the same as those in the United States. Although free Wi-Fi access can be very appealing, it can be particularly vulnerable to security issues.
Avoid any unencrypted Wi-Fi networks – ask the hotel about its security protocol before connecting. Be extra cautious using Internet cafes and free Wi-Fi hotspots. If you must use them, avoid accessing personal accounts or sensitive data while connected to that network.
If your phone has a setting which allows your device to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks as you pass through them, turn it off before you leave. It can be convenient when you are at home, but it is not something you should allow while traveling.
Disable Bluetooth Connectivity
Along with your Wi-Fi connectivity, you should also disable Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth signals can come from anywhere, and if left on, nearby assailants can connect to your phone and potentially hack into your device.
Minimize Location Sharing
When traveling, it may be tempting to share your experiences in real time on social networks. The problem with this is that it creates a security threat at home. Knowing where you are helps criminals determine that you’re not in your hotel room or at home, leaving these areas vulnerable to physical intrusion. Limit what you post online or save it until after you have returned home to minimize potential threats.
Install Anti-Virus Protection
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep personal and company information secure while traveling is to utilize anti-virus protection. Choose a trusted brand of security and be sure to regularly update this software as new versions become available.
Update Operating Systems
Much like anti-virus software, your operating system should be kept up-to-date. This also applies to apps on your phone, especially those which you use regularly to conduct financial or personal business.
Password management is ever important, so if you are going to travel, be sure to change all of the passwords you regularly use. If you must create a PIN for a safe or security box in a hotel room, make sure it’s unique and not something you commonly use. Don’t skimp on password creation either. Take the time to create something that will keep a criminal out of your personal property. Once you return home, you can changes all the passwords back.
In addition to these tips, you should also review the laws and regulations governing cyber security in each country you plan to visit. Be aware of your surroundings, networks, and devices to reduce the risk of cyber threats. Share your own cyber security tips with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
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